When Team Fortress 2, or TF2 was released in late 2007, it was a rather simple, yet unique adaption of the Source Engine that everyone knew would ultimately be successful. It was based off of a game called Team Fortress classic, a very popular yet slightly underground, and made from the 1.6 engine, on which Half-Life One was made.
The game was simple at first. About twelve maps, nine classes and a few set weapons per class. Then, the updates came, and they were big. Big new map packs, new features of Steam integration. They introduced new items, and of course, hats and trading. These features are still being added on today, making it as much a new game today as it was in 2007. Crafting, too, was added, and so you could now turn your luck in finding weapons and trading around, making your own luck.
There are, as I said earlier, nine classes, namely: Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Heavy, Engineer, Medic, Sniper, and Spy. They are sorted into three groups: Offensive, Defensive and Support, and the best thing about the variety is the fact that if you are being pinned down by one class, there is always a way to rise up and fight them fairly, or even with an unfair advantage on your side, simply by changing classes.
The maps have a few modes: Control Points, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Attack/Defend Payload and Arena. They are all extremely fun, but obviously, some are more fun than others. There are also custom maps, the most popular of which is probably “trade_plaza”, a small map which is easy for getting achievements on and made for advertising which items you are buying/selling. The maps are also downloadable, which makes for easy updating, in that you can choose what you want to update.
The game has a free account by default, however, can also be upgraded to a premium account, which is almost definitely worth it. The free account cannot initiate trade, nor trade fully with people; it will only allow you to accept items. You can upgrade your account simply by buying an item from the Mann Co. store in-game, and then you have the ability to invite people to trade and get access to Team Fortress 2 Beta; a test game which gives you all weapons and items, and serves as a test platform which you can use to test your own creations, maps, and items. The reason it is used for this is that it is much more stable and is less likely to break from tests. There are also some servers called “premium servers” which give premium players some changes in the server e.g. they don’t take damage from rocket jumping, they don’t need to reload secondary weapon etc. These are unfair advantages, but then again if you aren’t premium and don’t want the premiums to have an advantage then you can avoid it by simply not playing these servers.
The game is multiplayer only but has an offline bots mode. There are a good amount of sturdy South African servers, with many different game modes, making it fit for hours and hours of play. The game is constantly being updated, with new items coming through every four months or so, and also features community integration with a new initiative called Workshop, where you can design your own items and add them to the game’s Workshop page and can be rated by users. The Team Fortress 2 team then chooses a few and makes them into an item to sell on the Mann Co. Store.
I have enjoyed this game an insane amount, and I think everyone should get it, or at least everyone who loves FPS games or intense fun and action. I also suggest upgrading to a premium account, as you can do so for as little as $0.99.