Realistic setting DOES NOT MEAN realistic game! They could've done a modern day game, with weapons and vehicles of their own choosing, and model the damage accordingly.
Or would you say that Fortress Forever is realistic, because it doesn't use over the top visuals?
What I'm saying is that the gameplay of TF and a visual style inspired by reality are incongruous.
It just doesn't work for me (anymore) to have dudes who are modelled to look like human soldiers in fatigues rocket-jumping or whatnot.. so in that sense, Fortress Forever does absolutely nothing for me even though it appears to be crafted from pure love for the original.
What's changed is that since even the relatively recent days of TFC or Q3F, we've had a whole crop of great games that ARE reality based and do that sort of gameplay very well, with all sorts of gameplay mechanics that force you to play carefully, etc.. Something like Joint Ops, or America's Army, or even BF would just be stupid if rendered with a Toon Shader.
And since that style of gameplay has nothing to do with TF, I think that Valve has made a very wise decision to unify the art style with the over-the-top gameplay mechanics that made TF great. At least I assume that's what their goal is.. kinda hard to know for sure without having played it, of course.
It may be that one day a young man will adore a Pinata.
I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.