Team Fortress 2 Review

Nov 24, 2007

I recently posted a few thoughts on Team Fortress 2, but I thought I should write a full review now that I've spent more time with the game. Let me start off by saying that when I purchased The Orange Box, I was not in the least interested in Team Fortress 2. Portal and Episode 2 were the only titles I anticipated playing, and I even considered buying them separately. I'm very glad that I went for the better deal, as I hope this review will indicate.

The Good

Perfect Game Balancing
I cannot stress enough how well balanced this game is. Each class has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and when used together in a balanced fashion, a team can quickly become unstoppable. I've played a number of matches where nearly all of the people on a team used the same class as everyone else (e.g., everyone becomes a soldier or an engineer). This kind of 'swarming' usually results in defeat. When I join a match, I usually see which class has been omitted from my team, and I join up as that missing class. My goal is to provide as balanced a team as possible, so we have a better chance of winning the round.
Gorgeous Graphics
I really like the cartoon-like graphics. Many of the character models utilize very funny expressions throughout the game, and the cartoon visuals make it all the more appealing.
Detailed Statistic Tracking
Team Fortress 2 keeps track of all your statistics for each character class that you play. It routinely congratulates you on meeting or exceeding your current records. This kind of positive feedback makes the game very rewarding.
Stylized Game World
A 1960's spy theme is the overall look and feel (think Austin Powers or No One Lives Forever), and it really brings the game world to life. The developer commentary points out that in the real world, two warring factions would never place their bases of operation right next to one another. But in a stylized world like the one Valve has created, it makes perfect sense.
Funny Dialogue
Each character class has a number of different lines that they speak throughout the game. Much of the writing is comical, and the stereotypes the game places on each class are truly excellent. The voice acting is equally as good.
It's Just Plain Fun
At the end of the day, isn't this all that matters?

The Bad

Only Six Maps
The only down side I can see to this game is the lack of maps. A total of six maps are included with the game: one capture the flag map, and five control point maps. Valve has indicated that more maps will be forthcoming, and I simply cannot wait for the new content. Regardless of this fact, the game is still incredibly fun.

The Verdict

If you haven't tried out Team Fortress 2, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. I initially thought it wouldn't be much fun, but now I'm hooked. This game gets a solid A+.

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