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What happened to the diversity in FPS games?


Rayn
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During the 90s we saw the rise of FPS games, which started with Wolfenstein 3D and it immediately spawned a lot of alternatives. 

Personal favourites include (but not limited to) Blake Stone, Marathon, System Shock, Heretic, Hexen, MDK, Skynet, well the list is long. 

I've excluded the heavy hitters like Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D and Half Life, but throughout the 90s and well into the 00s we saw a lot of great FPS games that were singleplayer games with a great campaign, often with a multiplayer mode as an extended option. 

I loved games like Outlaws, Shadow Warrior, Redneck Rampage, Blood, Kingpin, Delta Force, No One Lives Forever, Deus Ex, Perfect Dark...well the list is rather long. 

But then the internet took over and multiplayer slowly turned the entire genre into a multiplayer first thing, some times with a single player campaign as an option. 

 

Aside from Titanfall 2 and the latest Halo I can't remember the last time I really played a good, solid FPS campaign. Granted, the latest Doom games were great but they're "just" Doom. They don't have the proper setting I'm after, it's more like a First Person Arcade Shooter for me. I'd love something like Soldier of Fortune or Project IGI, perhaps something like Half Life or NOLF, games with memorable settings, great characters and interesting missions. Oh, and a great story is a must. 

 

Are there any modern FPS games I might've missed? 

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If you liked Doom but wanted more narrative bits, I would imagine the new Wolfenstein games would be a pretty good fit, although I've barely started them.

 

As for other games, even with it being incredibly arcade like, Neon White is one of the best FPS games I've played in a while in terms of pure mechanics. And it even comes with an (incredibly edgy) plot.

 

I love the gunplay in Generation Zero, but it is mostly a sandbox of pottering about and robbing places before shooting the spit out of robots. You do get plenty of audio logs, and the whole '80s Sweden under seige by military mecha' is a fucking great vibe.

 

There's also Cruelty Squad, but that's really out there. Basically like watching your graphics card have faulty memory while having a fever dream yourself. Some people do love it, though, as hard as it sounds when you see it yourself.

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Yeah, I think it was Benny here who pointed out that the gap between Doom and Halo was 8 years, which blew my mind considering how little variety and progress we’ve had in the 21 years (!) since.

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It's pretty likely to have something to do with the business side of things. As a publisher it's a lot more safe to invest in a game that's built to cater for millions of players over many years than to risk losing your money on a game that most likely will be forgotten a year after release. I might be too old school to be included in any targeted audience group by now, but that doesn't change my feeling that we're not getting a whole lot of certain kinds of games that used to dominate. 

At least we're getting another Dead Space and System Shock, but something completely fresh would've been great. 

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I may have had the fatigue in mind when I did the facetious review of COD 4 in the top 100 thread. COD 4 was effectively the catalyst for the decline, at least outside of Indies.

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When it comes to interesting FPSes I was just thinking recently that I never actually played the full game of Outlaws back in the day, only a demo. Well, a fiver on GoG and this will soon be rectified!

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Wolfenstein The New Order and The Old Blood.

 

The New Colossus has it's moments but the quality of the level design takes a nosedive and the pervading atmosphere of dread is gone - basically it feels like they were under more pressure to make it non-stop action like Doom 2016. The idTech engine being gutted to support dynamic lighting at the expense of massive uniquely textured maps doesn't help.

 

I liked Titanfall 2, it has a great control feel, but couldn't tell you anything about the plot, motivation, even who my character was. MachineGames' games pick up the torch from HL2 in terms of marrying good writing and performances with meaty action.

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it's purely a numbers thing, a combination of publishers wanting to push online passes and microtransactions with platform holders wanting to sell subscriptions and keep gamers online to tempt them to buy more meant that single player games weren't desirable or seen as having enough return on investment.

 

now it's looped around cos developers who don't have the resources to compete with COD and BF can now put out competent and exciting single player games without having to invest too much in an online mode or look vastly inferior.

