Cheap PC Gaming: Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 needs no introduction (but I’m going to give it one regardless). Making up a fifth of The Orange Box when it released in 2007, Team Fortress 2 has since had so much free DLC, from new game modes to the item crafting/trading, that the game has managed to remain relatively enjoyable even to those who have been playing it since release.

[drop]I find it a little unlikely that there’s going to be anyone reading this who doesn’t know what Team Fortress 2 is, but just in case I will explain the basics anyway. There are 9 character classes you can choose from, each divided into three types; offense (Scout, Soldier and Pyro), defense (Demoman, Heavy and Engineer), and support (Medic, Sniper and Spy). Each class has different weapons, abilities and health, as well as different uses and tricks to using them.


For example, a Soldier has a rocket launcher, a shotgun and a shovel as weapons – you can use the rocket launcher to rocket jump around (which, if you’re good, is considerably faster than walking, and can get you onto previously inaccessible areas, such as roofs). A Spy, however, can disguise himself as a member of the other team, turn himself invisible, sap enemy turrets/dispensers/teleporters and instant-kill with a backstab from his knife.

Scouts, meanwhile, are extra-fast and can double-jump, the demoman can use his remote-detonated sticky-bombs to lay ‘traps’, the medic can uber-charge allies (charge them with more than the regular maximum health), etc. All the classes have their own unique abilities and traits that, when used effectively in the right place at the right time, can swing battles in your team’s direction.

[drop2]All the classes are meticulously balanced – if there isn’t a health selection on a team it’s likely that team will fail quite quickly. The item pick-ups are also balanced – a weapons advantages will be balanced out by negative effects, such as the Pyro’s Axtinguisher deals more damage to enemies who are on fire, but less damage than the regular axe would do to enemies who are not. Item pick-ups themselves are random, but the more you play the more likely you are to get a weapon.

If there’s a particular weapon you really want, however, you can buy it from the Mann Co store for, frankly, slightly extortionate prices. Still, the option is there should you want to go that way. Some items can also be crafted, and most weapons (barring achievement weapons) can be traded with other players. In fact, there are servers devoted to helping you find someone with whom to trade.

The game doesn’t stop there, however. The modding community has welcomed TF2 with open arms and has released a great many maps and mods. In the video below you can see one such map – it’s in the style of Minecraft. Excellent news. Team Fortress 2 is available on Steam for £7, which is a bargain if you’re into multiplayer of any kind. Did I mention the game’s funny yet?

System Requirements

  • 1.7 GHz Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE)
  • Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP,
  • Mouse, Keyboard
  • Internet Connection


  1. Brink is very much in the TF2 camp but, for me, this is the definitive class-based FPS.

  2. Brilliant game!

  3. Yep totally awesome! If anyone’s in possession of the original Half Life try punching the cd key into Steam, goodies aplenty should appear!

  4. I’ve been aching to but I can never bring myself to buy it, it really does look a fun game.

    *adds to wishlist

    Wait… I should just buy The Orange Box *adds that to wishlist
    I’ve yet to play Portal and the Half-Life episodes. :(

    • I can’t tell you how much you should buy the Orange Box. All the games are AMAZING and nowadays its sooo cheap.

  5. I used to play TF2, but then they began rolling out updates with new weapons, hats and item drops, which pretty much ruined the game for me. I much preferred the “old” TF2; it was far more streamlined and fun to play without all the useless additions (which I suspect is how it still is on consoles). Nowadays it seems like Valve really wants to turn the game into an online RPG instead of a shooter.

  6. I was pleasantly surprised to find people still playing this when I got The Orange Box on PS3 a few months ago, but then I played it and thought it was rubbish. Sorry!

    The rest of the Orange Box is good though and I didn’t think I’d enjoy Half-life 2, but I did (although it is a bit dated gameplay-wise in places)

  7. Great articles these.

  8. My PS3 this week caught the YLOD and after the fiasco of the PSN going down i’m saying to hell with consoles and going back to PC gaming full time. I’ve bought some excellent games on Steam that were on sale and if you consider i bought Crysis 2 and Homefront for £36 (for both) it’s a no brainer that the PC is IMO the ultimate game machine.

    Gonna miss KZ3 though bahhhh! oh and TF2, well i’ve had more enjoyment out of BRINK tbh ;)

  9. Great game…
    Also I know the article states “PC gaming”, but it is worth mentioning that TF2 also runs on intel macs!

    (also finally made an account to join the great community here ^^)

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