Team Fortress 2 (PC)
The best multiplayer game ever made, plain and simple.

Team Fortress 2 is different from most online shooter games in the fact that there are 9 different classes to play, and deathmatch is a rarely played game type. As expected from the name of the game, teams are how nearly all game modes are played, with typical games being 12v12. The game is still receiving updates today and has a vast online community. And did I mention the game is free?

Something to note about the graphics is that they are not realistic. Several of my friends have foolishly passed on this game because the graphics are ďcartoonyĒ. I suppose if you want to play the latest ultra-realistic shooter which lacks depth or substance then you might want to pass on this game. Or if you can look past, perhaps even embrace the cartoony graphics you will see a hugely deep game not marred or slowed down by fancy graphics. The animations and such are great and extremely well done.

I want to make a special section for the character models because they are just so darn good! When Valve was making this game a lot of work was put into making each character not only play unique, but look unique too. It was also high priority for the characters to be made so you could very easily distinguish between each of the 9 different classes.

SOUND: 10/10
There isnít much sound beyond the voices which has its own special section. The guns all sound right and arenít annoying to hear. They are also distinct so you know what gun is shooting at you, and therefore what class is attacking you just by the sound.

Oh man, are the voices great! Each of the 9 classes has their own distinct voice actor who is not only competent, but superb. Why would voices matter in a FPS, especially in a multiplayer only game? Isnít it just grunts and such? No! Each character has around 100 lines of different dialog depending on the situation. Youíve got various voice commands you can say, with my favorite being where you look at a character and do the voice command for spy and your character will call the other character a spy. Since this never comes into real play in the game I can only conclude Valve included this because itís awesome and fun to do. The characters will also say unique things when you dominate an opponent depending on what class you and they are. Iíve been playing for over a year and I still havenít heard them all. I love the voices so much that I will often repeat the lines in real life, just for fun.

No score because there isnít an official in-game story. There has been lore, comics, and videos released, mostly for humor, which explain the characters a little bit. The main thing is that the characters are mercenaries fighting for a reason I donít know. The comics reveal things like the soldierís roommate was a magician. None of this is necessary for the game, and I havenít bothered to really look in to it, but itís awesome that theyíre there.

There are 9 unique classes in the game: scout, soldier, pyro, demoman, heavy, engineer, medic, sniper, and spy. Each one plays entirely different from all the others, with their own weapons and uses. These different classes are what set this game apart from all others and has spawned several wannabes. It should be noted that Team Fortress 1 (classic) came out before this obviously and it too had a hand in spawning class based shooters. If you are still wondering why different classes are such a big deal, let me pose a question. Do you find yourself not performing in traditional shooters as well as the other people? You donít shoot as well and get killed a lot? Then might I suggest you try the medic or engineer in this game? Both are support classes where your ability to be tactical and smart is far more important than your shooting skills. Thereís a class for everyone in this game!

Each class has a primary and secondary weapon slot, as well as a melee slot. Certain weapons can only be equipped by certain classes. Only the soldier can use rocket launchers, only the demo can use grenade launchers, only the engineer can use wrenches, etc. This allows for incredible customization which I will get to soon. You can jump and crouch in this game as expected, but there are no iron sights. Iron sights are cool but not necessary. Most classes also have different walk speeds for balance reasons. Heavy is the slowest because heís the most powerful in close quarters, and scout is the fastest with among the lowest health, but he can also be extremely deadly up close.

There are several game types such as traditional capture the flag, or briefcase in this game, control points, king of the hill, and my favorite, payload. Payload is where you must stand next to a cart which moves it forward, and do this until it reaches the end of its route. All the while red team (defense) will be trying to stop you. There is also an arena mode which is pretty much deathmatch but I never played it. There are still more game types than this, mostly joke types. On top of this each game type has several maps for it. Find a favorite map and you can spend weeks, even months playing just it. Or if 24/7 servers arenít your fancy there are plenty of rotation servers which change the map after the previous one is complete.

WEAPONS: 10/10
Each of the 3 weapon slots per class comes with several weapons to slightly change their style of play. Some weapons arenít as useful while others are must haves. Still others can vastly change the style of play for that class, such as the demoknight loadout for the demoman, or the gunslinger wrench item for the engy. This means an unparalleled amount of replayability for the classes not only to master them, but their alternate weapons and play styles as well. And there is a lot of weapons including a few silly but fun ones.

TF2 has become sort of famous because of the very large variety of hats and miscellaneous items you can equip on your character, all cosmetic. Despite any bad things you might have heard about these vanity items, all of them are entirely optional. However I still very much enjoy decking out my characters in cool hats and painting them lime green.

Yes itís true you can actually buy hats (or more efficiently, keys) using real world money, but itís still entirely optional. The good news is that every week you get random drops which are usually weapons. You can keep and use them, or trade them to other players (if you have a premium account). This way you can enjoy the game and eventually acquire every weapon in the game without spending a penny.

Because of all the different ways to play, the 9 different classes to master, all the maps there are, there is an amazing amount of replayability here. Iíve been playing this game almost every day for over a year now and Iím still not tired of it. If I had to choose one game to play for the rest of my life (assuming updates and people still continue) this would be the game Iíd pick without hesitation.

Is this game perfect and flawless in every way? Yea pretty much. What few flaws are here are very minor and not even worth mentioning as theyíre so inconsequential. This game is free; you have absolutely no excuse not to check it out. Go play it now!

Posted 6-24-12
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