Posts Tagged ‘Go-Team!’

The Complete Go Team!

The Class of 07

Since the Team Fortress Beta went live, the collective bodies of Rock, Paper, Shotgun have been running around with cartoon projectile weapons pretty much non-stop. When that “Pretty much” kicks in, we have a break and write about Team Fortress 2, just to mix things up and keep it fresh. The following are the nine short critical examinations (with gags) of the character classes that Jim, Alec and myself conjured up with special Word Science.

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Go Team! Part 9: The Spy

I’m trying to work out what’s changed.

Spies can damage your health.

Back in Team Fortress Classic, I was all over the spy. Hell, I played under the name KING SPY! such was my delusions of grandeur – and, being such a mediocre spy, they really were delusions. But now, I only really don the Balaclava of Backstabbing when the game dictates our team needs one – an area too packed with turrets to be penetrated with anything short of a medic/heavy-ubercharge-combo, a stalemate in a narrow area with all the teams facing a single point, whatever. I do the job with surgical precision and then get the hell out.

Why don’t I love the Spy anymore? What’s changed?

After some serious head-scratching, I worked it out

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Go Team! Part 8: The Scout

We’ve been having a bit of a chat about the scout’s character. Well, more precisely his apparent lack of it. Unlike the other grizzled, weird, or exuberant Team Fortress classes, this is a character with a distinctly indistinct mannerism. He’s just some skinny guy. There are no towering personality traits to latch onto, no cuddly cartoon charisma to grab hold off. In fact, he’s not loveable in any way: he’s an nasty little thug.

Think about it: while even backstabbing bastard Spy has a certain panache, the scout is a dude in a cap and T-shirt who sounds a little too smarmy and self-satisfied.

And really, what does he have? His gimmick is nothing more than his pace. He can run faster than the others – he can get across the map in half the time of his larger chums. But that’s it. Nothing doing.

This is why I love the scout best.
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Go Team! Part 7: The Soldier

When the team clearly needs a medic and no-one else is doing so, I play a medic. When the team clearly needs to an Engineer – and, despite the current wave of wrench-monkeys filling servers, it does happen – I’ll play an Engineer. When the team clearly needs a Spy and no-one is, I play a Spy.

But when I get to pick, I pick The Soldier.


The Soldier is Team Fortress showing its cultural roots. Always remember that it was a Quake mod and, far more than anything else, the Soldier is the character who has still got one foot in that prehistory. It’s all in his primary weapon – the rocket-launcher. Doom’s most iconic weapon was the shotgun. Quake’s, due to the addition of the true vertical axis and the emergence of a certain skill we’ll be getting to in a minute, was the Rocket-launcher. The Rocket-Launcher, fundamentally, hasn’t changed much from Quake 1. Yes, it shoots slower. Yes, you have less ammo. But the abilities it feeds off are right there. You’re still playing to its strengths, and it’s still working.
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Go Team! Part 6: The Engineer

Listen buddy, this is my home. You shouldn’t be in here. Have [CLANG] a [CLANG] little [CLANG] respect [CLANG].

I’m an Engineer. That means I’m not interested in you. I’m interested only in my work. If it so happens that my work is near something that’s important to you, that’s just dandy. Just don’t expect me to go where you ask, and definitely don’t think I’ll come join you on your damn-fool crazy errand to the other side of the tracks. Me, I’m setting up shop right here.

There’s two ways to play the Engineer (well, three, but if you’re running around in the enemy base with your feeble shotgun out, you ain’t doing it right). Semi-offensively, and defensively. The former involves setting up a front line, dodging the slings and arrows of outrageous fortressmen to set up teleporters and turrets that help keep your team pushing forwards.

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Go Team! Part 5: The Sniper

I don’t know about you, but The Sniper seems a little, well, disconnected. I mean I’m there in the fight alright, but I’ve usually got something on my mind. That thing is usually the other sniper.

