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WarPhalange
13th October 07, 01:32 PM
So the long awaited (by me) sequel to TFC came out a few days ago. I actually paid for it. Who'da thunk it? I was sceptical, because the last 5 or so games I've bought have all been shit. Seriously, I was disgusted at myself for paying money for crap like Dungeon Lords, C&C Generals, D&D Dragon Shard, Area 51, Kohan 2, etc. Shit.

Only reason I bought this is because my friend already bought it, so I figured I'd play with him. And if you buy the Valve Orange pack, you get HL2, the add-ons, Portal (which I'll review after this), and TF2.

So anyway, on to the review.

The game has the same premise as before. You have a blue team and a red team, who are fighting for color dominance. Standard stuff like capture the flag and take control of the enemy's control points. (Stand at the magic spot for some time to capture it. Not as easy as it sounds.)

Same classes as before:

Soldier: Rocket launcher, shotgun, shovel (melee)

Pyro: Flame Thrower, shotgun, axe

Scout: sawed-off shotgun, pistol, small baseball bat. Really fast and can double-jump.

Demoman: Grenade launcher, alternate ammo that sticks to surfaces and explodes on command, and a bottle of alcohol (yes, for bashing)

Heavy: Minigun, shotgun, bare hands

Engineer: This guy is awesome. He has a shotgun, a hand gun, and a wrench, but he can build a sentry that shoot at enemies, and upgrade sentries to have better weapons. He can also build a dispenser that spits out health and ammo, and 1-way teleporters. One of my favorite classes.

Sniper: Sniper rifle that can zoom in. When zoomed in, it will charge itself, so that you have a more powerful shot the longer you wait for it to charge (to a point). A small machine gun, and a bowey knife.

Medic: A syringe machine gun. It's awesome. A bonesaw (melee) and a healing gun. The healing gun is obviously the whole point of the medic. He can heal wounded soldiers and also give them more than max HP. When you heal someone, your Uber Charge goes up. When it's full, you can activate it and make yourself and another person invincible for a short time.

Spy: Pistol, sentry/dispenser/teleporter sapper which destroys them over time, a knife, and a spy mask. Via the spy mask you can disguise yourself as an enemy, and you get someone's name as your name when they target you (So every now and then I'll see an enemy named Poop-Loops. That person must die.). When you come up behind someone while disguised and use the knife on them, you'll backstab them. Instant kill. You have to be close, though, or else you'll just slash them. The spy can also cloak for a short period of time, going invisible. Can't attack while cloacked and takes a while to uncloak before you can attack, but this is vital to get into enemy territory. If the enemy saw one of their own running back to base while having full health, they'd know it's a spy. The cloaking recharges when you're not using it.


Alright. That's the classes. Now, you're probably asking yourself "But wait Poop Loops! You forgot about the pyro's rocket launcher! And everybody's grenades!"

No, I didn't. They TOOK THEM OUT. Yeah, a sequel to a game has less features than the original. And the original was just a mod. This game was a seperate project. This really pissed me off.

But anyway, let's move on.

Graphics: Ever see "The Incredibles"? That's what the game looks like. And it's awesome to have something other than super-realistic army games for a change. It really works with the game, since it's more funny than serious, in general. But the graphics are by no means crap. They are still detailed and the levels look awesome.

Sound: What can I say? There's not much to listen to, it's an online FPS. You shoot and hear explosions. However, every class' voice is distinct and from a different country. So that's definitely cool.

Gameplay: This is what the game is about, right? And it's definitely fun to play. The classes are really balanced, so you can get plenty of kills with each, but obviously some classes are better at defense or offense (getting the flag or whatnot), and they are split up that way when you pick a class.

Like I said before, the game is funny. You have a bunch of voice commands, where the player shouts something, like a battle cry, calls for a medic, etc. Those can be pretty funny. The best class for that stuff is the Pyro, though. He wears a mask, so everything he says is hilariously muffled and unintelligable. His cheering options also include him playing air guitar on his axe. This is a guy who is about to burn people alive.

Also, when he gets someone on fire, they have their own ways of screaming that they are on fire. It's just generally an amusing game.

Overall: The game is really fun to play, but it's a shame they took out some of the features. For that reason, it gets a:

7/10

JohnnyCache
13th October 07, 03:01 PM
I have never played a single moment of half life of any sort

Is Orange Box a good thing for me to buy?

