By Artie 9 Comments
The history of Team Fortress dates back long before the name "Xbox" ever existed. It was THE first class-based multiplayer game out in the industry, and was a hit amongst the online gaming crowd. The first edition of the game featured all the classes that people have become familiar with from the most recent release: Scount, Pyro, Demoman, Solider, Heavy, Medic, Spy, Engineer, and Sniper. The game's major challenge was forcing a team to cooperate and use key classes to outsmart and defeat the other team's tactics, sucessfully completing whatever objective was required. Capturing a flag, blowing up a base, etc.
This game however was really just a modification of the game "Quake" and was not a retail release. So while there were a few servers that were full of 12v12 player matches, that's really where the activity stopped. However Valve, and emerging developer of the PC crowd with the release of Half Life. Picked up the Team Fortress guys and put them to work to create a retail game that people could purchase in stores. The result was "Team Fortress Classic" released in 1999. The game enamored previous fans of the Quake mod, and gathered up some Counter Strike fans aswell, but Team Fortress Classic was released amidst the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2 releases. The majority of the gaming crowd had their attention focused else where, however there still remained an avid fan base for the game.
Because the game was so popular, it obviously needed to have a sequel released to keep fans coming back. However it went through many delays and redesigns, and eventually was left in the dark to be forgotten about for a number of years. Gamers realized that Team Fortress had died, and moved on to other franchises such as Battlefield or Halo to fill their online gaming needs, class based, or not.
However on July 13th 2006 Team Fortress 2 was shown off to the public again, but sporting an all new look. Instead of being compared to realistic shooters like Counter Strike, TF2 looked a lot more like a violent Pixar movie than anything else. Everyone eagerly awaited it's release, along side Half Life Episode 2, and the mind-bending game Portal. And without much surprise, it was loved by everyone. Reviewers entitled it the "best multiplayer game out there" because of it's advanced team-work-required gameplay, and gamers all joined together to combat each other in the playful world of Team Fortress 2...
...everyone, except for me.
As I explained, Team Fortress 2 relies a lot on teamwork, which is what I consider the major fault of the game. In the early days of Team Fortress, when it was a Quake mod, everyone play First Person Shooters, knew what they were doing. It's very hard to find an idiot who doesn't know how to play games, but somehow manged to install Quake, and load up an advanced mod like Team Fortress, back in 1996. Because of this, the team gameplay made a lot of sense and worked very well, and no one ever thought it could work otherwise. They continued with Team Fortress Classic, although some morons started to leak through the cracks, but not enough to ruin the game.
But now it's 2008 (2007 when the game was released) and Team Fortress is available for consoles, and for PCs, with bare minimum system requirements. Because of the lower entry admission for players, a lot more "filth" gets into the game now, which pretty much ruins the game. You'll find yourself in a game where a medic is ubering himself and trying to kill as many guys as possible, or an engineer making a turret to protect your spawn as opposed to capture points. And even the occasional camper, who sits at one inane location, expecting to get one awesome kill, but really, is just wasting a lot of time doing nothing.
So even if it's an 8v8 game, two idiots ruin the balance, and you get horridly slaughtered. It's not just because there's an unfair advantage, but the game relies so incredible hard on team work it's unbelievable anyone can have any fun.
Each game is like a massive Rock, Paper, Scissors game, but obviously with a lot of dice rolls. For instance, maybe you're a Scout who turns a corner and, SURPRISE! A Pyro is there, you're fucked. There's no getting around it. You almost certainly, can not win. The Pyro rules at short range, and even if you're a Demoman or Solider, your only chance is blowing both of yourselves up, instead of just getting smoked.
Another situation would be. Maybe you're running across a plain, and a sniper or heavy happens to catch your eye, you're almost immediately dead, not to mention the chance of other enemies being in the area, you're pretty much screwed because of field advantages. Because of this, you never really feel like you're "bad" at the game, just that you always have bad luck. If you're not rolling with four other guys all the time, there's almost no chance that you're going to win a single skirmish between any player. And since there are a lot of idiots online, or a lot of people without microphones, or communication ability. You're never all going to be going in the same place, and thinking the same thing. So in the end it's a mess of a battle going on, and whoever wins might as well be settled by flipping a coin in the air.
In addition to this, you can almost always get the highest score in the game by being a medic or engineer. Just walk around healing whoever you see, never go too close to battle, and voliva! You've got 175 points at the end of the match while everyone else has 90, how did that happen? The game isn't fair with what classes get how many number of points.
On a personal note, the game lacks any "real weapons." There's only three machine guns in the game. The medics needle gun, the Sniper's machine gun, and of course, the Heavy's main weapon. Everything else is either a fire, an explosion, a turret, or a shotgun blast. Most of which kill you in 2-3 hits, or in the turret and fire's case, 2-3 seconds. It's a weird type of combat that a game has never had before, and I personally do not like it. It relies on hitting your opponent directly, or else it does absolutely no damage. This amount of pin point accuracy doesn't seem to work with online gaming, especially a game like TF2, which is already hectic as f*ck.
And I also don't like that every map is very very small, and cramps a lot a lot of players in it. But that's just me.
Team Fortress' origins was when the game was it's best. When you open the game up for everyone and their little brother to player, the important team-based gameplay falls apart very quickly. But even then it doesn't matter, because unless everyone on your team is an ex-marine commander, they won't have enough communication skill or tactically knowledge to know how to handle each and every situation. How is everyone supposed to coordinate "Alright Heavy go for this, Pyros do this, and medics stick to groups of three." No one can, and no one ever does. The closest you'll get is "Alright, uber the heavy, and... sh*t I don't know." Because the game relies so much on an unorthodox gameplay mechanic, it doesn't work as well as it could when opened up to the gaming public.
Agree? Disagree? Comment! It's alright to have different opinions. Just try to see something from another person's point of view, and perhaps my words have some merit.