Are you a fan of constant explosions and bullets whizzing all about? Quirky, outrageous characters and a good sense of humor? How about… punching cartoon people until they die? No? None of that? Then stop here, friend. Because that’s only the beginning of the online splendor of Team Fortress 2, arguably the crowning jewel of valve’s collection of games found on Steam, standing proudly and deservingly next to Half-Life 2 and Portal.
Team Fortress 2 is a class-based online first person shooter game. The structure of matches is pretty simple. Choose a game mode, choose a class. Go for it. The real substance of the gameplay is how every situation can change on a dime according to the class choices of each member of each team. There are 9 available classes, split equally into the Offensive, Defensive, and Support categories.
This, of course, reflects the strategic approach that each class is most suited to. Use offensive classes to capture briefcases in Team Fortress 2’s iteration of a CTF mode. Use defensive classes to defend your own team’s briefcase. Support classes have a wide variety of situational uselessness. Consult the listing below for each classes’ signature weapons and traits.
Soldier – Rocket Launcher and a shotgun. Your basic assault guy.
Pyro – Flamethrower. It’s enough, trust me.
Scout – Scattergun and a massive boost to movement and capturing speeds.
Demo-man – Remote-detonated Sticky Bombs and Grenade Launcher. Plenty of boom.
Heavy – Minigun and his meaty fists.
Engineer – Handheld turret construction PDA and a wrench. For fixin’ said turrets.
Sniper – Sniper rifle and and SMG. Headshots for days.
Spy – Disguising Kit and a .44 Mag. Trick ‘em and pick ‘em off.
Medic – Medi-Gun and a Syringe Gun. Can over-heal teammates. All praise the healer.
Then we arrive at the discussion of the game’s replay value. A timer runs while you are playing the game, and when that timer runs out, you are awarded a random weapon or other equippable/collectible, including unlockable boxes. This cycle keeps going until a weekly reward cap is reached. The sole disappointment behind the collectibles system that is implemented in this game is the micro-transactions. Curse them and everything about them. Some keys to unlock boxes, as well as certain special items, will need to be purchased with real money. Now, granted, the game itself is entirely free to play. I guess this provides some reasoning behind charging for the higher-tier items and collectibles, though I find the general nature of microtransactions to be quite repellent.
There is one more thing worth mentioning before wrapping up this review. In addition to your basic online multiplayer modes, there is also a co-op mode, which involves working with a few other teammates to prevent an army of robot copies of the game’s characters from delivering a bomb to a designated point. This mode can earn you very powerful equipment and items.
Team Fortress 2 proudly holds its fanbase with regular new equipment and events. The gameplay is highly enjoyable, balancing its outrageous humor with strategy-rich gameplay. Casual, yet with a hint of a competitive nature. Every class has a goal to accomplish, and with a little bit of play, every class’ role becomes quickly apparent. With its replay value and other key upsides, as well as a nonexistent price tag, this game is a valuable asset to any PC gamer’s go-to category.