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#1 Edited by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

I wrote this article to reflect how I feel about the current state of FPS games. I'd appreciate it if others would let me know if they agree with this because it's something I've been thinking about for a long time.

First Person-Shooters Offers the Worst that Game Design has to Offer

When you hear someone say they feel 'burnt-out on first-person shooters', it's not hard to see why. Simply put, the problem many of today's first person shooters face is their inability to engage the player in fun and satisfying gameplay. But it’s really much more complicated than fundamental mechanics. By looking at the modern military shooter, it will become more obvious. Games like Call of Duty, Metal of Honor, and Battlefield all have the same types of campaigns. They drive you through a linear experience without exploration, interesting worlds, or challenging the player's intellect. Instead they direct their focus on throwing you into constant firefights peppered with predictable fps tropes like turret sequences, while filling the gameplay gaps with loosely fitting narrative. After playing enough of them, you begin to realize how mindless and drab these games really are.

Imagine playing a Mario game with new backgrounds but the same level design on every level. This is almost exactly the same thing that these games do. They provide you with the same enemy type to kill over and over again in different environments that have little or no gameplay implications.

High-quality set pieces and in-game linear narrative can only break things up so much.

In order to get a better grasp at exactly what makes an interesting and fun first-person shooter, I'd like to point out a couple of games that do it ‘right’. The Half-Life franchise is one of the most critically acclaimed video game franchises amongst both fans and critics. It also plays almost nothing like any of its contemporaries. In roughly the first 30 minutes of Half-Life and Half-life 2 you don't fire a single bullet. Instead you explore your surroundings and interact with the characters in the world.

That's not so say that developers should add a bunch of written fiction in order to make their games more engaging. To say that is almost missing the idea altogether. The definition of game-fiction isn't solely based on listening to a character ramble on and on, while you sit there and read it. I don't care how good your fiction is. If you do that for too long, you will surely bore the player. The beauty of how Half-Life handles this is by the realization that: games are meant to be played. When you talk to someone it's usually something simple, interesting, and most importantly brief.

Half-Life doesn't restrict the fiction to being dialogue-centric. Instead it puts exploration and simple yet fun gameplay mechanics at the forefront. Rather than launching you into firefight after firefight, the Half-Life games focus on the ideas of tension, discovery, and build-up (much like a good movie would). Each confrontation with an enemy feels like it's purposeful and fits into the fiction in a way that makes sense. In other shooters it often feels like you're shooting enemies because it's a shooting game and that's what you do in a shooting game. Nothing about that is fun unless you like mindless repetition without variation.

While Half-Life has a bunch of interesting gameplay mechanics that are very good at keeping things fresh, I'd like to talk about a different game that arguably does it even better: the original Metroid Prime for the GameCube. Nintendo could have gone a number of ways when creating Metroid Prime. For one, they could have taken the easy way out and simply created a linear arcade-shooter using the Metroid franchise. Instead what they did was look at other games, most notably their own "Legend of Zelda" franchise in order to create something I had never experienced before in a first-person shooter.

By introducing "dungeon-like" areas and providing new gameplay elements upon their completion, the developers managed to create a more interesting game simply by looking at other genres. With these new gameplay elements like, 'the morph ball', you could travel through new areas and find hidden secrets or you could choose to progress further into the game and solve new puzzles built around this new mechanic. By the end of the game you feel truly empowered as a result of gaining all these new abilities. A journey has not only happened through the game’s world but also in your mind. As a result of slowly being introduced to these mechanics and using them in intelligent ways throughout the course of the adventure, you have become masterful at the game. It's quite frankly genius because it emulates how learning and mastering a craft happens in the real world.

Although they seem very different, Half-Life and Metroid Prime are actually very similar in game design; they focus on creating an interesting world full of exploration, problem-solving, and violence that is built on the games fiction (rather than for the sake of constantly giving the player something to shoot at). It shouldn't be a mystery why those games are held in such high-regard. First-Person Shooters deserve more than simply being constant firefights with prose that only leads to more firefights. A higher standard has been set and more games should be compared to that standard.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@linkforever1 said:

When you hear someone say they feel 'burnt-out on first-person shooters', it's not hard to see why.

