NOTE: The following review is completely outdated. At this point, it is a historical document only. Too much has changed in TF2 for the review to be a fair comparison anymore. It is only interesting reading if you want to know how things were before the major changes.
So that you don't feel clicking on this link was a complete waste of time, I'm throwing in a TF2 mini comic I made.
Early impression between TF2 and BF2142 by Masked Makrel
Having spent a short time playing TF2 and more than a year
playing BF2142, it would be impossible to make a definitive comparison, but at
this point I still prefer BF2142. Let us
begin with some of the highlights and differences between the games.
TF2’s cartoon graphics (stylized) are absolutely gorgeous. Even on a low end rig like mine, the game play looks gorgeous. The effects are awesome and the level of detail is impressive. I have to give them credit for creating a beautiful environment. It feels like an ACME cartoon. Graphically, I have no complaints about anything so far. I have seen a glitch involving the frames, instead of the graphics once already, but I simply reloaded and it was fine.
The frame rates are very good and the servers seem very
stable. No server crashes yet. BF2142 has subdued colors and plays on
hues. The level of detail on BF2142 is
gorgeous as well, however, you really need a high end rig to see full beauty. I have only one complaint about the graphics
in BF2142- they require horsepower. I
genuinely appreciate TF2’s ability to provide a rich experience to those of us
who otherwise would be left out.
No complaints about TF2 graphics, they really are awesome.
TF 2 is stable and feature rich. One problem which I have encountered is logging onto servers. Although the servers say they are empty and it begins loading them, by the time I am half way through loading, I get kicked. This is a colossal waste of my time and somewhat frustrating. Also, while there are hundreds of servers running, it seems like only a few are properly populated with decent pings.
On the other hand, the chief complaints about BF2142 simply have not been present. There is no “Titan” lag or ram stutter that I have noticed. Once loaded, the maps play fine. I have seen a few times when there are tons of people firing and moving about an increase in lag, but nothing like the kind of lag you get when some idiot decides to spam the titan shields. We are far from a lag free environment in online gaming, but so far lag has not been a serious problem on TF2. That is not to say it does not exist. I did experience lag on a 2Fort which paralyzed my player for a while.
Communications online were very effective. The in game microphone worked fine for me. I had no problem communicating to other
players. I enjoyed not crashing and
being able to hear people talk without much trouble. No server I played on crashed. No real squad mode so nothing to compare it
to there. Some servers apparently allow
streaming in game music during play.
That seems like a nice feature and it reminds me of the days of
One complaint I would make is the number of off-topic
comments made during game play. I do not
mind an occasional rant about the New England Patriots, but I have to say that
a TF2 server is probably not the place to start in with sex talk. (I will make an exception for hotties who
want to talk to me). Seriously, mic
spamming is a problem in this game. I do
not know how the mute feature works yet, but I hear you can mute other
I do not know if there are “ranked” servers. I do know there are no brevet ranks. This would, I assume, reduce some of the hacking that is going on in BF2142. I did not notice anything too suspicious, but a number of players complained in game about there past experiences with hackers and aimbotters, so I am sure there is plenty of problems in the TF2 world as well.
Class Based System
Let us begin with the positives. The game is very accessible to beginners. It is a little strange that noobs on BF2142 walk slower, have less stamina, and have almost no weapons at precisely the time you would need them most- when you are starting out. The irony is that I can now pretty much play BF2142 even from the start, but that was not always true. Each class is very distinctive and plays a different role. This means, like BF2142, the class strengths are situation and map based.
The classes supposedly have different roles. This does seem to be born out during game play. If you are attacking an engineers role is reduced (though not insignificant) as a defense class.
When TF2 first came out there were no unlocks. This meant that noobs could not be owned by vets with better weapons. TF2 recently came out with a major patch which added a new map and its first unlock tree for the medic class. The move was met with enormous skepticism. I enjoy having unlocks and like to be able to customize my characters. However, beyond merely changing this play dynamic, there was some controversy over the way in which the system was launched.TF2 decided that it would begin introducing unlocks through the medic class alone. This meant that the servers were suddenly gutted with medics. Many people complained that this ruined the team play and disrupted normal gaming balance. I agree with them, but do not feel any need to blame the players for trying to get the achievements and new unlocks. Why wouldn't they?
