Some of my greatest hours online in a video game have been in this game. No it's not dead, 11 years after its initial release, and it has been changed with hundred of updates over those years. Team Fortress 2 is a class-oriented, team-based, first-person shooter, and the key to the magic of the game is that it ticks all three criteria perfectly. There are nine distinct classes, all of which with different personalities, although the game (thankfully) doesn't use this too much, except in the well-written banter, playstyles and weapons. I'm a Medic main myself, and even within the confines of a class, there is so much variety to choose from. I might want to change my melee weapon for the specific type of game-mode or switch my medi-gun to one catered to my team. Every one of the nine classes is a blast to play, although I do definitely have my favourites. The second aspect of Team Fortress 2, is how team-based the game is. It's usually a harsh 12v12 (in Casual) fight out there, and so relying on your team is vital, especially for a Medic main. This doesn't mean one extremely skilled player can't dominate an entire team, with enough luck. But the massive player count also lets you ease out a bit, and play whatever you want, adding to the casual atmosphere. And then comes the first-person shooter, and, damn are weapons. A pivotal part of the game is how much damage everything does. It heavily encourages dodging instead of taking the hit, even as a slower class like the Heavy. But when you're not avoiding, you're shooting, and there is an amazing amount of variety of weapons. A weapon slot that is one of the best is the knives for Spy. From the iconic stock one to the Kunai and the Big Earner, both of which reward Spies that take the risk of having severely lowered health, for a massive payoff on a backstab, to the Spy-cicle, which mitigates the Spy's arch enemy, the Pyro, to the Your Eternal Reward, which morphs you into who you backstab, the best for a multiple stab-streak. And all this for one selection of weapons, and every class has at least three of these selections. But a fundamental problem is that except in scenarios such as that, there's almost always a clear winner in the best weapon for the category. And while the argument that the game is free is valid, you only start off with stock. But this could be countered by the fact that very quickly, you will find a whole lot of weapons, and with services like Scrap.tf, you can gain any weapon you want. There is a soundtrack to this game, but mostly, all you'll hear of it is in the main menu. Most of them are actually from the Meet the Team series, something almost any whose heard TF2 has seen. The story is even less included but is explained the over-the-top comics that can be accessed on the game's official website. There are hundreds of maps, and some are incredibly bad, such as Mountain Lab, most let each class serve its true potential. The game's casual nature is also another true key nature, and while you will come across an occasional crybaby, no-one is ever that bad. A key memory was when we were losing, and then eight, including me, of us switched to Scouts, and we demolished the opposition. Moments like that aren't rare, though, and even in a balanced team, you'll have a boatload of fun. Overall, Team Fortress 2 is the pinnacle of what it strives to be, and inspiration for basically every class-based shooter after it. Oh, yeah, and hats.
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