After a few years of playing the game on a daily basis, I can say that I wish they hadn’t made it Free to Play, because the constant rise in the number of kids playing this game ruins any kind of fun, and the only reasons why I keep playing it are boredom, to add points to level up my Strange quality weapons or to get achievements (because you’ve got hundreds of them to get).
Besides that, players just don’t understand the concept of team play anymore, even though the word “TEAM” is in the game’s name… and if you’re like me and enjoy playing as the Medic, you know how important team play really is in this game.
Even worse, with the rise of the taunts update, it seems that everything a player wants to do is just annoy all the other players and make them feel angry and miserable.
The game is about two identical teams of mercenaries, one wearing a pink red color, and the wearing a dark cyan color, who battle each other again and again, with various purposes like pushing a cart with a bomb to a destination (or preventing the opposing team from doing that), capturing each other’s intelligence (capture the flag mode), capturing check points on the map to win the match, and so on.
There are 9 classes available to play as, 3 for each category. The attack classes are The Scout, The Soldier and The Pyro, the defense classes are The Demoman, The Heavy and The Engineer, and the dedicated support classes are The Medic (the one I play the most as), The Sniper and The Spy.
Each class has its own abilities and weaknesses, like the Scout being faster than any other class, but one of the weakest regarding health, the Pyro being able to set things on fire, including enemy spies which are disguised as players of your team, Demomen setting sticky bomb traps or generally dealing a lot of damage in order to destroy enemy objects (or buildings, as they’re called).
The Engineer is able to build objects which help the team, like sentries to guard points on the map and automatically attack enemies (except for spies which are disguised as one of the other players from your team), dispensers which slowly heal players from your team and also supply them with ammo, and teleporters to help the team get to the point of action faster.
The Heavy is the one with the most health and can often act as a living turret gun to protect certain points or key players like the Medic.
The Medic, my favorite of all, although it is the weakest regarding both health and damage dealt when firing his primary weapon, is one of the most important for the team, as his secondary weapon isn’t actually a weapon at all. Instead it is a portable healing tool which also charges up to use a special ability (the “ÜberCharge”), unique for every kind of secondary weapon, from a few seconds of invulnerability to a few seconds of allowing the currently healed player to deal massive critical damage, or heal players much faster, in case the current situation doesn’t allow to fully charge for invulnerability or critical damage.
The Sniper and The Spy can deal head shots, and each of them has a special role. The Sniper’s most important job is usually to take out enemy medics so the enemy team can not deploy ÜberCharges or heal enemy players. The Spy, as mentioned before, can disguise himself as any of the players from the enemy team, can become invisible for a limited time so he can get behind enemy lines – literally, as one of his main abilities is the “backstab”, which literally stabs an enemy in the back, instantly killing them regardless of their health. Upon attacking, a Spy’s disguise is lost, and he is vulnerable to enemy sentries. He is also vulnerable if the enemy team starts attacking him because they noticed weird behavior.
Anyway, between 2011 and 2013 it was still well worth to play this game… but now it really isn’t. You’re more likely to get upset than to have any fun at all. Sorry. However, special events like Halloween might still be enjoyable, since every year they add new features to the game around that time (and also a lot of new cosmetic items, so you can empty your cash on this game from time to time).
P.S.: Speaking of getting achievements, you can view my personal Steam achievements progress for this game here (click).