Ahh.. what a difference eight or so years of hibernation makes [;)] Yes, I remember when all the hype on Team Fortress 2 was buzzing around back in 1998, with the glowing news reports, magazine covers, and even awards it received. It was a pretty damn good looking game back then too, but after an extraordinary long period of silence, it kinda disappeared from all relevance when games like BF2 and Quake Wars took over the class/team play mantle, and pushed the idea further.
Valve really have pulled off something special to put the spotlight back on TF2, with the new stylistic art direction that I'm sure many developers are taking note. It also really opens up a tonne of possibilities going this route compared to the well trodden war theme. My only hope is they do something extraordinary with the gameplay as well, since well... things have certainly moved on from the traditional TFC gameplay.