I had been learning to play computer games as a way to spend some play time with hubby. I had no idea just how much I could personally love games, though, until Team Fortress 2.
TF2 is an online multi-player, high-action, first-person shooter. Not the type of game I would normally sign up for, but this one is different. It is very cartoony, hilariously fun, highly engaging and extremely addictive!
Team Fortress offers nine different classes of characers that you can choose to play as. Everything from a demolitions expert, to a medic. Players are divided into two teams, RED and BLU, and compete against each other.
Different maps have different objectives. One type is capture-the-flag style. Other maps have zones that must be captured to win. Another type of play sets one team up to push a cart of explosives from their base to their enemy's base, and sets the other team on the defensive! Still another type of play, Area Mode, shuts off the player respawns, meaning once you die, you die. The last man standing wins.
Even though the game IS called TEAM Fortress 2, one cannot emphasize the team aspect enough. No one class is so overpowered that they can win the game. The game requires a good balance of each type of class, good communication, and superior teamwork to win. Teams communicate with each other through text message boxes or voice chat to strategize and warn each other of incoming threats. Often, you meet some great people and make friends that you play with regularily, or you find one or two different servers that become favourites because of their atmosphere.
The personal element to this game is that there are achievments to be earned in each class by doing various things, from getting a certain amount of melee kills, to taking a critical hit of damage and living to tell about it. Rewards for these achiements unlock new and better weapons or defense tools on your character.
Since this game is so much fun, it is easy to forget how violent it is. However, this is a war/battle game, and there is blood. Also, because this game is played on online servers, you cannot control what the other people will be talking about, or the language they will use. (Which is why I like to stick to servers and people that I know). Parents need to know this. It may look fun and cartoony, but it is rated M for a reason.
Averall, this game is a riot for mature players who want to kick back and have some fun. It might not be everyone's type of game, but those people who like it, like it a lot!
Update On Oct 16, 2009: Valve recently released an update that introduced several more maps, and a new style of game-play. This new style is called "King of the Hill, " and comes with its own maps that have only one control point in the very centre. Teams must fight to capture, and then hold that one point. The team that can defend the point the longest, wins!
The thing I appreciate most about Valve, is that they are committed to their games. They continuously release patches to fix bugs, and updates to expand their games and make them more fun--all free of charge. I know I am getting a good deal, and endless play time when I buy Valve!