E3 and the Curious Case of Shooter Fatigue

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MjHealy

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Edited By MjHealy

Electronic Three is a time of the year where I think about video games. A lot. I am manly/nerdy enough to admit that over the past week I find myself thinking about E3, video games and so forth. I enjoy E3 every year, especially at the moment when I'm not in school or have a job. My schedule for the past week has been my sitting down at the computer, trawling through scads upon scads of E3 previews and listening to the Bombcast until my ears bleed. Many of the games I keep an eye on over these last few E3s have been those of the shooting variety. I enjoy my shooters. First-person, third-person,-second person; whatever you got. It's a genre which, through the films I watch, I find myself at ease with. It's my fallback genre, reliable and can hold my interest for 10-15 hours of gametime. There are plenty of shooters to be had as well. The two biggest games at this year's event are big, military first-person shooters. There are a good smattering of other shooters to choose from too, especially at the press conferences. Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Resistence 3, Ghost Recon: Future Solider, Halo 4, Far Cry 3...

Yeah, I get it. Left trigger aims. Right shoots.
Yeah, I get it. Left trigger aims. Right shoots.

I think I have just about had it with the glut of games piling into the shooter genre (bar Uncharted and Mass Effect as both have other reason to why I actually play them). Often times when people say that they have had it with a certain style of game, I usually don't agree with them. Having a sequel not change the core gameplay much isn't something that worries me with video games. I find myself a bit impressionable sometimes. Sometimes when a person is arguing a point (in, say, an article) I find myself just agreeing with it until I actually stop and think about it or somebody says otherwise. This is not how I am feeling now. At a point with the E3 previews and videos, I just could not watch another shooter being played. No more. So far this year I have played Bulletstorm and Crysis 2, both of which I think have used up the last amouts of my love from the Bank of FPS. I am just so tired pf the dyed in the wool style, 8-10 hour, set piece every 10 minutes, shoot dudes in the face video game. It's strange how quickly my mind switch "Yes Shooters" to "No More, Please", and I didn't even play any shooters in the last week.

In terms of innovation and shaking things up some, I don't know what I want next. If I did, I wouldn't be typing this blog but instead I would be snorting cocaine and buying yachts. Battlefield 3 seems like the same old business. People think of it as a revolutionary messiah because they are tired of Call of Duty but it still seems like the usual Battlefield fare. It may look purdy but it's all your usual business. An off-kilter game even like Bulletstorm didn't rile me up that much. A game really does have to part ways with the tropes of the genre for me to really get invested (like Borderlands but I have other problems with that game).

Seemingly, my answer seems to be play less shooters. I know. Working on that. It just worries me about the industry at large (or even through a community like Giant Bomb) about how these grafted, stiff formulas are still finding our way into our game consoles. There isn't wrong with that, mind you, but I don't want the industry to get stuck in a rut or have things go haywire when the current shooter loses it's appeal. I know some people have been feeling this little strain of fatigue (especially after the shooter-heavy E3 2011) so I am asking the community, who else has seems to have been diagnosed with a case of "Shooter Fatigue"?

I'm thinking of getting this blog moving on a semi-regular basis but we shall see. Maybe I'll lose interest like with my "fantastic" reviews... *ahem*. Ah, they're alright.

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#1  Edited By MjHealy

Electronic Three is a time of the year where I think about video games. A lot. I am manly/nerdy enough to admit that over the past week I find myself thinking about E3, video games and so forth. I enjoy E3 every year, especially at the moment when I'm not in school or have a job. My schedule for the past week has been my sitting down at the computer, trawling through scads upon scads of E3 previews and listening to the Bombcast until my ears bleed. Many of the games I keep an eye on over these last few E3s have been those of the shooting variety. I enjoy my shooters. First-person, third-person,-second person; whatever you got. It's a genre which, through the films I watch, I find myself at ease with. It's my fallback genre, reliable and can hold my interest for 10-15 hours of gametime. There are plenty of shooters to be had as well. The two biggest games at this year's event are big, military first-person shooters. There are a good smattering of other shooters to choose from too, especially at the press conferences. Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Resistence 3, Ghost Recon: Future Solider, Halo 4, Far Cry 3...