Boyd
13th October 07, 03:54 PM
Orange Box is the best value in video game history. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Anyway, as a lifelong console gamer, I'm glad to see something like this showing up on the Xbox. Half Life 2 is gorgeous and takes crate pushing/sewer navigating into the 21st century with spastic, jittery physics and stacking puzzles that feel like trying to build a stepladder out of buttered eggs. Aside from that, I love it. Portal is unquestionably one of the best puzzle games I've ever played, like an addicting Flash game with a multimillion dollar budget and, surprisingly, a lot of heart. It's also one of the few video games to strike me as genuinely funny; not Earthworm Jim or Conker's Bad Fur Day funny, but genuinely ironic. It's rare to see a puzzle game with any story, let alone such an engrossing one, but Portal defies all odds and constantly presses you, right up to the bizarre and oddly disturbing climax.

But this is a Team Fortress thread, and since I just finished a triumphant game I think I should wax a little about the game's rocksteady mechanics. As Mr. Loops pointed out, balance, not variety, is this game's strong point. There's only a small handful of maps and the classes are strictly "what you see is what you get". The customization options are limited and you HAVE to play each map under its given ruleset; you can't for instance, have a flat-out deathmatch, or play Capture the Flag on a Control Point map. A game with as few frills as this better be damn solid. And it is.

For someone raised on Halo, the deliberate pacing of the maps may be a little disconcerting. You can't just charge in with a machine gun and circlestrafe your way to victory. Each level consists of varying choke points, tunnels, fields, and structures, and intelligent use of each class is strictly contingent on knowing the maps. Don't let this intimidate you: After a couple quick runthroughs the layouts become pretty straightforward, and you can begin taking advantage of each classes' strengths and weaknesses.

The classes aren't just window-dressing, either. This isn't like Halo where you get a pistol, shotgun, 30 variants on machine guns, a rocket launcher, and a BFG analogue. Every character is dramatically different, and the resultant strengths and weaknesses become quickly apparent. The engineer's turrets are nigh-indestructible when placed properly, but are time-consuming to build and can't be built too far from home base. The heavy weapons guy provides unmatched killing power, but only head on. The spy is essential for taking out snipers, dismantling turrets, and removing heavy weapon guys, but needs to find cover after each kill. And so on. The fun doesn't truly begin until you and your teammates learn to use each class in tandem, fill in the gaps of your strategy, and work as, well, a team, instead of 16 goons running about in the open, circlestrafing each other with machinegun fire.

I haven't had a chance to actually play the game with any forms of communication yet, but I'd like to. Tragically none of my friends own the Orange Box (yet), so hopefully that will change.

WarPhalange
13th October 07, 04:48 PM
Orange Box is awesome. I don't know whether you get the first HL or not (I can download the expansions even though I never bought them...), but you get HL2 with all the trimmings. Even then, HL1 is only like 5 bucks or something by now. And it's definately worth playing.


Also, some stuff I forgot to add:

Each class has different movement speeds and amounts of health. The fatass Heavy is impossible to kill, but he's also impossible to move.

In fact, the game is more like an RTS like C&C or something, where each unit does their thing. Only thing that's missing is someone to control everybody, which is why team work is so crucial.

Besides the voice commands in game, you can also use a microphone. This is a double-edged sword, because not only does it let you communicate with other team mates, it lets them communicate with you. Given that 90% of them are morons, you don't want to hear them at all. There's only so many times I can hear the word "fag" or "nub" (yes, pronounced "nub"), before wanting to go to bed and cry myself to sleep.

So if you have a group of friends to play with, I guess it becomes a lot more fun, since you'll only get abuse hurled at you if you're the bitch of the group. I only have 1 friend who would care to play TF2, so I have to make due with insulting him by myself.

DAYoung
13th October 07, 05:07 PM
How long can you play a game like this at a stretch?

Gypsy Jazz
13th October 07, 05:08 PM
I had pretty much stopped gaming all together until TF2 came out, but it brought me back into it. It's one of those games that absolutely forces you to work as a team. That is both the game's best and worst attribute though.

On a nicely balanced server with good class diversity on both sides, the game is just about the most fun I've had with a game in recent memory. It can be really close back and forth super intense tight nit team play.

Conversely I've played on servers where the whole team seems to think it's important to go engineer in an offensive turn and build turrets around our spawn and do experiements to see if teleporters can hug. Other no-no's are teams with no medics, but people constantly being asked to be healed, teams with tons of spys, and teams with tons of snipers. It makes me want to murder them.

That said I think TF2 is really well crafted, and is going to have a ton of staying power. I'd probably given it a 10/10, but I remain wary that its charms might fade.

