Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is a class based first person shooter released in 2007, intended to be a remake of Team Fortress, with nine classes put into the roles of attack, defense, and support. It has player vs player mode and player vs A.I mode.
You may know more modern games such as Overwatch 1 and 2, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty. These games for the most part follow the same ideas as a first-person shooter based on movement but differ when it comes to how they use it. For example, Overwatch is more focused on team play by making you objectively stronger with your team, or Apex Legends which has way more characters, and a focus on agility and a variety of unique playstyles.
Unlike these games, TF2 doesn’t tell you to help your team (unless you are one of the few classes who are meant for team play) in a game. The objective is unimportant to most players, with the arena being mostly a designated area to murder each other. Also, unlike in other games encounters are quite long for the standard length for a modern game (less than two seconds). Sometimes taking double that time, and whilst it may not seem like a large difference, those seconds can save your life or let you escape.
Despite TF2 not being competitive in nature, it still has strategies that are difficult to learn and even harder to master. First lets give you a quick understanding of the general consensus on the core mechanics, so you will have a better understanding on why something is an issue or why something is a solution.
TF2’s nine classes all serve a unique role. Soldier and Demo Man the explosive classes with above average health and mediocre movement are both well rounded and are considered generalists by the community. Heavy, Engineer and Pyro are seen as defense orientated classes.
Heavy and Engineer’s sentry serve the same role: take hits for the team and deal heavy damage at medium to close range. But these classes have a lack of mobility: they are designed to defend an area, but with unlocks you can make both of them mobile attackers at the cost of their defensive strength.
Pyro is a close ranged defender with his balance being called into question several times due to his ability to deflect projectiles and blow back players with air blast (plus having one of the highest D.P.S (damage per second) of any class simply by holding the forward and attack button.) Even though he may be able to attack, he is much stronger when defending an area/objective.
All of the other classes are debated on their roles, except for spy and sniper. They are both considered pick classes (specializing in killing one important person like the medic or the engineer). Spy has to get right behind their back to kill them, but sniper can do it from across the map and if you are good enough up close too guaranteeing a one shot kill.
One of the best parts about TF2 is the community. Through all the games ups and downs, they have still stayed loyal. The steam community is constantly getting new guides, artwork and workshop content. The community also has made dedicated websites to find a HUD or settings. You might have even heard of the movement #savetf2: people care about this game a lot! Which probably explains why the game still has such an active player base.
Another major point that people like about TF2 is the fact that it was mainly described as a casual shooter. The benefit of this comes in the versatility of the game as opposed to competitive shooters where one thing is objectively better than another. In casual shooters, not many people care about what the best decision to make is. They only care about what is fun. This of course has the downside that if you are trying to fight the enemy or have fun with the enemy team exclusively, you probably won’t like this system. But the majority of TF2’s community is those who have stayed and dealt with this balance of silly fun taunts, and playing competitively for months if not years.
As of the time of me writing this, an update is said to release in the middle of the year and some of this may soon be outdated information. But at the time of writing this article, I personally think it’s an experience worthy of anyone who is into first person shooters. It might give your favorite game a run for its money. I love this game and I played it exclusively for almost a year. I would have kept playing this game if it were not for one thing: bots. By bots I mean a player who uses an aim bot for perfect aim so they will almost always get a one shot kill before the player has time to react. TF2 when I started playing was going through a bot crisis. I thought they were just good at the game, until a few games in when a friend told me an infamous hacker was in the lobby. After that, the server got raided by bots which at that point I left the server. The bot situation has improved since then, but it is something to consider. Another thing to consider is that this game is 16 years old and people have gotten very good at it in that time — in other words, expect to die.
In summary, Team Fortress 2 is a class based casual shooter that is an inspiration for some modern shooters, but its game play is more focused on independent play instead of collaborating with your team. With a loyal community and an emphasis on casual opposed to the competitive mindset, it is common for people to be able to make friends with the enemy team. If you enjoy the first-person shooter genre, I highly recommend you give it a try.