They're been playing too many?

#3 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2272 posts) -

"First Person-Shooters Offer the Worst Game Design" in your opinion.

In my opinion, RTS games are the worst.

#4 Edited by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@SomeDeliCook: I haven't played many RTS games (I have civ 5 and starcraft 2 demo). Would you explain why you believe that?

#5 Posted by Genkkaku (735 posts) -

Dead Island

#6 Posted by Nightriff (4972 posts) -

Hmmmmm, interesting, this just reminds me that I still haven't played Half Life 2

#7 Posted by believer258 (11773 posts) -

You should bring more examples to the table. Bioshock? System Shock 2? Bulletstorm? Painkiller? Doom? Far Cry 2? Crysis? FEAR? Deus Ex Human Revolution? Fallout New Vegas? Borderlands?

You picked one shooter category and picked one completely different kind of shooter to compare it to. For that matter, you've completely missed the point of Battlefield and Call of Duty games - multiplayer. Yes, CoD games have campaigns, and I'm glad they do because like an '80's action movie they're pure dumb fun for one playthrough, but the main reason most people buy those games are multiplayer.

#8 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5352 posts) -

The issue isn't FPS's it is the design philosophy surrounding games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Gears of War etc. More importantly than that the issue is that people keep on buying the same damn game over and over and over so there's no incentive for companies to innovate.

#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9650 posts) -

Uh-huh.

#10 Posted by Nightriff (4972 posts) -

@believer258 said:

You should bring more examples to the table. Bioshock? System Shock 2? Bulletstorm? Painkiller? Doom? Far Cry 2? Crysis? FEAR? Deus Ex Human Revolution? Fallout New Vegas? Borderlands?

You picked one shooter category and picked one completely different kind of shooter to compare it to. For that matter, you've completely missed the point of Battlefield and Call of Duty games - multiplayer. Yes, CoD games have campaigns, and I'm glad they do because like an '80's action movie they're pure dumb fun for one playthrough, but the main reason most people buy those games are multiplayer.

He should've been more specific that he is only going to break down the Single Player Campaigns of Military Shooters, but I still agree with everything he said. I come to games for the campaign and I haven't bought a military shooter, at full price, on the day it is released since Modern Warfare 2. I usually wait to pick them up cheap or "buy" it from Gamestop, beat it, return it.

#11 Edited by Judge_Dredd (8 posts) -

I do agree that many modern FPS games have very boring very linear campaigns, and not enough creativity. Oddly enough for me the best one in years is Duke Nukem Forever. Agreed Half-Life 2 is an all time classic.

#12 Posted by Shady (503 posts) -

@Genkkaku said:

Dead Island

That's being unfair to all FPS games as the shooting in that is the worst.

#13 Posted by believer258 (11773 posts) -

@Nightriff said:

@believer258 said:

You should bring more examples to the table. Bioshock? System Shock 2? Bulletstorm? Painkiller? Doom? Far Cry 2? Crysis? FEAR? Deus Ex Human Revolution? Fallout New Vegas? Borderlands?

You picked one shooter category and picked one completely different kind of shooter to compare it to. For that matter, you've completely missed the point of Battlefield and Call of Duty games - multiplayer. Yes, CoD games have campaigns, and I'm glad they do because like an '80's action movie they're pure dumb fun for one playthrough, but the main reason most people buy those games are multiplayer.

He should've been more specific that he is only going to break down the Single Player Campaigns of Military Shooters, but I still agree with everything he said. I come to games for the campaign and I haven't bought a military shooter, at full price, on the day it is released since Modern Warfare 2. I usually wait to pick them up cheap or "buy" it from Gamestop, beat it, return it.

I understand that, but this is like comparing Black Hawk Down to The Hurt Locker - both are modern war movies but you'd be mistaken in saying that they're very similar. I guess that sort of contradicts my earlier suggestion, that he bring up more examples, but that doesn't change the fact that he's bunching up all FPS games in with modern military shooters and not really doing a good job of breaking them down.

