Okay, maybe your late-teenager is into Team Fortress 2, but the statement stands.

What is Team Fortress 2? Do I need to know about Team Fortress 1? Why does my kid say “Pootis” at random? The answers to these and more are below.

First off, Team Fortress 2 (frequently abbreviated to TF2, as I will from here on out), is a First-Person Shooter (FPS) by game developer Valve, also known for the revolutionary Half Life Games, as well as the worldwide hit shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which has its own competitive gaming circuit, and is a game for another post.

TF2 is rated M for Mature, due to intense violence and blood/gore, and is recommended for ages 17+. This is important to remember, as the art style of the game is largely reminiscent of a Pixar film.

TF2 is not a direct sequel to a “Team Fortress 1”. It is the spiritual successor of “Team Fortress Classic”, which was a fan-created modification of the First-Person Shooter “Quake”. Valve CEO Gabe Newell saw this game and decided to hire the programmers to create something bigger.

The process took 9 years, ending in the release of the base game in 2007.

TF2 does not require the player to know, or even care about, the backstory. As such, there is no story mode. The story is all told in comics and “meet the team” cartoons, all of which can be found by navigating teamfortress.com.

There’s even a comic explaining the backstory here, in which case I will just explain how the game itself works.

The player can pick between one of nine mercenaries, all of which are shown in the comic panel here. In-game, each team is coloured RED or BLU-rather, Blue.

The nine mercenaries are all designed to fit a specific role in combat, briefly notated as follows:

The Scout: Fast, is able to jump the highest, is designed for constant motion and flanking

The Soldier: Moderate speed, good for beginners, has a rocket launcher. Good for an offensive.

The Pyro: Has a flamethrower. Is designed for hiding around corners, as the fire does more damage close-up. However, this technique isn’t used as much.

The Demoman: Has a few different styles to be played as, but is primarily designed for setting traps with bombs.

The Heavy: The largest and slowest character, with the most powerful gun, a minigun he nicknames ‘Sasha.’ Built to soak up bullets and do a lot of damage.

The Engineer: Can create sentry guns to defend important areas.

The Medic: Has a special healing ray that can keep allies alive longer. Frequently pairs with The Heavy.

The Sniper: Is a sniper.

The Spy: Is able to disguise himself as the enemy team, turn invisible, and destroy Engineer buildings discreetly.

An animated short, titled Expiration Date, follows a weekend in the life of the mercs, as The Medic and The Engineer believe that they all have only three days left to live.

In popular culture, Team Fortress 2 has spawned hundreds of gags, memes, and there is no shortage of silly fan-created animations to choose from for a quick laugh if slapstick is your type of humour.

Notable examples include Team Fabulous 2Gravity FailsPractical Problems, and the never-forgotten Brooding-Ninja-Highschool-Parkour-Scout [EP401 3/3] (anime parody)

Now that you’ve been filled in on the basics of this hilariously violent game, you can now talk to your kids about it and decide if your younger kids should be playing it, as is very popular with young teens visually.

So your kid is into TF2. Well now you might be too, and that makes you a ROCK STAR!