Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is one of the many free games on Steam and one of the few that will actually run well on my laptop. It was because of this, and the fact that some of my friends had recommended it, that I got the game with nothing but a few megabytes on my laptop’s hard-drive to lose.
TF2 is first and foremost and massively multiplayer game. In fact, playing sing;e-player isn’t an option. Even if you do get onto a server with just yourself, the game will just keep restarting until someone else joins. One of the things I worry about most when playing purely multiplayer games, is that I might be the only one playing them and won’t be able to find a server with anybody else. So far, however, this has never occurred. There is always a multitude of servers running, and even if you join a server with just you and one other person, within a couple of minutes there will be many more who have joined.
There are nine different characters (all with different weapons) that you can play as. The Heavy, Soldier, Pyro, Scout, Spy, Engineer, Medic, Sniper and Demoman. Here’s a quick run-down on each of the character. Heavy; a defensive player that’s very slow but with very high health and a primary weapon that boasts and extremely high fire-rate. Soldier; an offensive player that’s fairly slow and has a relatively high health. The primary weapon is a rocket launcher. Pyro (what I play most as); an offensive player that’s fast but with a average health whose primary weapon is a flame-thrower Scout; an extremely fast offensive player with average health whose weapons are a scattergun and pistol. Spy; a fast, supporting player with average health who can disguise himself as the opposite team. Engineer; a fast, defensive player with average health who can build sentries, teleporters and dispensers. Medic; a faster, supporting player with slightly higher than average health who can heal other players and has regenerating health. Sniper; a fast, supportive player with average health, the sniper boasts a sniper rifle that can kill in one shot. Finally, demoman; a defensive player with a high health and slighlty slower speed whose weapon is a grenade launcher.
Ok, so all of that probably makes the game sound fairly complicated, and fair enough, I wouldn’t just start off switching between all of the different players. Pick one (probably Heavy or Soldier) and then start from there. Then, it’s actually not very complicated at all. Only three weapon slots with weapons that can be swapped with the one’s you’ve picked up during your games.
Then it comes to the gamemodes. There are two main types; multiplayer and co-op. Multiplayer is the most popular, and is basically revolving around two different teams (all of whom are actual players) trying to win the game that has been set. There are many games in multiplayer mode insluding; capture the flag, control point, king of the hill, payload and special delivery. Then there’s the co-op mode called Mann vs Machine where players fight off waves of AI robots.
As far as gameplay goes, I really like it. It’s very difficult to get bored playing it because there are so many different modes to play in. The controls are easy and the arenas are surprisingly detailed. The only downside of the gameplay is, that when I first start playing the game (while I was getting used to it) I was really bad and this made me not want to play. But after about an hour I felt like i was actually making a contribution to my team and started enjoying it more. It might have just been because I’m not that much of a gamer that it took me a while to get used to it.
While actually getting the game is free, to get some extra features (like trading with other players and to buy some items in the shop) you have to pay money. However, unlike other games with this format, purchasing items doesn’t give the player a massive advantage (if any). You’re able to play the game perfectly well even if no money is spent.
The music is pretty cool. It’s composed by Mike Morasky and performed by the Valve Musical Orchestra. Unlike other games, however, music doesn’t play while the game is on. It’s only for the introductions, trailers and the menu. It works like this, though, because there are so many players playing, a lot of weaponry and occasionally people speaking. I highly recommend watching the “Meet the…” videos before playing the game just for entertainment value. The TF2 theme is here:
Rating; 4/5 stars