Essentially, it sounds to me like he's saying something along the lines of "I want more shooters like Metroid Prime and Half-Life 2", and there's nothing wrong with that, but he's comparing them to games that take a very different approach to design without really understanding much on the subgenre he's complaining about.

#14 Edited by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@believer258:

I brought up 2 games for the purpose of being concise. As it is I bet 90 percent of people won't read this because it is sort of long. More would've made it even harder.

I feel like I got my point across that I wanted to. Sure I could've brought out how other games have achieved more interesting game designs by incorporating rpg mechanics and fusing open world gameplay (like fallout or borderlands).

But I still think all those games have the same thing in common for the most part. They fight to keep the player engaged by constantly shooting shit. Sure shooting things is fun but my argument is that it's hard to stay engaged with those games because there is so little game design behind it because you end up doing the same thing the entire game in different backgrounds. I like some of those games especially bioshock and fear 1. What I'm arguing is that there is a better way to make these games...

A good comparison would be an action movie with little substance (cliche i apologize). It's fun to watch and coexists with much better movies. But it is not forgiven for lacking in good design.

#15 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Crysis is, to me, the definition of the perfect FPS. Lengthy single player campaign with brilliant expansively designed levels and incredible mix of stealth and assault. Explosive and engaging action too, not like all them pea shooter FPSes.

@linkforever1 said:

Games like Call of Duty, Metal of Honor, and Battlefield all have the same types of campaigns.

Battlefield is an online multiplayer franchise.

#16 Edited by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic:

Both Bad Companies and Battlefield 3 had campaigns..

I realize that isn't the focus though.

#17 Posted by believer258 (11773 posts) -

@linkforever1 said:

@believer258:

I brought up 2 games for the purpose of being concise. As it is I bet 90 percent of people won't read this because it is sort of long. More would've made it even harder.

I feel like I got my point across that I wanted to. Sure I could've brought out how other games have achieved more interesting game designs by incorporating rpg mechanics and fusing open world gameplay (like fallout or borderlands).

But I still think all those games have the same thing in common for the most part. They fight to keep the player engaged by constantly shooting shit. Sure shooting things is fun but my argument is that it's hard to stay engaged with those games because there is so little game design behind it because you end up doing the same thing the entire game in different backgrounds. I like some of those games especially bioshock and fear 1. What I'm arguing is that there is a better way to make these games...

A good comparison would be an action movie with little substance (cliche i apologize). It's fun to watch and coexists with much better movies. But it is not forgiven for lacking in good design.

Doom. Doom is a game that's nearly 20 years old, is full of shooting dumb stuff, but is still incredibly fun. And there's even less world building there than in, say, CoD.

On that note:

@AhmadMetallic said:

Crysis is, to me, the definition of the perfect FPS. Lengthy single player campaign with brilliant expansively designed levels and incredible mix of stealth and assault. Explosive and engaging action too, not like all them pea shooter FPSes.

Crysis is another great example of a shooter with no frills. It's just shooting. There's not really a huge story, and there's not a ton of world building, but it's one of the best shooters ever made and it's all-shooting.

"Constantly shooting shit", if well designed, can be one of the most fun things in any video games. It's not a fight to keep people engaged, I'm perfectly engaged when running 90 miles per hour around demons or sneaking through the tall grass while dudes frantically try to figure out who last shot them. I think the problem here is less shooter design and more you not liking straight shooters.

#18 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Most of the Mario games are exactly that: new levels with very similar mechanics.

I also think you are totally wrong. Bulletstorm managed to revitalize the genre really well. I fuckin love that game on PC, and I'll be playing through it yet again when my new PC is finished and I can enjoy it without a bunch of shitty graphical artifacts and a poor framerate. Syndicate I feel did a pretty good job of it too. The physicality of having a gun was dun so damn well, and there were cool new mechanics in there as well. And then you get into things like Borderlands, which is awesome for the same reasons that Diablo 2 was, but also because the shooting was just fun and felt really good. Metro 2033 is gorgeous, atmospheric, and really damn fun.

