More excitingly, after years of waiting, Meet the Pyro is out!

I confess (though I’ve watched it half a dozen times by now) to a slight cavil: it’s basically a one-joke film, though that joke is extremely well executed.  It doesn’t have the side elements piled in as in the production high points, Medic and Spy.  In that way it’s more like Engineer.  (I say those were the production high points to accommodate the view that the comedic high point was Meet the Sniper.)

But, major kudos for taking that joke and applying it in an amazingly thorough way to the game itself.  You can now experience the actual gameplay in Pyrovision.  Best bit: when you’re dominated by or dominate a player, the in-game notification changes to “Zompist is BEST FRIENDS with ___.”  I can’t wait to figure out how to enable Pyroland in my own maps.

If you look at each of the Meet The films in turn, it’s fascinating how each one is designed to make that player class look heroic.  Note how manly the Medic looks in Meet the Medic.  In Pyro the non-Pyroland portions beautifully emphasize the power and menace of the Pyro– he even walks taller than normal.

It’s also interesting that they completely sidestepped any backstory for the Pyro; we don’t even learn what he looks like under the suit.  Partly, I suspect, this is because they were trapped by an earlier joke.  The costume cabinet prop has a purse in his slot, which is an obvious and kinda dumb gay joke (pyro = flamer), but which many people took as implying that the Pyro was female (despite his obviously male mumble and figure).  Instead of going in either of these directions, they made the Pyro batshit insane.  Which, you know, will displease approximately zero Pyro players.

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