Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Episode 42: "Worst Person"

update: as of 9/13/11 this video is at THIS LINK

What, did you think the new show meant the old warhorse was getting back-burnered? HELL NO! So here, at least is "The First-Person Shooter" episode...

128 comments:

Kysafen said...

"...why don't they make more first-person games that aren't shooters?"

It'd be a financial risk which developers and publishers don't want to take (at least, in America; Japan's a totally different affair). By this point the first-person shooter is the most stable genre to publish in. FPS's sell, and that's why more FPS's are made. It seems like a neverending cycle, and yes, it sucks.

Having an HUD that gives the player perspective as to his/her's location (say, a real-time map) can help the lack of the omniscience in this genre, but inherently even that's pretty limited.

P.S. Minecraft.

Meister_Li said...

Man, you're talking out of my soul. I noticed everyone around me buying Call of Shooting: Shooting Ops today and I still don't get it.

I grew up on the PC, with CS, Half-Life, Unreal, Quake and so on, but I still don't get it.

I loved Half-Life 2, I loved Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas - they are in first person.
But they are Single Player games, first and foremost. And the coffee-filter visuals in Fallout actually help the immersion. It's similar with Bioshock (altho they seem to ruin sequels by adding multi player) and the upcoming X-Com game - they have style and immersion, aliens, mutants, scifi or fantasy - First person actually makes sense there.

Call of Duty on the other hand? Even the single player felt... Boring. There was no cool Scifi like in Half-Life or this sense of freedom and exploration as well as RPG-Elements in Fallout. It's just grim war-realism. I don't need that, I actually don't even want to THINK about realistic war, thanks.

So... Can First person work? I would say yes. But I also would say that what you say is true - it is a problem. It just makes too much money. If you can make as much money with "Black Ops" as with "Modern Warfare 2" - and that with basically just releasing some more multilayer maps and turning another movie into a three hour campaign... Why do anything else?

James said...

This is also interesting for me because of the 3rdPS genre, which does seem to have the same issues. As I've maintained, Halo didn't destroy the shooter genre, it was Gears of War. Before GoW, we didn't really have the massive emphasis on graphics (the first time I heard graphics being mentioned as a reason to buy a game from my friends was this one), the ridiculous hypermasculine men-in-refrigerators characters (Master Chief was essentially a silent protagonist), and the overwhelming brown and grey (Halo is many things, but monochrome is not one of them).

Just some food for thought!

Drake Sigar said...

Pure first-person shooters should have been abolished years ago, used as spare parts or combined with other genres to make games which can’t easily be categorized into a single genre. There are a few occasions when a first-person view is beneficial - System Shock, Call of Cthulhu: DCotE and the Penumbra collection among them. The limiting vision only adds to the gnawing fear that something you can’t see is about to take your head off.

martikhoras said...

Thank you for sharing a coherent, collected, and pretty mature in presentation opinion, bob.

Wait not done with the compliments. I've been sensing this chip or cheap heat at attacking a genre you don't like with hateful rhetoric and I liked you for.. well not being that guy. Even though you REALLY don't like fps (and really 3rdpses not that much better you replace gun with dark haired broad shouldered dude) you followed the request, shared what you think and your perspective calmly. You asked us questions to respond to and offered answers you see.

You gave us examples of genius in the genres and seem aware of its history and development. You even shared the feelings.

Thank you for sharing Bob, my disagreements will be later as I want to bask in the try to harmony.

Ultima Black Mage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ultima Black Mage said...

Man I love every video of The Game Overthinker! I'm on your side Bob. I do spend a fair bit of time in the FPS genre but every FPS I play is me VS something not human, but I usually play something like Blade Kitten or Super Mario Bros. or Legend Of Zelda. The 3rd person perspective is just better for gaming in my opinion and reminds you it's just a game in comparison to the first person perspective which makes it harder to skew the line and if you look at the majority of modern shooters the clutter of ammo, weapons and other info on screen keeps getting smaller and I think some can actually turn them off completely. I really like that comment that if we could see ourselves in the 3rd person we'd all be ninjas, that's so true. Also the order of you favourite genres is similar to mine and that's interest how people brought up on classic games don't really embrase FPS. Come to think of it the majority of FPS players seem to be those who missed the NES/SNES boat and were brought up on PlayStation.

