Team Fortress 2 Xbox 360 Hands-On

Learn more about the wild multiplayer game that's shipping as part of The Orange Box.

If you listen to the developer commentary in Team Fortress 2, the multiplayer action game that's part of the upcoming Half-Life 2: The Orange Box package, there's an introduction from Gabe Newell, the CEO and founder of developer Valve Software, that pokes a bit of fun at the game's incredibly long gestation period. "Welcome to Team Fortress 2. After nine years in development, hopefully it will have been worth the wait," Newell says. Judging from some time with the game, it certainly feels like Valve has put years of work into designing and balancing this class-based action game.

Just hold still--this won't hurt a bit.

Of course, Valve didn't spend all nine years working on the game, though TF2 has come a long way since the media got an initial glimpse of it way back in 1999. First, here is some Team Fortress history. The original Team Fortress was a user-made mod, or modification, for QuakeWorld and was one of the very first team-based multiplayer games that introduced the idea of having distinctly different character classes in the mix. Instead of having everyone run around with the same guns and abilities, Team Fortress made you select what role you wanted to play on the battlefield. For instance, you could be a sniper, or a medic, or a demolitions guy, and so on. Valve later hired the creators of Team Fortress and got them to work on Team Fortress 2, which was originally going to feature modern combat. Then the game got moved to the back burner to disappear until it was resurrected and revealed last year. Gone is the modern combat setting and in its place is a very animated, Pixar-inspired look.

At the heart of Team Fortress 2 is the idea of team-based battles with nine distinctly different and colorful classes causing all sorts of mayhem. The soldier is the most "conventional" class because he's armed with a rocket launcher, shotgun, and spade (which is used as a melee weapon). The heavy is the "tank" of the game. He's slow, can absorb a lot of punishment, and armed with a bullet-spewing chain gun that can mow players down. The demoman is the explosives character, capable of launching grenades or placing them all over the ground as traps. The pyro is equipped with a flamethrower, making him utterly deadly in close quarters. The sniper can kill you from across the map. The scout can zip around with great speed. The spy can turn invisible or disguise himself as a member of either team. The engineer can build sentry guns, health and ammo dispensers, or teleporters around the map. The medic can heal teammates, as well as temporarily make them invulnerable.

It's the dynamic of all these characters working in tandem (or sometimes just running around) that makes the game a wild experience. That's partly due to the game's unique art style. Most games veer toward photorealism, but TF2 is decidedly artificial. It works because many tactics, such as "rocket jumping" (aim the rocket launcher at the ground, jump, and then fire, using the force of the explosion to hurl you skyward), seem silly in a "realistic" game but fit right into the cartoon visuals here. Each match starts with the characters all laughing and yelling, but it won't take long before you pick out the different personalities in the game.

Team Fortress 2 will only support 16 players on the 360, as opposed to 32 on the PC.

Team Fortress 2 will ship with six maps, but it's interesting that unlike in other games, different game modes cannot be played on each map. Instead, each TF2 map is associated with a specific game mode. For instance, the map 2 Fort is the only capture-the-flag map, where each team has "intelligence" located in their bases. The goal is to recover the other team's intelligence and return it to your base while protecting your own. Meanwhile, the Dustbowl and Gravel Pit maps are attack/defend control point maps, where one team has to protect control points while the other tries to seize them. Granary and Well are control point maps, where there are five control points that must be captured. The kicker is that you've got to capture them in order of the chain they are in: You can't sneak behind the enemies and capture their rearmost point if the one closest to it remains in enemy possession. And then there's hydro, which is a territorial control map. Hydro basically closes off portions of the map that aren't in play.

The Xbox 360 version of Team Fortress 2 is almost identical to the PC version in terms of content. The biggest difference is that while the PC game will support up to 32 players on a server, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games will only go up to 16. Our testing session at EA only had eight players at the most, so it'll be interesting to see what 16 players can do on these levels. Still, Team Fortress 2 is easily one of the coolest multiplayer games that we've played in a long time. The Orange Box ships next month.

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Discussion

246 comments
blazer7007
blazer7007

is this game only multiplayer (team fortress 2)

lifetaker10
lifetaker10

this game was good on the pc but the best one was team fortress 2 it was cool as hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ghostsniperzw
ghostsniperzw

I dont know wheather to get it on PC or Xbox 360....

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

TF2 will be a really good fun game, as the dynamics will vary everytime as different charactures are used, meaning that its not just a case of the biggest guns wins

playdennis
playdennis

Yeah same I wish they did Couter Strike Sourse 2.0 for x360 or something :D

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Personally i prefer originality and 'the something different" aspect, I love the Halflife story and TF, just wish they'd remake Counter Strike

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

batosaims There are more Ford cars on the roads than Ferraris

batosaims
batosaims

i think team fortress 2 looks amazing but i dont think its going to knock halo off the king of multiplayer throne halo 3 is going to be played for many more years to come still team fortress 2 looks badass

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

'esba160' I tottally agree! half of the ideas in Halo were nicked from Halflife in the first place anyway, Head Huggers >>>> Flood mmmmmm both turned normal characters into... well the dead / deformed versions of thier hosts. Halflife will always be the best, most inavotive FPS ever made!!

