Today we’re retrospecting the original diversity and ingenuity of TF2 Characters.
As you surely know, CS:GO wasn’t the first Valve game that included a choice of characters to play with during its scrimmages, and it Counter-Strike franchise this choice was first limited, then fully randomised, only then to make it possible to choose agent models like you do with weapon skins. We thought it would be nice to look back to Team Fortress 2 as a source of many mechanics that were later introduced and polished in CS:GO, so let’s start off with the cast of classes!
Developing TF 2 Style
Team Fortress 2 is a cult classic at this point. Originating as a HL mod in its previous installment, it was originally meant to be a serious standalone sequel. However, a decision to go with a less serious art style and sprinkle the whole game with a lot of cartoon humor was apparently a bullseye. Although it’s been published in 2007 and hasn’t received any big updates in years (the last game modification being a 2012 Mann vs Machine cooperation mode), PC Gamer UK named it the 4th best game ever in its 2015 ranking.
While there were many plans and ideas for the content to be introduced into the game, and many were implemented over the years as expansions, deciding on a more limited content of the core game and developing the right set of characters worked like magic.
All TF2 classes were gradually introduced in their separate animated shorts, presenting each one with a unique character. They were also later developed through further cinematics in the game or animations published on the Internet. The specificity of each of them was not only gameplay-wise, but also based on the character’s vibe.
All Team Fortress 2 Characters
There are nine TF2 class names, sometimes grouped into threes of offense, defense, and support, but here we’ll try to see them as singular in terms of their presentation. Each of them also has a variety of alternative weapons to collect and ornament with skins, but these are pretty numerous and detailed, so each character’s equipment will be mentioned briefly and generally.
A little rough around the edges and simple-minded, but very dutiful and effective, this Yankee trooper might seem a bit generic at first, but simultaneously is the most versatile and easy-to-master class out of the whole roster. While a bit slow on foot, he benefits from rocket jumps that let him move through open spaces with surprising elusiveness. His stock equipment is a rocket launcher, a shotgun, and a shovel.
If you’re into speed, this is your man. Probably the youngest in the TF2 roster, this sporty chap brings a lot of energy to the team. His speed and relatively low entry damage from his weaponry reward a more hit-and-run playstyle, either as a distraction and maiming enemies before they get hit by stronger arms, or executing other strats that go with alternative loadouts. His stock equipment is a scattergun (a small shotgun), a pistol, and a baseball bat.
The German practitioner of medicine is not a random addition to the TF2 lineup. While traditional roles of the medics and healers in shooter games often comes down to being a mobile health pack distributor, in TF2 The Medic’s most important tool is his healing gun. With its use, he can remotely heal a teammate within the range of the beam. Additionally, at some point, the gun gets übercharged and provides 8-second invincibility for both the Medic and his ‘patient’.
From Germany we take a flight east, to Russia, to pick up the biggest man of all TF2 characters. One of the most recognizable classes of TF2. Although Heavy might seem like an attack class at first, he really shines as a defense master. His slowness doesn’t really make him good for onslaughts, and rather keeping enemies at bay with a barrage of minigun bullets. Works great supported by The Medic or The Engineer. His stock weapons are a minigun, a shotgun, and a pair of mighty fists.
Another trademark character, this time in the form of a face-concealing agent with a strong French accent. The king of disguise and deceit (and also a self-proclaimed pickup artist, as we learn from later TF2 movies), his role in a match can be very tricky to perform, but deadly to realize. Being able to pose as a different class, either from his or enemy team, brings a lot of confusion to the battlefield. Ultimately, with proper mastery, The Spy becomes a dangerous hitman that can take an opponent in a whim. His basic weapons are a revolver and a knife, but he also can use a sapping device, a PDA kit that lets him put on a disguise and a Invis Watch.
The silent death of the cast, The Pyro is a glass cannon that is hard to master, but very satisfying to finally play correctly. While their speed and range are less than satisfying, the amount of lasting damage one can inflict with the flames is colossal. Poor you if you haven’t noticed a Pyro hiding in the shadows just a couple meters aside. To top things off, their suit makes them immune to most fire damage aside from special weapons. Their stock loadout is a flamethrower, a shotgun, and a fire axe.
If you’re looking for versatility, The Demoman is your choice. This curse-spitting maniac is the soul of the battle. While not as fast as the Scout, he is comparably mobile. While most of his damage is area-distributed and based on splash hits, this is supplemented by an incredible melee strength and versatility, so a combo of a big explosion and a hit to the head usually does the job. His stock weaponry is a grenade launcher, a sticky bomb launcher, and a bottle.
The most stationery of all the classes, The Engineer finds his strength in supplying the battlefield with a plethora of devices which either support your own team or decimate the opponents. Dispenser supplies your teammates with health and ammo, Sentry guns shoot a barrage of bullets into the enemy team and teleporters allow you to quickly move between remote parts of the map. While the ability to build leaves The Engineer more vulnerable than others, it’s not like he cannot stand ground himself, especially with alternative equipment. His stock equipment is a shotgun, a pistol, a wrench, and both Construction and Destruction PDAs.
He comes from New Zealand, and he harbings death – but not a brutal one, professionals have standards. While camping and sniping is a dark art of shooter games, with The Sniper it’s taken to the level of an art. While lousy play will be paid for in blood, because of Sniper’s overall vulnerability, getting the right timing and precision awards the team with kills. Remember – just aim at the head! Starts with the stock equipment of a sniper rifle, a submachine gun and a kukri.
Which Team Fortress 2 Class Should I Choose?
This might sound like an easy way out, but, believe me, try them all out! I myself have been hanging on the role of The Scout for so long that I missed out on most of the other classes and was totally useless when the hit-and-run was not necessary for the team. But, it’s not easy to max out nine different playstyles, so here’s a thing you can do.
The Soldier, The Scout, and The Pyro are offensive classes. They are the most useful ones if you want to engage strongly in combat and deal with the damage. The Demoman, The Heavy, and The Engineer are best for defense, so if you’re more about waiting for your opponent to come from around the corner and blast them to death, they are your choice. However, if you like to be the satellite player who’s better at supporting or finishing off wounded enemies, choose The Sniper, The Spy, or The Medic, but remember that the last one will be usually very crucial amidst the most heated crossfire.
After you get a hang on the class you like the most, try branching out and seeing if you can play other roles. In the end, TF2 is about team play, so it’s important to remember that you need to do your part for the team!
TF2 Classes – Summary
This way you’ve learned all the TF2 classes names, learned what they are capable of and what is their intended strategy. The game plays a lot with its own tropes, so the alternative, unlockable equipment lets you execute totally different strategies. However, there are many variables for each character, so it would probably require a separate article about each one of them. Let us know if you’d like to read that!