Thursday, October 28, 2010

Look at the pretty explosions!!!

People often ask me why I don't play TF2 anymore. I don't dislike the game at all. It is what it is, a fun, relatively easy to get into multi-player game that really should appeal to all FPS fans. I played the shit out of it when I first got it in the Orange Box several years ago now. I did have fun and played a wicked Pyro and Soldier at times.

But it didn't keep my attention forever and certainly not as long as some of my friends. As balanced and stylised as the game was, I always felt there was something missing, especially compared to TFC (the only TF game I played besides the Wolfenstein version). On first analysis you would simply say it is lacking two things:

a) A good chunk of game speed
b) Grenades.

Now that doesn't seem like much, right? The truth is, it really is. Game speed, whether it be movement (bunny hopping) or even projectile speed play a good part in what you can and cant do. If projectiles are fast but you are slow (even for a Soldier/Heavy) then your options for avoiding incoming damage are limited. You also traverse the map slower and the gameplay (in general) is not as ... frenetic (or something). Moving slowly, even for a Scout or Medic, is not as pacing if only other Scouts or Medics can do it. Simply put, choosing your class in TF2 really locks you into a definitive role where your strengths and weaknesses are incredibly obvious. Some may call this balance and excellent design, and I would have to agree. It is also ... a bit boring.

Grenades. You used to throw them and they would explode. You had your standard grenade, a really big mofo grenade (carried by the Heavy), concussion grenades and even nail spitting grenades (to name a few). I think the Medic and Pyro may have had some other interesting tools too, but whatever. They changed the dynamic of the game in ways you cannot imagine (unless you played it). Concussion grenade jumping was considered a skillful exploitation of game physics, pretty much allowing people to fly. Other classes could do this too, just not as well and not in such a ... conservative fashion (grenade jumping with a proper grenade is not really healthy). Nevertheless, you would sometimes see a bunny hopping Heavy go flying across the screen from a 'big mofo' grenade jump. It was awesome, hilarious ...

... and insane. This is probably what I miss the most about TF2. TFC was absolutely ridiculous. So much random crap happening with people flying and dying everywhere that it was almost impossible to not enjoy yourself. Hell, even dying was freaking awesome sometimes! I'm probably just a sucker for any game that has gratuitous amounts of nonsensical violence occuring so I may need to excuse myself when it comes to areas of apparent 'fun'. But hot damn, the memories of games that would turn into explosion clusterfucks, trying to push a flag through a crowded corridor one metre at a time were incredibly entertaining. Which reminds me! There is one aspect of TF2 that is sorely missing, something they never should have got rid of. Check this out:

Your hear that? You hear that beautiful music? That constant cacophony of explosions and bullets? That's normal in TFC! Sure, that video was a little over the top, but the lack of those explosions and heavy weapons fire is considered unnatual in TFC. People would laugh and say "wtf!?" when it stopped! I could sleep to that noise. All in all, I think that is what I miss about TF2 the most.

Oh I feel like another "State of FPS games" post is coming. Better put my ranting hat on again.

Note: Title of post is a quote from the character Tristana from League of Legends.

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