Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Team Fortress 2: "A World war themed hat simulator" - Valve

What is there to say about Team Fortress 2 that hasn’t been said? If you play First person shooters or have Steam, then you know of this game. It’s one of the few FPS games that doesn’t try to take itself seriously and never has. The trailers, the taunts in game, the weapons, the characters, everything about this game is designed to be comical.

The plot of Team Fortress 2, you are either a member of the RED team or BLU team; you have to kill the members of the other team as a class of character. There are 9 different classes with their own weapons, abilities, strengths and weaknesses to balance out other characters. As a result, it is very hard to win a game of Team Fortress 2 unless you play with a team.

The offensive characters are...

  • The Scout: The fastest character in the game, he can’t take alot of hits but can move quickly, jump higher and also acts as 2 characters on control points (the capture areas of the game). The scout also has the personality of, pretty much a cocky asshole.

  • The Soldier: the offensive wall, he can deal alot of damage with the rocket launcher and can also do an ability called the Rocket Jump. The soldier also has the most health of the offensive characters. The soldier’s personality is of a over exaggerated American soldier.
  • The Pyro: “Some men just want to see the world burn”. The middle tier of the offensive classes, the Pyro is equipped with a Flamethrower that can burn opponents and have a lingering damage for a period of time and can also reflect all non bullet weapons (rockets, baseballs ect). The personality... good question, watch Meet the Pyro to get your opinions of the Pyro’s personality.
The Defensive classes are...
  • The Demo man: A Scottish demolitions specialist, bringing weapons like bombs and Sticky bombs (can be attached to walls and explode at a latter time). We also know that the Demo man is a alcoholic (which, out of context, you’d rather not have him around the dangerous explosives...)

  • The Engineer: Texan engineer. Enginers hide behind Sentry’s that they can make and use the Sentry to protect map objectives and do most of the kills. Engineers can also make Dispensers that can revive players and refill ammo and teleporters that do what they sound like.

  • The Heavy: A dumb Russian (I’m not being racist, that is the personality of the Heavy) who loves his mini guns... alot... The Heavy has the most health compared to the other characters and can take the most hits (put 5 maxed out heavy’s in a bottle neck on Mann vs Machine maps and you can’t lose (assuming there’s a dispenser nearby, or a tank decides to show)). The Heavy is also the slowest character in the map and barely jump in comparison to other characters.

The Support characters are...
  • Ze Medic:  the healer of the group (who is a crazy german scientist without a medical licence... I swear I’m not racist) Ze Medic can heal allies, give them slight buffs depending on the weapon and perform a ability called the “Uber Charge” a beam that makes allies that it come in contact with invincible for a period of time or until Ze Medic aims at another player.

  • The Spy: a French spy who is perfect for the stealth players. The Spy is equipped with a pistol and some sort of knife to attack players but also has a cloaking device to turn him invisible for a period of time, several disguises to camouflage himself as a member of the other team and a device that destroys the machines The Engineers make.

  • The Sniper: A (like all characters, stereotypical) Australian Sniper. The Sniper critical hits all his shots, his sniper has a scope to allow for greater accuracy, a secondary Tommy gun and can have bottle’s of jarate that he can throw to stun the enemy for a period of time