While Team Fortress 2 happily throws up the “Nemesis!” tag for those enemies you give you a kicking once too often, it doesn’t acknowledge the real battles that are taking place. The most defined of these are the duels between opposing snipers. There’s always one, and he’ll always be devoted picking you off first. And so the sniper respawns and has one target in mind: the guy on the enemy team. The fight devolves from one where the sniper is an element of supporting, long-range firepower, to one where there’s only a single goal: to stop the other sniper being effective. It’s a duel like no other in the game.
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Go Team! Part 4 – The Pyro

Continuing our class-by-class ranting about Team Fortress 2. See here, here and here for the story so far.

Important update: this article was written in the earliest days of the TF2 beta, before The Pyro was patched to become more effective, and is subjective account of how it felt to play him then, not a review of the class. Please bear this in mind before you shout at me that I’m wrong and stupid.

I’m so lonely. No-one hangs around with the Pyro. Is it the gasmask, the fact they can’t see my face or understand what I’m saying creeping them out just a little? Really, that mask isn’t even necessary, making it a vaguely perverted affectation. Or is it the rodent-like hunched pose and thin-legged scurry, making me too ridiculous a sight to be taken seriously? All the other classes have a certain superheroic nobility to them; the Pyro’s just a little laughable to look at.

Click to continue, or you shall surely burn. Burrrrnnn! Read the rest of this entry »

Go Team! Part Three: The Demoman

Defence is the best form of attack. Is that right? No: attack is the best form of attack, and the engineer’s turrets are the best form of defence. So where does that leave the Demoman? Well, he’s the midfielder of death. Neither truly an attacking class or a defensive class, he’s just lobbing damage into the middle of the map and hoping for the best. Most of the time, of course, he’s coming up trumps: how many times has your demise been a grenade in the face?

No other class quite boasts the versatility or the punch of the Demoman. The grenade launcher has two possibilities: pumping out explosive charges, or placing stickybombs, either as fire-and-fergedaboudit mines, or as traps to be detonated later on. As Demoman you’re most likely to be an unsung hero – who else is going to be able to turn a corridor into a death-trap at the squeeze of a mouse-button? Who else bounces a grenade round the corner to take out a turret without risking a follicle on your cell-shaded scalp?
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Go Team! Part Two: The Medic


Yeah, seriously. I’ll get to you. I’m talking.

The sensual hands of a healer.

There’s many of reasons why people become a medic in a first-person shooter. They’re especially true in TF2.

For me, there’s two big ones. I’m sure there’s some people who do the healing thing out of pure altruism. Hell, there may even be pacifist players out there, who doesn’t believe in ultra-violence even when it’s as slapstick as a paint-balloon. There’s certainly some who enjoy being that go-getting team player – not true altruism, but the pleasure of being a cog in a well-oiled machine. In the case of Team Fortress 2, someone will be attracted to the clinically-dry persona of the Teutonic Medic, half-way between a Nazi Evil ( not mad) Scientist and the voice in a GPS guidance system. You may even just pick it by accident. But not me. Here’s why I play the medic more than anything else…

1) I don’t need to shoot straight.
2) I like to win.

Let me explain.

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Go Team! Part One: The Heavy

Greetings, people who should be playing Team Fortress 2 but are for some reason reading websites instead. Below is the first instalment in a nine-part series of semi-reviews in which we critique (or at least babble enthusiastically about) the various classes of TF2. Don’t worry, they won’t all be by me – other members of RPS will be along to say something far cleverer than I very soon.

Currently, we’re arguing amongst ourselves about who gets to write-up what, but I managed to sneak my stand-out favourite out of the pack while the others were distracted by all the hair-pulling and face-scratching. I’m still pretty much stricken with the sheer joy of playing him, so the following is perhaps not the most objective discussion of him. Still, that’s love for you. Rearrange the words ‘more’ and ‘read’ into the correct order to continue.

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