Team Fortress 2 is a team-based first-person shooter multiplayer video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. It is the sequel to the 1996 mod Team Fortress for Quake and its 1999 remake. It was released as part of the video game compilation The Orange Box on October 10, 2007 for Windows and the Xbox 360. A PlayStation 3 version followed on December 11, 2007. On April 8, 2008, it was released as a standalone title for Windows. The game was updated to support OS X on June 10, 2010, and Linux on February 14, 2013. It is distributed online through Valve's download retailer Steam; retail distribution was handled by Electronic Arts.
In Team Fortress 2, players join one of two teams comprising nine character classes, battling in a variety of game modes including capture the flag and king of the hill. The development is led by John Cook and Robin Walker, creators of the original Team Fortress. Announced in 1998, the game once had more realistic, militaristic visuals and gameplay, but this changed over the protracted nine-year development. After Valve released no information for six years, Team Fortress 2 regularly featured in Wired News ' annual vaporware list among other ignominies. The finished Team Fortress 2 has cartoon-like visuals influenced by the art of J. C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell and is powered by Valve's Source engine.
Team Fortress 2 received critical acclaim for its art direction, gameplay, humor, and use of character in a multiplayer-only game. Valve continues to release new content, including maps, items and game modes. On June 23, 2011, it became free to play, supported bymicrotransactions for unique in-game equipment. A 'drop system' was also added and refined in this update, allowing free-to-play users to still receive game equipment by use of a random number generator.
Like its predecessors, Team Fortress 2 is focused around two opposing teams competing for a combat-based principal objective. In the game's fiction, the teams are composed of mercenaries hired by two feuding brothers to protect the company assets belonging to one brother while trying to destroy those of the other; the teams are thus represented by the names of these companies: Reliable Excavation & Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU). Players can choose to play as one of nine character classes in these teams, each with his own unique strengths, weaknesses, and weapons. Although the abilities of a number of classes have changed from earlier Team Fortress incarnations, the basic elements of each class have remained, that being one primary weapon, one secondary weapon, and one melee weapon. The game was released with six official maps, although 44 extra maps, 9 arena maps, 8 king of the hill maps, and various other map types have been included in subsequent updates. In addition, a number of community assembled maps have been released. When players join a level for the first time, an introductory video shows how to complete its objectives. During matches, "The Administrator", a woman voiced by Ellen McLain, announces various game events over loudspeakers. The player limit is 16 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. On the PC, in 2008 Valve updated Team Fortress 2 to include a server variable that allows up to 32 players.
Team Fortress 2 is the first of Valve's multiplayer games to provide detailed statistics for individual players. They include: time spent playing as each class, most points obtained, and the most captures or objectives achieved in a single life. Persistent statistics tell the player how he or she is improving in relation to these statistics, such as if a player comes close to his or her record for the damage inflicted in a round. Team Fortress 2 also features numerous "achievements" for carrying out certain tasks, such as scoring a certain number of kills or completing a round within a certain time. New sets of class-specific achievements have been added in updates, which add new abilities and weapons to each class once unlocked by the player. This unlockable system has since been expanded into a random-chance system, where the player can also obtain the items simply by playing the game.
The objective of the game is defined by the game mode in use.
Capture The Flag (CTF):
- In Capture the Flag maps, the objective for both teams is to obtain a briefcase of intelligence from the enemy team's base and return it to their own base while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. The player carrying the intelligence can be killed to drop the briefcase, or the player can willingly drop it; in either case this starts a two-minute timer. If the intelligence is not collected by another player on the opposing team before that timer expires, it is returned to its home base. A team can only score by delivering the enemy's intelligence to their base. A match lasts until one team scores a set number of points or time runs out.
Special Delivery (SP):
- A variant of Capture the Flag, called Special Delivery, has teams vying over a single suitcase in an attempt to deliver to the end target. Once the intelligence is picked up by one team, only members of that team can carry it until either it successfully delivered, or the drop timer expires and it is returned to its original spawn point.
