Finally found an FPS I'm probably going to finish.

I know I've posted in a couple of places that I've never really been into FPS games; it seems like there's always something that doesn't quite work for me. I've found a game that works for me now, though: F.E.A.R.2. for a combination of reasons I've played it longer, and have more intention of finishing it than any recent FPS.

For some time I thought that the reason I never finished, or much enjoyed an FPS was that the character never really changed beyond getting upgraded weapons.
Maybe I just didn't play them long enough, but playing Halo3 and COD4 after borrowing them from my brother-in-law seemed to bear this out. After messing around with both of them for probably a couple of hours each, I cased them back up and handed them back over with a sort of shrug.

I also tried the first Bioshock; that one I lasted for at least as long as Halo and COD4 put together. Even then, even there, even with what at first glance seemed to be an upgradeable character, I didn't last. I don't know how far into the game I was before I quit, but I found myself running around a garden looking for a widget when I realized I didn't want to play any more, and for a few reasons.

  • I wasn't really upgrading my character, I was just getting more and better weapons.
  • I didn't care about the story; here were these people in this little self-contained world, fighting a little war that only they really cared about.
  • The combat just wasn't doing it for me. Maybe it was the lack of dual wielding in a place where it seemed like it should have been obvious.

Having played Fear2 for a bit now, I realize a few other things that I didn't know I really needed/wanted from that sort of a game.     
  • A story that I'm invested in beyond "go here and shoot things because that's your job". This is one of the reasons COD lost; I didn't care. It's very possible that if I had played the first 2 Halo games, I would be more invested in the story, but starting at 3, I wasn't that interested.
  • Environment. I like urban settings more than I thought I would. This is part of what kept COD going as long as it did; something about door to door fighting, sniping, etc. is apparently what I need.
  • Pacing. I like something a bit methodical. Maybe deliberate is a better term; enemies should move around an area in a way that seems realistic. I don't mind getting rushed a bit from time to time, but I like it when the enemies react to my shooting them by at least pretending to re-think their strategy.

For anyone reading this, any suggestions on a city-based, deliberatly paced FPS with a story that goes beyond just following orders?    
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Posted by sarahsdad

I know I've posted in a couple of places that I've never really been into FPS games; it seems like there's always something that doesn't quite work for me. I've found a game that works for me now, though: F.E.A.R.2. for a combination of reasons I've played it longer, and have more intention of finishing it than any recent FPS.

For some time I thought that the reason I never finished, or much enjoyed an FPS was that the character never really changed beyond getting upgraded weapons.
Maybe I just didn't play them long enough, but playing Halo3 and COD4 after borrowing them from my brother-in-law seemed to bear this out. After messing around with both of them for probably a couple of hours each, I cased them back up and handed them back over with a sort of shrug.

I also tried the first Bioshock; that one I lasted for at least as long as Halo and COD4 put together. Even then, even there, even with what at first glance seemed to be an upgradeable character, I didn't last. I don't know how far into the game I was before I quit, but I found myself running around a garden looking for a widget when I realized I didn't want to play any more, and for a few reasons.

  • I wasn't really upgrading my character, I was just getting more and better weapons.
  • I didn't care about the story; here were these people in this little self-contained world, fighting a little war that only they really cared about.
  • The combat just wasn't doing it for me. Maybe it was the lack of dual wielding in a place where it seemed like it should have been obvious.

Having played Fear2 for a bit now, I realize a few other things that I didn't know I really needed/wanted from that sort of a game.     
  • A story that I'm invested in beyond "go here and shoot things because that's your job". This is one of the reasons COD lost; I didn't care. It's very possible that if I had played the first 2 Halo games, I would be more invested in the story, but starting at 3, I wasn't that interested.
  • Environment. I like urban settings more than I thought I would. This is part of what kept COD going as long as it did; something about door to door fighting, sniping, etc. is apparently what I need.
  • Pacing. I like something a bit methodical. Maybe deliberate is a better term; enemies should move around an area in a way that seems realistic. I don't mind getting rushed a bit from time to time, but I like it when the enemies react to my shooting them by at least pretending to re-think their strategy.

For anyone reading this, any suggestions on a city-based, deliberatly paced FPS with a story that goes beyond just following orders?    
Posted by TheHT

hunh. well have you played f.e.a.r. part one?
 
fallout 3 is 'kinda' urban, but not the greatest as a shooter. still, the freedom might appeal to you.
 
also apparently crysis is gonna have some washington parts (read that on the cover of some mag) so you could look into that as well.

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Posted by immike
@sarahsdad: I was in the same boat with Bioshock and gave it several chances. I then was determined to like all of the things that seemed so likable in the game and bought it. I have not regretted it since and Bioshock 1 and 2 are some of my favorite games of all time. Reading the diaries, listening to the splicers, and exploring is definitely advised. The story is really interesting all the way through.  
 
We all have our own tastes, but I had no interest in FEAR 2's story when I played it. It seemed like it was cashing in on the ring and other jump-scare movies. I will not bash the game any more, because I have not finished it. Enjoy the game I guess, but I still think you could give Bioshock another chance. :]
Posted by Arubiano420

Rainbow Six vegas is completely urban fps.
And you can sorta follow the story. I dont know if there is a demo for that, but you can try it out and see what you think.
 
And I also couldnt get into Bioshock, I know its supposed to be great and all, but I also guit after the gardens area.

Posted by sarahsdad
@immike: I'm certainly looking forward to Bioshock 2 (at the top of my gamefly queue) based on what I've heard about the story and the gameplay. It may not be a typical city, but what seems like semi-closed environment, with a very straight-ahead story, and reportedly improved combat.  
 