I think it's fair to say too many people are chasing the Call of Duty 'thing' but I also think first person anything is the best thing. The only reason you are leaving 3rd person shooters alone is because they aren't all exactly the same, they differ a bit from things like Uncharted to SOCOM, to Gears of War. But there aren't many stellar examples of the third person shooter being much more than shooting dudes in the third person. It just happens in wildly different universes.

And you know what? I like military shooters. Granted, I'm a future Marine, itching to get at least some field training and eventually field experience, but I do enjoy them. I play them a little differently, try and be more tactical, apply real techniques and tactics taught in field manuals and boot camp, even practice leadership, ordering imaginary AI around to try and get that down. So with a little Metagaming, I find it pretty entertaining to go through a game like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor or Battlefield 3. ArmA 3 will hopefully let me do all of that stuff without meta gaming and without needless obtuse UI/controls.

@AhmadMetallic: Except Crysis has the most bullet spongy enemies ever. 3 headshots on normal wouldn't kill a Korean grunt half the time. Which lead to the combat slowing down and being a little frustrating at times. Not hard, just annoying. Considering the scale of that game, headshots were rarely as easy as they are in a Call of Duty, but they were much less effective, and body shots were pretty much useless if you weren't using the shotgun. Don't get me wrong, I liked a lot of things about that game, but that always put it down a notch. And that kind of stuff really ruined FarCry 2 for me, between the bullet sponge enemies (and you very much NOT being that), the way that enemies would sit behind a hill covered in thick, tall grass, be totally invisible and unable to see you, and still fire accurately on you, so you die before you even have a chance to see the jerk, unless you manage to scatter them with a lucky Molotov lob.

@Shady said:

@Genkkaku said:

Dead Island

That's being unfair to all FPS games as the shooting in that is the worst.

It was NOT the worst. On a gamepad, pretty bad. Mouse and keyboard though? I found it pretty rewarding. Now, if you are saying that because it was ineffective against Zombies, then I guess, but I liked that. A pistol shouldn't put down a zombie even with headshots, certain not body shots. Maybe a close range shotgun blast or a rifle round impacting the brain. But against the human enemies, it was effective, and I thought pretty satisfying, just pistoling down those thugs with a shot or two.

But, I'm a sucker for pistols in games. Still, with a mouse it felt pretty good. Not amazing, but easily passable at worst.

#19 Edited by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@believer258: Perhaps I don't enjoy the traditional shooter anymore. My argument is that I believe there is a better way to make shooters. There is room for both types of games but I feel like the ones that leave a more lasting impression reflect what I've mentioned and should be more prevalent.

#20 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Not a bad write up, I prefer games like Halo/Timesplitters that have the right amount of gameplay and story mixed together. You often know why you're here and what's happening and its fun to play through. Even more so because both games can be pretty unpredictable with enemy ambushes, vehicle sections (Halo) or just plain creepy/crazy shit (Timesplitters).
 
Way more fun than RAMIREZ TAKE OUT HALF THE ARMY WITH A SPOON.

#21 Posted by h0lgr (908 posts) -

BioShock.
Just putting that out there.

#22 Posted by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos:

I appreciate you taking the time to write all that even if I agree with next to none of it (lol).

I think you missed my point with mario though. I wasn't talking about fundamental controls with that example. Obviously all games will have fundamental controls throughout the entire experience (otherwise it would be confusing as hell). What I was talking about was that maneuvering obstacles in Mario is comparable to killing enemies in Call of Duty. Those are both of their central experiences. The levels in mario constantly throw you in new scenarios (obstacles) you have never seen before to keep you interested. Whereas in call of duty your obstacles are just shooting the same enemy in different locations. My argument being that Call of Duty has absolutely no clever level design in comparison to Mario for that reason. It's the same thing but with a different background that has little effect on gameplay.

#23 Posted by yinstarrunner (1185 posts) -

@linkforever1: So I came into this thread skeptical because of it's title, and I was fully prepared to pull Half-life out of my hat. The fact that you mention it, and then follow up with my favorite game of all time as examples of FPS done right makes me respect you a lot. I agree with your points for the most part.

