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  1. #1
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    [Opinion] Habits that need to die this gen (Part One)

    As next gen approaches, there are definitely some things that need to die off so that we don't run into that deja vu feel on the first day of launch. This gen has brought us some great games that will stand the test of time, but certain habits have created games into a certain, "same" feel. This is going to be a little mini-series of rants, hoping for a change in how some games are made as well as lamenting the current situation of gaming. Part one focuses on the most popular genre of some time, first person shooters.


    Two guns and all the jelly I want

    Ok first off, we need less games with the 2 gun limit, regenerating health scheme. It's overly abused, and in many cases limits the freedom. First, regenerating health. Get shot a few times, the jelly splashes onto the screen, then just duck. It's not hard to stay alive in these situations. Regenerating health just makes the game slower. Oh, I can pop my head up for three seconds to kill a few bad guys then look at the jelly for five seconds, rinse and repeat until you reach the next trigger.

    The two gun limit, it's becoming a little boring. Remember how much fun in Resistance 2 it was to alternate between your assault rifle and whatever else you brought? Yeah, nobody remembers. Because the weapon wheel was a lot better. Not to mention makes the gameplay more difficult. In Resistance 2, if you saw a rocket launcher precariously sitting on the ground, you knew in about three seconds you would fight some crazy goliath looking Chimera. Then you would toss it to the ground and move on.

    It was much better when you had a weapon wheel, conserving ammo in your more powerful guns for moments like this when one big dude comes outta nowhere looking to take you out. Then you have that "Oh $#@!" moment when you realize you wasted your rockets on some scrubs earlier in the level. Level design and enemy difficulty changes greatly when you have eight weapons at your disposal.

    In games that limit you to two, you have certain sections you reach where they give you a cool gun to be like, "Hey we're going to increase the difficulty here, pick up that explosive weapon and toss it after you finish the room". Then you go back to corridor shooting with your assault rifle that you've had since the beginning.


    Invisible Triggers

    Call of Duty is not the only one guilty of this crime, but essentially the use of invisible triggers where enemies keep respawning until you magically cross some part of the level. It's really implemented to cover up need for actual difficulty. The AI doesn't have to be sharp, developers can have the enemy across the field in buildings where you keep playing Whac-A-Mole until you feel the need to cross over into the next part of the level.

    Situations can be controlled much greater as you don't need to worry about enemy AI having flanking abilities, as they can be coded to rush into a barred off area directly behind you, and keep respawning until you reach a certain point. It's really just lazy game design. Pump your clip into some enemies, wait for the jelly to go away or run to the next part of cover. Keep doing that until you reach the trigger to continue the next part and do the same thing.


    I'm a Marine, so I use profanity

    In real life, as in off the interwebz, I probably curse more than your average person. But one thing that's overly used is generic character types in shooters. If there are marines, they probably curse a bunch. If there's a Russian in the game, he's probably an evil dude trying to blow something up, if he's British, he's special forces and generally a badass. You get the point, whatever the stereotype, the game uses it instead of trying to create characters with substance. It's fine if a game is more about the gameplay than trying to tell a big epic story, but it's lazy to depict different groups as these one dimensional characters.

    It's just unfortunate to see, and something I wish we see less of next gen. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to get some new villains that aren't Russian, Nazi, or some kind of vague Middle Eastern group.



    That's it for part one. It's not an exhaustive list of everything wrong with shooters, but some things that really irk me. Feel free to give your two cents, curious to see what you all think of current state of first person shooters.


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  3. #2
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    I agree with most, but I don't see any of them dying out. Archetypal characters will never go away.

    I only disagree with the 2-weapon limit, I find it much more fun and challenging, but things shouldn't be so obviously planted. It's exciting when you run out of ammo and you're forced to get a new gun from the battlefield. It looks great in Max Payne 3 and Uncharted (Although you're talking about FPS).

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    As Naxi said, the archetypal characters won't be going anywhere anytime soon, but it would be great for more shooter's to create a solid narrative. Most FPS titles focus too little on creating a good narrative, and others (hello, Bioshock Infinite!) seem to go to the opposite extreme, becoming an enthralling narrative first and an first-person shooter second. From what I've seen of Battlefield 4, it seems to be attempting to strike this 'balance' between solid narrative and solid game play, and thus I'm thrilled for it.

