First-person shooters are the among the most disposable and short-lived games I’ve ever seen. Nowadays, when a new FPS comes out, it’s a miracle if it works, let alone survives over a year or two. Call of Duty, Battlefield, Titanfall, even Overwatch and modern Halo; the shelf life of these games have never been shorter.
Then there’s Team Fortress 2. A game from 2007 that people are still playing to this day, even after the developers stopped working on it. And the community isn’t just surviving; it’s thriving!
So long as you ignore the bot crisis. Have they fixed that yet? I know Valve said they were working on it, but I haven’t heard anything about it since.
TF2 is one of the rare games that put all the right pieces into the right places. The personality, the presentation, the gameplay, all of it works together in a wonderful symphony of fun and joy. All of it combined has made a truly timeless game. Just when you think it’s finally starting to fade, it suddenly springs back to life and keeps on going!
There is no story to TF2. No campaign mode wherein you complete objectives to further the narrative. But that’s not to say there’s nothing there. Each character oozes personality, so much so that each and every one of them has become iconic. Even if you’ve never played the game, you know the Heavy, the Spy, the Medic, the Pyro, and all the rest.
These characters are so good that Valve produced several short introductory animations for each and every one with the Meet the Team series. These shorts are just as beloved as the game itself. So much so that they made another short, Expiration Date, which is basically the pilot to a TV show. All of these are so awesome that other games, like Overwatch, stole the idea for themselves.
It certainly helps that they’re all just so much damn fun to play. Their personalities shine through in their gameplay. The Spy is a slippery bastard who could be anywhere, so he acts like the cocky fucker he is. The Medic is a healer, but he’s so much of a maniac that even the mundane task of playing doctor is delightful. Engineer’s chill attitude works perfectly with his game-plan of setting up support mechs and ammo stations. Personality and gameplay work together in flawless harmony, making TF2’s cast feel like so much more than just the characters you play as.
Adding to the game’s timeless charm is its style. The whole game is presented in a bright, colorful 3D cartoon aesthetic. It’s delightfully charming, not to mention that it hasn’t aged a day. This game is a peak example of why style is more important than graphical power; TF2 went for style, and it still looks good to this day because of it.
Don’t believe me? Then answer me this: why are people still using the models in SFM animations to this day?
Of course, none of this would matter if the gameplay weren’t good. But the game wouldn’t still have such an active player base if that weren’t the case, so you don’t need to worry about that. TF2 is still one of the most chaotic and fun FPS games on the market. Arguably the most fun and chaotic.
There are a plethora of game modes to enjoy. Want to escort the a bomb? Just want to slaughter the other time to your heart’s content? Want to fight hordes of enemies in a PVE defense mode? Want to play in custom games on servers put together by other players? TF2 has it all!
All of it works even better thanks to the spectacular balance of the nine characters. While some are more difficult to play than others, every single one of them is viable in gameplay. This isn’t Overwatch, where you’ll get cursed at if you don’t play the best character in the current meta, regardless of fun. You can simply pick the one you enjoy the most and go wild!
Remember when games were designed to be fun? TF2 remembers.
This game well and truly is immortal. Even the game that everyone thought would finally kill it couldn’t do it! The sheer quality of every aspect of this game is so high that it simply cannot die! It’s stood tall for fifteen years, and it will continue to stand for many more years to come.
Unless Valve decided to make another one. But we all know how they are with the number 3. And about making games in general. So I don’t think we need to worry about that.
It’s not gonna happen, Half Life fans. It’s time to move on.