Yeah, I get it. Left trigger aims. Right shoots.
Yeah, I get it. Left trigger aims. Right shoots.

I think I have just about had it with the glut of games piling into the shooter genre (bar Uncharted and Mass Effect as both have other reason to why I actually play them). Often times when people say that they have had it with a certain style of game, I usually don't agree with them. Having a sequel not change the core gameplay much isn't something that worries me with video games. I find myself a bit impressionable sometimes. Sometimes when a person is arguing a point (in, say, an article) I find myself just agreeing with it until I actually stop and think about it or somebody says otherwise. This is not how I am feeling now. At a point with the E3 previews and videos, I just could not watch another shooter being played. No more. So far this year I have played Bulletstorm and Crysis 2, both of which I think have used up the last amouts of my love from the Bank of FPS. I am just so tired pf the dyed in the wool style, 8-10 hour, set piece every 10 minutes, shoot dudes in the face video game. It's strange how quickly my mind switch "Yes Shooters" to "No More, Please", and I didn't even play any shooters in the last week.

In terms of innovation and shaking things up some, I don't know what I want next. If I did, I wouldn't be typing this blog but instead I would be snorting cocaine and buying yachts. Battlefield 3 seems like the same old business. People think of it as a revolutionary messiah because they are tired of Call of Duty but it still seems like the usual Battlefield fare. It may look purdy but it's all your usual business. An off-kilter game even like Bulletstorm didn't rile me up that much. A game really does have to part ways with the tropes of the genre for me to really get invested (like Borderlands but I have other problems with that game).

Seemingly, my answer seems to be play less shooters. I know. Working on that. It just worries me about the industry at large (or even through a community like Giant Bomb) about how these grafted, stiff formulas are still finding our way into our game consoles. There isn't wrong with that, mind you, but I don't want the industry to get stuck in a rut or have things go haywire when the current shooter loses it's appeal. I know some people have been feeling this little strain of fatigue (especially after the shooter-heavy E3 2011) so I am asking the community, who else has seems to have been diagnosed with a case of "Shooter Fatigue"?

I'm thinking of getting this blog moving on a semi-regular basis but we shall see. Maybe I'll lose interest like with my "fantastic" reviews... *ahem*. Ah, they're alright.

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DepressedHippie

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#2  Edited By DepressedHippie

Everyones has  to follow the leader, which right now is Call of Duty. So expect to see a onslaught of shooters until Actionvision runs Call of Duty into the ground (i.e like guitar hero). Then again shooters have been slowly taking over since Halo 2 so maybe there reign will last for untold millennia, only time will tell.

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#3  Edited By SSully

I feel you. I have been having shooter fatigue since about last year. I still play an occasional shooter here or there, but mainly for the campaigns, and usually much later after release. The only shooter I still really play online is TF2 and Red Dead Redemption, if you count that.

My real fatigue is with first person shooters and military shooters of any kind. It is just a very exhausted genre, and frankly it is hard to get excited for any of these games because they are all so damn similar. Luckily gaming is huge, and there are tons of different games to play. So my advice is stop buying shooters and go with other games.

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It's an unfortunate side-effect of gaming being so big now, I suppose, and I'm terrified by it because I just don't see it going away anytime soon. A user above me is right, people follow the leader, but before Call of Duty, there was Halo. People have been following this leader for years and years. But what can you do about it? There's a specific demographic within video game fans as a whole that are solely interested in video games because of shooters. Multiplayer shooters more specifically.
 
Then again, there's also a group of people within the larger video game fanbase that are solely interested in games because of the annual sports franchises, and there aren't a bunch of high profile Madden or FIFA knockoffs. You don't see Madden games on stage being shown in a demo at the Microsoft press conference each year. It's because over time they just became a permanent, very specific feature, of video games, that appeal to a certain group over such a long period of time that you didn't really need a big hype machine for it anymore, people just knew it was going to keep coming every year, so they still sell well, without them being this big craze at conventions. 
 