I'd also like to defend Mirrors Edge because even though it's got a hell of a lot of problems I think first person plaforming can work well and the game was fun for me. I enjoyed the way it played and it's probably because of platforming in Metroid Prime and the feeling of momentum. If Nintendo made a FPP I bet it would be awesome! I'd like to see how they would tackle it.

I'd also like to recommend playing Blade Kitten to Bob because it's very old school inspired and plays like an old game for the most part.

Jualr said...

That was a pretty good argument you have there but I don't think that the genre itself is limited just look at fallout 3 fallout new vegas and minecraft. I believe that the the fps
genre has a lot of potential yes right now everybody seems to try and imitate the success of call of duty and halo without really adding anything new to and new and exciting stories are just to much of a risk to take but the appeal of some first person shooters is the fact that it is you in the game. In the fallout series the guy you play a is essentially you you choose what he/her looks like and you decide what he does. You put an actual investment in the character you're playing as so when you are injured you almost wince because thats your guy out there scavenging for parts to make a weapon and thats your guy fending off bandits and to me minecraft is one of the best first person games because there is no story its just you dropped of in some random location and from there you do what you want. It may not be the prettiest game but it is one of the most interesting as in you create a house and you explore this world you've been given there is no
homophobic racist antisemitic twelve year old screaming at you for being a noob its just you and in some cases a couple of friends doing what you want in a huge world
doing what you want when you want its not some masculine asshole and its not some wisecracking douche it just you.

Arturo said...

A double dose of Bob in a single day?
SWEET!

Also, WEEBO!!
I have to admit that Mirror's Edge was ambitious, but it was still an experiment that yielded bad results. Maybe it would've been better in third person, even if the immediate comparisons to Prince of Persia from the gaming community breaking out seconds later.

Alexander said...

You know, claiming that gaming is being ruined because of douchebag jocks buy first person shooters just as stupid as claiming that gaming is being ruined because of soccer moms buying the wii. We get it, you don't like first person shooters. Stop pretending that your beef with the genre is anything other than a personal dislike. All the arguments you presented here basically boil down to "because I don't like them". Nobody's saying you have to enjoy FPS games, but you can quit projecting your personal tastes onto the entire industry and dismissing millions of people as hyper-masculine assholes. The hypocrisy and self-righteousness you displayed in this video made it difficult to watch.

Ben said...

I still don't understand your hatred for Metroid Prime. Essentially what happened in this episode was you went out of your way to specifically call out Metroid Prime as an example of first-person shooters ruining gaming and then you listed a collection of grievances that don't apply to Metroid Prime.

I'm starting to think you're just trolling people who respect what that game did.

Travis said...

Loved this, this is exactly the way I feel about the subject. I was watching one of my friends ogling over the graphics of some shooter a few weeks ago (might have been the new Medal of Honor but I'm not sure) and I didn't get it. I mean yeah, you can see those rocks and the sand and all the other boring-as-hell scenery better than ever now, but other than that it was exactly the same thing as every other FPS ever. I was going somewhere else with this but I lost my train of thought.

Oh, and if you want to try some great first person games that aren't shooters: Thief (yes it's old, hell yes it's still really damn good), Penumbra (and Amnesia, but I haven't played that one yet cause I'm broke), and also Minecraft. Three amazing series right there, all in first person, two of which have optional bows and no shooting beyond that.

Alexander said...

I have to say that i thought that video could have done without the ad hominen attack, its a bit beneath you. Other than that it was a great video, I don't agree with you but it was very thought provoking.

I grew up in the late 90's early 00's and they were my formative gaming experiences. This means i love 1st person shooters, real time strategy and the western rpgs, so honestly i don't mind the market saturation of fps's.

I mean it sucks about the idea that game companies need to copy CoD and Halo to make money but i think the benefits outway the costs. I mean it is no coincidence that gaming console popularity has gone massively up in the last decade or so. This is because guys love to "play war", I think you've got it wrong about immersion, realistic fps don't sell, halo can hardly be thought of as realistic. I have no idea of how much you played CoD but realism is not a word i would use to describe it, its the game equivalent of The Rock (the movie not the wrestler).

