Team Fortress 2

(PC, XBox 360, and Playstation 3 – Reviewed on XBox 360)
By – ‘Tiger’ Oliver

Pros:
Awesome multiplayer game
Controls like
Half-Life 2 & Left 4 Dead
Despite the age, still many playing it

Cons:
Worthless if you don’t have internet or multiplayer
Controls too much like
Half-Life 2 & Left 4 Dead
First-time gamers will have trouble adjusting to controls and maps

I’ve loved Left 4 Dead the first time I played it over a year ago. The controls are amazing, the game engine supurb, and the graphics… just… wow.

I’ve also played the original Half-Life over a PC LAN a few years back, the multiplayer aspect blew me away.

However, one picture drove me so insane, I had to play the game.

…and thus, my obsession with Team Fortress 2 was born.

When I saw that it, along with the three Half-Life 2 games and Portal, was on Valve’s The Orange Box for PC, XBox 360 and PS3, I knew my obsession would have paid off.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Gameplay – 4/5
If you’re among those who played the original Team Fortress, Star Wars: Battlefront or the multiplayer on Conker: Live & Reloaded, then you’re in for a special treat. Essentially, two factions (red & blue… hmm…) go after each other and complete an objective (Capture the Fla and Control Point, among others).

There are nine classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Spy can cloak itself so it can sneak behind enemy lines and capture the flag or control point, but it can’t fire in the process. The “Heavy” is extremely slow, but it can clear a room in nothing flat. To me, the most pointless is the Scout, which may be fast and agile, but doesn’t have the health or firepower it needs.

The only thing that keeps this from a 5/5 is the lack of a Single Player mode. On the PC version, I’m sure you can set up bots orA.I. to emulate multiplayer, but it doesn’t compare to live human opponents.

Graphics – 4/5

The graphics are old. WAY old. Like, transposed from a computer two-to-three years ago and put in an XBox 360…

…surprisingly, I don’t find anything wrong with it.

The blood is mildly realistic, the pseudo-cell-shading is great, plus the character explosions are reminiscent  of Conker Bad Fur Day/Live & Reloaded. Not THE best, but among the best.

Sound – 3/5
Overused Hollywood scream tracks and lack of good – no – any background music fills this game. The sound barely passes with a 3/5, but only due to the fact that most people wouldn’t pay attention to their backgrounds. They pay attention more to voice chat, which, if it wasn’t for this function, this game would fail. Horrifically.

However, the other sound effects (weapons firing, the Engineers’ wrenches clanking away, even the scream tracks) are crisp and clear.

Controls – 4/5
Controls are very similar to other Valve games (heck, it’s the exact same game engine) However, they seem a bit too much like the other Valve games. A bit awkward, especially with each class, but you’ll grow in to it.

Another thing that gets me is that you can’t duck by default. Additionally, with the way the controls are set up, that the only way you can configure how to duck without overlapping or reconfiguring the whole control scheme is by pressing the Left Analog Stick.

Finally, the controls can be a little bit off when playing as the Scout. To put it more clearly, try playing as Super Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or any of the expert ships in Hydro Thunder. Remember how they’re not as easy to control? That’s exactly how the Scout is – fast, but extremely loose.

Replay Value – 4/5

The replay value of this game is astronomical. This is primarily due to the lack of single player. Keeping it a completely multiplayer game means you won’t have the same experience twice. Even with the single player mode in Left 4 Dead, the zombies may show up in different places, but the experience is roughly the same.

However, even with the extreme replayablity of the multiplayer, you’ll get sick of it eventually. With only four-or-five maps (I forgot how many exactly), you’ll definitely want to stick around for DLC – that is, if it ever comes around. I’ve heard no news about DLC for XBox 360, and it’s doubtful any will be released on Playstation 3.

If anyone has any information saying otherwise, please let us know.

Overall Score – 4/5

I’d be so bold as to even consider this a 4.5/5. Is it on par with Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST? Probably not. Then again, if you hate Halo multiplayer, it might very well be. Just depends on your gaming tastes.

Buy? – It’s a no-brainer, stud

Seriously. You can pick the PC stand-alone version up for around $10 on disk (not sure how much itcosts on Steam),  or for roughly $30 new & for less used as part of The Orange Box compilation. Heck, at least with The Orange Box you get four extra games. $5 or less for an XBox 360/Playstation 3 game? You can’t beat that.

Unless you don’t have XBox Live or Playstation Network, or if you don’t have a slew of friends with this game, then you’re pretty much screwed on the console front.

Rent? – Only as a test-drive

This is a deal too good to pass up in terms of buying. But, if you have to test this game out first, go ahead and give it a rent. However, if anything, just go and buy the compilation, even without internet access. There’s still three Half-Life 2 games and Portal you can play in Team Fortress 2’s absense.

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2 Responses to “Team Fortress 2”

  1. […] post by The Daily O’Collegian’s Gamer Blog […]

  2. […] reviewed Team Fortress 2 from The Orange Box, which also contains Half Life 2, a few months […]


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