Team Fortress 2 has had more longevity than pretty much anyone could have imagined. The game came out in 2007, which means that players have been trading funny little hats for nearly 12 years. Sure, the game's not exactly at the apex of its popularity anymore, but the fact that it's still remotely relevant after over a decade online is nothing to sneeze at.
So it was a bit surprising today when the news leaked about a potential Team Fortress 3 being in development. Of course, there's reason to doubt the legitimacy of this leak. Valve hasn't really made any games themselves in quite some time, aside from DOTA 2, which doesn't really feel like a Valve game, or Artifact, which has mostly been quietly swept under the rug. The company is less of a developer these days, and is more focused on either publishing games or raking in the cash from the Steam marketplace. Plus, if TF2 already makes them money, is there much of a reason to even make a Team Fortress 3?
These are of course questions and issues for another time, as Gabe Newell will likely come out, and either denounce this rumor, or be casually coy about it in due time. For now, if this 4chan leak is real, what would we even want from a Team Fortress 3 at this point? Let's see what would help bring the TF series into the modern day.
New Characters (Maybe Even Lady Characters!)
So the most obvious first step for a sequel to a game filled with wacky characters, is to add more wacky characters. The core group of 9 has remained the same for the entire duration of Team Fortress 2's existence, so adding in some new bodies would be a major shot in the arm.
The most obvious inclusion would be to place the game's bizarre Australian hunk of man-meat Saxton Hale in the game as a playable hero. He could easily be positioned as something akin to Overwatch's Doomfist, making him a melee based character who punches people through walls while shouting Australian witticisms, or something to that effect. Aside from him, new classes and characters are a must for the third installment, because while the main heroes all have endearing personalities, and are beloved by everyone, we could use some new heroes with some new guns.
Also, could we maybe, finally, get some female characters in the game? Ones who don't just announce that the control point is being contested? That'd be nice.
We Want To See The Sweat On Heavy's Forehead!
Team Fortress 3 would be a sequel to a game so old that it came packed in with The Orange Box on the Xbox 360. It's going to need a significant graphical upgrade. Now it doesn't need to be photo-realistic, but it does need to be shinier, and prettier than its 12 year old predecessor. The cartoonish graphical style is something that can mostly stay the same, we just need more quality animation, better physics, and nicer maps.
We hate to go back to comparing the game to Overwatch, but it's pretty much the best example of what we're talking about. Their style is like something out of a high quality animated film, and it just works for a hero shooter. That's basically the look Team Fortress 3 should aim for, with vibrant colors, and exaggerated features that look as high quality as possible. Seeing each detailed wrinkle on Heavy's face as he menacingly grins would be a dream come true.
More Hats, But Preferably Less Boxes
Look, people like to dress up their avatars, it's kind of a big part of the hero shooter genre. Team Fortress 2 has allowed for more character customization over time, but nowadays other games have let you dress your heroes up like digital Barbie dolls, and that's what we should get from TF3.
Being able to put Heavy in a nice tuxedo, or Demoman in a whiskey stained white tank top, or any other costumes would be something that everyone would love. Plus, if Valve wants to keep that sweet hat money rolling in, you could make each piece of clothing separate so you could mix and match. Put a funny chicken hat on Engineer along with an Elvis-esque jumpsuit, or slap a clown wig on the Medic while he's in lederhosen. The possibilities are endless!
However, with great cosmetics, comes great responsibility. One of the big parts of the 4Chan leak is the fact that Team Fortress 3 would be free to play like TF2. So you know what that probably means? Every developer's favorite way of exploiting its customers, loot boxes and microtransactions!
Valve is a big corporation these days, and surely they're as tempted as any other video game company to throw in as many microtransactions as possible. It's unfortunately commonplace now, and even with government intervention and legislation on the horizon, it's a problem that doesn't seem to be going away. If TF3 is going to be free to play, having cosmetic items available for purchase is a necessity, so all we're asking is that Valve try to not milk us for all we're worth.
They've been mostly good with handling TF2's free to play nature, and the ongoing hat marketplace has been a reliable way for players to get their fancy costumes, and for Valve to get a slice of the pie for years now (although it's in kind of a rough place lately). We don't know if that'll still be the case for Team Fortress 3, but whatever microtransaction scheme Valve thinks up, all we want is for it to be more ethical than the loot box conundrum we're currently in today.
Valve And The Big Scary Number 3
These are just a few of the things that we would like from a new Team Fortress, although it goes without saying that some gameplay tweaks, new maps, and new game modes would be welcome as well. Team Fortress 2 has been running for a very long time, and a modern update needs to feel modern, and not like they just put TF2 out again with a few new hats.
We really hope that this leak is real, because on top of a new Team Fortress, this could also mean that Valve has finally conquered their crippling fear of the number 3. From there, this might open the door to Valve maybe making other sequels, like Left 4 Dead 3, or Portal 3.
Oh yeah, and there's that's other series they made. Can't quite remember that one, something to do with a crowbar right? That could probably use a new game. Maybe we'll finally get it.