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Team Fortress 2 Hands-On Preview

e’ve given you the past and present details about Team Fortress 2 from the developers in our extensive interviews, (Part 1, Part 2) there’s one more slice that’s missing. How exactly does it play? We were fortunate to be one of the few people to actually get our hands on the new version of Team Fortress 2, and from the time we actually got to play we came away completely impressed. Regardless of the fact that the team has changed up quite a bit of the TF formula, we understand the decisions made.

For the record, Team Fortress 2 is still under development, and while I played the game just a few weeks ago game elements are always changing. Not everything in this hands-on preview may be reflected in the final product.

Unfortunately I was not able to play all six of the maps in my visit, I did get to see 4 of the six maps including Well, dustbowl, 2fort, and the new map Hydro. The other two maps, were not playable. Coming from a serious love for the Team Fortress franchise and having years upon years of history with the game in its previous incarnations I believe I held up pretty well against the team at Valve.

When starting out a match, you have to pick a player class. The new class menu arranges everything in play type – offense, defense, or support. While mainly cues for newer players to figure out which way they want to play the game, you can obviously play the game however you want to. All of the original classes have made a return, yet those who have played previous iterations of Team Fortress may see a number of key differences to each of the loadouts.

Here’s a complete listing of the classes with full descriptions courtesy of co-creator of Team Fortress and current designer and Engineer at Valve, Robin Walker.

Heavy Weapons Guy

The slowest, most powerful class, the Heavy carries a massive minigun capable of clearing roomfuls of enemies. He's vital on defense to deal with Scouts, who can easily avoid Soldiers and Demomen. If you're a player who wants to be in the thick of the action, but your aim is a little rusty, the Heavy is the perfect class for you.

Primary Weapon: Minigun
Secondary Weapon: Shotgun
Melee Weapon: Fists


The nastiest class to run into when turning a corner. The flamethrower produces a massive amount of damage over a short range, making the Pyro the most lethal close-quarter class there is. Pyros are often seen playing a defensive role near the front line, ambushing enemies as they enter tight spaces. On offense, they're terrific at harassing the enemy's defense, since it's hard to maintain a solid defensive line when you're on fire. 

Primary Weapon: Flamethrower
Secondary Weapon: Shotgun
Melee Weapon: Fire axe


The defensive backbone of any team, the Engineer builds useful devices such as sentry guns, health & ammo dispensers, and personal teleporters.

Tactical placement of these devices and the ability to maintain them under fire are the keys to being a successful Engineer. If you're better at planning and thinking than fighting, you're a natural born Engineer.

Primary Weapon: Shotgun
Secondary Weapon: Pistol
Melee Weapon: Wrench
Other Weapon: Construction PDA


A versatile combat class packing an absurd amount of high explosives, the Demoman is great at holding a map's choke points. Whether he's shutting down an enemy route by laying sticky bombs along it, shelling an area with long distance grenade fire, or simply blowing up anything that blocks the team's way, the Demoman is the class of choice for anyone interested in making a lot of noise.

Primary Weapon: Sticky Bomb Launcher
Secondary Weapon: Grenade Launcher
Melee Weapon: Bottle


Nobody beats the Sniper at long-range combat. With a little time to find a perch and dig in, he can significantly slow an enemy advance. If knocking the helmet off a Soldier at 400 paces sounds fun, then the Sniper is the class for you.

Primary Weapon: Sniper Rifle
Secondary Weapon: Submachine Gun
Melee Weapon: Machete


The core of any offensive push, the Soldier comes armed with a devastating rocket launcher. Faster and slightly more fragile than the Heavy, the Soldier's a true all-arounder. From taking out Engineer sentry guns to using his rockets to launch himself into the air, the Soldier is useful in a wide variety of situations. If you're an old school deathmatcher, or just quick on your feet in the middle of combat, the Soldier's your man.

Primary Weapon: Rocket Launcher
Secondary Weapon: Shotgun
Melee Weapon: Shovel


The Spy excels at the black arts of infiltration and assassination. With the ability to disguise himself to look like an enemy, or even become fully invisible on command, the Spy creates havoc behind enemy lines. He's an enemy's worst nightmare - a dangerous foe indistinguishable from a friend. If you prefer guile to brute force, the Spy is what you're looking for.

Primary Weapon: Revolver
Secondary Weapon: Cigarette case, Disguise Kit
Melee Weapon: Butterfly Knife
Other Weapon: Sapper

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