Team Fortress 2 first impressions

Without having to wade through this entire article looking for my opinion on this game, I’ll just say this – Team Fortress 2 is amazing and well worth the wait. So for those just looking for that answer, there you go, but for those who want to read a bit more info on why I love this game so much, then continue reading below.

Team Fortress 2 (TF2) was one of the biggest names in vapor ware having been originally announced around ten years ago. Throughout the beginning of those years we’ve been fed little bits of information about the game, as well as some screen shots. But then TF2 disappeared and wasn’t heard from for several years. Valve stated they were still working on it but no new media or info was ever released. Then finally Valve released this amazing teaser several months ago (below). Ever since that video I’ve been dying to play the game.

Finally, last week Valve released a beta version of the game and I’ve been playing it ever since. I won’t go very deep into this as I’m sure everyone is already aware of the amazing and different graphical style TF2 takes. It’s like a cell-shaded game but not so heavy on that aspect. More like a dulled-down version on cell-shading, and it looks amazing.

The player design is also great. Each class is very unique in their look and each weapon is also easy to spot from several meters away. There’s never any guessing if the guy running towards you is on your team or not and which weapon he is wielding (unless they’re a spy of course). Each class also plays very differently which means it’s like playing a different game with each class you try out. Finally, all the classes and weapons seem fairly balanced. I was expecting more things to be out of balance and be corrected over time, but surprisingly the game feels almost perfect.

Level design is also very good with my favorite maps making their return. 2fort is great and better than the original. Same goes with Dustbowl. Well on the other hand I don’t really care for and prefer the original version instead. But the maps are also very well balanced and it never seems like a certain team has a huge advantage over the other. Very well done.

The TF2 maps also addressed an issue I was having with the original game. The issue being that no one seemed to play the maps like they were supposed to. On Capture the Flag or Control Point maps, most everyone seemed to just be playing to get the most kills. Most people didn’t really care about actually capturing points or the flag. I was doing the same thing. I would rather be a sniper or soldier and just kill as many opponents as I could rather than accomplishing the mission at hand. TF2 maps changed that. Now everyone is all about beating the mission at hand with teamwork, lots of teamwork. It makes the game that much more enjoyable when everyone works together. The game feels more intimate and less like an ever-man-for-himself type game.

TF2 also includes your own personal stats. Every time you beat your record in a certain stat or come close, the game lets you know. I find it a lot of fun competing with myself sometimes, trying to do more damage in this round than my personal best.

The game’s UI is also great and unobtrusive. Your basic info (life and ammo) is listed in the botton corners. But they’re also the same color as the team you’re on. I found this to be a great help. Sometimes, while switching between maps or teams, I’ll forget which team I’m on. And if team damage is on, then that’s a bad thing. But with everything being color-coded, I aways know which team to kill and which not to.

A new aspect I like is the Nemesis feature. If you keep getting killed by the same person, then that person becomes your nemesis, and visa-versa. The game notifies you of this and from that point on your nemesis will have a little icon over their head. If you kill them, you get revenge and lots of points. Getting a nemesis sucks, but getting revenge on them is the best feeling I’ve had in a multiplayer game.

To help you and others aware of your TF2 stats, Valve has a great stats page that anyone can view. You can check out their total amount of points accumulated, most kills, assists, damage, etc, etc. It’s also broken down by each class that the person plays. The game also introduces Personal Achievements which are just like Achievements on Xbox Live.

In the end, Team Fortress 2 is just plain fun. I find myself laughing a lot in this game and playing non-stop for hours at a time. The game’s style, comedy, game play, characters, and maps make this the best multiplayer game I’ve ever played. I haven’t had this much fun playing a game since….well probably since the original Team Fortress came out.

Nick Villescas

I'm an IT professional, musician, and PC gamer with a particular fondness of all things tech-related. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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