Team Fortress 2; what, who, eh?
As I’ve posted before, I’m currently playing a lot of Team Fortress 2. And, as promised, I’m going to blog about it. First giving a brief intro to the main protagonists and what they/we get up to in-game, then next looking at the community, including the competitive scene, purely from my perspective of course….a scrub no-name noob!
So, what is Team Fortress 2? Well it’s a highly stylised online mulitplayer first person shooter (FPS), published by Valve where two teams, representing holding corporations Reliable Excavation & Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU), endlessly fight for supremacy. These holding corporations secretly control every government in the World. Battles are overseen by an Administrator, encouraging the carnage.
So who are the Player Characters (MMO-speak here).
In Team Fortress 2, there are 9 classes. Each is very individual and plays very differently, similar to characters in a MMO. Each is a hardbitten mercenary.
First the Scout. The Scout is fast, using hit and run tactics to bring down his enemies. He comes from Boston, Massachusetts. I haven’t played the Scout much; haven’t got the hang of the ‘double jump’. But have a feeling I may like him once I do.
The Soldier comes from Midwest USA, is patriotic and psychotic. The official Wiki states that, failing to be accepted by any branch of the US military in WWII, he went to Europe and fought Nazis for which he awarded himself several home-made medals, only stopping in 1949 on hearing the War was over. He fires Big rockets. Haven’t played him much either. Haven’t got the hang of rocket jumping.
No-one knows who or what the Pyro is. There are rumours that it might be the scout’s mother making it the first female middle-aged, short, round Mum in any multiplayer FPS. Whatever, it uses a flamethrower and wears a gas mask. I play the pyro a lot, though a lack of weapon range is a problem, the pyro being a close combat fighter. This means you need to get in close, dying this way is easy.
The Demoman, is Scottish, has one eye and is often drunk. He fights best at mid-range with various explosives and can lay traps with stickies; these are like small mines. I play the Demoman a fair amount though his weapons can be tricky to time and aim and I need to be in the mood. It’s still good when someone walks into a sticky trap. Ambush!
The Heavy is the tank, soaking up damage but also giving it out with his minigun. He comes from Mother Russia. When I’ve played the basic Heavy, I have found him too slow, so not really fitting the way I like to play.
The Engineer comes from Bee Hive, Texas and has 11 hard science PhDs. He builds sentry guns, teleporters to transport his fellows around the battlefield, and dispensers that dispense healing and ammunition. The Engineer is becoming one of my favourite classes, there is something satisfying about watching your sentry gun at work. My heart swells with a parental pride.
The Medic is the battlefield healer. Simple. Or not so simple as any MMO healer knows. He comes from Stuttgart, Germany and has a rather tenuous hold on medical ethics according to the official Wiki. I’ve played the Medic a bit but he has such a central role, it can be nerve-racking.
There are always snipers in First Person Shooters. TF2 has, yep, the Sniper. Australian. I’ve played Sniper for about 45 seconds I think, then decided he was too static. Edit: 1 min 45 secs
And finally there is the Spy. He’s French. He can cloak himself and backstab enemies. He can also destroy the Engineer’s equipment. Pyros are the counter to spies, their flames burn them. A plus for pyros. Haven’t played Spy yet. Maybe I’m just too upfront!