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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Greatest Online Shooter on the market, 24 April 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Team Fortress 2 (PC DVD) (CD-ROM)
I think that the title says it all really. It's fair to say that if you like shooters and you have a broadband connection, you owe it to yourself to get this game, get online and start Killing. I've been playing this solidly since The Orange Box release and I can't imagine ever getting bored.

Team Fortress 2 is easily the best multiplayer shooter you can buy today. Starting with superficials like graphics, it looks utterly wonderful. The pixar-style characters are beautiful, very funny, highly individual and (perhaps most importantly) extremely easy to spot when they are charging at you.

This is a good thing because you know straight away what any particular character is going to do as soon as you see them - each of the nine character classes behaves in a certain way which gives you the chance to adapt your own play to deal with the incoming threat. Of course, the opposing team can also see straight away what class you are playing with so they are ready for you too.

The fun nature of the graphics though does belie a game of real complexity as well though. Because each character class is so distinct, it becomes extremely important to work as a team, utilising the strengths of each class to accomplish the goal. For example, the Medic, whose job it is almost exclusively to heal other team members, works very well with the Heavy, a huge Russian skinhead who can act as a brick wall, taking fire and providing a curtain of bullets for your team to advance with. The Scout is flimsy, but very fast, capable of dodging almost any bullet, jump twice his own height and can capture points twice as fast, which means he's your advance party and will be in the enemy's face faster than any other class. But he will need the heavy weapons support behind him as on the defence he's not much cop.

It's well worth experimenting with every character class to see which one fits you best, as all of them have strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, it's fair to say that the gameplay tends to be pretty balanced. No single class is "better" than another, so you'd be unlikely to find a team full of soldiers, or spies, because there would be gaping holes in your team.

Add to this mix the Achievements that you can unlock, such as "Hardcore", for amassing 1000 kills, "Grey Matter" for getting 25 headshots or "Team Doctor" for healing 250000 points. I'm not sure what difference these make in real terms, but it feels good when you get them! There's also awards such as "Nemesis" which you get awarded for repeatedly killing the same person in a single game. That opens up an award for "Revenge", where you manage to kill your nemesis, accompanied by a fanfare.

There's a huge amount of maps out there now, both official and user-built. Some are better than others, it has to be said, but you'll soon work out which ones you like and it's all down to personal taste and playing style. Similarly, the online nature of the game does mean that your own enjoyment is fairly reliant on everyone else on the server. There's tons of players now - some of them are team players, others not so much, which can be a pain.

On the whole though, it's a much easier game to get into than Counter Strike, for example, and users do tend to be a lot less "sniffy" towards new players than other games. There are loads of servers on Steam and most are pretty good at saying whether they are Noob-friendly or for more experienced players.

Whether or not you buy it as an individual game, or as part of the Orange Box package is up to you and depends on whether you want to have Half Life 2 as well. If you don't though, and you just want a wild blast over the web, then the individual game is great value for money.

Be warned though, it is highly addictive. Hours and hours can go by while you blast away in frantic fashion. Still, I can't recommend the game highly enough. Buy it, as soon as you can. And if you see me on any of the servers, feel free to join in and take your best shot!
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