Sunday, 22 April 2012

Team Fortress 2 Review

Every so often in the FPS genre there is a diamond in the rough. With every FPS trying to be the next big thing, rarely there is a game that follows it’s own path quite like Team Fortress 2. Made by Valve, Team Fortress 2 is a class based multiplayer shooter and sequel to the highly successful Team Fortress Quake mod. Like its predecessors, Team Fortress 2 is centered around two opposing teams competing for an objective. These two teams are meant to represent a demolition and a construction company as a part of the back story: Reliable Excavation Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU). Players can choose to play as one of nine classes in these teams, each with their own unique strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and roles. Although the abilities of a number of classes have changed from earlier Team Fortress incarnations, the basic elements of each class have remained.

My main love of Team Fortress is the art style. Initially in early development of the game, seen through leaked concepts, the game appeared to be deviating from its predecessors by pursuing a more realistic and militaristic style, but the design changed over its nine year development period. The final rendition is a cartoon style that i love. As well as the art style, the animation of Team Fortress 2 is amazing. Having a small history of doing animation and a massive history of watching it, i appreciate how every action taken by each individual character is spot on with the personality of each one, such details are missed by most games developers these days.

Each of the nine playable classes eeks with personality, each with small histories shown on their “meet the” series used by valve as advertising. My personal favourite in terms of personality would be the sniper, a rugged and ready crack shot from the Australian outback . “No, not a crazed gunman Dad, I'm an assassin......Well the difference being that one is a job and the other is mental sickness.” a quote from “meet the sniper” that had me in fits when i first watched it. Even game characters have family problems!

All of the levels are full of the same fantastic art style and humorous character. The most well known of which would be “ctf_2fort”. It is one of my favourite maps of all time. perfectly balanced and amazingly well textured, it pretty much encapsulates the feeling of playing Team Fortress 2. Each map has a game mode tied to it, and for 2fort it is capture the flag (intelligence briefcase) . I think it would be nice if the mode of the map could change, to team deathmatch or something, however i can see why they would want to keep it the same, as they specifically designed the maps for each of their game modes. Which might be the reason why the level designs are so great.

The best thing about Team Fortress 2 would have to be the modding community. Through them we have had more incredibly fun maps and more recently Valve has been making mod creators money by putting their weapons and hats into the game for players to buy. An article i read on Pcgamer some time ago said that more money was being made through microtransactions than through the selling of the game . As well as being a major earner for Valve, the sales of hats have been used for charity. After the tsunami in japan, a set of hats were made for which all the proceeds went to a charity to help the people affected by the tsunami. I think it was an awesome move by Valve because through making only a little effort they managed to make $430,543.65.

I have much love for Valve and especially Team Fortress 2. I’m not a very good writer and haven’t given it justice but i think everyone should play it and see for themselves. It is free after all!

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