Forget work, I'm playing some Team Fortress 2.
Team Fortress 2 was originally slated for release back in 1999, but it was delayed for 8 years and years after silence from Valve the game was officially labeled as vaporware. Finally, Valve presented Team Fortress 2 in all it's cartoon glory at E3 2006. The reception was overwhelming positive. Fans were awe struck at the great graphics and animations the game sported, along with a distinct personality, hilarious voiceovers and backstory for each class to help bring the game to life. Each class was specifically designed to be so unique that you could pick them out with ease in a silhouette lineup. Valve also was focusing on the casual gamers this time around, simplifying aspects like removing unnecessary sidearms and grenades(thank the lord for this). Each class has a unique primary weapon, a sidearm(usually a pistol or shotgun), and a unique melee weapon. This time around, VALVe made sure to focus the player on teamwork rather than fancy jumptricks and grenade spam. The game was finally released in October 2007 alongside the Orange Box, with unanimous praise from just about every gaming review site/magazine in existence.
Team Fortress 2 may seem overwhelming at first due to the sheer chaos of the game and the distinct play styles of each class, but you will get used to all of it within a few hours. The pace of the game is slower than the first to help the newbies out. The gameplay is pretty simple once you work out the mechanics. As of now there are 6 gameplay modes. There's your standard capture the flag. There's Capture Point which is basically to Capture designated points on the map as specified. Then there is Territory Control which is basically Capture Point but the map changes around depending on who wins. There's also the popular Payload mode which is the BLU team has to push a bomb on wheels into the RED team's base, while the RED team does everything it can to stop the bomb. There is Double Payload which is just Payload but the teams are racing each other. Finally there is Arena mode, which is basically like Counter-Strike where you try to eliminate the opposing team in a single-round.
Team Fortress 2 contains 9 unique classes all designed with specific strengths and weaknesses. They are split into categories: Offense contains the Scout, Soldier, and Pyro. Defense contains the Demoman, Heavy and Engineer. Special contains the Medic, Sniper and Spy.
The 9 years of development really payed off for this game, as it's constant emphasis of teamwork and balance truly make this one of the best multiplayer games of all time. Teamwork is the only way to succeed in this game, and solo play is generally frowned upon. The ease of the game combined with the almost unlimited depth make this appeal to everyone, whether you play once a week or 8 hours a day, you are sure to enjoy yourself without getting frustrated, as the game was designed for those exact reasons.
There is also a huge amount of ongoing support from VALVe, overhauling each class one at a time with new weapons, new voice lines, new achievements and new maps all for free. As of this definition, 6 of the 9 classes have been overhauled. The game also sports an extensive modding community with over a thousand custom maps so far.*
I'm going to wrap this up now since it's getting long and I could go on and on forever about this game but I will leave you with this; every self-respecting gamer should own this game. It really is that damn good.
*The above is only specific to the PC version.
The entertaining graphics are worth noting too. Where most shooters aim for ultra-realistic graphics, Team Fortress 2's graphics are overly cartoon-ish and whimsical. It's just hilarious to watch a Heavy shouting at his foes while he blasts them down with the minigun, then blown literally to pieces with a rocket. Think graphics along the lines of The Incredibles. The classes are also amusing themselves, with their taunts, battle cries, etc. Valve regularly updates the classes with new weapons and such, ensuring this game will be fresh and fun for years to come. Check out the Class Profiles on Youtube.
gamer 2: "I just started playing and all I have is a hard hat :("