|Min OS X: 10.4|
Requirements:Mac OS X: 10.5.8 | CPU: Intel Processor | RAM: 1 GB | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, or ATI X1600 or higher
Usually I like to try to start a review with something at least vaguely witty. At the very least I’ll try to jump into a broad brush critique of the gameplay. Technical issues, small details and so on I’ll leave to the end, by which time only the most dedicated readers will still be reading, and they probably care. In the case of Valve Software's Team Fortress 2 however, I really do have to begin with some technical advice. Before you install this game, make sure you have Snow Leopard. On my aging Macbook Pro, installing Snow Leopard (and the graphics patch for Steam games that comes with it) transformed Team Fortress 2 from glorious slideshow into a really pretty entertaining game. On newer Macs the difference may be less dramatic, but I cannot stress enough the importance of having the update; without it, the game was near enough unplayable.
Housekeeping done, let’s try to get into the actual review. Team Fortress 2 has been around on the PC for years now, but it only recently made the transition onto OS X, together with a lot of other big name Valve games – Half Life 2, Counterstrike: Source and Portal being the other obvious ones. Thankfully Valve have been rather good in that if you bought the game for your PC on Steam, you can now access the Mac version without incurring any additional costs – an example more developers should follow. And whilst the game is now a good three years old, it barely seems to have aged. Thanks to the vast number of updates implemented since the first release back in 2007, Team Fortress 2 is, if anything, more playable now than it was three years ago – Mac gamers have certainly not missed out on the games peak.
And how playable it is! Taking it’s visual cues straight from Pixar’s The Incredibles, TF2 is a splendidly violent, terrifyingly addictive multiplayer melee of a game. Playing as one of 9 characters, ranging from a rough and ready Australian sniper to a slightly sinister German doctor, your mission is to destroy as many of your enemies as possible in as many entertaining ways as you can. Oh, and possibly to try and capture the bag or hold terrain a little too as necessary. It’s not all individualistic run and gun gameplay though. As the name implies though, teamwork is key. As a medic, you are near enough useless unless you are pumping ‘ubercharge’ into other nearby players with more firepower. As a scout, you might capture the ‘intelligence’ quickly, but without the backup of snipers or heavies, you probably won’t get it back to base. Good players complement each other, choosing their classes effectively so as to get more kills, captures and wins. Bad players don’t, and their teams lose.