Its the competitive nature of these games which sells them imo. The great thing about online play is you can play with other people in a fun fast paced version of paintball. Thats all it is, the foul mouthed little shits who swear down there mic are just a facet of the nature of the net, hardly unique to fps's. Though i do admit that the content allows kids to feel grown up when they really aren't, and for kids thats what grown ups do.

I mean the homogeny in the media is a shame but fps's are a great gateway drug to video games, and eventually someone will make a game to cater to the same audience but be sufficiently different for other to realize that they don't have to make the same shit over and over again.

Anyway this post is getting to long, and i could say more, maybe i'll have to make my own video, get a bit of rational discourse going here.

REPTILE 0009 said...

I love fps's. I hope they continue to remain the dominant genre.

REPTILE 0009 said...

Trust me, with games like Halo and Call of Duty breaking sales records across the charts, I doubt the genre will die for along time.

Smashmatt202 said...

Honestly, I think you nailed down why I don't like first-person shooter games, either.

Megore said...

The Elder Scrolls series is also a great first person non-shooter games.

Amnesia The Dark Descent was an awesome first person survival horror.

Let's not forget about Minecraft the indie game that has taken the gaming world by storm, the game is still in alpha and has sold more than 500,000 copies.

Oh and Bob where exactly is your evidence that companies are making less non-shooters than say 10 years ago. If anyone cares about facts than you'll know that all types of genres of games have increased.

kain6th said...

I'm sure someone else has probably said this, but one video game series that is not a shooter, but uses the fp perspective are the bethesda games: Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion. I feel the fp perspective can work very well without being shooters. Of course most companies probably don't want to do that because there's little money in it.

If there were more fp games like those I would be for it, otherwise I agree that this genre needs to die out and let others have their time.

Regularjoe said...

Saying that FPSs are only for homophobic manchildren is like saying that videogames are just for kids. The more people that believe that it is true, the more it will be true. The FPS genre may be plagued by shitty monochromatic war games, but there are the few, the proud.

Also, every time you refer to 4chan to insult a group, I die a little inside. 4chan is full of assholes. A lot of people who do X are assholes. This does not imply that everyone who does X is a member of 4chan. It was a lot worse last episode, when you said that everyone who didn't like Metroid Other M was a member of 4chan. Suggesting that anyone who plays online shooters is a member of 4chan is still pretty bad.

Rob said...

As Drake mentioned, if you want to play an FPS where you spend a lot of time cowering and running the hell away, go pick up Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. Paradoxically, it's the most "realistic" shooter I've ever played. No aiming reticle, no ammo counter, no aim assist, iron sights all the way. You don't even get a gun until halfway through the game, until then you're just running and hiding.

Also as stated above, I don't think the problem is Call of Duty and Halo, but rather other franchises trying to ape Call of Duty and Halo. Two successful games do not a market flood make. Having said that, my favorite FPS titles are probably the Rainbow Six: Vegas twins. Squad controls really change up the gameplay in a fun way.

RestamSalucard said...

You see Tom, or whatever the hell your name was, THIS is where you put the "Other M still sucks" post, where it actually has some relevance to whatever the hell Bob posted.

On that point though, out of all the complaints about Metroid: Other M, I don't think the Third Person viewpoint even factored into the discussion. Hell, from what I heard, I was under the impression they wanted to get rid of the First Person sequences altogether.

Sean Aaron said...

Nice and well-reasoned. To those who took offense at the last bit, I'm sorry, but he does seem to have a point there.

I'm not the biggest fan of the genre; in fact the only draw previously was the use of a license like Star Wars or Star Trek. I think it's incredibly limiting and you hit the nail on the head with the "player character is is gun-hand" bit.

The first-person perspective seems like a massive cheat to me from a programming perspective because there's no real work required on the animation of the player - just animate the gun and reloading and you're sorted - basically the player gets to control the camera, yippee!

