No matter how we look at it, Team Fortress 2 is an awesome game. There’s bits we whinge about and bits we complain about, as well as stuff that really shouldn’t be in it *cough*random crits and current autobalance*cough*, and a lot of us have gone and written about the things we all dislike, for our Week of Love and Hate. We’ve also written about a lot of things that we love too. Despite how simple that sounds, it’s actually a very hard subject to write about.
I spent ages trying to pick a subject. At first I was going to write about how much I loved the classes. They really are nice, unique looks and personalities, not just random military men with different hats and emblems. They were all interesting and different and funny. Then I was going to write about the Meet the Team videos,which are the best promotional videos ever and make me laugh my socks off on a regular basis, even though I’ve watched Meet the Medic about a billion times now. Or the comics, which are also pretty damn funny. Then I realised that something connects all of these together. Humor.
The humor in Team Fortress 2 is all over the place. At times, it’s really stupid, barely above baby children level. Barely above the poop jokes from Binding of Isaac, but without the sinister undertones and biblical references that make Binding of Isaac somewhat unusual. At other times, Team Fortress 2 is deadly serious. Or at least pretty serious. It wasn’t exactly fun watching Gray Mann being killed by Team Fortress Classic Heavy, and Meet the Pyro really got us all going with a serious undertone, with the Heavy’s, Scout’s and Spy’s interviews, before going all “Do you believe in the magic?” on us.
But sometimes the humor is also very clever. It’s done in obscure references that some of us would never get. Or it’s so subtle you don’t notice until later, or even notice at all. Other times it is so in your face, that it doesn’t actually make you laugh, but even then, you’ll still either smile a bit or just groan, like a bad cracker joke. This is common among item descriptions. ITEM DESCRIPTIONS! In most games, you have a small description of what a cosmetic is, but in TF2, you’ve got all sorts, from nothing, to the word nothing, to the goggles doing nothing, to huge paragraphs like drunken Balloonicorns and ramblings of the duck mafia. Even in class cosmetics, there’s weirdness. On one hand you have a bunch of weird, literal translations from German into English for Medic cosmetics, on the other, you have an advertisement for sex parties on unrelated Medic cosmetics.
At times, Team Fortress 2 doesn’t even know itself what it finds funny or amusing. It both knows and doesn’t know that none of this is real and it’s all figments of the imagination of a bunch of crazy people. But at least the game can waste some time not taking itself seriously. We can all take a break, sit back and laugh at ourselves.
Most of all though, TF2 humor is my humor. It pushes the buttons that make me smile. And that is why I am still here, over five years later.
Bless you, TF2. Bless you.