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10 hours ago, Benny said:

When it comes to interesting FPSes I was just thinking recently that I never actually played the full game of Outlaws back in the day, only a demo. Well, a fiver on GoG and this will soon be rectified!

 

I played it a while back. Pretty good, still, I thought. Great soundtrack!

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I think a lot of that diversity has been boiled down into F2P Battle Royale/competitive games featuring hero characters with a wide variety of abilities nicked from different genres. Overwatch is basically a multiverse of different FPS mechanics, as is Apex.

 

HL: Alyx was the next big thing in first person games. "Physical hands rifling through the environment and manipulating objects" genuinely felt like a massive leap forward and it was paired with good level design to make the most of it. However outside of VR I doubt it would work, the environments are small and the encounters relatively simple to account for actually having to do it physically. Fumbling around for ammo, then banging your shotgun on a wall to click the chamber closed while rolling around on the floor trying to shoot enemies under a garage door was a game-changing moment for me.  I tried to kick two different doors open. It broke my brain a bit.

 

And then nothing, because the room and equipment required makes it a nonstarter for most people (including me now since moving house and having a kid). 

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On 22/07/2022 at 08:22, Rayn said:

 

Are there any modern FPS games I might've missed? 

 

Borderlands 3 is absolutely amazing on a modern console. One of the finest games I've ever played and an absolute ton of replay value. A 10/10 experience for me.

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I think there hasn't been many trans gay wheelchair one eyed characters yet which is obviously a disgrace and it needs to be called out.

 

Surely someone in a wheelchair can attach guns to it and kill aliens too?

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On 29/07/2022 at 07:36, SMD said:

it's purely a numbers thing, a combination of publishers wanting to push online passes and microtransactions with platform holders wanting to sell subscriptions and keep gamers online to tempt them to buy more meant that single player games weren't desirable or seen as having enough return on investment.

 

now it's looped around cos developers who don't have the resources to compete with COD and BF can now put out competent and exciting single player games without having to invest too much in an online mode or look vastly inferior.

 

Feels a bit misleading to not mention the role that companies like GameStop and Game had in pushing companies away from focusing on singe player games.

 

Promotions guaranteeing you 60-70% of a games retail price if you traded it back within two or three weeks of release meant that within a month of a games release there were thousands of copies of any hugh profile game you'd care to mention readily available second hand and the games creators got none of that money.  

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1 hour ago, Hamus said:

I think there hasn't been many trans gay wheelchair one eyed characters yet which is obviously a disgrace and it needs to be called out.

 

Surely someone in a wheelchair can attach guns to it and kill aliens too?

 

You should probably read the opening post of a thread before attempting your comedy.

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3 hours ago, bear said:

 

Feels a bit misleading to not mention the role that companies like GameStop and Game had in pushing companies away from focusing on singe player games.

 

Promotions guaranteeing you 60-70% of a games retail price if you traded it back within two or three weeks of release meant that within a month of a games release there were thousands of copies of any hugh profile game you'd care to mention readily available second hand and the games creators got none of that money.  

 

I mean in fairness, game creators get fuck all anyway - most of that money goes to publishers.

 

Without reigniting the whole "price of video games" thing, I don't think it was ever fair to blame consumers for trading in games, particularly when you could easily see yourself having to fork out £40 quid for a game you could finish in a weekend in a market where retailers were barely making any margin on new sales. It was and still is a pretty broken economy, where it became unsustainable for the majority of the moving parts involved in making and selling games.

 

Major publishers only really have themselves to blame, and the irony is that those mega titles have now become so unsustainable that even they can barely provide resources to develop other games. It's very much been "I've won but at what cost". 

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On 22/07/2022 at 09:22, Rayn said:

 

But then the internet took over and multiplayer slowly turned the entire genre into a multiplayer first thing, some times with a single player campaign as an option. 

 

 

Are there any modern FPS games I might've missed? 