I feel like we're very quickly approaching that point with certain shooter franchises, but we're just not there yet, and it could still take years, sadly. 
 
Closely related to this problem is how marketing costs and influence have just gotten out of control in this industry. Homefront, by most measures of reviews, sucked. And yet, it had a huge marketing budget, and even if it didn't become an instant classic (far from it) it still sold really really well at first. In some cases, publishers spend well over a hundred million dollars just marketing games. It's this vicious cycle. Companies spend so many money on marketing that they need to recoup costs, and so to recoup costs they have to make the same cookie cutter style games that sell really well, or whore out the same franchises over and over again, to stay afloat. 
 
I'm sick and tired of seeing modern/military shooters. But as long as companies keep spending obscene amounts of millions marketing them, and stupid people keep buying them, we're stuck with them. Personally, I'm of the opinion these days that the video game industry as a whole needs to significantly shrink if it wants to stay healthy and innovative and not over expand so much with obscene marketing costs, and flavor of the month casual gamers, that we end up in an out and out crash, or slow and nasty decline. There's only so many times you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing, so many casual gamers you can expand to, and so many shooters you can saturate the market with, before the entire thing just explodes and/or needs serious serious rethinking on how to approach just about everything.
 
But like the economy as a whole, when there's a bubble, people don't stop to get ahold of themselves. They just charge forward blindly thinking only in the short term before it pops. And we all suffer.

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the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

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i just hope that a different type of gaming becomes popular soon...  i mean there's only so much they can do.  i mean are they going to make realistic future games where the laser bullets actually show penetration through the body?  i dunno ive been so tired of shooters lately

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#6  Edited By DepressedHippie
@Marokai:  Amen, brother!
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Subjugation

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#7  Edited By Subjugation

Dude ... yes. I can't even play anything action oriented lately. I find myself playing chill games like Dawn of Discovery and other relaxing economy focused games. Feels good man.

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#8  Edited By MjHealy

@Marokai: Well said. The idea that the military first-person shooters willalways be the de facto standard in the games industry, because of the size of the market, is a terrifying one. I wouldn't mind it if they didn't take as much of the spotlight. They could just quietly chug along for the mainstream and then I may buy one now and then if an exceptional one come along. Also, the fact that Battlefield 3 is seen as some kind of revolutionary idea that graced the minds of geniuses, gets me too. The first-person shooter bar won't be raised this year, it seems like we could be wating a few years before it is.

Though I still want Valve to make a Team Fortress 3 just because I love TF2 so damn much.

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#9  Edited By AhmadMetallic

About Battlefield 3, it's not possible to have BF fatigue when you're a BF fan. 
 
Usually, the fatigue of a certain genre happens when you play those games just to enjoy them and see what they offer.  
The Battlefield series is the religion of Battlefield fans. It's not a new interesting journey, or a new action-packed sp-based shooter, no.. It's a multiplayer competitive game. It's what Battlefield fans play day and night. You can't have Battlefield fatigue simply because you love it so much (if you're a fan) that it's your competitive game of choice whenever you have time to play a video game. 
 
 
So while, IMO, it's possible to have cover-based-TPS fatigue or RPG fatigue, or generic shooter fatigue, competitive games with a long-running formula and a certain gameplay essence that have had fans hooked for 9 years, are out of the "fatigue" category. They're here for us to play all the time, they're our game of choice.

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#10  Edited By MjHealy

@Ahmad_Metallic: Battlefield fatigue isn't somethin that I have. I have enjoyed the franchise and it's good to see it chugging along. I just don't like the reaction it has gotten from around the internet about how it will "crush" Modern Warfare and change things. I think that they are just getting excited about wanting to see CoD and or Activision crumble, along with the excitement of seeing a new Battlefield game in the core franchise.

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#11  Edited By AhmadMetallic
@MjHealy said:

@Ahmad_Metallic: Battlefield fatigue isn't somethin that I have. I have enjoyed the franchise and it's good to see it chugging along. I just don't like the reaction it has gotten from around the internet about how it will "crush" Modern Warfare and change things. I think that they are just getting excited about wanting to see CoD and or Activision crumble, along with the excitement of seeing a new Battlefield game in the core franchise.

