~ Silvercube's family-friendly blog on random entertainment and life.

Never Before Seen Team Fortress 2 Review

A few months back when The Orange Box was released on Xbox 360, it was suggested at a video game website I used to volunteer for that a reviewer should take on each game separately. I was given Team Fortress 2, but little did I know that only a small paragraph I wrote would be published for its release. So, for the first time, I present to you my unedited, unpublished, in-depth review. Enjoy.

Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Valve
Category: FPS
Online: Yes
Players: 1-16

Over the years, I had always heard such amazing praise for this game. My expectations were very high, as some people declared this game to be even better then Halo 3. But what was supposed to be the highlight of The Orange Box, became more of a letdown….

As I was navigating the game menu, I noticed that there was no single player campaign, which of course, was no surprise. But what did surprise me was there was no tutorial mode!

How on earth are people who are new to this game supposed to understand how to play? Unfortunately, the only way to find out was to enter into a multi-player game, and figure out how to play. When I joined a game, I was immediately disorientated from the start, as the pre-game lobby was so laggy that I could not understand a word what people were saying. What I did make out somehow “was add me to your friend’s list so I can unlock an achievement, otherwise I will boot you.” Wow, just one minute into the game and I am already experiencing this immaturity.

I quickly joined another room, where the game had already begun. I was shown a small video clip of what the map looked like, and what the objective was. I then had to choose from a variety of characters, each with their own unique skills, ranging from a Pyromaniac to an Engineer than can build turrets. I ended up choosing the Scout, a very fast character who lacks strong firepower.

As I began to maneuver around the map, I tried to familiarize myself with my surroundings, but I did not last very long as I kept on dying. I figured out that I could change characters every time I had to re-spawn, which enabled me to try out all of the various people.
When I tried to ask for help on what to do, I did not get any educated responses. It seemed that most of the players did not know what they were doing either.

I felt frustrated, so I left and decided to host my own game. It was then that I realized there was only 6 maps, and only 3 different objectives. I chose a map, called Well, which was of a control point variant, in which the objective is to capture a small area of the opposing team, while making sure your area does not get captured. Luckily for me, I chose scout, and just rushed through the map. What I noticed was that this map was the easiest layout I had ever seen. There was no twisted paths like the others, just a straightforward path. I ended up dominating this match, and this became my favorite map in the game.

Luckily, Team Fortress 2 is not a stand alone game, because there are many issues surrounding the game. I can see myself playing this game for a little while, but its re-playability will only last if one were to play with friends. This game requires strategy, and when executed correctly, there can be some amazing moments.

Presentation: [7.0]
A simple orange colored interface, along with an easy to use matchmaking setup. However, customization options are basically non-existent. Valve could have done a much better job in enabling first time players to understand the basics.

Gameplay: [8.0]
Strategy plays a very important part, with a variety of characters, each with their own skills and weapons. Those looking for an all out shooter should look somewhere else though. There are no death match games. Make sure you host a game, so you won’t be dragged into 45+ minute matches. Increase to a 9.5 if playing with friends.

Graphics/Sound: [8.0]
I really like the graphic style, as it has a very cartoony feel to it. However, the animations are a bit lacking, and the environments are not very impressive. The sound is practically non-existent as well, as I can’t recall anything remotely sound-catching, but the individual taunts for each character are hilarious.

Replay Factor: [6.5]
With the multitude of shooting games out there, and the fact there is hardly any customization options, this game will not last long. Give or take a few weeks. The commentary mode, in which one can take a tour of a few maps and listen to director’s commentary is an added plus. Increase to an 8.5 if you can always play with friends, or if you are a hardcore Team Fortress fan.

Bottom Line:
For people who love strategy in their shooting, this game will impress. With a territories and capture the flag mode, one is sure to have some amazing moments. For those new to this game, its best to consult a strategy guide. But since this is just one game in The Orange Box, you really can’t complain too much.

Finally here on a console
Interesting maps
Variety of characters to choose from
Commentary Mode

No tutorial?!
Laggy at times
Not enough features and customization options

Overall: [8.0]


Well, that concludes my review of Team Fortress 2. I hope there will be some downloadable content soon. Looking back at my review, I may have been a bit harsh, but the game is still laggy at times (at least on xbox live).


2 responses

  1. deckard47

    Interesting review, I had a completely different experience, as you know, but the way you tell it, I’m lucky I got it on the PC, its native platform. Seriously though, it is all the things you said it is, so awesome for you for writing this kind of review. Oh, and that 360? Might be closer than I thought.

    January 7, 2008 at 3:37 am

  2. Yay!
    That would be cool if you got one.
    I always find it amazing that each reviewer always writes something different about a game.
    Its very interesting to see other people’s views on the same game.
    But in this case, I think you have the better version of Team Fortress 2.
    Not many people on my friends list plays Team Fortess 2. They are mostly into Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3.

    January 7, 2008 at 12:04 pm

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