holy shit why on earth wasn't this written up yet? man you guys are killin' me

"So listen up, boy, or else pornography starring your mother will be the second worst thing that happens to you today."

Team Fortress 2 - released 2007 with The Orange Box - is not just a game. It's a team-based massive multiplayer online class-based first-person shooter (try saying that ten times fast). The basic gist, if you're unfamiliar: pick a team, pick a character class, and go around shooting people from the other team while trying to play Capture The Flag or King Of The Hill or other such team-based games. Play to your strengths: you can play around with a rocket launcher, build sentry guns, snipe from a distance, or eat a sandvich.

The nine classes you can choose from are split into three groups, as follows:

  • Offensive characters
    • Scout (lightest, most fleet-footed, and can double-jump - as well as smacking people out with a truncheon)
    • Soldier (can rocket-jump, has more health than most other classes)
    • Pyro (can leave enemies burning posthumously, and can perform a Hadouken)
  • Defensive characters
    • Demoman (can set up sticky grenades to explode at will, and has a mean frying pan)
    • Heavy (possesses most health and heaviest weapon power, but is slow)
    • Engineer (poor in combat, but builds the most OP weapon in the game - the dreaded Sentry Gun)
  • Supporting characters
    • Medic (he's... well... a medic)
    • Sniper (causes more pain the longer his sniper is zoomed in, and can use Jarate to cause mini-crits)
    • Spy (can turn invisible and disguise himself. he's... well... a spy)

It's the most unrealistic, but one of the most awesome, first-person shooter games I have ever seen; it keeps in line with Valve's sense of humour, especially shown with the cartoonish graphics and the "Meet The Team" promotional trailers; it requires a lot of patience to master, but it's still relatively easy for FPS gamers to pick up. Tick, tick, tick. I haven't been this impressed with a first-person shooter since Halo several years ago. Sure, I'm a little late to jump on the bandwagon (bought it a few weeks ago through Steam) but hell, pretty soon it'll be a quick run for me into "no I'm not going to my exam I'm gonna stay here and fuck people up with my sniper rifle".

There is no single-player campaign. That much is obvious right from the get-go (and also its genre classification) when you're dumped into half a dozen training simulations then shoved straight into either a server or offline practise. This is a little disappointing, but then again, Valve did the exact opposite with Portal (i.e. no multiplayer whatsoever) then rectified that with Portal 2. They also showed that first-person shooter games can require a little bit more strategy than "run into the hornet's nest and bludgeon everything you see" or "first person to get the most OP weapon in the game will always win". In fact, the gameplay is as well-balanced as you or me (but not your friend).

  • Graphics: 9/10 A little cartoonish, but hey, Pixar got away with it.
  • Sound: 9/10 The woman's voice can get a bit grating sometimes. Sounds too M from James Bond for my liking.
  • Playability: 9/10 If you're into FPS games, there's a few kinks in it you won't be used to. But it's only kinky the first time.
  • Lastability: 10/10 You're almost always guaranteed to get a new game every time.
  • Total: 37/40 = 9.25/10 Valve had me at "Team".

"Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe. Maybe. I have yet to meet one that can outsmart a bullet."

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