One thing to note about Team Fortress 2 in comparison to other shooters like Call of Duty and Halo is the way it handles its weapons. Random weapons aren’t scattered around the maps and on top of that, there are class specific weapons. To obtain new weapons in the game, you can unlock them by completing and obtaining achievements, random loot from enemy and ally corpses, items being randomly given to you or Micro Transactions (Team Fortress 2 is free to play after all... go to my iOS and Android impressions along with my post on DLC/ Micro Transactions to get my opinion on Micro transactions in games). The big thing with Team Fortress 2 is that, unlike other games like Candy Crush (using the loosest possible meaning of the term) there isn’t anything forcing you to buy weapons. If you start playing the game now, when it is free to play, there is a inventory cap however that is fixed if you purchase any item of your choice. On top of this, it uses your Steam credit so it is a way of getting rid of any loose change from a Steam Gift Card. As for the class specific weapons, unless the server has set up a randomizer map, all characters are limited to at least three types of weapons that they can use. For example, The Pyro has access to a type of Flamethrower, a secondary weapon like a Shotgun or Flare gun, and a Melee weapon like a Fire axe or a Lollypop (did I mention that this game doesn’t take itself seriously?). Some characters like The Scout and The Heavy also have access to a food or drink that give them a slight buff for a period of time instead of their secondary weapon. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses and as a result, it adds a lot of customization options to the game along with cosmetic options like hats.

Aesthetic wise, the game itself can either like like a cartoony FPS (which is the default) or, using Pyrovision) look like the little girl's fantasy in the Meet the Pyro video from before, which looks hilarious. However the default music doesn't really stand out, aside from some tracks like the main menu themes and when a kill streak is built up/ stopped, but apart from that, nothing stands out for me. However, most of the levels you can find nowadays are custom made to some extent so the music could be anything (one example I found was the song "Witch Doctor").
On the subject of custom levels, like custom levels for all games, they can be either hit or miss and it depends on personal preference. For standard matches in any FPS, I tend to prefer larger maps so small indoors maps I tend to hate as it goes against my playstyle. However there are different modes, some official, others are modded in which add diversity to the game. The ones I have played (I'm saying this as there could be more) are:

  • Red vs Blue: You're standard gameplay, you wear one colour shirt, take out anyone with a different colour shirt
  • Capture points: Same as Red vs Blue, but this time with capture points spread out throughout the map, first to take all of them wins
  • Payload: Same as Capture Points, but this time you have to move a Minecart throughout the map to the capture points
  • Mann vs Machine: Destroy every robot that walks/ drives (as they do send out tanks)
  • Prop hunt: based on the Garry's Mod mini game, you spawn as a object that can be found in that particular map, you have to hide while the other team finds you and takes you out (trust me, the lack of prop changing hurts when you're a larger object like a stone pillar)
  • "Boss battle": (I don't know what to call it) One character spawns as a character (mostly from other material) and the rest of the players have to take this boss character down. From what I've played, known "bosses" include Luigi, Pac-Man, Shrek, the Gingerbread man and more (Someone do one for Captain Falcon, I'll play on that map I'll you do no questions asked)
A big problem I have with the game is not the game itself, but a small portion of its community. One of the things you can do in the game is taunts ranging from playing a fireman's axe as a guitar to a conga line. When I play a game, I'm there to play the game, not participate in a conga line. There are people who play just to do the taunts so when they get killed due to being a open target, they complain which leads to a endless debate which means that the game stops being fun for all if it goes on long enough. It's petty, I know, but as I said, I'm there to play, not to conga.

Because Valve treat Team Fortress as a form of comedic relief, the fan base have also added their own forms of comedy into the series, including several Garry’s mod and Source Film Maker videos, custom maps that add their own mini games into the mix, maps based on series that you would think have nothing to do with Team Fortress (a personal favourite of mine in a Mario Kart like map) and have also made server mods for the game that add new mechanics to the maps (Pyro with Jetpack is one of my personal favourite). It is very hard, if not impossible to take Team Fortress 2 seriously, because the game and the developers don’t want you to take it seriously. Assuming you can get over the weapon system and the team heavy nature of the game, Team Fortress 2 is worth the download, especially for FPS fans that want a change of pace. 

It should be noted that next week could be one of two things

1. The review of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is released as it comes out friday OR
2. I'll be taking a break and delaying the review by a week in order to give it a balanced review, I do not a a pre release copy so I haven't even started playing it yet. If that's the case, next week will be a new impressions post on Avengers: Age of Ultron. 

See ya next week

No comments:

Post a Comment