Awesome moment of the game: Disguising myself as an enemy soldier, getting an enemy medic to support me and run into the choke point, then uber me. I stare at him the entire uber duration, and 4 team mates come along and shovel him to death.

It's the kind of game you can tell stories about.

Neildo
13th October 07, 05:17 PM
is this on PC or a console? my PC is woefully inadequate.

WarPhalange
13th October 07, 05:38 PM
PC. Even though the graphics don't look like it, they are pretty demanding, because of all the detail put into the cartoonishness.

Another thing is that after you get killed, you get a still shot of the person that killed you. If you get exploded and there are pieces of you in the still shot, they get pointed out with arrows and descriptions like "your leg" and "another bit", etc.

Oh, and I LOVE the spy's camo. If you disguise yourself as an enemy soldier, to the enemy it looks like a real soldier, but to your team he just has a paper mask over his face with a soldier's face painted on it.

WarPhalange
13th October 07, 05:52 PM
Gameplay preview:

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/usermovies/114392.html

Demoman:
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=game&AppId=997&cc=US


Heavy:
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=game&AppId=960&cc=US

Soldier:
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=game&AppId=985&cc=US

Engineer:
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=game&AppId=987&cc=US

Be sure to read the descriptions.

DAYoung
13th October 07, 06:12 PM
Why won't someone answer my question?

IS IT BECAUSE YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH?

WarPhalange
13th October 07, 06:32 PM
How long can you play a game like this at a stretch?

At a stretch meaning at a one sitting? A few hours if I get into it. It's dangerous, in fact.

DAYoung
13th October 07, 06:34 PM
Yep, that's what I was asking.

Anyone else?

Boyd
13th October 07, 07:01 PM
It's not uncommon to see games hit the upper limit of 45 minutes to an hour, and if you're not careful, you'll be constantly playing "one more game". It's very addicting, but also requires a bit of a time commitment.

Also Poop Loops is a great big moron. TF2 is now available on 360, or PS3 if you're both willing to wait a month and own a PS3.

WarPhalange
13th October 07, 07:13 PM
lol FPSes on consoles

Neildo
13th October 07, 07:58 PM
Thanks Boyd. yet another reason for me to buy a fucking 360.

MaverickZ
13th October 07, 09:17 PM
I played the shit out of TFC back in college, as in at least an hour a night, every night. Specifically the spiner on 2fort. And the Orange Box is the first thing to come out in years that has me seriously thinking about buying a PC game. But... a dilemma. I've got a bit of an older computer, 1.5ghz and a geforce4 ti 4200. So the question is, what kind of computer are you all playing this on? And how is the performance?

By the way.... is 2fort in the new version?

WarPhalange
13th October 07, 10:10 PM
I am playing a 2ghz AMD Athlon 64 X2, with 3 gigs of RAM (DDR 1... :( ), and an Nvidia GeForce 7900GTO.

My specs are pretty much all set to High, even have some anti-aliasing going and I still get a perfect framerate. Today I was playing HL2: Episode One on these settings and they are perfectly fine. It's awesome.

Neildo
14th October 07, 11:09 PM
i was just over at my friends place and they have orange box for their 360. dude was playing portal. i am seriously considering putting myself into major debt to buy this game (and a 360).

WarPhalange
14th October 07, 11:30 PM
The game is short. Takes about 3 hours or so, and then there are a bunch of bonus maps where it's the same stuff you've seen, except made harder, so in actuality, it's different.

Sun Wukong
15th October 07, 09:18 AM
Oh for fuck's sake, I bought the orange box online and steam refuses to run from my desktop.

WarPhalange
15th October 07, 06:01 PM
Steam sucks. Look at my review.

WarPhalange
5th November 07, 06:37 PM
Why Team Fortress 2 is the best game of the year easily:

http://kotaku.com/gaming/halloween-hangover/

MaverickZ
5th November 07, 09:28 PM
Got this yesterday. Steam ID is MaverickZY

Sun Wukong
6th November 07, 10:06 AM
still can't run steam, i need to reinstall my OS and may need to just get a new copy of windows altogether which might mean that I'll have to buy a new Orange Box if I want to play TF2 because you can only have one copy of it installed on one machine; if i change the CD key of windows, it looks like it will void my copy of the game when i try to reinstall it because they will say that I'm trying to install it on a different machine. I haven't even been able to fucking play the game yet at all!

Now this is really pissing me off to no end.