I do want to start by saying that I love the Force-A-Nature. It’s easily one of my favourite guns to use in Team Fortress 2, but it’s also one that seems to divide the community as to its practical use. It’s also a weapon that I’ve been meaning to write about for a long time now, so here goes. Just before I get into this, I’m not really into theory and so will be discussing my own experiences rather than arbitrary 1-on-1 MGE style situations (which almost never happen in actual games :P ).
The Force-A-Nature’s strength lies in its increased hitting power – while each pellet does less damage than a Scattergun pellet, there’s so many more of them that the overall damage is higher. As such, the Force-A-Nature can theoretically two-shot any non-overhealed class in the game bar the Heavy. Its other main distinguishing feature lies in the knockback, allowing you to throw enemies around the map and propel yourself to higher reaches. The downside to all this comes in the clip size – the Force-A-Nature offers a paltry two shots before you have to reload in comparison to the default Scattergun’s six.
And this, for me, is the biggest problem and the main reason I can never decide whether I enjoy using the Force-A-Nature for the fun value or if it’s actually a viable sensible sidegrade. As a class, Scout doesn’t really excel at taking on multiple enemies at once, but at least the Scattergun offers him a bit of support due to the 6-shot clip. The Force-A-Nature really does hamper him when he’s faced with more than one opponent – the reload time isn’t any faster a lá the Soda Popper, and unlike many other classes such as Pyro and Soldier he only has a Pistol as his secondary rather than a shotgun, which is only really good as a finisher. In my experience as a Scout main, this all comes together to make the Force-A-Nature a tricky gun to use against more than one person, since you’ll blitz the first opponent with both barrels and then be stuck reloading while the second player comes at you. It’s entirely feasible to, say, hit the first player with one shot from the Force-A-Nature, switch to the Pistol to finish them, and then switch back to the Force-A-Nature and repeat with the second opponent, or use the knockback to try and throw at least one of the enemies away so you’re no longer in their threat range. But, to get back on the point, I’ve always felt that this makes the Force-A-Nature very restrictive against good opponents. I like my weapons in TF2 to be as versatile as possible to help me in the many varied situations we all end up in in-game (probably why I love my Mad Milk so much), and the Scattergun is just more versatile than the Force-A-Nature – despite the Force jump, which I guess actually makes the Force-A-Nature more versatile than the Scattergun in terms of agility :P
Having said that, it’s by no means a ‘bad’ gun. It does fantastic amounts of damage, and there’s something that is just so satisfying about throwing people around. Indeed, I’m pretty much guaranteed to switch to it if there’s an environmental hazard around for the enemy team such as the cliff in Upward, the canyon in Double Cross or pretty much any part of Nucleus To be honest, the knockback is still great on maps without environmental hazards – I’ve found that people tend to get really disoriented when they’re suddenly thrown around, and it’s especially great against Pyros where you can keep them out of Degreaser-Axtinguisher combo range. And that’s what divides me. It’s a great gun that’s fun to use and is often very practical, but to my mind it’s a bit more situational than the default Scattergun, which is just more versatile overall. But, as I’ve already said, that doesn’t stop me bringing out my Strange Force-A-Nature whenever I can, which is second only to my Strange Scattergun in terms of the kill count!
Above: my previous video featuring the Force-A-Nature. If we can hit 1000 views and I can get a Frontline Recorder, I’ll do a Mann Co Key giveaway! :)
Do you love the Force-A-Nature, or is it something you loathe / fear seeing? As always I’d love to hear from you guys, so please feel free to comment :)