The one class I did play extensively was the Engineer class. It is similar to BF2142 support class.
In BF2142, you can deploy a resupply kit and a sentry in a few seconds. You always carry an ammo box with you and you never really run out of anything like bullets, grenades, or any other supply since you can simply resupply yourself.
In TF2, the supply box is replaced with the
“dispenser”. The dispenser can heal as
well as resupply your tools. This makes
it a combination medikit/supply box.
Very helpful on the battlefield.
Unfortunately, it is not very portable.
You can only build one at a time.
While this seems similar to BF2142 where you only get one supply/medic
box at a time, it is different in several ways.
First, you have to destroy your old “dispenser” to build a new one. This requires you to navigate a rather
cumbersome menu and select what it is you want to destroy. I would have preferred that it might key you
to destroy the old box when you select building a new one. This extra step slows things down on the
battlefield and seems unnecessary.
You need materials to build things. TF2 tries to compensate by leaving items around the battlefield that you can collect. So you can find heath and supply kits which regenerate after a short period of time. I prefer the realism of BF2142 to this traditional system of game play.
The second problem is that while you can upgrade your sentry, it is a very painful process to do so. I spent so much time just building the sentry, it is as if I have been taken out of the battlefield. You build a dispenser, then you build a sentry, then you build entrances and exits (squad leader beacons). None of this is nearly as fluid as BF2142, which has sentry and SL beacons built so fluidly into the game, one never forgets one is on the battlefield.
More over, I found that sometimes I did little more than “babysit” my sentry gun. (The sentry is supposed to protect you- you are not supposed to protect the sentry!) I tried to protect it from “spies” which is almost impossible. I tried to keep it from getting blown up. I spent more than eight minutes in a game just tending to the sentry gun. Finally, I got bored and ventured out into the map where I was promptly killed. Along came a spy and I had to rebuild everything. Ironically, I was also told that I had set a new record for my “survival” time. But it was a tad boring.
On the other hand, once a suitable location for a sentry was found, I simply had to sit back and wait for the kills to come in. On servers in which you had to record a certain amount of kills before getting “regular” points, I found the engineer/sentry combo was the fastest way to rack up a ton of kills.
The Squad leader beacons in 2142 solved the entrance exit problems that are apparent in TF2. I think the entrance exit thing is a throw back to BFV days with the tunnels. In the future, a squad leader simply places a beacon and anyone in their squad can spawn there. In TF2, the Engineer kit must build both an entrance (usually near the team’s initial spawn point) and an “exit”beacon where you appear. This was cumbersome. At the same time, the teleporter takes 30 seconds to charge which means even in ideal circumstances, I was only able to get about 30 transports in a round. Unfortunately, I did not transport people far, just to the other sewer and we had to fight our way up the heavily defended stairs. Ideal placement has only occurred a few times (say next to the enemy intel). I guess they did not want to make it too easy, but maybe a shorter build time would have made the teleporter better.
The fact that it takes a long time to build an entrance and an exit is also not fun. I can understand maybe an initial build time, but the truth of the matter is, by the time the “exit” is built, it is often overrun and destroyed. A squad leader beacon has similar problems in BF2142, but at least it does not take much time to place. Communicating this information as to where the entrance and exits is tiresome, but the in game mic did its job.
I think TF2 needs to move towards a system of creating a mobile spawn point and abandon the “entrance/exit” category. The Spy class or the engineer class could carry and place this beacon. Maybe limit the number of people in the class. Not really sure, but the point is at present the teleporter is unnecessarily cumbersome.
Overall, the construction/deconstruction process is a bit slow, so it probably requires hot keys to master. Scroll select Build, choose number is takes too long. Even if there are only 4 menu items it gets tiresome. I literally failed to build things “in time” for my team. For example, setting up a sentry over the briefcase at Fort2 took so long that they already took the briefcase before the sentry was built.
So they could really improve the engineer class. Overall, I believe that BF2142’s support class is a much better implementation of this idea. The sentry gun in BF2142 is quick and easy to set up. It can be destroyed, but rebuilding a sentry does not take a day. The ammo box does its job well and is not as cumbersome as the dispenser. Both the HMG and the shotgun are better weapons in BF2142. The support class has a lethal weapon in the shotgun in BF2142, but the same simply is not true of the engineer in TF2.
