Valve's Team Fortress 2 may be getting a tad long in the tooth, but it's still providing players with one of the most fun, tactical and characterful online FPS experiences out there. Whilst Steam's current price cut to £6.99 is fairly weak considering that you can pick up the almighty Orange Box (containing Half Life 2, Episodes 1-2, Portal and TF2) for around a tenner, they're currently running a Free To Play weekend that'll let you download and play it for free until Sunday night. If you haven't already tried it out, now's the time to get involved!
Team Fortress 2 is a (if not the) class-based online FPS that pits two heavily-armed squads against each other in expertly-designed levels. Whilst the meagre backstory mentions an industrial construction team that's pitted against a squad of demolition experts: basically all you need to know is this: Red vs Blue. Pick a side.
The rich class system is still one of the most varied and tactical to date. Whilst the traditional mainstays of scout, sniper and big slow guy with a massive gun are still very much intact, TF2 expands on this selection with a range of nuanced and subtle support characters. Each class plays radically different from each other- and Team Fortress 2 actively rewards you (with points and achievements) for using each and every ability effectively rather than just blasting away with the biggest boomstick you can find.
The medic, for example, can actively heal teamates in battle with the medigun- leaving himself vulnerable but providing essential support for set-piece offensives. At the other end of the spectrum, the sneaky spy can disguise himself as an enemy trooper and sneak around unhindered; sabotaging enemy weapons and assassinating stragglers from behind the scenes. Each class has its own important role, and finding your own niche in a particular engagement is the key to securing victory for your team.
There's no denying that TF2's been eclipsed by more modern shooters over the last year, but Team Fortress 2 still stands tall as one of the best team-based FPS experiences out there. Why not play for free and see for yourself? Oh, and Mac users will receive a free in-game accessory just for taking part.