    As for only having two weapons at a given time, I agree with Naxi. The weapon will is good for some games, but there is something exciting about knowing you're very limited. If I have five weapons, I generally use them somewhat irresponsibly and haphazardly because I know I can simply switch to something else. But if I only have one or two weapons, I'm forced to use them more wisely. Having to scavenge the battlefield for a new weapon can be frustrating, but it's an adrenaline rush at times and makes for a better experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naxi View Post
    I agree with most, but I don't see any of them dying out. Archetypal characters will never go away.
    Yeah, they definitely won't. More lamenting the boring character types, no personality, no soul. But it's much easier to appeal to a broad base with them.

    And while I don't see any of the things listed dying out, at one point Health Packs were in almost every shooter. Then regenerating health became popular. Maybe we could see something creative take over next gen? Is it likely? No.

    I only disagree with the 2-weapon limit, I find it much more fun and challenging, but things shouldn't be so obviously planted. It's exciting when you run out of ammo and you're forced to get a new gun from the battlefield. It looks great in Max Payne 3 and Uncharted (Although you're talking about FPS).
    It just irks me when I play a game and I see a sniper rifle on a ledge. I know I'm about to enter a sniping section where I gotta take out the enemies that way. Usually in games that don't limit your weapon count you have more ways to clear out rooms, but still have situations where a sniper rifle is a superior choice.

    I'll give it to you on non FPS games, the limit is totally fine in a game like Uncharted. Does add to the difficulty.

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by SchaffinOSX View Post
    As Naxi said, the archetypal characters won't be going anywhere anytime soon, but it would be great for more shooter's to create a solid narrative. Most FPS titles focus too little on creating a good narrative, and others (hello, Bioshock Infinite!) seem to go to the opposite extreme, becoming an enthralling narrative first and an first-person shooter second. From what I've seen of Battlefield 4, it seems to be attempting to strike this 'balance' between solid narrative and solid game play, and thus I'm thrilled for it.
    I didn't get far in Infinite, and while it set a good pace and tried to make a good story, I found the gameplay to be weak. Thus, I grew bored of it. But I did appreciate the attempt of making me care about Booker, Elizabeth, and discovering all the plot events (from what I did play). The characters were definitely not flat, uninspired character types. BF4 will be interesting to see, so I'll reserve judgment until we see some more.

    As for only having two weapons at a given time, I agree with Naxi. The weapon will is good for some games, but there is something exciting about knowing you're very limited. If I have five weapons, I generally use them somewhat irresponsibly and haphazardly because I know I can simply switch to something else. But if I only have one or two weapons, I'm forced to use them more wisely. Having to scavenge the battlefield for a new weapon can be frustrating, but it's an adrenaline rush at times and makes for a better experience.
    I would argue that having more guns (depending on the title and difficulty) makes you use them more wisely. In a more realistic shooter, if you're using an assault rifle, you will generally come across plenty of ammo or plenty of AKs on the ground. There are few FPS games where I ran out of ammo and was put at a disadvantage in a firefight. When you have 5 guns, you don't know the next time you'll get ammo for them. You gotta conserve and try to only use those power weapons in situations with tougher enemies, striking a balance between good use and bad use of ammo. To me, managing that and trying to survive the level is more of a rush.
    Last edited by Sir_Scud; 05-12-2013 at 18:08.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Scud View Post
    And while I don't see any of the things listed dying out, at one point Health Packs were in almost every shooter. Then regenerating health became popular. Maybe we could see something creative take over next gen? Is it likely? No.
    Even simply bringing back health packs would be a good step forward. At least with health packs there is a limit and a degree of thought involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchaffinOSX View Post
    Even simply bringing back health packs would be a good step forward. At least with health packs there is a limit and a degree of thought involved.
    I wouldn't mind health packs, because they did create tension in older shooters. You enter a new room with 25% health and wonder if you'll make it. Then when you see health you sprint at full speed so you don't die and have to start over. But I also understand why developers would not want to go that route (people would die more, get mad).


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    All solid points. It's been awhile since I've played a game with a weapon-wheel or the equivalent, but I do recall that there was considerably less ammo lying around in those types of games to encourage smarter weapon usage.

    As for the health packs being removed because it makes things difficult, and thus gamers get mad...ern...you're right, but I don't like that you're right. Something doesn't mesh with me so far as developers making things easier so you can get through a game without considerable trouble. I've always felt like that defeats the challenge and thus the point, but that's personal vendetta of mine.

    Good piece though, SS.
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    For regenerating health there can be a balance between the two. The latest example would be Far Cry 3, where health is divided into boxes. If a box is depleted, it won't regenerate. It has been done before.

