It really sucks that Pyro, a class with tremendous close-range capabilities and otherwise pretty good for ambushing, doesn’t have any form of advance mobility except for Detonator/ Scorch Shot jumping, which is like rocket jumping with every bit of potential and most of its usefulness tossed away. This irks me a lot because it is my preferred way of playing Pyro, since weapon combos requires a bit too much dexterity for me and playing Pybro gets boring. To console myself, I got myself this:
The Russian Rocketeer is a promotional cosmetic for the game Awesomenauts, based on the jetpack of Yuri the astronaut monkey. In the game’s lore, Yuri has a timetravelling supercomputer jetpack. In TF2, what Pyro got is a mere cosmetic. Valve, please, I’m begging you, I’ll gladly give up using the Scorch Shot just to get a functional jetpack for the Pyro. Or the Heavy. Or even the Soldier …. no wait, that’s just Pharah with excessive amounts of testosterone and patriotism. The point is, give me a jetpack Valve, I just want to go into space! I’ll die for a jetpack dammit!
The Russian Rocketeer is one of my favourite cosmetics in the game. It’s cartoonish-looking even by normal TF2 standards, but to me it feels like it captures the essence of Pyro’s lighthearted side: whimsical, playful, and a sense of child-like wonder, separated from the bloodshed around him even when he’s the one swinging a blood-drenched axe around. Pyro is a character of extremes; to him, everything is lighthearted and colourful, while everyone else cowers in terror at what he is actually doing. To go with that contrast, Pyro has cosmetics that covers both aspects of his personality. There are plenty of cosmetics that come out during Scream Fortress updates which covers the latter aspect, and I honestly can’t pick a favourite out of all of them since they are all terrifyingly great. Really, Scream Fortress seems to be an annual competition where hatmakers compete to see who can turn Pyro into the most grotesque monstrosity possible. But for the lighthearted side, I can say without a doubt that the Russian Rocketeer is my favourite.
Along with some of the other mercs, Pyro got a lot of space-themed cosmetics during the Invasion Community Update, and one of the new cosmetics the Pyro got is a new jetpack. The Jupiter Jetpack is one of the four Pyro-exclusive cosmetics and… wait what? Pyro got four whole cosmetics to himself? Heavy only got Triboniophorus Tyrannus’s ugly uncle and Medic didn’t get anything exclusive at all! Did Pyro kidnap all the developers and community hatmakers and threatened to roast them alive or something?
Looking at the two, the Jupiter Jetpack leans closer to a pure sci-fi look while the Russian Rocketeer still looks cartoonish. The Jupiter Jetpack features a lot of beige and grey tones, and is generally duller and more serious-looking in comparison with the Rocketeer and a lot of the other TF2 cosmetics. I’ll be honest, while I quite like how it looks, it just feels somewhat jarring to have it and the Rocketeer side-by-side. The same goes for the other three Pyro-exclusive Invasion cosmetics as well as the three Sniper-exclusive ones. While they look fantastic and I really want the whole Sniper set despite hating almost everything else about that New Zealander, it just feels like they don’t fully belong here. They seem to be made for a game with a slightly more serious tone than TF2, the game where you can slap someone in the face with a fish.
Alright, now let’s move on to cosmetic recommendation, which is pretty easy. Anything space-themed or sci-fi will work, like the aforementioned Triboniophorus Tyrannus (bloody hell who named this thing), Bubble Pipe, and the RoBro 3000. I personally will not recommend anything from the Pyro-exclusive Invasion cosmetics, like the Space Diver and the Phobos Filter, because of that slight mismatch in tone that I mentioned earlier. But then, who am I to judge your cosmetic loadouts? What am I, the TF2 Fashion Police?