|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Valve||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Valve/Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 9, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|(TOB: Oct. 9, 2007)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Players: 1-24 (Online)||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The environments give you a lot of tactical options. There are open spaces, plenty of obstacles to take cover behind, and towering vantage points where you can see the enemy coming for miles. The game goes out of its way to make things fair, and that's also evidenced by the fact that you can't set up unlimited weapons at one chokepoint and "spam" your opponents.
Each map corresponds to a specific mode. There is Granary, Well, Dustbowl, Gravel Pit, Hydro, and of course, a version of Capture the Flag. All these modes are variations on that premise, offering different combination of capture and control points. Some maps are more open, while some such as Well and Granary require you to capture points in a specific order. The game will go into overtime if there is no winner. It's sudden death, as there is no more health or respawing. When you're dead, you're dead.
Communications in a game such as this are crucial. Fortunately you can communicate via headsets or short text-based commands, which you select from the menu. You'll wonder how you ever played a similar game without such instant communication. As of this time there is no artificial intelligence to round out your team. But I didn't have trouble finally getting into a game, although there was a little bit of a wait, which is to be expected.
The download was relatively quick, and the set up was a breeze. It's not a system hog, but it sure looks like one. In a word, the graphics are astounding. Using a stylized cartoon look, the game instantly sets itself apart, not only from the original version but all other games in the genre. Each character looks different, which makes them easy to keep track of visually. They also animate differently and with a lot of variety. The humor works in a game like this that is so potentially serious. It certainly calmed me a few times from wanting to smash my keyboard. Damn snipers.
The controls are excellent, regardless of which character you are controlling. They are tight, accurate, and context sensitive. The voiceovers are extremely well done, bringing each character's quirkiness to life. There isn't a lot of in-game music, but there's so much action and sound effects going off you won't miss it. When it does kick it, it just sounds that much better.
Team Fortress 2 is a must-buy. It's the most fun you'll have being shot at in a long time.
CCC Senior Writer