FPS games these days SHOULD have bigger levels and incentives to explore. Most of the pinnacles of the genre take these kinds of things into account. It's something I noticed when I played Half-life recently: there is shit scattered EVERYWHERE. There are ALWAYS resources to be found off the beaten path, and I think that kind of incentive to look around is necessary if you want to fully immerse a player in the world you've created. STALKER, Bioshock, Doom, and so many other games really revolve around this concept whereas this gen's prominent "set-piece shooters" let it fall to the wayside, causing them to be samey, throw-away experiences.

To this end, you also need a bit of resource management, or at least another way to add tension. There's always a sigh of relief when I find a stash of health in DOOM, or a cache of ammo in STALKER, etc. and it makes the journey to those places that much more harrowing. Nowadays, games like Call of Duty just throw you into the action with more ammo than you'll ever need, and the only reason to pick up any other weapons is if you want to, not from any sense of necessity. It gets old extremely fast.

Another point I'd like to add on is mobility. It's another facet of older FPS games that for some reason has atrophied in the past decade or so. Older games didn't really have regenerating health, so that had to mean that every bit of damage taken to the player was IMPORTANT. It had to feel like it was the PLAYER'S fault--otherwise it would seem too cheap. They way most of them did this was to make dodging be a necessary skill, to the point where a very good player could probably complete the game having taken almost no damage at all. It was a skill ceiling that was always rewarding, and why it's imminently more fun for me to go back and play shooter's from the 90's than ones from today.

Anyway, I don't think this current trend in shooters is going anywhere anytime soon, and I don't necessarily hate those kinds of games or anything. They're easily the genre that I roll my eyes at most these days, but that doesn't mean I won't sit down on a day off and just blast through one once in a while. It's just a shame that so many creative people are leaning this way instead of looking at what made other styles of shooters fucking fantastic. We need more variety than what we're getting.

#24 Posted by zombie2011 (4972 posts) -

Halo has unique gameplay, you can play through battles numerous times and they all play differently.

Also HL-2 was not that great of a game, imo. The boat and car parts were long and boring, the Ant Lion section was lame with its first person platforming. The end 3-4 hours was amazing as well as a few sequences in between dull points. I didn't think Ravenholm was as great as everyone made it out to be either.

#25 Posted by believer258 (11773 posts) -

@linkforever1 said:

@MordeaniisChaos:

I appreciate you taking the time to write all that even if I agree with next to none of it (lol).

I think you missed my point with mario though. I wasn't talking about fundamental controls with that example. Obviously all games will have fundamental controls throughout the entire experience (otherwise it would be confusing as hell). What I was talking about was that maneuvering obstacles in Mario is comparable to killing enemies in Call of Duty. Those are both of their central experiences. The levels in mario constantly throw you in new scenarios (obstacles) you have never seen before to keep you interested. Whereas in call of duty your obstacles are just shooting the same enemy in different locations. My argument being that Call of Duty has absolutely no clever level design in comparison to Mario for that reason. It's the same thing but with a different background that has little effect on gameplay.

I still disagree that Call of Duty games in general don't have any creative level design. I'd easily consider the fourth Call of Duty one of the best shooters of all time simply due to how well it paces itself and how it balances quieter moments with incredibly intense ones. It's still a set-piece shooter, yes, but it's quite a thrill ride from beginning to end, and I'd say the same about World at War and Black Ops as well. Unfortunately, Infinity Ward's falling out with Activision definitely seems to have adversely affected Modern Warfare 2 and 3, so I agree with you on those games, but not all of the CoD games are like that.

Really, go play the fourth game - again, if you have already - and come back to me. You shoot dudes, yes, but you also sneak around them, blow them up with a helicopter, etc. There is a fair bit of variety in that game (and a fairly good action movie story to boot.)

#26 Posted by medacris (647 posts) -

Have you tried a cartoony shooter? There are a bunch of them out now, and they're at least different, even if not necessarily your style.

#27 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@linkforever1 said:

@MordeaniisChaos:

I appreciate you taking the time to write all that even if I agree with next to none of it (lol).