I can see what you mean about FEAR2. From what I've seen so far, the character model for Alma, and how she moves certainly seem similar to the character from The Ring. I'm hoping it doesn't come out to be the same story; obviously with there not being any video tapes, at least some of it will change. I hope to get to the end and find out in the next few days :) 
That could be another blog post; I seem to spend more time playing most games than the GB average.
Posted by S0ndor

FPS games in an urban setting with a good story? Hmm, good luck with that :)

Posted by immike
@sarahsdad: Well, that's good that you haven't given up on it. I was so against Bioshock at one point that I would avoid a friend who was frequently talking about it. When I played through it and liked it, I felt dumb for not giving it a fair chance. Even if the story in Bioshock 2 doesn't wow me, the atmosphere is still spot on and is given a whole new perspective. The relationship between the girls and you is unforgettable in my opinion if not just cute. Still, if the story disappoints, the combat was really satisfying. 
 
Also, good luck with FEAR 2 and I also hope that it doesn't turn out like the ring. Here, how about I follow you and you blog about it later on and give your experiences and then maybe I'll give it a go!
Posted by jmrwacko

Play the Half Life series. Those are FPS's worth finishing. Also, have you ever played Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay? Very underrated game.

Posted by GI_Josh

Plus, not every genre is perfect for everyone.  Like you have a hard time finding an FPS, I hardly ever find a JRPG I enjoy.

Posted by Ferginator4k

Yeah i love the FEAR games.

Posted by sarahsdad
@jmrwacko: I tried HL2 as part of the orange box, but only got a couple hours in. I seem to remember that there was something odd about the way it moved where I had a hard time playing it for more than a little while at a time; this was especially true for the motor skiff parts, but had an effect on the ground as well. It might be odd, because I had a great time with Portal. I think the more directed nature, with the usually slow pacing, etc. really kept me there. 
Now that I think about it, I almost could have put Portal in for the first FPS I've finished, but I never thought about it as a shooter; it was always more of a puzzle/adventure game. 
 
I'll also put the Riddick game on my gamefly queue. I remember one of my friends talking about the original when it came out, but hadn't thought of it in a while.
Posted by BunkerBuster

As much as I love FEAR 2 it really can't see why it would be the one that you choose. Its really short and really easy. even on the hardest difficulty you can run straight at enemies with the assault rifle and never run out of medpacks. Even in the city areas you either have to get back into buildings or are piloting the mech. and the last two thirds you are in an underground research lab. In fact, now that I think of it you are in a medical research lab through out the entire game. They only look like civilian areas. So maybe its just the polish of FEAR but its definitely nothing that hasn't been done before. 

Posted by sarahsdad
@BunkerBuster: The element of chance that is gamefly scheduling had something to do with it. I recently re-joined after not having used it for several years when my primary game player was a PSP, and somewhere along the path of filling up my game queue, Fear2 was suggested. I remembered having a decent, if confusing time with the demo, so added it in. FWIW, if they had gone in strict queue order, I would probably have been playing Bioshock2 for the past several days. 
That's also a big reason for the blog post; having tried and not really enjoyed some of the more popular/noted FPS games (hl2, halo3, cod4) I was really surprised to find myself about half way through the game, and still interested in finishing it. Thanks to some of the comments on the blog, I've already added a few more games to my queue (Riddick, and the 2nd Rainbow6 Vegas)
Posted by mrslippyfist81
@Arubiano420 said:
" Rainbow Six vegas is completely urban fps. And you can sorta follow the story. I dont know if there is a demo for that, but you can try it out and see what you think.  And I also couldnt get into Bioshock, I know its supposed to be great and all, but I also guit after the gardens area. "
This was my recommendation.  The first Vegas had (at least i thought) a great story.  Very slow pacing, very tactical.  The second Vegas had a lame story, but more upgrade/RPG type options for ranking up your character and customizing him.  
Posted by mrslippyfist81

Also, the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter series has a mostly urban setting (minus some mountain levels) and slow paced minus a few epic firefights.  Ghost Recon is also about as deliberate and tactical as you can get on a console...  

Posted by BunkerBuster

It seems that a lot of the Tom Clancy games are basically urban combat, almost all of them, even the splinter cell games, have the properties of methodical pacing and interesting stories. If you didn't care about the pace being slowed down for some tactical flair the Modern Warfare series would probably be the best bet. Almost everything else I can think of are old turn-based PC games from the nineties.

Posted by Kyreo

Halo 3 ODST 
Fallout 3 
Bioshock 
 
Cmon man its not THAT hard.

Posted by sarahsdad
@Kyreo: I may try Fallout; I'm interested to see how the vats system works out in the new implementation. I may even go back and try the first Bioshock again. 
 
I'm curious about ODST, is it that different a feel than the regular Halo3 game? It may sound odd, but my memory of Halo was that it felt a bit . . . floaty I think is the word I'm looking for.
Edited by Kyreo
@sarahsdad: If Floaty is the Word for Halo then Weighted is the word for ODST.  It's not so run and gun like Halo... running head first into a crowd of Brutes isnt smart and ODST often requires you to plan your encounters.
Edited by sarahsdad
@Kyreo: Cool. Thanks. I was really close to getting odst from the descriptions when it came out. Adding to the queue now. 
 
And now the problem is with an average of about 30-45 minutes of play time a day, it's going to take me a while to get through everything. I wish all my problems gave me so much to look forward to :)