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Game Analysis Team Fortress 2
by Dustin Treece on 09/29/13 01:39:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Team Fortress 2 (Xbox 360 – Multiplayer)

Successes:

+ Excellent balance between classes and different styles of play, no dominant strategies are present, even several years after its release. Points and rewards are balanced to take account for each class’ specific talents (medic gets points for healing, engineer gets points for teleporting teammates and getting kills with his sentry, snipers and spies get double points for getting headshot and backstab instant kills respectively).

 

+ Widely varied playstyles associated with each individual class makes for many different meaningful roles for players (set up defenses as an engineer, sneak behind enemy lines and takeout key targets as the spy, ambush players at close range and cause massive damage as a pyro, run in firing rockets at anything that moves as a soldier)

 

+ Maps are each designed specifically for each game type that is played there (one gametype per map (e.g. 2 Fort is a map which is exclusively for capture the flag), which allows each map to be designed with one game objective in mind, instead of one map having to accommodate various gametypes).

 

+ The mechanics of each class promote teamwork. (Each class has specific weaknesses and strengths, but by working together with players of other classes, their weakness can be masked and their strengths exemplified. Examples: The Medic is weak, but is makes his teammates stronger through his healing, over-healing and ubercharge. The engineer can use his sentry to hold areas single handedly, but is extremely vulnerable to spies and players that can get a good angle to hit the sentry to kill it without being shot. The engineer depends on his teammates to deal with combat classes trying to take out his sentry and to “spy check” for him).

 

+ The mechanics of each character’s movement, weapons and playstyles support their personalities and help flesh them out as characters. (Examples: The Heavy is slow, but has the highest damage dealing gun in the game, which enforces his love affair with his gun “Sasha” and his affinity for sandviches. The scout is fast moving and primarily only effective at close range, he’s best used for hit-and-run style of play. This makes sense with his big-talking and in-your-face attitude that has him move in to just long enough to grab a quick kill, and maybe make a smart comment, and then run away).

Failures:

  • The game has no real tutorial for new players. Each map has a short video explaining what to do on it, but no tutorials for any of the classes or any of the finer elements of gameplay like how the spy’s disguise works or how to build and upgrade the engineer’s creations.

 

  • Given that the game has a major focus on teamwork, and teamwork is tremendously benefited by communication, it would be ideal for them to include a way for players without microphones to communicate to their teammates, other than just calling for medic.

 

  • The game on the 360 is also plagued by many game-breaking glitches where players can travel through walls, and shot through them without being able to be shot back. Combine this with the engineer’s sentry gun, and it can become almost impossible for a team to overcome another team using this glitch.

 

  • Many updates and extra features were added to the PC version of the game, which fixed many of the game’s issues. However, almost none of these were implemented on the Xbox counterpart, which is a failure in ignoring a fairly large section of the game’s audience.

 

Thoughts:

~ Game contained a leaderboard that compared how many points each player earned in his or her best game. However, because players could earn points through various methods, they could vary easily just start a game and spend 8 hours going through their own teleporter (because the player earned a ½ a point each time someone used the teleporter). Needless to say, the leaderboard became useless instantly. Besides, the game is focused primarily on team-based play, not individual performance, so the game had no reason to include an individual leaderboard in the first place.

 

~ The spy has a very cool trick where he can disguise as a member of the opposing team, however he is only ever holding one type of gun for each class, which is often a dead giveaway. Perhaps it would be better for the player to get randomly assigned a weapon for the class when they disguise as it or have the option of choosing which weapon they’d like to appear to be holding.

 

~ Pyros wear gear that presumably protects them from the flames that they spray, but pyros take damage from the flames of other pyros, which doesn’t make sense.

 

~ The aesthetics for the Red and Blu bases are different, besides just the color. Blu is more industrialized and clean while Red typically has more of a country western look, with run down wooden structures. It is odd that these two teams come from completely opposing environments, but each class, besides the color, looks exactly the same as the same class from the other team. It would be interesting to see the industrial/western looks expressed in the character models as well.

Fixes:

O Expanding the amount of classes available would add even greater variety to the gameplay. So long as they’re carefully balanced with the rest of the classes, it wouldn’t upset the balance of the game. Why not add a flying or jetpack class that would take advantage of the verticality of many of the maps. It would also fit in well with the tech and atmosphere of the game’s aesthetics.

 

O Fix the game breaking glitches that allow player to get through walls or on top of the “skybox”.

 

O Change some of the points in Hydro to make them more balanced, as current design of the map leads to each iteration being balanced differently, which frequently results in specific iterations of the map largely favoring one team over the other.

 

O Add more maps or allow for different gametypes to take place in already available maps where they’d work (e.g. Capture the flag on Well).

 

O Allow for more communication from players without microphones. The PC version does this with a type chat and several shout commands that players can use to express themselves, without the use of a microphone. Opening up a scroll wheel of shout commands if the player presses a direction on the d-pad would enable players to quickly communicate with each other. The d-pad is used for switching weapons in game, but every class only has 3 weapons, so one direction (usually left) is never used.


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