October 14, 2007

Team Fortress 2 Initial Impressions

I normally try to post my initial impressions of a game as soon as I am done playing it for the first few times. I am pretty good about getting into a play, post, play, post rhythm.

However, for Team Fortress 2 I have been fairly silent with my initial impressions. Why? Because it is such a great game that I don't want to waste a single second blogging instead of playing! I do have a few minutes now, so without further ado, my first impressions of Team Fortress 2.

The first thing any player will note about TF2 is the graphical styling. It is stylized and cartoonish in nature, but that is what makes it so great. In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun (a curiously refreshing gaming opinion site), Valve developer Charlie Brown stated:
Funny stuff just happens. So when we started, we knew what kind of weapons we wanted, we knew the physics, we knew we had really fast movements speeds and not all our weapons were realistic, and so it was pretty easy to see during testing that these funny moments happened way more frequently than they did in our other games. That was one of the reasons we chose this art style in the first place. We said, let’s just embrace the exaggerated funny things that happen. We used that to our advantage.
With over the top graphical stylings, comes over to top gameplay. Gameplay is definitely where TF2 shines. At the base, it is a class based shooter that attempts to meld several unique play styles into a team setting. Every class has a job to perform and in most cases, when that job isn't performed, the team knows it.

The best part of the class system is that there is a class for every level of gamer. Players do not need to be twitch gaming superstars to have fun or be competitive in TF2. I have friends from every corner of the gaming universe playing this game and they all are finding a class that fits them.

Not being able to shoot straight makes a player find other avenues for success and in TF2 that often leads to a better team player. This is a refreshing change of pace from the pinpoint click fests found in other FPS games. The point I want to emphasis is that TF2 is not a shooter for shooters, it is a shooter for everyone.

Part II
Part III
Part IV
Final Thoughts