Taegre
Taegre

awwweee. Is little Expo_ Smacko gonna cryy? i think somebody needs their bottle and nappy-poo. it's okay Expo, the big bad video game won't eat you up. now GO TO SLEEP!

Expo_Smacko
Expo_Smacko

Cant' wait to get it for the 360 :-P

Bdking57
Bdking57

Im wondering if this game will be plagued by the same problem as shadowrun... hosts quitting kills the game.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Halo is just so.......... predictable, and massively overhyped, so many other games just the same with no real character. i got Halo, did it in 2 days, although the campaign is quite good the Multiplayer is tottal rubbish (reminicent of Shadowrun), everyone on my Friends list just go back to R6 Vegas as they've had enough of the multiplayer side, That is untill TF2 comes out, the gameplay is so dynamic and original, simply wannit now dammit!!! : )

Plasmabat
Plasmabat

If Only I had more money, I am picking Orange Box over Halo 3.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Simply cant wait to be a Spy so i can sneak up behind an engineer building a Turret then......KAPOWWWW!!! lol This is gonna be soooo much good FUN

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Plasmabat "32 players for PC vs. 16 for 360", this is the ONLY downside and its a bit of a shame but itll still kick ass on either platform. Which ever way you cut it, this is gonna be an amazing package from without a doubt one of the most inventive and imaginative games companies going, not afraid of trying something different, but then again why should they be when theyve created the best FPS ever, coupled with the best graphics Engine ever.

Plasmabat
Plasmabat

32 palyers for PC vs. 16 for 360.

jBusiness
jBusiness

It will be amazing. I wish there was cross-platform, because my computer is terrible, but my friends' computers aren't. This game has the minerals to be better than all FPS from Vegas to Halo, and for one quality reason: You can change up your tactics on the fly. Not working out as a Spy? Try Pyro. Try Heavy. Try Sniper. Teams can evolve and change to fit the environments and that alone makes it so this game could be standalone and still rock. Add Portal, and Half-Life, and you've got a winner that blows Halo 3 out of the water. I'm sick of running for the shotgun or the overshield/Active Camo/ Quad Damage/BFG. I've been doing this since Halo. Or Quake. Or Doom. Woo Valve.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

i own a 360 and love PC gaming too, i dont have an amazing spec PC but aint that bothered as the Source engine is without a doubt the best game engine currently available and dont have any worrys about running this on my PC, but will defo be getting it for my 360. Valve really are untouchable when it comes to FPS's, after all, they defined the genre and raised the bar for all other FPS games Halo included as people just want more than mindless, linear gameplay. This will be amazing!!!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I agree Jovux1188, the Spy & Mechanic also sound very interesting hehehe

Jovux1188
Jovux1188

I may just like this game more than I like Halo 3. My only worry is that this game is all objective-based and I find that the worst matchmaking playlist in Halo is the team objective, because if you get a bad team, you have little chance of winning. I assume TF2 has found a way to either correct this; or at least make the game fun while you lose. Either way, I can't wait to play as an engineer!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

All those standard FPS's (Halo included), if yer gonna make an FPS it needs to be special as the market is flooded with sub-standard cr£p ala Shadowrun, Valve Leads the way in originallity AGAIN! so bring on the Free-Man : ) Just cant wait for this, i wannit now dammit!!!!!!!!!! : )

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

This will be an amazing package, The best FPS coupled with a good fun multiplayer jaunt, fantastic, you can have your linear massively overhyped HALO cr$p, this will do just fine, cant wait! : )

x_kenney_x
x_kenney_x

esba160 stfu half life fanboy. look at team fortress 2 has cartoony ass charecters/graphics so shut up and stop hating on a good game. if its over hyped then why did you play it?

jbahari
jbahari

Oooooooooooooooooohhhhh!!!! He said you must suck. So stop complaining!!!!!!

chakan2
chakan2

"Best thing is though, is that I don't have to worry about how many of those 16 players are cheating/hacking" Did you ever stop and consider the fact that maybe you just really suck at the game. I hear the hacking complaint about CS: Source all the frigging time, and it's stupid. There's literally around 100K to 500K games going on at any given time. Just go find a server with a bunch of noobs and quit complaining. Unless the hack is totally blatant (god mode, or some really crazy stuff) I can usually keep up anyway, so it doesn't totally distract from the game. Hacking just doesn't help that much if you've got a good team and use some decent strategy. Oh, and I'm sure the Halo 3 hack is out there already or comming soon. So ready the excuses.

esba160
esba160

i dont know why people are so over hyping the friggin Halo 3.. it is the same game with polished graphics.. same art..with cartoon ass looking aliens.. which never impressed me anyway.. yeah the AI might be good but that is all. Microsoft just loves to hyping their isht up!! Go Valve, HL is still the best....

Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

vandrius This game is amazing. Got the PC beta at the moment. That said, I second what a few people have said - 16 players is a giant handicap for the consoles. The second I learnt it was 16 versus 32, I bought my PC version. 24 players is really the sweet spot, imo. Shame the consoles aren't supporting that. ========================================== Best thing is though, is that I don't have to worry about how many of those 16 players are cheating/hacking. All more players on PC means is that the game will be ruined by more people bcause of cheating. I'll take no cheaters over less people any day. :D And Before anyone says "Oh hacking isn't that bad your just paranoid" Come back here a WEEK after the game is released and then tell me it's not a problem. The only people that don't see or notice hacking on the PC are either too naive or don't know any better to notice when it's taking place. I've played too many years on PC to know that it's a big problem, EVERY game I have ever played MP in on PC has been ruined by it. And yes, there are anti-cheat programs like punkbuster or steam, but the anti-cheat programmers themselves will be the first to tell you that they are always a step behind the hacks and are constantly playing catch-up to the new ones that come out daily.

MetalZombieII
MetalZombieII

lynch03 You give Halo fans a bad name, please stop posting if you are just going to talk without trying this game Valve rocks and the Orange Box is going to be the biggest bang for the buck on the PC, 360 and PS3. In case you were not paying attention the Orange Box will come with Half-Life 2, Episode 1, Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portals. This is going to be easily the best compilations on PC, 360 and PS3. I am a huge Halo fan, but Half-Life 2 is even better and the Orange Box will rock.

harrassee
harrassee

i agree with vandrius, having 16 versus 32 players on the same map will drastically change the pace of play. i thought maps are usually designed with the # of players in mind, so i wonder if the console versions will feel barren or the PC version too crowded or chaotic. i used to play CoD2 on the PC and found it over-populated; i think the # of players on the CoD4 beta was just right for the map sizes.

ebinion
ebinion

"lynch03 I don't see why anyone cares about this low quality piece of software when Halo 3 is out." I hate to jump on you too, but Halo 3 was built on the idea of balanced combat. Shotgun takes out the sword. Battle rifle is accurate but not as deadly up close as the assault rifle. This is that same concept pushed out into the dynamics of the characters, quite brilliantly in fact. I guess some people just don't appreciate that concept.

james28893
james28893

Sorry "low quality" how? Oh right because it doesn't have a single player. Wow. Halo 3 doesn't have the biggest single player ever either now does it? Or if you're thinking that hey this isn't developed by Bungie so it's multiplayer's got to be bad then you're so wrong. Anything endorsed by Valve has been terrible though hasn't it.

exorzz
exorzz

lynch03 I don't see why anyone cares about this low quality piece of software when Halo 3 is out. lol halo fanboy team fortress 2 is an nice multyplayer game try it for an few hours and then speak again and that of the low quality ??? whats up with that guess you havent even played the game yet or not enough but that`s miy opinion.

HiResDes
HiResDes

This and COD4 have given me enough confidence to just go ahead and trade in my copy of Halo 3 after I beat it on Legendary. COD4's beta was absolutely amazing, and I've heard similar things about TF2

csstriker4
csstriker4

Does anyone know if this runs at 60fps?

butler14
butler14

"they claim that no matter how good of a computer you have, HL2 could never look as good on PC as it's goin to on 360...i guess we'll see." just lol "I don't see why anyone cares about this low quality piece of software when Halo 3 is out." Yeah, Valve are notrious for releasing low quality software. Like Half Life 2 with it's 35 GOTY awards.

CowMan07
CowMan07

when will team fortress ever come to a games machine i have?

lynch03
lynch03

I don't see why anyone cares about this low quality piece of software when Halo 3 is out.

waveddiamond
waveddiamond

yea im relly pumped about this so pump i went back to play counter strike and team fortress good old days!!!

vandrius
vandrius

This game is amazing. Got the PC beta at the moment. That said, I second what a few people have said - 16 players is a giant handicap for the consoles. The second I learnt it was 16 versus 32, I bought my PC version. 24 players is really the sweet spot, imo. Shame the consoles aren't supporting that.

darkscorcher
darkscorcher

I don't think its going to be fun unless you are playing with ALOT of people, just like the battlefield games. and 1 person with a dsl modem, is going to have a LAGGY A$$ game, playing hosting 16 other players

urnotmega
urnotmega

I've been playing the PC beta since the day before halo 3 came out. TF2 has sucked up far more time than halo 3 has so far. I'm running on a core 2 duo 4300, geforce 7600 GT, 2gb ddr - absolutely no problems. Perfect frames per second, graphics are pumped up (perhaps not to max, I forget), everything's totally smooth. If you have the power in your PC to run the game and enjoy team oriented games, TF2 might be for you. If your PC doesn't match up to the requirements, I ...suppose... you could go get it for the 360/PS3... I've yet to try those versions but I imagine I might end up enjoying halo 3 more than TF2 with a gamepad... The fast paced gameplay of TF2 begs for twitch mouse reactions. But hey, if it's your only option, I doubt you'll be disappointed :) And don't forget about the fun stats page :D http://steamcommunity.com/id/urnotmega/stats/TF2

spydiggity
spydiggity

they claim that no matter how good of a computer you have, HL2 could never look as good on PC as it's goin to on 360...i guess we'll see.