First a big thank you to Valve for providing Team Fortress 2 for this Review.
Lately I have been looking at what I consider to be the top games in several different categories and none of them to date have really impressed me or made me want to spend any real time in them. This all changed however when I finally had the chance to play Team Fortress 2..
I was rather skeptical when I seen the first screen shots of this game. I'm one of these people who like a game to be as real looking as possible and when I seen the cartoon like characters in the game I was thinking this is going to be one stupid game to play. It was then one day I ran across a video of the game in action and it was at this point that I changed my mind completely. What at first was looking like it was going to be a stupid looking game was all of a sudden starting to look pretty slick.
After seeing the first video I went and looked for more videos and after seeing a few more I have to say I was really dieing to check this game out and see how well it looked and played. I couldn't check the game out of course because at this point in time it wasn't even open to the public yet. I finally did get my chance to look at the game when the beta was finally open to those who pre-ordered the game.
Even when the game was classed as a beta I was massively impressed with how well Valve did on this game. Most betas are very problematic and really don't look like a finished game however that was not the case with Team Fortress 2. Even in the beta state it was in I thought it could have been a final release. During the beta I only run into two problems and both of them problems are still in the game today in its final release form. More on these two problems later on..
For those that don't know Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer only game. You can pick to play on one of two sides in the game. With each side you have 9 different classes you can play and them classes are very different from each other.
You have access to the following classes in the game and they are the same regardless of which side you play on.
#1 Scout the scouts main advantage over the other classes is its movement speed, the scout moves a lot faster then the other classes in the game. His main weapon is the sawed off shot gun which is really nasty at close range.
Below is a screen shot of the Scout..
#2 Soldier the soldiers main weapon is a rocket launcher and this thing is nasty if you get hit by it. The Solider is also good at shooting a lot of rockets in a short period of time so he is use full if you need to lay down some cover fire.
Below is a screen shot of the Soldier..
#3 Pyro the pyro can be really nasty up close when he gets that flame thrower going and gets near a group of people.
Below is a screen shot of the Pyro..
#4 Demoman the demoman guy can shoot mini bombs that after a short pause explode. He can also lay down a mini mine that when you get close to it, it explodes.
Below is a screen shot of the Demoman..
#5 Heavy this guy is fun to play his movement speed is slow but he can take a lot of damage and his main weapon is a chain gun that fires loads of bullets at the enemy.
Below is a screen shot of the Heavy..
#6 Engineer the engineer is probably one of the most important classes in the game do to the fact he can build several automated guns that kill enemy's within its range. He can also build a dispenser that can not only heal anyone who gets near it but also rearm them as well. Along with that stuff he can also build teleporters and these are great when you want to get from your spawn site to the main action in a hurry.
Below is a screen shot of the Engineer..
#7 Medic if you want to keep all your team members alive during battle then you want to be a medic. The medic is really good when teamed up with the Heavy because he can heal the Heavy while the heavy is ripping stuff up with his chain gun. After you have healed a player for a certain amount of time you have the option of putting a player into uber mode and when you do that it makes you and the person you have targeted invincible for a short period of time. To get the best use out of uber mode use it on a Heavy and then you can really give the enemy a hard time.
Below is a screen shot of the Medic..
#8 Sniper I have spent most of my time playing this game as a sniper so its a class I love to play. Not much to explain with this class, zoom in put the laser dot on the enemy's head and get a head shot. The longer you stay zoomed in the more powerful the shot. When you zoom in you can see a little display and that will goto 100% once your at 100% that means your shots will be at max power. When you un-zoom the sniper rifle you loose that 100% and when you zoom back in it will start to climb over from 0 to 100%.
Below is a screen shot of the Sniper..
#9 Spy this is one of the most unique classes in the game and for several reasons. The spy can cloak for a short period of time and when you do this no one can see you on the enemy team. The spy can also put on a disguise and when he does that he can look like a enemy team player. So the only way for the enemy team to know they have a spy disguised as one of their players is to see if there are duplicate player names and then they know. The spy can also short circuit any of the automated guns or dispensers that were built by the engineer as well.
Below is a screen shot of the Spy..
All the classes mentioned here also have other secondary weapons they can use. My biggest problem with this game is deciding what class to play and thats a good thing because it means all the classes were well thought out.
This game comes with a hand full of maps and the maps them selfs dictate the style of play. Some of the maps you have to control certain key spots on the map in order to win. Other maps you have to run into the enemy base and grab a suit case with some documents in it and make it back to your base with that suit case in order to score a point.
Valve not that long ago released the Team Fortress 2 SDK and with that all community map makers with be able to start making maps of their own to let people download and play. So hopefully in a few months time we will start to see some good user made maps start to show up and I can't wait for that. I also heard a rumor that Valve plans to update the game with more of its own maps and maybe some new classes in the future as well so that too would be great.
For those that like to have stats on what they have done in the game you will be pleased to know Team Fortress 2 has a stats screen that you see when your in the game and that shows you all kinds of information.
Below is a screen shot of the stats screen and my stats..
As far as the games graphics go this is one of the only games I have played this year where I can turn the graphics up to full and have very smooth frame rates. The odd time I might notice a bit of a slow down in terms of frame rate but by in large this game plays very well on my system.
The sound in the game is great and valve did a great job with the taunts that each of the classes can use. There will be times when your playing this game and you will here a guy beside you come out with some funny line and you will burst out laughing in the middle of a intense battle.
The only downside I have seen to the game is the load times for the game loading and also for the maps loading, it seems to take longer then it should. The other problem I had was sometimes you can get stuck in the game where you can't move in any direction and the only way out of that is to die and respawn.
At the time of this article you could buy Team Fortress 2 by it self for $29.95 U.S you can also purchase what is known as the orange box and if you purchase that you get Half Life 2, Half life 2 episode 1 and episode 2 as well as Team Fortress 2 and you also get the game Portal for $49.95 U.S. So for the extra 20 dollars your getting four extra games not to bad of a deal there.
Below are the computer specs I run Team Fortress 2 on.
AMD 64 X2 4800
ASUS A8N-SLI DELUXE
GEFORCE 7950 GT/OC VIDEO CARD 512 MEG OF RAM
2 GIGS OF PC3200 RAM
2 MAXTOR 120 GIG 7200 RPM 8 MEG CACHE EIDE ATA 133 DRIVES
SOUND BLASTER AUDIGY SOUND CARD
In conclusion this is one of the best games I have played in quite a while. As I stated in the beginning of this article I have played a lot of games this year and none of them were all that great. Team Fortress 2 on the other hand is one of them games where you turn it on and the next thing you know night time has turned to day time and you realise you been playing the game all night long lol...
Below are some more random screen shots from the game enjoy!