I think you missed my point with mario though. I wasn't talking about fundamental controls with that example. Obviously all games will have fundamental controls throughout the entire experience (otherwise it would be confusing as hell). What I was talking about was that maneuvering obstacles in Mario is comparable to killing enemies in Call of Duty. Those are both of their central experiences. The levels in mario constantly throw you in new scenarios (obstacles) you have never seen before to keep you interested. Whereas in call of duty your obstacles are just shooting the same enemy in different locations. My argument being that Call of Duty has absolutely no clever level design in comparison to Mario for that reason. It's the same thing but with a different background that has little effect on gameplay.

I see what you mean now, I misenterpreted your statement on a broader scale. I thought you meant each Mario game is some significant evolution, but I guess what you meant was that the game becomes more complex over time, adding in new mechanics? I can sort of see what you mean, but that doesn't make the CoD campaigns bad. It just has different stuff going on. Call of Duty DOES give you new mechanics, from enemies that behave differently (ie Riot sheild soldiers, jugs, snipers) to set piece moments like the Mk19 (the rapid fire grenade launcher in the heli), Sniping, and Airplane segments of the original Modern Warfare. And Modern Warfare 2, which I think has the strongest campaign of the Modern Warfare games, has a lot of levels that feel very different. The diversity and novelty of gameplay especially during the levels that take place on American soil were excellent. Some of it was large scale objective style stuff, taking on large enemy forces, sniping, defending, the UAV, and then it moved on to a mix of middle to close range combat in the residential area.

Plus, there's more to games than pure mechanics. Modern Warfare 2 in particular does a great job of showing you a lot of cool, crazy things, and a lot of varying environments to fight in, which changes the dynamic of comabt a lot. It has segments where you pretty much have to just book it, keep up the pace and kill whatever is in your way, it has stealthy sequences, sniping sequences, and a whole lot more to offer. Saying that Mario changes and presents mechanics more might be true (I haven't played a conventional Mario game in a very long time) but it's no where near as extreme as you think. If those games aren't your cup of tea, that's fine. I'll be honest, I don't like playing most Mario 2D platformers. I just don't enjoy the way they feel. I see why people love em, but I don't enjoy em. Mario Galaxy on the other hand I think is awesome.

Plenty of games don't give you tons of mechanics over time, but still manage to be awesome. With Call of Duty, I think it's hard to judge them separately because at this point, most of us have played so damn many of those games and they haven't really evolved all that much. And I feel like that tends to color people's opinions on the games, right fully so. But when you've only played Modern Warfare, and then Modern Warfare 2, it's a lot different than when you've played MW, World at War, MW2, Black Ops, MW3, and soon Black Ops 2 (which I hope manages to push things far enough to make the formula interesting and fresh again).

#28 Posted by Irvandus (2875 posts) -

I believe it's wrong to say all FPS games are not innovative. Look at Metro and Left 4 Dead just to name two ff the top of my head. Start looking for the more innovative ones and focus less on the money makers that EA and Activision like to pump out.

#29 Posted by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@yinstarrunner:

Thanks for reading. The title is controversial because as stupid as this sounds, I don't think people are going to read a lengthy critique of a genre unless you give it that sort of controversy or have established yourself at a very high level. Do I agree with the title? Yes, I do. Do I think it 's the most accurate way to get across how I feel about the content? Maybe not. These types of games I even find fun in bursts but I still don't think they are very clever or interesting games.

I think a lot of what we complain about comes down to the developers wanting to make things more accessible but at the same time I think those design choices make the games lazier and worse.

#30 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I'd also like to add that I think first person, when done right, is almost always the "best" way to play a game. Games like Mirror's Edge, Half Life, Metro 2033, Stalker, FarCry, Left 4 Dead, Minecraft, and Skyrim are great examples of that. You just get a more accurate, immersive experience. I just wish more games tried to tackle things like the idea of cover. The way Syndicate handles it is awesome, Killzone certainly made an attempt, and I liked the way it was used in Rainbow Six: Vegas.

Obviously it doesn't work for everything, and there are some games that just wouldn't play well that way, and that are awesome for NOT being first person. But behind the back/over the shoulder? I pretty much always prefer first person.

#31 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -

Equating all FPS games to Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield is where your argument fails. There are a ton of FPSs out there (Bioshock, L4D, Borderlands, Halo, Bulletstorm, Brothers in Arms, Timesplitters, etc.) that do plenty of great things but you seem all too eager to dismiss.

