This is going to be a short article. Why? Because Scream Fortress VIII (8 for those who can’t read Roman numerals) is short. There’s not a lot going on with it. It’s a continuation from last year. There is actually very little to talk about.
Actually, to show just how little there is to talk about, the biggest criticism about Scream Fortress VIII so far has absolutely nothing to do with Scream Fortress, but with competitive matchmaking. Badlands and Granary were both removed from the competitive pool, and replaced with Turbine and Badwater, two maps that simply aren’t friendly with 6v6 gameplay. I have no idea what made the TF2 team do this, why didn’t they just add Turbine and Badwater and test them out, rather than removing the two most played competitive maps in the entirety of Team Fortress 2?
Aside from that and the eternal crashing of TF2 on Macs, there’s not much to say.
Alright, there’s three maps. Brimstone was shown off on SPUF, and well done to that guy, because that map is cool. Generic Halloween sort of stuff, but it works. Pit of Death is a Player Destruction map, and it’s even more generic, right down to using that bottomless pit that comes standard with all new event maps, and I genuinely thought it would be more… pit-like. Maple Ridge Event is an insanely weird map to add, since 1. Maple Ridge is pretty damn obscure in the first place, 2. it is a Sniper Heaven map, and 3. it’s pretty much the same map but with Halloween textures. Were these really the (s)cream of the crop? Why only add three maps? Why these maps in particular?
Questions. Also more questions. There’s only 3 new Merasmissions, one for each of these maps. The Merasmissions allow you to do contracts to get a chance at cosmetics from previous years that weren’t in crates, are untradeable and are 99% of the time not what you want. You can’t get Spells from these either, the one thing that TF2 players really, really wanted to see making a comeback.
As for new cosmetics, there’s the creepy crawly crate, but there’s very little of interest in it. Apart from the Burly Beast, an open shirt cosmetic for Medic, which I do genuinely want, most of the items are, well, meh. Nicely made, as always, but they’re not interesting, nor are they really Halloween-y. The Burly Beast doesn’t even look Halloween-y, I just always wanted a bare chested Medic item. Three of the costumes are literally cardboard planes strapped to Pyro’s, Engineer’s and Demoman’s crotches. The ones for Medic, Scout and Soldier weren’t added. In fact, the clawed feet and werewolf facial features that made up the rest of the Burly Beast weren’t added either, so you just have this random open chest.
And why was Heavy Tourism added? It’s a really nice cosmetic but it has… nothing to do with Halloween?
The new taunts aren’t that amazing either. The Victory Lap is literally just allowing people to use the go-karts from Scream Fortress 6’s sd_Doomsday whenever they want, and the others are all standard. The new unusual effects for both taunts and cosmetics are very nice, but I doubt we’ll see many of them, even with the double unusual chance we’ve got for Halloween – trading restrictions and a lack of players mean not many will unbox things.
If you’re going to though, go for the #103 crate, as it contains items that can sell for more than a few sense on the Steam Market.
There’s really not much else to say. I mean, I know the TF Team is preparing for the Pyro update, but there’s just… nothing here to talk about. They could have added way more content (maps, cosmetics, spells, all sorts) at very little extra work, and for reasons unknown, they didn’t.