Still I had a lot of fun with the engineer class in TF2.
The medic class is hampered by a lack of decent weaponry. I tried to use the medic gun, but it rarely seems to kill anyone. Spend some time aiming at the target and you learn how strange the weapon is to fire. It seems to get more accurate with range but deviates at close quarters. The second gun, which I have unlocked , was a vast improvement over the first weapon. It does more damage and heals people. It is acceptable at killing. In fact , the first unlock upgrade should have been the default gun.
I suppose the uber charging is what the medic is all about, but honestly being the medic is not as fun as being the uber’d heavy. I do not think being attached by an “umbilical” cord is the same as team play. It is also frustrating not to have any offensive capacity while healing.
Actually, the uber mode is pretty cool but it takes just a bit too long to charge up. It is a challenge to stay alive long enough to go uber. I think they should reduce the time it takes to uber up. I found myself desperately trying to stay alive for a few uber moments. Attached to a player who knew how to be a “heavy” or a soldier, we made up some serious ground as we raided their base. We could also escape with the briefcase a lot safer.
uber mode also does not work when you are carrying the briefcase or
when you need to move the cart on "goldrush", por ejemplo.
The medic class can score some surprising kills with its needle gun and the bonesaw is very effective. I liked supporting teammates and the medic was okay for this. Still, I felt as if offensively I was a bit too hindered.
I definitely appreciate the class much more after the latest patches were released in April. The new medic class is much stronger. The medic is able to effectively kill people. Before the upgrade, I could hardly score with the medic class and found it frustrating to play. After the upgrade, the medic was nerfed a bit and my points and time playing went way up. I actually killed 3 people in a row with the gun! I became far more proficient with the bone saw. Yes, many people complained about the imbalance of everyone playing medic, but let us be honest- it was fun to have some achievements. They could have released more class achievements at once to retain some game play but it was a guilty pleasure to try to get some unlocks and gave me something fun to do while I played. Eventually, I sank back towards a more team oriented play style and relaxed a bit (after I got my first unlock). I think the patch was a positive step forward.
The medic class in BF2142 is far superior. The medic boxes have the same limitations as the uber gun, but you can drop one and draw a gun. The assault/medic class in BF2142 has a wide range of possible weapons, from the stock assault gun to the Voss/Bauer as well as rocket/shotgun attachments. In addition to this, the revive ability is significantly better than the medic class in TF2.
I felt that the supportive nature of the medic class in TF2
was good, but the lack of a decent weapon really hindered my enjoyment of this
class. I found myself using the “bone saw”
weapon whenever possible. The April 2008 patch seems to have reduced this problem a bit.
The class seems so cool. You run around with a giant flame thrower and set people on fire. The effects of the pyro were really cool. The pyro suffers from two fundamental problems which reduce his effectiveness and hence limit the amount of pleasure you get from the Pyro. The range of the weapon is very short. I can accept that. The other problem is that the weapon itself is not always very lethal. Because of the presence of “water” for example, on 2Fort, the flamethrower can be counteracted quite simply. The other problem is that killing requires a huge close dose. It’s too bad, because I would love to play the pyro some more. The execution of the class sadly, did not live up to my expectations. They could add some kind of gas grenade attack to improve the class with more chemical warfare. I am thinking along the lines of the gas gun in BF2. Until then, the pyro remains a bit of a novelty class.With the addition of some bottlenecks in Goldrush, the Pyro has some real chances to shine. Although I wish the Pyro were a bit more deadly, its always fun to set things on fire.
There is simply no comparable class in BF2142. A pyro could be really fun on a titan defense scenario. Nevertheless, I have to give my hats off to TF2 for developing this character. While the implementation could be better, when the Pyro works- the Pyro is fun.TF2 released a patch in June 2008 which allows for PYRO upgrades. The new Pyro class has an "improved" flame thrower as well as flame thrower unlocks. So far the awards have been a little easier than the medic awards. I have managed to get 2 unlocks, the flare gun and the second stage flame thrower. I am not seeing much difference with the 2nd stage flame thrower. It seems to do more damage when I strike from behind and is very effective at killing in those conditions. The flare gun on the other hand, does not seem to be very effective at all and can only be described as a gimmick. Sometimes the new and improved is not very new or improved and the first two Pyro unlocks strike me as a case of that. Here's hoping when and if I get the third unlock it will be better.
