Team Fortress 2: fun for you and your friends




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I could be rocket jumping right now, or maybe working my way towards that one achievement, but luckily for you my friends aren’t on Steam at the moment, which gives me time to talk about Team Fortress 2.

TF2 is a first person shooter based on the Half Life 2 engine. It was made by Valve about a year ago. $20 can get you this game through Steam, a kind of AIM for computer games that lets you join into and connect with other people playing, and it can also be purchased in the Orange Box set, with Half Life 2, and Portal. This game has also been out for the X-Box 360, and Playstation 3. TF2 also happens to be the most well-crafted game I have ever played.

The first thing you will notice when you start playing this game is how different it is from other shooters. There is no single player, but there is a story. In the game you play as two opposing construction companies, fighting over….. things. Both teams have the same classes: Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Heavy, Engineer, Medic, Sniper, and Spy.

All of these characters have a distinctive look making them instantly noticeable. Each of these classes is a true character in every since of the word with personalities, and even back stories, that can be seen in the videos being made by Valve. The reason the Demoman carries a bottle of alcohol, as a melee weapon is because he’s a “Black Scottish Cyclops”, and has to get rid of his trouble somehow. Little elements like this all contribute to making this game a blast to play.

Every other shooter I’ve ever played has had one play style or gun in it that makes it not fun to play. Just the act of making one gun so powerful that everyone uses it aggravates me into many arguments in-game. Not so with TF2. Out of the nine classes in the game there is not one that is more powerful than the all of the others. Each class has its weaknesses, and strengths.

Take for example a Soldier fighting a Heavy. If they are at long range the Soldier can easily use his longer range weapons to destroy the Heavy, but if they are at close range the Heavy’s minigun will chew the soldier up. A skilled player can minimize these disadvantages, but only to a certain extent. In any other game the player’s skill would completely neutralize any disadvantages that character class would have.

In TF2 players rely on their teammate’s skill to shore up your weaknesses. In the example if either of those players had any other teammate nearby they would win, hands down. Teamwork is the other part of what makes this game so great to play. No one can simply go it alone. If a Heavy is attempting to Rambo through a sentry nest he can be killed very easily in any number of ways. However, if that Heavy is backed up by a Medic who is healing him the Heavy stands a much better chance of surviving.

Balancing a game this perfectly takes a lot of work. Every other game I have played has had one item/tactic that can just anger me to the point of quitting, but it’s not that way with TF2. The only thing that makes me quit playing TF2 is my bodily needs, work, school, and moronic teammates.

The one flaw in any game which relies upon teamwork is that if the team sucks, players will not have a good time because they will be getting owned by things they can’t stop. Some people on TF2 don’t pay attention to this, and play whatever class they want. In the case of one person on a team this is ok, but when a team has four snipers on it, and I keep getting killed because I have no backup, some swearing will occur.

I’d like to say that doesn’t happen often, but it happens at least an eighth of the time I have spent playing this game.

However, if any friends playing this game on Steam makes the fun factor of this game jump because there is nothing like killing people with friends.

This is a game I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys first-person shooters. The graphics may turn some away, but if you appreciate fine balance and teamwork you will experience one of the most finely crafted games in existence nowadays.