Monday, July 11, 2011

Team Fortress 2

I know I'm late to this party, but that's how I roll, I guess.  Let's just call it "fashionably late" and move on, shall we?

After the recent introduction of Free to Play games to Steam, Valve decided to make Team Fortress 2 a Free to Play game.

And holy crap, it's officially the best Free to Play game ever.  Admittedly, this wasn't a hard title to earn, but it just got a lot harder.

You actually get decent replay value for it, plus they can still make money off of you via the Mann Co. Store.  When you start playing as a new player after the F2P update, you will initially be limited in certain ways, but that changes if you buy something from the store.  Best part: unlike any other F2P game where the change would only be temporary, this change is permanent.  Essentially, everyone who had previously paid for TF2 was given a "premium account" that gets better drops, has more inventory space, and can initiate trades.  Anyone first starting out has a "free account", which lacks these things.

My account is now premium, because I got one of their summer camp promotion crates that expires after the sale ends and requires a special key to be purchased from the store to open it, and these keys turn into regular keys after the sale ends.  Fortunately, it wasn't too expensive to buy said key, but I don't think I'll bother with any more crates unless someone randomly decides to trade me a key, which they probably won't.  Also, when I made the purchase, Team Fortress 2 Beta popped up in my Steam game list.  I don't know what this is, and I don't want to infer something incorrect...

Now, what makes it the best Free to Play game ever?  I actually mentioned it two paragraphs ago: TF2 has plenty of replay value.  Every map, every server, every class, and every set of players is an entirely different experience.  The same can't be said for Spiral Knights, which essentially stagnates in gameplay in under an hour after initial character creation.  I guess the best way to sum it up is that since TF2 wasn't an F2P game and then became one, it actually had serious development resources and time put into it, as opposed to your typical F2P game developer just going "hey, let's shit out the bare shell of a game, and then charge exorbitant amounts of money to people that actually want to get anywhere in it!"

So, what are you waiting for?  Go install TF2 today!  You've got nothing to lose!

(also install Alien Swarm while you're at it, as it's completely free and was released long before F2P games were added to Steam.)

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