No complaints about the soldier. The character has a balanced amount of health and some decent weaponry. Although you are limited to four shots with the rocket launcher, those shots tend to be pretty damaging. The problem with the soldier is that as a character he is a bit vanilla. I was very successful at killing people with the soldier class and killed 8 people before dying without trying to hard. The soldier class can effectively destroy sentry’s, etc… The soldier class proved to be reliable if a bit plain. Not a bad choice for people just beginning the game.
Given the assault/medics abilities in BF2142, the vanilla nature of the soldier is a bit underwhelming.
Overall a good class to play on 2Fort. The Heavy has a lot of hit points and a lot of firepower. The heavy gun takes some time to warm up, and the sloth speed you move at if you keep the gun spinning (right mouse) was annoying. I preferred walking around with the very lethal shotgun as I move around the map and switched to the heavy gun at key moments.
The good news is the heavy kills effectively and the big gun has the added bonus of “suppression”. The ultra slow speed was a bit boring.The heavy is FEARED by most people. The heavy is especially lethal when tied to a medic.
The Demo man provides us with the ability to throw grenades via the grenade launcher. The Demo man can also set up sticky mines. In my experience the sticky mines did not work so well. Other people seemed to be able to kill me with sticky mines, but I had almost no success in killing them. This was rather disappointing. The main problem with the sticky mine was that I expected it to work more like an APM mine but in reality it works more like RDX. You have to manually detonate it. So in my opinion the recon class APM/RDX options are more effective than the nade spamming, rdx spamming combo presented by the demo man. Of course, if it did work like an APM mine, capturing the briefcase would be almost impossible. I suppose this is why they do not have an APM mine option.
Another key ingredient which appears to be missing is the “object” of a demo man’s desire. The recon in 2142 can demolish commander assets, a Titan core, tanks, walkers, jeeps, people, and just about EVERYTHING you would want to demolish. The Demo man can demolish stuff opposing engineers build and people. That seems a bit too limited.
The actual grenade launcher was very successful, but unfortunately the Demo man was not as lethal as a standard “soldier” so the question became why bother?
On the other hand, there are advanced techniques which allow you to use your sticky’s to “jump” to good locations.
The scout has the “super” jump and the extra speed. I have not mastered the “super” jump, but its advantages are apparent. The other thing the scout had, which I really feel gave it an advantage was a very lethal shotgun. With the extra speed, the scout could be very effective in a close combat situation. I also think the scout would be very effective for stealing the briefcase.
The scout seems to have a very good gun. There is no comparable class in BF2142. You can of course go light armor and shotgun with speed abilities in BF2142 but you would never have such a speed advantage as the scout does. Overall, however, I feel that the support class in BF2142 is a more rounded character for most combat situations. On the other hand, jumping across the roof tops with blazing speed is something you really need to do if you are trying to steal enemy intel.
The Scout seems to be worth his kills and while I could not perfect the “super” jump capacities, I understood why you would want to play with the class in a capture the flag setting.
It is much like the Recon in BF2142. A few things about BF2142 recon is that it is a fantastically dynamic character which can do just about everything. In BF2142 the recon can: snipe, demolish, ghost, set apm mines, and handle a Lambert. This is an enormous amount of flexibility for one class. Earning the unlocks is necessary to this kind of flexibility.
I appreciate the fact that both the recon and the spy have the ability to ghost. The disguise feature is a neat trick in TF2. We have seen it before in RTCW:ET. Apparently you will be very easy to identify if you disguise yourself as a spy or a character no one on the other team is playing. I found the disguise feature to work well when infiltrating the opposing teams fortress and trying to steal their intel.
The “sapper” is not as effective as “RDX”. An all out “rdx” option would have really gone a long way to destroying enemy assets instantly. One thing the sapper did do, which RDX would not, is that it tends to lure engineers back towards the “sapped” object where you can “back stab” them. I also used it to lure an engineer out of the enemies intel and when the engineer left the intel area, I was able to infiltrate and steal the enemy briefcase. So the sapper is not all bad.