 

 

Ukrainian accent: it's on its way..brother.

 

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58 minutes ago, SMD said:

Major publishers only really have themselves to blame, and the irony is that those mega titles have now become so unsustainable that even they can barely provide resources to develop other games. It's very much been "I've won but at what cost". 

 

Is it though? profitability is significantly up, yet content variety has dropped through the floor for the leading independent publishers as they've concentrated their efforts on their winning ideas. A few games/publishers consume an ever more disproportionate share of the available money spent.


It is a bit sadly amusing to see the lament that infected all the other fallen genres now being applied to even the most commercially popular genres which should in theory be able to support a broader variety of releases.


You want anything interesting, you have to accept it's being made on a shoe string budget with limited scope and production values.

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48 minutes ago, Stevie said:

 

 

Ukrainian accent: it's on its way..brother.

 

apps.46831.14284944590486649.8661d389-be15-4f0d-99cc-55bc23a03058.thumb.jpg.53cba8df872072d963533eab2f49bccd.jpg

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I’m really looking forward to STALKER.

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4 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

Is it though? profitability is significantly up, yet content variety has dropped through the floor for the leading independent publishers as they've concentrated their efforts on their winning ideas. A few games/publishers consume an ever more disproportionate share of the available money spent.


It is a bit sadly amusing to see the lament that infected all the other fallen genres now being applied to even the most commercially popular genres which should in theory be able to support a broader variety of releases.


You want anything interesting, you have to accept it's being made on a shoe string budget with limited scope and production values.

 

profitability that goes back into shareholders, activision becoming a cod factory and rockstar a gta factory is them being stuck due to the need to show continuous growth in a way that releasing a niche or even middling title just won't achieve for them. even ea are struggling to put enough resources into the battlefield production line.

 

i don't agree that interesting games have to be made on a shoestring budget these days, there are lots of developers and publishers who are finding joy in the gaps left behind by the megapublishers and that will only translate to them grabbing more of a mindshare of the market who isn't interested in the megatitles. it's all well and good when the cods and gtas are meeting growth targets but when you bet the whole house on their continued success and you're one whiff away from disaster, doesn't really sound like a resounding victory to me. unless of course you're an executive who owns a lot of stock and your publisher is pending a massive buyout...

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7 hours ago, SMD said:

 

I mean in fairness, game creators get fuck all anyway - most of that money goes to publishers.

 

Without reigniting the whole "price of video games" thing, I don't think it was ever fair to blame consumers for trading in games, particularly when you could easily see yourself having to fork out £40 quid for a game you could finish in a weekend in a market where retailers were barely making any margin on new sales. It was and still is a pretty broken economy, where it became unsustainable for the majority of the moving parts involved in making and selling games.

 

Major publishers only really have themselves to blame, and the irony is that those mega titles have now become so unsustainable that even they can barely provide resources to develop other games. It's very much been "I've won but at what cost". 

I don't think using the word creators instead of publishers or financiers changes the point. The companies financing games had a very limited window to make their money back and a lot of that was down to the second hand market. If you're going to bring up online passes then I think the 800lbs Gamestop gorilla they were allegedly a response to also needs to be mentioned. I'm not blaming consumers for trading in games but the importance Gamestop placed on getting customers to continually trade in games certainly played a part in companies moving away from single player games that could be beaten in a week. 

 

I almost always mention Capcom whenever theres a discussion about how game sales now compared to ye olden days of 2009. The whole idea of a long tail was basically reserved for a handful of Wii and DS games. Now, Resident Evil 7 has sold at least a million copies every year since it came out and is still contributing positively to Capcoms finances. They've succeeded with this mad idea that if you make a really good game then it'll sell for years, even if its a singeplayer experience. Supposedly other publishers have noticed this and thats why Konami is meant to be getting back into AAA games with that Silent Hill rumour that never dies and why EA, home of the online pass, are bringing back Dead Space and have other big singleplayer games like Dragon Age and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on the way also. 

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