I understand, but the caption you have on that picture there sounds like "More shooting >_>" to me..
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#12  Edited By Zippedbinders

Maybe I've always suffered shooter fatigue? I've never been invested in Call of Duty or any military shooter enough to buy them. I have a pretty short list of FPS I care about, and I have alternative reasons for playing them than as a dude shooting simulator. I buy valve games for the writing and world building, same with Starbreeze games and the BioShock franchise. I buy id games because I'm an id fanboy and I love seeing what Carmack can do with game engines. Timesplitters is probably the last of the things that get free passes from me, if only for how silly it is. I guess I'm lucky enough that the only games I care about in the genre only come out once or twice a year. I spread myself pretty wide when it comes to games, I never really get holed up in anyone genre to get sick of it.

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MjHealy

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#13  Edited By MjHealy

@Ahmad_Metallic said:

@MjHealy said:

@Ahmad_Metallic: Battlefield fatigue isn't somethin that I have. I have enjoyed the franchise and it's good to see it chugging along. I just don't like the reaction it has gotten from around the internet about how it will "crush" Modern Warfare and change things. I think that they are just getting excited about wanting to see CoD and or Activision crumble, along with the excitement of seeing a new Battlefield game in the core franchise.

I understand, but the caption you have on that picture there sounds like "More shooting >_>" to me..

Ah, fair enough. To be fair though, I just picked a random E3 shooter for my screenshot...

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deactivated-59a31562f0e29

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i don't think anyone sees BF3 as a revolutionary messiah ... they just see it as a new BF game and that's something they're really into  
it's only EA that are talking a game about CoD really, and of course they are  
 
that's gonna be the one and only FPS i get this year though, and i'm looking forward to it - if only because i haven't had regular online play with my regular bunch of guys for a while.  

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It may totally invalidate my point that I wrote up earlier, but I suppose I should say I'm looking forward to giving Battlefield 3 a shot, at least. Still, I really hope at future E3's, the shooting action is toned down, especially since it seems like this is a pretty widespread feeling.

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#16  Edited By Rahf
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
About Battlefield 3, it's not possible to have BF fatigue when you're a BF fan.  Usually, the fatigue of a certain genre happens when you play those games just to enjoy them and see what they offer.  The Battlefield series is the religion of Battlefield fans. It's not a new interesting journey, or a new action-packed sp-based shooter, no.. It's a multiplayer competitive game. It's what Battlefield fans play day and night. You can't have Battlefield fatigue simply because you love it so much (if you're a fan) that it's your competitive game of choice whenever you have time to play a video game.   So while, IMO, it's possible to have cover-based-TPS fatigue or RPG fatigue, or generic shooter fatigue, competitive games with a long-running formula and a certain gameplay essence that have had fans hooked for 9 years, are out of the "fatigue" category. They're here for us to play all the time, they're our game of choice.
You could probably replace "Battlefield" with World of Warcraft in this post and claim the same thing. Truth is though, people do get fatigued and burnt out on games. Just look at all the guilds in WoW that fall apart because people are simply tired of the game. WoW saw it's first major dip in subscribers a few months after Cataclysm. Battlefield 3 fans; just like Halo fans or any other fans, probably don't make up the biggest share of the purchases. 
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#17  Edited By AhmadMetallic
@Rahf said:
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
About Battlefield 3, it's not possible to have BF fatigue when you're a BF fan.  Usually, the fatigue of a certain genre happens when you play those games just to enjoy them and see what they offer.  The Battlefield series is the religion of Battlefield fans. It's not a new interesting journey, or a new action-packed sp-based shooter, no.. It's a multiplayer competitive game. It's what Battlefield fans play day and night. You can't have Battlefield fatigue simply because you love it so much (if you're a fan) that it's your competitive game of choice whenever you have time to play a video game.   So while, IMO, it's possible to have cover-based-TPS fatigue or RPG fatigue, or generic shooter fatigue, competitive games with a long-running formula and a certain gameplay essence that have had fans hooked for 9 years, are out of the "fatigue" category. They're here for us to play all the time, they're our game of choice.
You could probably replace "Battlefield" with World of Warcraft in this post and claim the same thing. Truth is though, people do get fatigued and burnt out on games. Just look at all the guilds in WoW that fall apart because people are simply tired of the game. WoW saw it's first major dip in subscribers a few months after Cataclysm. Battlefield 3 fans; just like Halo fans or any other fans, probably don't make up the biggest share of the purchases. 
And that right there, unfortunately, is all that matters. The masses of casual gamers and their mood swings.. They get you the big $$, so remedying their fatigue is top priority.
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#18  Edited By Vinny_Says

