Team Fortress 2 for Linux Review
key review info
- Game: Team Fortress 2 for Linux
- Platform: Linux
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Team Fortress 2 is probably one of the most successful cooperative first-person shooters in the history of gaming, and a Linux version has been made available by Valve.
We’re going to take a closer look at the pinnacle of online gaming and see how it’s fairing on Linux.
Team Fortress 2 was initially launched back in 2007, as a part of the Orange Box, but Valve started to sell it as a standalone package soon after. It eventually went free-to-play and made its debut on the Linux platform at the start of 2013.
I mentioned the term free-to-play and I feel that an explanation is in order, especially for Linux gamers that don’t have a lot of experience with Windows games.
Valve initially launched the game with a price tag. Steam users would buy the game and play it. The free-to-play model means that the game is now offered for free and the developers make money from microtransactions.
Most developers out there sell better weapons and armor with this microtransaction model, but Valve only sells accessories that have no effect on the gameplay.
They simply count on the player’s narcissism who wants to look better than everyone else, usually with a fancy new hat.
The only way to get Team Fortress 2 is to install Steam for Linux. The game is not available on disc and you’re going to need a Steam account anyway. We have detailed the installation of the Steam client in other reviews, but here it is, again.
You can download the .deb file from the official Steam website and run it with a simple double click. This action will open Ubuntu Software Center, which will take care of the rest (you can also install straight from USC, but you're going to need an account and that's too much of a hassle).
The second method is somewhat cleaner and it's done in a more purist way. Download the .deb file from the Steam website, open a terminal, navigate to the location of the file, and enter the following command:
sudo dpkg -i steam.deb
If the installation fails because of some missing dependencies, just enter the following command in the same terminal:
sudo apt-get install -f
The command will trigger the dependency download and the rest of the Steam .deb installation.
The word Team in the name of the game describes what’s happening when you’re going online. Other games have claimed to be cooperative in the past, but just the existence of a team doesn’t make it so.
Games such as Counter-Strike or Unreal 2004 also featured teams of people working together for a common goal, but Team Fortress 2 takes this challenge to another level.
Players can choose from three distinct classes, each one with tree players. The offensive class comprises the Soldier, the Pyro, and the Scout. The support class has the Sniper, the Medic, and the Spy. The defensive class features the Engineer, the Heavy, and the Demoman.
There are no good or bad characters and all of them have a very specific role. In order for a team to win, the players will need to make good use of all classes and characters.
The gameplay itself comprises different multiplayer modes. Some of them might seem similar to those of other games, and others can be found only in Team Fortress 2.
The Team Deathmatch mode or Arena is probably the most common gameplay mode. It’s not the classic Deathmatch found in other multiplayer titles, mostly because the players don’t respawn after being killed and the game only ends when one of the two teams controls a central point on the map.
The most played mode is the classic Capture the Flag, or in the case of Team Fortress 2, “capture the briefcase.” Players have to capture the enemy’s briefcase and deliver it to their own base.
Other, less played, modes are Control Point, King of the Hill, and Mann vs. Machine. The modding community is pretty active and maps are created all the time, along with variations of the gameplay modes.
The Valve developers also made a huge amount of changes over the years, keeping the game interesting, and there is no sign of slowing down. They even went on record saying that Team Fortress 2, with its free-to-play model, is their most profitable title.
Team Fortress 2 is the ultimate multiplayer experience. There is nothing like it and just the fact that it’s free raises its value even more.
It features a large assortment of modes that provide hundreds of hours of pure and unadulterated fun. The game also has very low system requirements and the graphical engine is quite scalable.
New players will get a little intimidated at first, mostly because of the huge number of options that confronts them right from the start.
In Valve’s defense, the game features a small tutorial in the main menu, but the brunt of the learning experience will have to come from the initial humiliation that any player will feel during his first hours of gameplay.
- Amazing cooperative experience
- Large variety of multiplayer modes
- Huge modding community
- Steep learning curve
There are other multiplayer games available for the Linux platform and most of them are free. Team Fortress 2 blows most of them out of the water. It’s an amazing multiplayer game that will capture the Linux audience, without any exceptions.