TF2. This is nearly the ultimate Free-To-Play game on Steam. Second only to Dota 2 in the number of users playing daily.
Why is it so popular? Let's take a look, shall we?
First off, the obvious: It's free. 100% free. This means its accessible to everyone on Steam. This is just the icing on the cake though. What really shines about TF2 is the game itself.
Team Fortress 2 usually consists of two teams (Red and Blue) going head to head against each other. Sometimes fulfilling certain objectives or just downright killing each other. There are many, many maps and modes, such as Payload, Capture Points, and Mann VS Machine. But the general idea no matter the map or mode is to KILL EVERYTHING THAT MOVES! And my god, is it fun to do so. The game has 9 playable mercenaries, each actually being a certain "class". Each class is divided into 3 different roles: Offense, Defense, and Support. Let's go over each role and class.
Offensive roles specialize in dealing damage to the opposing team. These are your main attack force. Scouts are the speedy hit and run class, with the ability to double or even triple jump depending on equipped items. Soldiers pack a bit more firepower with their rocket launchers, which gives them not only power, but mobility due to the ability known as "rocket jumping". The Pyro is great at setting the opposition on fire, as well as extinguishing burning teammates using an airblast.
Defensive roles serve to inhibit enemy access and to hold enemies back from vital points on the map. Overall, the defensive group has the most firepower of all the groups. Demomen can safeguard areas with stickybombs that they can detonate when enemies come by. Heavies are great for mowing down incoming troops and pushing back forces. Heavies can also keep enemies in an area while whittling their health for teammates to finish off. Engineers can build Sentry Guns for effective area defense, as well as build Teleporters and Dispensers for logistical support of the team.
Support classes cannot hold the fight on their own, but their specialized abilities can tip the balance in their team's favor. They offer the offensive and defensive classes an extra edge in battle and can help turn the tide of the game. Whether crippling the enemy advance from behind or keeping teammates healed, the support classes are always handy to have around. Medics are the team healers, capable of providing numerous buffs depending on their equipments. Spies are great for sneak attacks or eiliminating key threats. Snipers excel at long range, also eliminating key threats, as well as extinguishing burning teammates with jarate and providing a damage boost to teammates.
Next, let's look at the presentation.
TF2 has a very unqiue art style. It's somewhat cartoonish, but very appealing. It's simple, and un-complex. But it doesn't need to be complex. It's simplicity is it's strength. Everything is detailed enough to where you can easily tell whats going on, what a specific model or item is, and they all stand out. The soundtrack is also very appealing and catchy, especially the main theme. I personally have it as a ringtone/alarm tone on my smartphone! :)
One of the best aspects of TF2 is the Steam Workshop. Users can submit designs for items and weapons, and possibly have them added to the game! A very lucrative sub-market has also emerged from this game in the form of the Crate Keys. That's a whole different ballgame in and of itself, so we won't get into it here.
During normal gameplay on most servers, you can obtain random items, weapons, and sometimes crates, and taunts....through the item drops system. You can only receive so many drops per week, and you will get them randomly as you play. You can use these items and weapons to customise your mercenary's loadout, or you can use them to craft other items, hats, and weapons. You can take multiples of items and craft them into Scrap, then Reclaimed Metal, then Refined Metal. You can then use these metals to craft specific class weapons/items, among other things. The crafting system is simple yet robust, with lots of possiblities. Some of it is very luck based. You can take some very common items and end up crafting a super rare hat or gun worth a lot of moolah on the Steam Market!
All-in-all, Team Fortress 2 is just a very fun game. Endless entertainment awaits when you start up this game, especially if you play with friends on your favorite server. Probably the best free-to-play game on Steam.
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