EA Showcase: Team Fortress 2: Hands-on [Update]

Shortly after playing Army of Two, I made my way over to Valves little section to try out Team Fortress 2. All of the little teaser videos and character profiles were really building up my excitement for the game. So it was really disappointing to realize five minutes into the first match that I would probably never play this game ever again.

Hit the jump to see why I might be the only person on Earth who doesn’t really think this game is all that special.  

[Update: Added gameplay video at the end of the story.]

First thing I want to get out of the way is that this game is great looking. The “Roger Rabbit” style of the game really makes this game stand out. Now that is such an obvious statement, but you don’t really realize how unique this is until you actually get into a match and blow your enemies up into pieces.

The matches would start off with a small timer going down while either team could run around and collect weapons and such. One team was stuck inside a room with the doors locked up while the other team had free reign of the entire map. Once the countdown reached zero, the team that was locked up is released and all hell breaks lose.

At any point in the battle, you can switch out to any of the nine different classes available:

The Spy: Has the ability to camouflage himself as the enemy. You can run around the map without worry as no one will shoot at you since your own team still sees you as the Spy. If you use a weapon though, your camouflage will disappear so you have to make your attack count. You can also run up to turrets and destroy them without them firing on you.

Sniper: He shoots shit from a distance, duh.

Medic: I never used this class, but he was able to heal teammates during the battle.

Engineer: As you saw in the video released yesterday, he can make an assortment of turrets.

Heavy: He’s slow but that’s because he has that giant ass chain gun that will destroy anyone in your path in mere seconds.

Demoman: He has a grenade launcher and a sack filled with dynamite that he can chuck at people.

Pyro: He will totally flame you.

Soldier: The class everyone seemed to use the most. Probably because he has a rocket launcher and it’s the fastest and easiest way to kill your opponents.

Scout: He’s fast! 

Most of the classes will on average have three weapons: The strong/main gun, a weak gun and a melee weapon like a bat or knife. The Engineer and the Spy were the only character (of the ones that I played with) that had a couple of extra weapons so they could use their special tactics.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, it plays like your standard FPS shooter but on crack. The action is very fast and frantic. Yet, at the same time, if you take the time to make a plan with your teammates and come up with a plan, you can totally own a map.

Now I did have fun playing the game, but I just can’t see myself ever playing it again. I will be picking up Orange Box of course (Portal!), but it just grew stale on me way too fast. I think it mostly has to do with the lack of depth that I saw in the game. After I got over the eye candy and messing with most of the classes, I just had to wonder what else was there? Even though each class brings something unique to the table, they all still felt the same to me.  

All in all, I left disappointed. You all probably think I’m on crack but for you PC gamers, you’ll be able to disagree (or agree) with me come this Monday.  

Hamza Aziz