Recently while playing some The Darkness 2 I suddenly remembered why I actually prefer games with a first person perspective. It was basically during one of the execution kills where I (a massive fan of gory, gruesome movies and video games) flinched. The reason for this is that the canned animations during the executions in Darkness 2 are pulled of really well and use the player’s perception of depth and distance to your (pitiful) target. You'll get the visual impression that the poor fool is pulled right before your face and that your facial expression is the last thing he'll ever see.
This is something you only can pull off with a first person perspective and in fact a couple of games before Darkness 2 did this really well. My favorite example here would be Condemned 2.
Condemned 2 was basically a first-person-brawler (... at least until the second shitty half of the game) and really gave you the feeling of being in all these close quarter brawls with these crazy looking people. It made you paranoid because of the limited field of view that you're used to have as a human minus your peripheral vision. This worked really well to build up tension. Every time you heard the sound of footsteps you suddenly turned around and started to look for the possible threat.
My point is that I think that more first-person games should try to use they're perspective as a tool to build up tension and immersion. It is really easy to do these things and provide the player with some sort of ... visual "friction". Melee attacks in FPS for instance tend to get this wrong. Think about the COD knife attack for a second. The maximum range of this attack is simply to big (feel like attacking something with a long sword) and there is no visual reaction to the swing or impact in the player’s field of view no shaking to indicate the motion or the resistance of your opponent. Some simple changes in the attack animation and its result would easily make the whole damn thing more believable and more immersive. And of course some of you may say that the same thing can be done in third person (Assassin’s Creed XYZ did this, Uncharted did this as well etc.) but I don't think it's the same thing from a third-person perspective.
Take Far Cry 2 for instance (no not for the melee stuff that was horrible in this one) where the main protagonist has to do some little visual action when healing himself in a critical state, like pulling out a bullet or burning out a wound with some matchsticks. I've seen people flinch at these as well. Now imagine your reaction when seeing this happen in third person. No flinching at all really.
My point here is that the first-person perspective really allows us to project the actions on screen on to ourselves and I hope that more games will use this like The Darkness 2 does. Thanks for reading and good night/day/morning (depending on your current location).
Edit: I am sorry for some of the horrible spelling mistakes I had in here. I really shouldn't write these blog entries when I'm tired and half asleep. Mea culpa mea maxima culpa.