I’m not a big fan of the Sandvich, gameplay-wise. I mean, I know it’s good, but I have always been happier with the Dalokohs Bar or even the Family Business. But I’m not here to discuss that today. What I want to talk about today is how the Sandvich is epitome of TF2.
I mean, despite Heavy being the face of the game, cosmetics being so integral to TF2 that the game is also known as Hat Fortress 2, and the fact that the Golden Frying Pan exists, the Sandvich to me is still the embodiment of what TF2 is all about. I suppose that is the reason why out of all the things in the game, the Sandvich is the only item with a “Meet The …” video made for it, a treatment that was otherwise exclusively reserved for the mercenaries. Even Ms. Pauling doesn’t get a “Meet the … ” video, and she’s probably the next most popular character after the mercs.
Thing is, the Sandvich showcases a lot of aspects of the game. As a weapon, it is one of the first unlocks, as well as being the first of a whole new subcategory of weapons for the Heavy. In fact, it is the second unlock that isn’t a slight modification of the stock weapons, the first being the Flare Gun. It gives the Heavy a sort of secondary frontline healer role, which highlights both the teamwork aspect of the game and the versatility of how the classes play based on their loadouts. You could argue that the Medi Guns or the Engineer’s buildings are a better representation of the teamwork aspect of the game, or how the Demoman’s shields are a better representation of how weapon loadouts changes the mercs’ playstyle, but the Sandvich is one of the few weapons that showcases both aspects, and it is the first one to do so as well. Granted, the healing is almost always reserved for the Medic, but it’s not exactly uncommon for Heavies to chuck a Sandvich at a dying teammate who isn’t wearing a lab coat.
As for the non-gameplay side of things, it’s a sandwich. The fact that the Heavy is bringing that into a fight instead of another gun is ridiculous to begin with. And the fact that the Sandvich is so good it practically dominates the Heavy’s secondary item slot only serves to make this more ridiculous. A more sensible, down-to-earth game would have used syringes or pills or bandages or a medkit. But whoever expects things to operate sensibly in TF2 obviously didn’t spend enough time in the TF2 Universe. May I remind everyone that it is completely canon that Demoman’s stomach is a distillery.
The Sandvich completely embodies the spirit of the game. The humour in Team Fortress 2 is reflected in the design of the Sandvich by the mere fact that it’s a damn Sandvich. There are other weapons that’s also ridiculous, like the aforementioned Golden Frying Pan, but the Sandvich is the first, and arguably the best at it, since it isn’t really that in-your-face about it.
Sure, cosmetics and trading are rather large parts of TF2, and to some, the most important part. But to me, TF2’s most important aspect will always be its gameplay. After all, it’s a game. The fact that the Sandvich not only exemplifies many core aspects of TF2’s gameplay (teamwork and weapon loadouts), but also reflects the humour of the game, makes it an unquestionable symbol of Team Fortress 2 in my eyes. Sorry Heavy, your Sandvich is just a much better representation of the game than you are.