you have shooter fatigue, so do I....but over 50 million other people don't. The game wizards would rather listen to them than you and me, so why should your opinion be better than theirs?

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#19  Edited By kingzetta

That's why i don't play to many shooters, then i don't get burned out on them.
I only play interesting shooters like bioshock or singularity, modern military settings are for chumps.

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#20  Edited By Yanngc33

Homefront made me realize that I was just playing the same thing over and over again. So i got massively invested in fighters that's worked pretty well for me so far. I think everything should go back to the original Quake, back to zero, it would be refreshing

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#21  Edited By HypoXenophobia

While I did see a bunch of shooters, I also did see a bunch of other interesting games also. Trackmania 2, Assassins Creed Revelations, Forza 4, the new Fifa  game. Etc. While I'm not knocking OP's opinion, I do also see that there is still a bunch of other games out there that don't involve shooting as a fundamental form of gameplay. It's all in what you're focusing on.

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#22  Edited By coolwhip83

Game developing costs so much now that publishers simply can't take risks anymore. So I guess aiming at the biggest spending market segment (15-20 year olds?) is the way to go. Which genre sells the most to them? Shooters. Shooters don't have to be a bad thing. First person anything leads to immersive gameplay and what can you do in first person? Shooting of some kind is what seems to be a logical thing. The thing I personally dislike about current games is though, that developers try to imitate movies. Which leads to scripted gameplay and an awful 'movielike' experience. Gamedevelopers weren't cut out to be great moviemakers. It's a whole different industry, one that has even bigger budgets. For good reason. 
Sandbox games are the way to go in my opinion, shooter or otherwise.

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#23  Edited By Skullo
@Marokai said:
  But like the economy as a whole, when there's a bubble, people don't stop to get ahold of themselves. They just charge forward blindly thinking only in the short term before it pops. And we all suffer.
This is so true. That entire post is so true.
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#24  Edited By Grumbel
@MjHealy said:

Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Resistence 3, Ghost Recon: Future Solider, Halo 4, Far Cry 3...

I think I have just about had it with the glut of games piling into the shooter genre (bar Uncharted and Mass Effect as both have other reason to why I actually play them).

That's the thing, I don't think it is really shooter-fatigue, but the lack of story that is the issue here. Uncharted, Mass Effect and Bioshock3 all look great and intersting, because they have characters and worlds that are interesting and that you want to explore. The generic millitary shooter doesn't have that, at best it has some filler that doesn't annoy you, but it generally doesn't offer anything that actually keeps you interested, keeps you wanting you to know more about the world, etc. Thus once you got used to the new graphics and game mechanics, there is nothing left worth bothering with in those games. Shooting people, as tired as it might be, still works quite fine as game mechanic, but its the whole surrounding that actually makes the games interesting and gives them purpose and that is something I really don't see in those generic military shooter.
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#25  Edited By DonPixel

Personally Im a RPG dood.. I can't complain, I enjoy the casual shooting once in a while. But for what I really care this year is looking real good:

-The Withcher 2

-Torchlight 2

-Deus EX

-Skyrim

-ME3

I haven't even finish Fallout New Vegas after 30 hours of game play so.. as I said looking good. I guess if you only play shooters yeah looks kinda more of the same right now.

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#26  Edited By DonPixel

@weeman105 said:

Dude ... yes. I can't even play anything action oriented lately. I find myself playing chill games like Dawn of Discovery and other relaxing economy focused games. Feels good man.

BTW Tropico is Top Notch duder.