If today’s entry seems short, it’s because a lot of this can reference Half-Life again. It is, you could say, the nature of this beast.
Team Fortress Classic is a remake of Team Fortress, a mod for Quake. It was remade by the original developers when they were hired by Valve, now using the Half-Life engine. The result is this game.
Basically, this is a multiplayer mod that offers several new match modes, with class-based play and several new maps.
I’ve always liked these sort of team-based shooters (even if I’m not that good at them). There’s something fun about sitting in a room with others and trying to work together to kill as many of the others as you can. We tend to skirt over the multiplayer mode of most games we review since if the single-player mode is a bit pants then what hope is there for the multiplayer. However, this is one of those rare games which is exclusively multiplayer… something that we have yet to come across. Also it appears to have been a HUGE influence on games like Timesplitters 2 and that is never a bad thing.
Team Fortress Classic is built for that, and just that. It’s very good at that and a lot of fun although I am looking forward to some more outrageous guns which can be found in fellow listgame Team Fortress 2.
But the game adds a twist. This probably isn’t the only game that does it, but as I don’t think I’ve ever seen it implemented as such, it’s worth mentioning here. Rather than all playing as carbon copies of each other – different looks, possibly, but really just with the same stats – you play as one of nine classes. Each have different abilities and weapons, and aside from shooting there’s types like the medic (heals others), engineer (create sentry guns and such to aid defense) and spy (dress up as another class, of your or the other team). This adds a nice additional layer to gameplay.
To this day there are very few games outside of the RPG genre that allow for different classes. In fact, off the top of my head I can not think of another game that have passed it off as well as the Team Fortress games.
As for gameplay, the additional modes added go a bit beyond capture the flag – there’s a one-sided version, but also something best described as ‘capture the base’ (known as Assault in Timesplitters), where you slowly push forward through the map, or prevent the other team from doing so. In the end that does feel balanced and is quite a bit of fun to play through.
Look, many of you are not going to play this on your own. This simply isn’t the game for that. You can get and install bots, but it’s not the same, and it’s not what you want.
Manic multiplayer is fun, and this game offers it. It also offers a lot of strategy and many more options than you normally see. It might be fairly singleminded… but with the time we spent on it (willingly!), it does seem like the game is very much worth it.