Team Fortress 2 beta impressions part 3

Finally after two full night of playing, I can more accurately describe the gameplay experience and how everything balances each other out. If you haven’t read part 1 or part 2, please do so.

For the past year or so, I’ve been playing COD with my non-dominant hand, so the style switch to TF2 has a profound impact on my performance and play style.

Immediately, I noticed that it’s really hard to ambush people unless you are using a spy and the sound of footsteps play less of a role in detecting enemies. The only reason why you’ll need to hear, is when against an invisible spy and I don’t believe they make any noise at all. This fact is perhaps amplified by the maps themselves. Generally speaking, the maps are smaller with tighter quarters and less hiding places. Which brings me to my next point and my favorite class in any game: snipers.

Snipers are basically left out there to dry now, with a shooting hinderance resembling to that of the real world, snipers in TF2 are further toned down because they are stripped of the two other lethal abilities which normal snipers have. Lethal damage and good environmental covers. Spies further complicate the issue with their stealthing abilities and silent footstep. Add that to the fact that spy no longer bleed when disguised and shot by enemies, it is now impossible to do anything against a spy. I noticed that the sniper rifle doesn’t have a crosshair when zoomed out, further indicating the TF2 team’s devotion in making a sniper rifle useless in anything but sniping. To test out that theory, I used two strings and 4 short strips of scotch tape on my monitor as a mock up crosshair and proceeded to headshot people with the rifle zoomed out. I didn’t manage to kill anyone even after shooting them 3 times… if I manage to hit them that is.

If you are a fan of Unreal, or are switching to TF2 from Unreal engine, you’ll love the scout class. They are no longer helpless when caught red handed against an enemy. Its speed combined with its double jump ability makes scout the most maneuverable class I’ve seen in all games. The double jump enables the scout to change jump direction in mid air which means that you can basically kill everything but a sentry with your scattergun. I believe that a nerf needs to be done on the scattergun. It is basically a super double barrelled shotgun that can instantly hit an opponent as long as you press “shoot” when they are in the middle of the your cross-hair. During my short life as a scout in one game, I’ve caputred the flag twice, killed off 2 HWGuy, 1 soldier, 4 snipers, 2 engies, 4 medics and
1 pyro while getting my ass handed to me 7 times by the sentry gun. A good scout who has the good sense to run back home when health is low is basically not possible to be killed. Scouts are annoying as hell, but not as annoying as a demo man.

Facing a demo man made me understand the one biggest change in TF2 valve made. They made the dimensions every projective bigger. Jumping over a demoman’s pipe bomb is no longer a strategy, with the damage increase of their contact pipe bomb, they can score a one shot kill on a HWguy with a direct hit. In a tunnel, demoman is king. I myself is not a good demo, but I’ve come face to face with many and so far, the only reason I managed to kill one, is to take advantage of the intervals when they reload their grenade launcher. Even then, I run the risk of walking into their sticky bomb trap.

I’ve generally stayed away from using the spy class because I really suck at it in this version. I am too used to be able to feign death and throw grenades as a spy that the new abilities turned me off completely at the beginning. However, after seeing some 1337 spy pwnage, I decided that I might give it a try in the future. What eventually happened to the spy class is that they made an engineer/sniper completely vulnerable to the spy. I love using the engy and knows all the strategies of detecting spies, however, I find that often, even when I know the person is a spy, there is no way for me to perform any counter measure, except hoping for my soldier protégé to realize that the team mate I shot at is a spy. Even if they were discovered, they can just use invisibility and vanish out of thin air. This is not your not-so-invisible blurry transparent air invisibility. It is complete invisibility. So any class that finds itself walking alone will usually get picked off by a good spy.

With that, I think I can safely wrap up this review and say that. Although I didn’t like the initial changes, I find that the balance is good way to put all class in back in their shoes and that the game is still as addictive as ever. Be prepared to sacrifice the kill score so that your team can win though, because in this new version, it’s very easy for the other team to win if your team is only focused on fragging.

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