Team Fortress 2 still entertaining

A cloaked BLU Spy waits for his moment to strike as a BLU Soldier dukes it out with a RED Soldier/Medic combo. This battle took place on a map known as 2fort in the Capture the Flag game mode.

“Team Fortress 2” is a great PC game with an interesting history. The game originally came out as a $60 title in 2007, but has stayed relevant thanks to numerous updates and content patches, one of those updates came out in 2011 and made the game free for everyone.

“Team Fortress 2” borrows quite heavily from the heyday of first person shooters and includes many classic game modes, such as capture the flag, control points, king of the hill and territory control. In these game modes, the Reliable Excavation Demolition team typically attempts to stop the Builders League United team from accomplishing a certain goal, though in some game modes both teams compete to be the first to complete the same objective.

Though these game modes are nothing new, they can be ridiculously hectic and fun, especially when servers reach their capacity of either 24 or 32 players. Other more complex game modes that still follow the same RED versus BLU mentality were added in later content patches to mix things up.

One of these game modes is the “Mann VS Machine” mode where six players must fight off hordes of AI-controlled robots and use the credits that they drop to upgrade their weapons. It’s a real fun mode, but requires a lot of teamwork in the later waves.

The RED and BLU teams can be made up of any mixture of the nine classes available in the game. The classes are fairly self explanatory and are divided into three groups. The Scout, Soldier and Pyro classes make up the offensive class category, while the Demolitions man (Demoman for short), Heavy Weapons Guy and Engineer all serve as defensive classes.

Finally, Spies, Medics and Snipers all serve as support classes. A well-balanced team has a handful of offensive and defensive classes, but usually no more than two of each support class, as a team full of support classes are easily gunned down before they can be of any help.

These classes all have an element of balance between them as well. For any class, there is a counter class. For example Heavies are slow-moving targets and easy prey for Spies, but a Pyro’s flamethrower can take out a Spy with ease, yet a Sniper or an Engineer’s sentry gun can take down a Pyro from beyond the range of its short-ranged flamethrower.

Unlockable weapons are given to players through a random drop system or can be bought with real-world money. Yet, to eliminate the possibility of players paying for the best weapons and wiping the floor with everyone else, no one weapon is better than any other weapon.

For every buff, or positive attribute, to a weapon there is a nerf, or negative attribute. Also included in the drop system are the over 700 cosmetic items, ranging from hats to badges to scarves that a player can use to make their classes appear unique.

In addition to the fun and engaging gameplay, the overall style of “Team Fortress 2” is well established, too. Every class has a personality that comes through in their voice acting, the architecture is consistent, with the REDs relying more on wood and earth and the BLUs preferring steel and concrete, there’s even a plot that is still unfolding through major content updates to the game and comics on the website.

Those updates, though they have tapered off a bit as of late, add new content like hats, weapons and occasionally maps and game modes to the game at least twice a year.

“Team Fortress 2” is a fun, well-balanced game. It has a unique style to it and has an expansive universe that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The characters, though mercenaries, are very likable.

The fact that this game is still going strong 7 years after its initial release is a testament not only to the game’s original quality, but the quality of every content update thereafter. With a new moon-base themed update confirmed to be in the works, and a price tag of absolutely free, if you’re a PC gamer and haven’t at least tried “Team Fortress 2”, you’re doing yourself a disservice.