If your argument was about modern military shooters then maybe it would make more sense, but then again Half Life isn't one right?

#32 Posted by TyCobb (1961 posts) -

@SomeDeliCook said:

"First Person-Shooters Offer the Worst Game Design" in your opinion.

In my opinion, RTS games are the worst.

@linkforever1 said:

@SomeDeliCook: I haven't played many RTS games (I have civ 5 and starcraft 2 demo). Would you explain why you believe that?

The two games you listed are 2 completely different games in different categories. StarCraft 2 is a Real Time Strategy while Civ 5 is a Turn Based Strategy.

#33 Posted by Spoonman671 (4588 posts) -

I hate all the shooting I do in my first-person shooters.

#34 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

I'm pretty sure HL2 goes 10 minutes before you get a gun.

Or at least the crowbar.

#35 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

@SomeDeliCook said:

"First Person-Shooters Offer the Worst Game Design" in your opinion.

In my opinion, RTS games are the worst.

@linkforever1 said:

@SomeDeliCook: I haven't played many RTS games (I have civ 5 and starcraft 2 demo). Would you explain why you believe that?

The two games you listed are 2 completely different games in different categories. StarCraft 2 is a Real Time Strategy while Civ 5 is a Turn Based Strategy.

Civ 5 isn't even primarily a TBS.

I mean, it's turn-based.

But it's a 4X. Which is arguably more important.

#36 Posted by evanbower (1210 posts) -

Extree extree.

#37 Posted by me3639 (1747 posts) -

Like i try to tell all whiners, complainers, haters, and criers...if you don't like it, don't play it, and if you think you can do better, start coding.

#38 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

I don't know what worse these days at the 'bomb, the spam threads or the new member trolling threads. Enough already!

#39 Posted by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@Dad_Is_A_Zombie:

That took over an hour to write..edited multiple times. It's my thoughts..not trolling. And ive been a member for years just not active on forums.

#40 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

@linkforever1 said:

@Dad_Is_A_Zombie:

That took over an hour to write..edited multiple times. It's my thoughts..not trolling. And ive been a member for years just not active on forums.

Hmmmm... In that case I have to take your post seriously. Which is somehow worse.

#41 Posted by Genkkaku (735 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Shady said:

@Genkkaku said:

Dead Island

That's being unfair to all FPS games as the shooting in that is the worst.

It was NOT the worst. On a gamepad, pretty bad. Mouse and keyboard though? I found it pretty rewarding. Now, if you are saying that because it was ineffective against Zombies, then I guess, but I liked that. A pistol shouldn't put down a zombie even with headshots, certain not body shots. Maybe a close range shotgun blast or a rifle round impacting the brain. But against the human enemies, it was effective, and I thought pretty satisfying, just pistoling down those thugs with a shot or two.

But, I'm a sucker for pistols in games. Still, with a mouse it felt pretty good. Not amazing, but easily passable at worst.

I was leaning more to the fact that they managed to make Melee in an FPS game feel good, fun and rewarding.. Yeah the guns in that game were not it's strongest part, but that first area and the analog combat brought something new to the FPS Genre

#42 Posted by Slag (4222 posts) -

I can buy your argument, although I do agree with others here it would have helped if you had more negative examples to back up your claim.

There are some great FPS games out there I loved both Metroid Prime and Half Life 2, but there are a lot of lazy me too scripted hallway clones with really short single player campaigns.

I think though FPS games are really all about multiplayer now though, the single player campaign is an afterthought. So is it truly fair to hold them to standards they aren't even trying for?

#43 Edited by egg (1455 posts) -

@linkforever1 said:

While Half-Life has a bunch of interesting gameplay mechanics that are very good at keeping things fresh, I'd like to talk about a different game that arguably does it even better: the original Metroid Prime for the GameCube.

Stopped reading.

edit: And there's nothing fresh about Metroid Prime or any puzzle/adventure games where you get stuck. Walk around circles, find obscure crack in wall, blow it open.. and repeat. How is that fresh? It's the same thing over and over. And this sort of thing been done to death by countless games so it's not fresh in that respect either.

