Howdy gamers! There are tons of games out there that are fun and different, but how many of them can say they lead to a whole genre of titles? There are even fewer that come to mind that started out as a mod like Team Fortress 2 (TF2). Since its original Quake mod days, TF2 changed quite a bit, it was released in its trademark cartoon-like style in 2007 by Valve. It wasn’t the first FPS with teams but it was one of the first that had very different characters with traits and skills that were unique and complemented each other and led the way for many squad-based games to come.
The characters of TF2 can be broken into 3 types; Offense, Defense, and Support. Each type fills a certain type of role that is needed in a team to be successful. We won’t go in-depth into each character class here, but we will touch on each. The offensive classes are the damage dealers; Scout, Soldier, and Pyro. They are fairly nimble and are great at taking down the enemy on the run. Next are the Defensive classes; Demoman, Heavy Weapons Guy, and Engineer. Their strengths come in controlling areas of maps and holding them for your team. Finally, we have the support classes; Medic, Sniper, and Spy. These classes are each very different and their names are very apt descriptors of their abilities.
Next, let’s dive into the game modes. We are going to stick to the core game modes in this intro. First is Attack/Defense (A/D) mode. In TF2 the teams called RED team and BLU teams. In A/D the BLU team attempts to capture the RED team’s locations called control points. BLU team wins if they can capture all the control points, but if the RED team can hold them off until time expires they win. Each time the BLU team takes over a control point the game time is extended, and the RED team cannot retake points taken.
A similar mode called Control Points uses the same idea but the mission is for your team to take control of all the 3-5 points on the map. Teams can recapture points and extend the game timer. Matches start out with only the center point being active and able to be controlled, and the rest unlock after the first point is taken.
The last map control point mode is called King Of The Hill. The objective here is to take control over one control point and hold it until the time runs out. Each time the point changes hands the match timer is reset and the countdown begins again.
Capture the flag (CTF) is a race to capture the opposing team’s flag (or in TF2 their intelligence briefcase) and return it to their base. The intelligence can be dropped manually, or when the player carrying it is killed. Once the briefcase is dropped it will remain for a minute before returning to its start point. This makes the game interesting because you can’t carry your own team’s briefcase, so if it’s dropped you must keep the enemy away for the one-minute reset time. The first team to capture the intel 3 times comes out on top.
The last of the core game modes is Payload. This is a timed match where BLU team must push an explosive cart along a track, while the RED team fights to stop it from advancing. While the BLU team is close to the payload, it will slowly retreat if there are no team members nearby. Along the route, the BLU team can reach checkpoints that can affect the player spawn locations and the payload will now not retreat beyond the checkpoint. Getting to a checkpoint also extends the game clock. If the BLU team can’t push the cart to the end of the track by the time the countdown is over, they lose.
While this isn’t 100% coverage of all the game features, these are the main points and should give you a good overview of how the game works. If you want to take a crack at this game it can be played on PC, MAC, Linux, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. Hope you have a fragging good time!