The cloaking itself seemed very similar to BF2142. You right click to cloak and while cloaked cannot attack. There is no revealing “noise” as in 2142 and some people occasionally see you. The time limit is generally very short, but given the size of the map, it is usually plenty. I usually disguised myself and then cloaked out of my base. You can almost make it to the other side of 2Fort- to the enemies’ fort- without decloaking.
The one area in which the spy class simply does not stand up to 2142 recon is weaponry. Sure you have a nice blade, but the pistol is a bit weak. At least in 2142 you have the lambert which is a credible substitute. Despite this, playing the spy class was a satisfying experience in TF2.
The scope with the little dots seems very cool. Not sure, however why having a dot is better than the scopes in BF2142. I still feel that the ability to ghost to a primary location, set up APM mines to cover your trail, and snipe away is great in BF2142.
This leaves the TF2 sniper a little weak at this point.
Several times I unloaded the “submachine gun” into an enemy to no apparent effect. I did stand up on the bridge and snipe at snipers on the other side on 2Fort and was able to score a head shot. Not sure if playing a sniper really helped my team though.
I think a well disciplined team can make a difference in
either game. Obviously the more familiar
you are with the maps and the more you practice together, the better you will
be able to do. So far, however, I have
not found anything remotely close to the depth of the simple
Unfortunately, on maps like 2Fort, this meant that initially I was dying so often (because I run right into the opposition) that the respawn time was boring me to tears. At the same time, although it feels fast paced, I was definitely not up to par with more experienced players. There were “instant spawn” servers. Playing on those servers was never slow, but it tended to encourage somewhat careless play styles. Who cares if you die? You just respawn in a second.
People in the TF2 world seem a bit edgier than their BF2142 counterparts. I know it is hard to believe. Some people don’t use the mic at all. Other people seem to mic spam.
Rarely does it seem that people are coordinating either a strategy or engaging in genuine teamplay. The closest thing I have seen so far is someone ask, “A or B” when deciding which control point to attack and everyone said “A” and we did that. It worked, but it was not much coordination.TF2 did not opt for a formal squad system like Battlefield 2142. You can find yourself team changed almost all the time. It's okay to shuffle the deck when the teams are totally unbalanced because you need parity to maintain a good game. Unfortunately, TF2 will often change your team whenever the player imbalance becomes out of whack, much like BF2142. BF2142 allows players to protect themselves from team switching by joining squads. Occasionally this creates a problem when the teams are grossly imbalanced in terms of players and the auto switch cannot happen. It does, however, keep you from being switched at the end of a round when demoralized losers tend to disconnect. Likewise, I have had trouble on some servers switching teams because they have disabled the team switch function and so the rounds remain imbalanced.
TF2 has different style of gameplay. It still seems to reward individual skill over group effort and the maps are small and compressed. It’s definitely a “pickup” style game. It may require practice, but you learn the maps fast and the game play is straight forward. With no “unlocks” there is no need to invest an enormous amount of time playing.
That being said, I encountered two recurrent problems. One was the problem of ownage. Of course, ownage occurs on BF2142, but it seemed acute on TF2. The other problem is the opposite- stalemate. On 2Fort, players actually got tired after playing what seemed forever without being able to capture the flags. Some servers had “timed” events such as the conquest modes. Still, the tickets in Conquest and the Shields in Titan mode, clearly drive events towards different conclusions there as well.
I did like the speed and fluidity of gameplay in TF2, but the maps seem very small compared to BF2142. The lack of vehicles is also disappointing. I understand the reasons for getting rid of the grenade as a class “leveler”, but still I miss it.
The game play seems fairly straightforward. It does not seem to have the depth of BF2142.
There were not enough maps with the initial release to make
the game replayable. The few maps that
did ship were fairly straightforward. I
would have liked a little more variety.
Atlhough they worked hard to create map “balance”, for example on 2Fort,
as I said this sometimes resulted in a stalemate situtation.