Control Points (CP):
- Control Point modes are more varied in their objectives, but share the common aim of capturing a particular point on the map by having one or more team members stay on the point without the presence of the opposing team for a short period of time. In standard control point maps, each team already controls an equal number of points, with one additional point left unclaimed; teams can only attempt to capture points that are nearest to those points they already control. Each team attempts to progressively capture all the control points to win the round. In attack/defend-style maps, the RED team already controls all the points on the map, and must hold these points from being captured by the opposing team (BLU Team) for a length of time.
Territorial Control (TC):
- Territorial control is a more complex version of Control Point, in which each map is divided into a number of closed sections, held between the two teams. Each round has one team attempting to seize control of the opposing team's capture point for that section in a fixed amount of time. Once a team holds all but the enemy's home base point, they then attempt to capture the enemy base point while the enemy defends for a fixed amount of time. The only official map made by Valve for Territorial Control is called Hydro, presumably because of its complex design..
King of The Hill (KOTH):
- King of the Hill features a single control point in the center of the map, with teams attempting to gain control over it. The control point is locked for a set amount of time after the round start. Once the point is unlocked, either team can capture it. Capturing the control point starts the team's clock counting down. The clock that is currently counting down will only stop if the other team captures the point, the clock reaches 0:00, or another map-specific event occurs such as a Halloween boss spawning during the Halloween event. Teams win the round when their clock reaches 0:00 with the control point currently under their control. If the other team is capturing the point, the round will not end until the point's capture progress resets to 0.
- Payload maps feature a length of track atop which sits a bomb mounted on a cart. This mode have two variants; Payload and Payload Race. In normal Payload maps, one team must escort the cart through a series of checkpoints in a limited amount of time to reach a final target that the other team defends. The cart moves when one or more players of the team are near it without enemies nearby; during this, the cart heals and provides ammo to those close by. If no one is by the cart, it may move backwards towards the last checkpoint, or roll off uphill sections of the track. In Payload Race, both teams race to deliver a bomb-cart to a final target; there are no checkpoints and unmanned carts will not move in reverse, but still require team members nearby to fully complete uphill sections. Both types of Payload maps can come in single-round or multiple-round maps. In standard payload, further rounds will only be played if BLU wins. In Payload Race, all rounds will be played regardless of which team wins, but the winner of previous rounds starts with their cart farther up the track.
- Arena is a team deathmatch mode, typically occurring smaller environments featuring a single control point. In each round, players do not respawn on death; a team wins the round by capturing the control point or eliminating all of the other team members.
Mann vs. Machine (mvm):
- Mann vs. Machine (shortened to MvM) is a six player co-operative mode where the mercenaries are defending a structure against increasingly difficult waves of robots. Players have the ability to buy upgrades and improvements between rounds using in-game money earned during previous waves. A "Mann Up" version is available by purchasing tickets with real money to participate in larger events on official servers with the opportunity to win unique cosmetic items after successfully completing a Tour of Duty.
- Mannpower is a modified version of capture the flag in which teams must capture the enemy's briefcase of intelligence a set number of times while preventing the enemy from doing the same. The game mode is characterized by its usage of grappling hooks and twelve unique power-ups.
Player Destruction (PD):
- Player Destruction is a game mode that focuses on teams collecting items (bottles of beer) by killing enemy players, and then entering a specific area (jumping into a UFO tractor beam) in order to add them to their team's score.
A "Training mode" exists to help new players get used to the game, using wooden target dummies for practice and to introduce them to concepts of the multiplayer modes. Game modes allowing respawn all have a delay before a player may respawn again, with the respawn system being set up in waves of 10 seconds. Since 2009, there is also typically a Halloween-themed variation on one or more of the above modes during the weeks around the holiday, with maps or modes updated to include themed decorations and often a more difficult challenge to the players. For example, for Halloween 2012, this included an extremely difficult Mann vs Machine round involving destroying more than 800 enemy forces. Due to popular demand of the Halloween events, Valve added Full Moon, the ability to play these events on the few days around the full moon throughout the year, and later Eternaween, the ability for players to vote to play the themed-events for a two-hour block at any other time.
