Over the weekend, I picked up two games thanks to some coercing coupons from GameStop, but really I picked up six games, as one game is actually five games bundled nicely on a single Xbox 360 disc. It’s called The Orange Box, and it’s one helluva package, especially as a used copy; for just over $20.00, I now have access to Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Man, that’s a lot of 2s in there. I’m sure I’ll be musing about those first four games at some point, but let’s use today to dive into Team Fortress 2, a game I didn’t think I would like, but am having fun with, as well as a game that is sadly not the be-all, end-all version of itself.
Team Fortress 2 is an online, team-based, first-person shooting multiplayer bonanza. You pick a class, a map, and a type of game (capture the flag, capture/defend control points, arena, and so on), and you’re off to shoot non-team members, capture sections of the map, and wait patiently for your character to respawn. On the Xbox 360 version, there’s six maps available, and I’ve gotten to try ’em all once, which should be obvious to all y’all Achievements stalkers:
World Traveler (5G): Play a complete game on every map.
The six maps are all about the same size, a medium build, with a few spots of elevation, but otherwise there’s a lot of staircases and tight corridors to contend with. Each team has a home base where they can restock on health and items. No real direct interaction with anything on the map though, and there’s no destruction a la Red Faction tech. My favorite playground is whatever the snowy one is called. Snowscape? Snow City? Las Frozen Vegas? I can’t remember, and I’m definitely too lazy to look it up.
As y’all know, I’m pretty terrible at competitive shooting games, and that fact has not changed one bit since giving Team Fortress 2 an hour or two of my gaming life. I get sniped from afar, set aflame all the time, and knifed in the back the moment I step into enemy territory. But regardless, I’m having fun. I think it has something to do with the wonderful art style, a loose, cartoony feel that evokes Pixar’s The Incredibles and gives me a sense that everyone else is just here to have fun and not take it so seriously like a lot of Call of Duty fanatics. The controls and simplicity of the gameplay also help; most classes only get two gun-type weapons to use and one melee weapon, and there’s no rain showers of endless grenades. I think I actually did my best with the Medic class, as I kept away from the firefights and healed teammates as they needed.
Do you play Team Fortress 2? What’s your favorite class? And if you’d like to shoot me in the (cartoony) face or help take down others with me, please add me on Xbox Live; my gamertag is PaulyAulyWog.