    Also having multiple weapons kind of ruins the flow of combat, going through weapons or using the weapon wheel. I'm usually a bit too conservative and never find an appropriate situation for a weapon, thinking there might be something harder further on or I just forget about it. I end up not using it.

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    Games made by European/Asian/Australian studios with stereotypical american characters, american setting, all american voice cast. Enough is enough, there's a big wide world out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    Games made by European/Asian/Australian studios with stereotypical american characters, american setting, all american voice cast. Enough is enough, there's a big wide world out there.
    Games made by Japanese studios with stereotypical Japanese characters, Japanese setting, all Japanese voice cast. Enough is enough, there's a big wide world out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MATRIX 2 View Post
    Games made by Japanese studios with stereotypical Japanese characters, Japanese setting, all Japanese voice cast. Enough is enough, there's a big wide world out there.
    Oh dear

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    I love the feeling of wasting an area full of baddies with just 5HP meaning you cannot make a single mistake, it takes many multiple tries but when accomplished its amazing and you deserver a beer.

    But that feeling is not there any more in FPS style games due to regen health.

  14. #13
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    how about FPS in general needs to die down a little! more 3rd person military based shooters...

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    One thing that annoys me about infinitely respawning enemies is that by the time I realize the enemies are infinite, I've already been shooting for awhile. And if I move up and die, I have to do the fighting all over again.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SchaffinOSX View Post

    As for the health packs being removed because it makes things difficult, and thus gamers get mad...ern...you're right, but I don't like that you're right. Something doesn't mesh with me so far as developers making things easier so you can get through a game without considerable trouble. I've always felt like that defeats the challenge and thus the point, but that's personal vendetta of mine.

    Good piece though, SS.
    Thanks, but what can you do? They are making games easier to appeal to a broader audience. Every genre has many examples of how developers are scaling back certain things so the gamer doesn't get frustrated. Just a gripe, but I can deal with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naxi View Post
    For regenerating health there can be a balance between the two. The latest example would be Far Cry 3, where health is divided into boxes. If a box is depleted, it won't regenerate. It has been done before.

    Also having multiple weapons kind of ruins the flow of combat, going through weapons or using the weapon wheel. I'm usually a bit too conservative and never find an appropriate situation for a weapon, thinking there might be something harder further on or I just forget about it. I end up not using it.
    Fair enough, it's not perfect, but I'd rather have a choice of weapons than being limited in the moment. Not that I can't pick up new weapons or whatnot. And even if some weapons in a wheel go unused, I like having the option.

    The divided health thing is definitely something we've seen before, I do like it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    One thing that annoys me about infinitely respawning enemies is that by the time I realize the enemies are infinite, I've already been shooting for awhile. And if I move up and die, I have to do the fighting all over again.
    Lol yeah, I've been there. And like Keefy, I really enjoy taking out the room with low health and no mistakes after retrying a bunch.


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    A really good read mate, I do agree with most of it but I think its more of a matter of taste for me, as I've never been too into these popular military titles

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    Great read, I find that only sci fi games should feasibly have regenerating health, its not very realistic in a WW2 shooter,say, and the soldier takes dozens of hits in a level and heals by hiding for a few seconds lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkVincent07 View Post
    A really good read mate, I do agree with most of it but I think its more of a matter of taste for me, as I've never been too into these popular military titles
    Thanks guys. And yeah, it's just matter of opinion, but it's time FPS games break out of this mold a bit. I feel like they are just stuck in this mode for the most part. To me the genre is more stagnating than expanding. And it's because we aren't seeing changes to the formula. Will it stay super popular amongst the masses? Most likely.


  20. #19
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    Just to clarify, Resistance 2 didn't have the weapon wheel. Resistance: Fall of Man had it originally before they went generic with the second game until Resistance 3 went back and fixed it.

    A good opinion piece, Sir_Scud. I personally don't mind if, Call of Duty continues their campaign of the same old, same old but other developers should really do their own thing. Seeing so much Regen Health and two weapons only can be stale to the point where new shooters that continue this practice are boring. A weapon wheel is a fun method and, Insomniac Games have proven that it can be done.

    What the majority of developers were aiming for this gen was the wrong demographic of consumers, the same gamers that are fans of, Call of Duty. That's actually a terrible business decision, instead they should form their own consumer base and experiment with something that will be unique on their game instead of trying to copy and paste what's popular.







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