Team Fortress 2 - hands-on

This symbiotic relationship between the Medic and the receiver of his magical health beam allows for some great moments of strategic cleverness, and sometimes a nice bit of hilarity too. The ultimate achievement for a Spy, whose main ability is to go undercover and appear to be an ally to the enemy, is to persuade an enemy Medic to begin healing him. Not only does it make his disguise all the more convincing, but it provides excellent comic relief the moment the Spy's ruse is discovered and he's killed in front of the hapless and embarrassed Medic who was helping him.

Another returning hero from Team Fortress Classic, the Well map, has had a similar aesthetic overhaul, and now sports a train yard where previously there was none. On top of this, it's also become a control-point map, with a linear series of points that must be captured in order. As an Engineer, we found ourselves placing teleporters to move our teammates forward more quickly. Turrets were built, upgraded and repaired using metal found in guns and ammo on the battlefield, and dispensers were constructed to shovel ammo and health into the needy hands of other players on our team.

Part of the challenge of being an Engineer is placing turrets in the right spots- too far behind the combat and they're no help, too far forward and they're impossible to repair or upgrade without taking one between the eyes. All the while, information on the objects you build will appear on the HUD, telling you not only when they need repairing, but how much they're being used. And yes, seeing ten people use your teleporter really does make you feel loved.

Steve Hogarty

Steve Hogarty is a London-based freelance journalist covering games and technology. His bylines have appeared in publications including GamesRadar, The Independent, Yahoo, VICE, Eurogamer, and more. He is also the co-host of the pocast, Regular Features.