#44 Posted by Deusx (1903 posts) -

No genre has the worst design. Any game can be good or bad regardless of its mechanics.

#45 Edited by adam1808 (1425 posts) -

A game with a bad story and a linear structure is probably still going to be a decent game. Though I agree that more needs to be done with the first person perspective, it's an effective perspective for interactivity as it's the closest you as the player come to actively taking part in the proceedings. Regardless of the structure of the game or the way the story is delivered, games still need to be engaging. Syndicate has little in the way of interesting story or structure, but damn is it a satisfying shooter. At the end of the day, an interesting and fun first-person shooter is a first-person shooter in which it is interesting and fun to shoot things.

#46 Edited by adam1808 (1425 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

Not a bad write up, I prefer games like Halo/Timesplitters that have the right amount of gameplay and story mixed together. You often know why you're here and what's happening and its fun to play through. Even more so because both games can be pretty unpredictable with enemy ambushes, vehicle sections (Halo) or just plain creepy/crazy shit (Timesplitters). Way more fun than RAMIREZ TAKE OUT HALF THE ARMY WITH A SPOON.

I would play a first-person shooter that let me talk out half an army with a spoon.

#47 Posted by corruptsaves (214 posts) -

Any type of game can be boring or fun, I'm bored of COD style shooters. Partly because there have been so many of them and in the future there are going to be a lot more. If I played through lots of similar games of any genre it would become boring for me eventually. But I would love a new Timesplitters game.

The next generation should drain away the tedium of the games we find dull and help implement new ideas (or it could just get worse, I'll be in no rush to buy a new console if it turns out we are just getting the same games all the time.)

Like someone said before that Mario (Galaxy) hasn't really changed, but I still find that engaging, even though it's mainly jumping around. But the Mario games don't play out in my head as simply as walking into a room and shooting everything in a single player campaign.

But if a mechanic as simple as jumping can keep me engaged other genres have the potential to as well.

#48 Posted by Atlas (2435 posts) -

I can only speak articulately about game design up to a point, as I am not a game designer or developer. Just a little disclaimer.

I have a problem with the oversaturation of gritty modern military FPS games, but I reject the notion that there is an inherent issue with FPS design in general. I would argue that a lot of the sloppiest, most inept, and most half-assed development goes into producing FPS games. It's the modern equivalent of the myriad terrible fighting games made in the 90s in the wake of the popularity of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat; publishers saw the money that those damn Call of Duty games pull in, and decided that they deserved a piece of that pie, but they forgot to actually get a talented studio with experience in the genre to make the game. Say what you will about the CoD games - and I have in the past - but they always have a certain level of craft and a great deal of polish. Most of their imitators though? Not so much.

I played Hard Reset this year and thought it was pretty good. Hella short though. And two of the games that I consider to be among the very peak of game design - BioShock and Half-Life 2 - are the games that I think of when I think of FPS games. And as far as multiplayer goes, TF2 is an immaculate piece of game design.

#49 Posted by linkforever1 (30 posts) -

@egg said:

@linkforever1 said:

While Half-Life has a bunch of interesting gameplay mechanics that are very good at keeping things fresh, I'd like to talk about a different game that arguably does it even better: the original Metroid Prime for the GameCube.

Stopped reading.

edit: And there's nothing fresh about Metroid Prime or any puzzle/adventure games where you get stuck. Walk around circles, find obscure crack in wall, blow it open.. and repeat. How is that fresh? It's the same thing over and over. And this sort of thing been done to death by countless games so it's not fresh in that respect either.

So in all puzzle adventure games the solution is blowing up a crack in a wall? ...I think you need to play more games. Also that isn't true about Metroid Prime either. There are cracks but they are there so you know to use the missle launcher..after the first one they shouldn't confuse you...also there arent 'that' many and there are many more puzzles to those games than just that. The beauty of them is that they aren't usually laid out like a puzzle room either. It's more like figuring out how to advance.

#50 Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -

At first I hoped that an actual game dev would talk about the faults that game design in FPS have. Just another I'm tired if the genre blog.