2Fort has a lot of bottlenecks which create opportunities for combat. There is only on bridge and one sewer. Even if you run over the top of the bridge, you only have two routes to chose. When you get inside the enemy base, you have only two staircases. All of this makes it easy to figure out where the enemy is going. It made setting up defenses easy. This also reduced the learning curve for the map and allowed me to become an effective player faster.
The new map is not without some problems, such as the lack of a doorshield on some of the spawn points which encourages spawn camping. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the fast paced action that it provided in total juxtaposition to my experiences with 2Fort.
Overall, TF2 does a great job of providing a variety of playstyles in its maps- conquest/assault styles, CTF, and now a mission mode (escort mission). That's quite a bit to offer.
I enjoy having a "mission" map. In 2142, the Titan mode offers the closest thing to a mission in BF2142. Over time, I've come to enjoy titan mode more than conquest mode because it tends to have fewer problems with aimbotters (aimbots make a bigger diffenence in conquest mode), requires strategy and teamwork and provides a healthy stable of balanced maps.
It is here where TF2 really excels. You can add your own icon for the game and
change your name whenever you want. You
can add your own spraypaint.
Spraypainting is fun and it is nice to have your own icon to paint
with. Some of the paintings were really
funny, though I chose a simple logo. I
also uploaded a 1541 avatar which makes playing a bit more personal.
Sadly, as is the case these days, some people have chosen vulgar and inappropriate images for their spraypaint. To be sure, I am not a prude, but I don’t think animations of sex acts are really necessary or appropriate for a game that children might play. Moreover, the tone of conversation on the TF2 servers seemed more crude than BF2142. BF2142 still has its share of racists despite its official policy, but at least the official policy gives people reason to ban them. Bottom line: spray-painting is a really neat feature, but it is not worth additional community policing. If people could only act responsibly with the liberty they have been given, I would argue that this would be a fun feature. TF2 appears to have multiple user driven levels and a host of modifications in each server. This adds to the silliness, but also the fun of the game. BF2142 could incorporate these great features as well.
Unfortunately, in one area where I feel customization is necessary, TF2 comes up short against BF2142. The ability to customize my kits in BF2142 allowed me a much greater degree of freedom when it mattered. I feel that being able to customize my kit in a way which is very good was a critical part of the fun of BF2142.
CommunityTF2 is attempting to design community carefully into its title. You can add friends, just like in BF2142. TF2 allows splash loading screens with rules which helps set the appropriate atmosphere for each server. In addition , you can access the steam community while online. The steam community has thousands of groups which you can join. There may in fact be TOO many groups and a bit of fragmentation.
TF2 is a good game but I still prefer BF2142. The play just does not seem as deep. Extremely well done and a pleasure to play, but so far, its not the kind of knock your socks of excitement that would make me seriously give up BF2142. Really it seemed a lot like RTCW:ET with new toys. I liked the game a lot. I will continue to explore it and appreciate it for what it is. I think the developers were serious and have created an excellent product. This game probably will appeal to a lot of fans of Unreal/Quake style shooters.
Combined with the other games on the Orange Box, I think the game should be picked up by anyone interested in a fast paced casual FPS that has a fairly low learning curve. The speed of the game combined with the straightforward nature of the class system make it ideal for anyone who wants to game and hold down a job. Nevetheless, I will stick with and recommend BF2142 for the overall game play experience.
Overall, TF2 is a fun game but seems a bit superficial and weak in some categories. Worth adding to the library but not as fully developed as BF2142.
Edge TF2 for beautiful graphics
without high end hardware.
BF2142 graphics are great, but sadly I simply do not have the hardware for them.
Edge TF2 for lack of laginess and
great mic interface. Also, the lack of
brevet ranks and de-emphasis on stats appears to have minimized hacking.
Edge BF2124. The ability to customize a few classes makes each class stronger and ultimately more responsive to different play situations. Some classes in TF2 were fairly one dimensional.
Tie. TF2 for spraypaints, fan based level design, avatars, custom sounds, server options, etc…But BF2142 for overall variety of play in kits, maps, vehicles, and modes- titan, conquest, assault. If only these two worlds could meet…
Edge BF2142. The game is designed for team play.
Edge BF2142. Maps with variety, vehicles, commander and squad modes, minimaps, 3 modes, 40 unlocks, balanced kits make BF2142 my choice.