Review: Team Fortress 2

-Calvin Tomlinson

As “Empty Wallet” Gamers, I’m sure most of you have had some form of TF2 experience. If not, then why? This game is fantastic, in my opinion the absolute pinnacle of class based combat AND it’s Free to play (but I have played a good 350 hours). If you don’t already have a Steam account, then make one, and TF2 will be in your library just waiting for you to play it.

If you’re still here and haven’t gone off to get the game I’ll talk a little about the gameplay, TF2 is a First-Person shooter that, as I said before, is all about class based combat. There are 9 classes in total, each with their strengths and weaknesses, and the beauty of it is that you are encouraged to play the classes that support your team, but also the classes that counter your enemy. There needs to be real emphasis on teamwork to win at this game, something which I personally think that more recent games have missed.

Now for the classes; you’ve got the Scout, the youngest of the classes, he’s really small and really weak, but he’s lightning quick and absolutely deadly up close; then you’ve got the Soldier, Big rocket launcher that does big damage, not quite as fast as most other classes, but does have the ability to rocket jump; Pyro, he, she, who knows, all we know is that fire is key here, with Flamethrowers, Flare guns and Fire Axes you’ll need to get up close and personal, attacking from range will never end well.

Those are the offensive classes, now for the defensive ones; Demoman, Drunk, Scottish, and carrying tonnes of explosives, you’ll need to set traps and fling grenades around the map, or go 100% melee as a Demoknight with your sword and shield; Heavy, the biggest class with the biggest health meter,carrying a minigun that never needs reloading and a sandwich for when things go bad, you’ll deal masses of damage, but don’t expect to go very far, the Heavy is slow and Scouts will run rings around you; Engineer, why bother with man-on-man combat when you can build machines? Build sentry guns to take care of your enemies, dispensers to take care of your team, and teleporters to keep your guys on the front lines.

Finally. there are the support classes; Medic, generally the least offensive, but arguably the most important member of a team, their main job is to keep the team alive, armed with their medigun then can provide instant healing to any team member that needs it; Sniper, exactly what it says on the tin, you have low health and average speed, but your strength is in range, shoot from where no-one can see you and you never need to worry about health; Finally, the Spy, the spy has low health, and carries a revolver, but a lot of your kills will come from the knife, the Spy’s knife is capable of dealing a one-hit kill with a stab to the back, you always have a few tools to help you get to the back of your enemies, there’s the ability to disguise, and your invisibility watch.

You’ll really start to enjoy this game once you’ve had a go with all the classes and can pick a real favourite, I’m a big Pyro fan myself, but when the time is right I’ll go Medic or Demoman. That’s the beauty; you can switch classes during the game so you’re ready for all situations, and with all the classes being so well balanced it doesn’t matter what you pick, it’s hard not to have fun.

The graphics on this game are timeless, cartoony style with a nice old-fashioned feel to it, from first glance you wouldn’t think this game was released almost 5 years ago. Even better is the fact you can customize your character, with Hats, Miscellaneous items and Actions/Taunts. These kind of items are sold through in-game micro transactions but aren’t game-changing. Anything that might affect how “good” a player is can be obtained without paying for it. Weapons drop while you play and there is a small chance of finding a hat, or other miscellaneous items. These items can be traded with other players and over time has formed a meta-game inside TF2, I warn you, once you get involved in trading it becomes horribly addictive and you find yourself worrying more about your hats than your skill, that being said I had great fun with it and found some really great communities. Still, the main game is incredible and trading is a nice little break from the norm that’s on the side.

Overall, all I can say is that this game is fantastic, in a market full of modern shooters and super serious games; this is a nice little break. It’s a bit of fun, but also has a really big competitive scene. But don’t just take my word for it, this game is Free-to-Play on Steam, I don’t regret having to pay for it when I started because it’s worth it. I know people with literally 1000’s of hours in this game, and they have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Rating –95%, it’ll be a long time until a Class-based FPS comes along that competes with this.