An Ode to Team Fortress 2

TF2 2

A lot of people claim that this game becoming Free-to-Play ruined the community, with a shit-ton of children and unemployed hacks tampering the gene pool. Seeing as I don’t care for either small children or hacks, I’d be inclined to agree… except five years ago, I was also a child and a hack. Ruining communities was how I rolled. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Team Fortress 2 controlled my life much like World of Warcraft or Nintendo controlled my life prior to it. I had heard good things about it before the announcement of it becoming Free-to-Play, but I wasn’t sure if it was really the game for me. I tend to like playing games alone, games with a point to them. Team Fortress 2 was a game where playing with others as a team is necessary to win, and it’s basically just a fun time-waster. There’s no story (aside from context), no long-term goal involved. The game is a collection of different modes that one can play controlling nine playable classes blowing each other’s heads off. With all this said, these types of games don’t tend to entertain me for long spurts of time. Miraculously, Team Fortress 2 proved to be something that could last me years of entertainment.

And it didn’t just translate to the game, either. Because of this game, I became heavily involved in the “Gmod” scene on Youtube, with TF2 characters being animated into silly (or randomly bizarre) videos spanning from ten seconds to ten minutes. I even took on this task myself, making (a very small) name for myself for my own bizarre attempts at copying making videos like those of RubberfruitMegaGFilms, and kitty0706 (RIP). These videos no longer exist, as I deleted them all along with my former Youtube channel, but if in the extraordinarily rare case that someone stumbles upon this blog and recognizes the name “95% Sugar,” know that I made that, and I apologize for it.

TF2 1

I’ve spent a long time on this game, as the photo above shows. However, all passions eventually ebb and my interest in the game has become a refreshing memory of unfiltered obsession. I’ve always considered going back to the game after years of inactivity, but that would inspire me to scrap everything I already have to try and reignite the feeling anew. All of my hats, weapons, skins, and time spent on each character—all gone. With the game and its community as it is now, I’m not sure I’d be able to tolerate it the way I did years ago. Not to mention, the game’s obsession with advertising its own shit. “Hats Incorporated,” it should be called. Although, with the more powerful laptop I have now, from a performance standpoint, now’s the best time to relive it.

The Valve-created cutscene intros for each class in the “Meet the…” series are also massively entertaining. My personal favorite is “Meet the Medic,” while “Meet the Spy” and “Meet the Sniper” are also classics in my mind. I enjoy the sort of humorous atmosphere that the game creates outside of the game. Hell, the entire experience outside the game seems to perfectly mend both the seriousness of the game and humor that Valve is known for. The game has a charm to it that makes it likable for any person, no matter the age or demographic. The game itself, well, look at my overall time spent on it and decide for yourself if the game is fun on its own.

I’ve always enjoyed being on the frontlines the most, so my typical character of choice is either Pyro or Soldier, but I also enjoy Support classes such as Sniper, Engineer, or Medic. I recall a certain stretch of time that whenever no one picked the Medic on my team, I always volunteered to take the position. That doesn’t mean the team got any better or anything, but I like to think our team had more balance because of it. Perhaps because I’m bad at the game or the computer I used to use to play the game couldn’t run it very well, but I never cared to play as Scout. He was too fast for me. Couldn’t aim. Couldn’t get a kill in. Didn’t like him.

In any case, Team Fortress 2 is a game I would definitely recommend to anyone… or more specifically, my eighteen-year-old self would. I can’t say anything now, as I haven’t touched the game since the “Scream Fortress 2013,” but assuming they haven’t made any major changes to it, I’d still recommend it without hesitation. It doesn’t have much of a point, but it has heart. Not to mention, the fun of playing with assholes online is a feeling all should experience at least once in their lifetime.