Life with Games

What would life be without them?

Team Fortress 2

The Group Ah, Team Fortress 2. Every time I play it, I get brought back to the day in high school when my dad got a cable modem, and I began my true gaming career. Half-life graphics, ridiculous models, redone models that were tossed aside because people liked the ridiculous models. They were good times. The moment TF2 was announced, I bought and started making a site. Then I realized I didn’t have the time or determination to make the site, and it died quickly. I didn’t think much about it until they announced beta can be played if you pre-order The Orange Box. Granted I already owned half the games in that package, I didn’t care and bought it anyway. The beta didn’t run, at all, on my nVidia card. I was furious. Luckily when the real game came out, I had no issues. Needless to say, it’s a blast from the past and is kicking ass again.

I played TFC with a crew that we made into a clan named Lust For Karnage. We didn’t do much, at all. I have lost touch with all of them, but we had our moments. This was in my sophomore year of high school. I was a social outcast, played Diablo 2 and TFC like crazy because my computer at the time couldn’t load anything. I watched it dump on Jedi Outcast when that first came out. TFC ran though, and well, and it made me happy. I enjoyed playing the medic, with my useless nail gun, but fun poison packs and concussion grenade jumping. I also played as an engineer when I felt like defending. All I have to say is, times don’t change.

Before I go into my two favorite classes, I’ll briefly explain the game. There are usually two teams (can be four), but they are red and blue. The classes in the game are scout, soldier, pyro, demoman, heavy, spy, medic, engineer, sniper. Each has a load of unique abilities, and if the team works together, can really dominate.

Here’s a bunch of small summaries of the classes:
Scout – Fastest class, has a double-jump ability. Great for capping points or grabbing intel. Low health. Has a shotgun, pistol, and metal bat as weapons.
Soldier – 2nd slowest class, 2nd highest health, and packs a pretty strong punch. Uses a rocket launcher, shotgun, or shovel. Great for offensive runs, medic-friendly.
Pyro – Average speed, decent health, and at close range, extremely deadly. Uses a flamethrower that can kill in a heartbeat at close range, shotgun, and axe. Works well with medics.
Demoman – Average speed, good health, and is great for shooting at targets out of line of sight. Can shoot grenades that bounce off walls, shoot sticky grenades that are remotely detonated, and also has a broken Molotov Cocktail to melee with if he runs out of explosives. Good with medics for taking out sentry guns.
Heavy – Slowest class, highest health, painful weapon. A medic’s best friend. Uses a giant gatling gun that tears through everything, also has a shotgun and uses his fists to melee.
Spy – Above average speed, decent health, and one of the hardest classes to master. The spy has a variety of abilities to work his magic. He can dress up as any class, in the opposing team’s color. Also has a temporary cloaking device, good for getting behind enemy lines. Uses a powerful six-shot pistol or a butterfly knife. Can also sap enemy sentry guns, dispensers, and teleporters, which will disable them and eventually blow them up if not attended to by an engineer. This can also be done without losing disguise. Once you master pretending to be the enemy, and sapping at the right moment, this is a very powerful class.
Medic – Above average health, above average speed, and everyone’s friend. Each player can “Call for medic” and the medic will see their calls and be able to see their location. Uses a healing gun to heal allies, has a syringe gun in case of emergency attacks, as well as a bone saw that is pretty powerful considering it’s a medic.
Engineer – Decent health and speed, builds sentry guns, dispensers, and teleporters. Uses a shotgun, pistol, and wrench. Good for defense.
Sniper – Great defense, but a pro sniper can also be good offense. Below average health, above average speed, has a sniper rifle that, when scoped, charges your shot. A fully charged shot can do some serious damage, but headshots pretty much always kill. Also has a machine gun for when the enemy is too close, and a machete for when they are REALLY too close.

There are a variety of maps, but most follow 3 types:

  • a defense vs. offense game where the offense team tries to cap points the defense has to, get this, DEFEND.
  • a game with 5 cap points, where each team starts with 2, and the middle one is up for grabs. The objective is to take all 5 points.
  • an objective match where both teams have a suitcase with intel, and are trying to capture the other’s intel. Capture the flag, basically.

There used to be a VIP map in TFC, but they didn’t cross that over to TF2 (yet at least). There may be more game types, but with all the hours I’ve put into this game, I haven’t seen others.

That’s the basics. Now onto why I love this game.

Medic I have played plenty of online games in my past, and in all but one of them I was the healer. Medic / Doctor in Star Wars Galaxies, White Mage in Final Fantasy XI, medic in TFC. The trend continues in TF2, as I fall in love with the new healing gun the medic is given. Being able to heal from a safe distance brings up so many possibilities for strategy now. It’s no longer “shove your face in the Heavy’s ass and keep healing”, but you can hide behind cover to avoid fire and everything now. Plus, the saw is great for when you are stuck without anyone else, and the syringe gun can do some nasty damage once you learn how it shoots. Way better than the old nail gun. They did take grenades out of the game entirely, though, so no more conc jumping, but it’s not a big deal because now the medic does what he is supposed to do: heal. I barely healed at all in TFC as the medic. They were the second best flag cappers right under scouts. All that has changed now, though.

Engy Speaking of the lack of grenades, the engineer lost his infamous EMP grenade, which was one of the cheapest weapons in TFC, and made the engineer pretty amazing offense sometimes. They fixed him up good though, made him great defense, and can handle himself in tight spots, but he shouldn’t be charging into any bases. The sentry guns are just like they were, but the dispensers have now changed so they can heal as well. They also added a teleporter, which has so many good uses I can’t even begin to describe how they can turn the tide of battle. I have yet to try, but in TFC you could set a key to detonate your sentry or dispenser, but I don’t know if you can do that in TF2. I know you can detonate it still, but through a weapon choice. Not fast enough for me, but my sentries and dispensers get destroyed pretty fast in TF2 anyway.

There you have it. I’d always recommend TF2.

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