Classes and Characters
Team Fortress 2 features nine playable classes, categorized into offense, defense, and support roles. Each class has strengths and weaknesses, and must work with other classes to be efficient, encouraging strategy and teamwork. Each class has at least three weapons: a unique primary weapon, a common or unique secondary weapon, and a unique melee weapon.
- The Scout (voiced by Nathan Vetterlein) is a cocky, fast-talking baseball fan and street runner from Boston, Massachusetts, who practiced running to "beat his maddog siblings to the fray." He is a fast, agile character, armed with a scattergun, a pistol and an aluminum baseball bat. The Scout can double-jump and captures control points and pushes payloads twice as fast as other classes, but has the lowest health.
- The Soldier (Rick May) is more durable, but slower. A jingoistic American military man hailing from the Midwest (despite the fact that he was never actually in the Army), the Soldier is armed with a rocket launcher, shotgun, and a folding shovel. The Soldier can use his rocket launcher to rocket jump to higher positions at the cost of some health.
- The Pyro (Dennis Bateman) is a mentally unstable pyromaniac of unknown gender or origin, clad in a fire-retardant suit and a voice-muffling gas mask. In addition to a shotgun and fire axe, the Pyro is armed with a homemade flamethrower that can set players on fire. It can also produce a blast of compressed air that knocks away nearby enemies and projectiles, and extinguishes burning teammates.
- The Demoman (Gary Schwartz) is a black, one-eyed, heavy-drinking Scotsman from Ullapool. Armed with a glass bottle, grenade and sticky bomb launchers, the Demoman can use his explosives to provide indirect fire and set traps.
- The Heavy (Schwartz) is a large Russian from the Dzhugdzhur Mountains of the USSR, heavy in stature and accent, and obsessed with firepower. Though he is the slowest class, he can sustain and deal immense amounts of damage. His default weapons consist of his fists, a shotgun, and an enormous minigun that he affectionately refers to as "Sasha".
- The Engineer (Grant Goodeve) is a relaxed and intellectual "good ol' boy" from Bee Cave, Texas. The Engineer can build structures to support his team: a sentry gun for defending key points, a health and ammunition dispenser, and a teleporter. He is armed with a standard shotgun and pistol, and a wrench that is also used to repair, upgrade, and speed up building of his structures. He can also remotely destroy his structures.
- The Medic (Robin Atkin Downes) is a German doctor from Stuttgart with little regard for the Hippocratic Oath. The Medic's "Medi Gun" heals teammates and gradually builds "ÜberCharge"; on activation, the ÜberCharge grants boosts such as temporary invulnerability to the Medic and patient. The Medic is also equipped with an air-powered syringe gun and bonesaw. He keeps doves as pets, one of which is named Archimedes.
- The Sniper (John Patrick Lowrie) is a cheerful New Zealand ocker-style character raised in the Australian Outback, equipped with a laser-sighted sniper rifle to shoot enemies from afar and a submachine gun and a kukri for close combat.
- The Spy (Bateman) is a French double agent equipped with covert tools, including a cloaking device disguised as a watch, an electronic sapper used to sabotage and potentially destroy enemy Engineers' buildings, and a device hidden in his cigarette case that enables him to disguise as enemy players. Armed with a revolver, the Spy can also use his butterfly knife to stab enemies in the back or sides (known as a backstab), which instantly kills them.
Other characters include the Administrator (voiced by Ellen McLain), an unseen announcer who provides information about time limits and objectives to players, and her assistant, Miss Pauling (Ashly Burch). The cast has expanded with Halloween updates, including the characters of Merasmus, the Bombinonicon, and the Mann Brothers (all voiced by Nolan North). Also the machines in Mann verses Machine mode, they are A.I. controlled