How Team Fortress 2's silly videos sparked a whole new era of shooters

Despite being almost 15 years old, Team Fortress 2’s influence on the shooter genre continues. Specifically, it’s impressive at its age that its cast is still recognisable to a younger portion of gaming fans. It’s pretty wild, actually, that we all collectively know a game’s characters and personalities without having needed to play the game, right? My first introduction to Team Fortress 2 wasn’t through gameplay or through a friend’s recommendation, it was through its animated character shorts. 

The Meet the Team shorts were one of the most influential forces in establishing the hero shooter genre. Before TF2, multiplayer shooters struggled to integrate lore or storytelling—you couldn’t exactly roll a cutscene in the middle of a round of de_dust.