The games could certainly be changed up a bit. I think Star Trek Elite Force II did great stuff with the tricorder to change things up and The Conduit - maligned as it is - had the ASE and a decent storyline.

Having just played Goldeneye on the Wii and determined it's not really my cup of tea, it's the lack of story in the single-player game and the emphasis on "realism" that ruins it for me. I enjoy The Conduit and Red Steel 2 and the RE rail shooters and Dead Space Extraction, but that's it for me. Conduit 2 is the only FPS I'm looking forward to; mostly I'm awaiting the release of Williams Pinball Classics in the UK!

Xiao Bill said...

I avoid most of the war type FPS. I prefer just to stick with games with a solid one player mode, like Thief, Bioshock, Portal, etc. There's no reason to really hate the war games. If that's what the general public wants, let them have it. Quality FPS will always be around...just like with any genre, you have a lot of crap to dig through before you get to the gold.

I know that's not your point. You rather see more innovative titles to play outside of something that requires a gun. It'll happen one day. Someone will think of a way. Until then, there is a lot of crap out there. Let's enjoy the gems that are out there.

Illessa said...

I feel much the same about immersion when playing FPSs of a military bent. It's why I stick to FPS games where you're more of a normal person forced to fight to survive (well, plus I generally play games primarily for the story, but it's why the only multiplayer FPS I really enjoy is Left 4 Dead).

As others have said - I know you're not a PC gamer, but I'd seriously recommend Amnesia: The Dark Descent (and to a lesser extent the Penumbra series and Dark Corners of the Earth), for a genuinely immersive first person experience, with just as much jumping at shadows and hiding in cupboards as I'd be doing in real life in that situation. The first person perspective can be a real asset to horror games (and frankly I'm glad in this case that the technology doesn't really exist to engage the other 3 senses. I'd be far to scared to complete it).

Popcorn Dave said...

I agree with a lot of this. I far prefer a third-person perspective as I personally find it much easier to coordinate my movements when I know exactly where my character is and what position they're in. FPS gaming is a bit like driving someone else's car, you can see in front of you well enough but you have to keep reminding yourself how wide you are, how much the back sticks out, how quickly you can turn and so on, because you don't have an intuitive sense of its size and bulk.

I agree with most of your other points about the genre too, I thought it was generally a much better video than your last few Overthinkers. Like you, I'm tired of it being seemingly the only game in town. But can you drop the elitism and insults when you talk about this topic? Honestly it's kind of grating being told that the average FPS player is a ludicrous hick stereotype when most of us have friends that prove that wrong.

Mortrialus said...

Yeah Bob, I personally have to agree. Also, this is also probably the best episode you've done in a long time and I really dig how you're actually being really respectful. I don't HATE First Person Games or shooters, They just don't engage me and this episode helped me realize how much of that is simply the gaming environment I grew up in, granted its one that about 7 years younger than yours. I just get more engaged and immersed in a game if I can see the character as a whole. In 3rd person games I kind of forge a relationship with the character I'm running around with.

At the same time my non video game related tastes are pretty specific. I don't particularly care for guns in fiction. I don't find them offensive, I've just always found them boring. I think the Joker said it best; "Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the little emotions." I've always been a big fantasy fan and superhero fan. I also have always a fondness for anime as well. I love super strength, I love super speed, I love flying, I love sneaking, I like psychic powers, I love swords, I love martial arts, I love magic, and I like archery oddly enough. I can't even really think of many First Person games that cater much to my other tastes.

There are a lot of First Person games that I like. As you mentioned, Portal and Half-life are pretty cool. I also really dig Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Oblivion and Morrowind, Team Fortress 2, System Shock 2 and a couple others that I'm probably other. All my friends are raving about Minecraft and I think I'm really going to like that if I get a chance to really dig into it. It's like playing with an endless set of Legos, in a video game. But better. Oh, and it's still in Alpha and it's a hit.

vestibual said...

This was awesome mate,

I to dislike the FPS genre, not hate it, just dislike it.

The one thing that annoyed me about Call of Duty - Black Ops (It's not CoD, as that's a fish) is that here in the UK it was released on the same week as rememberance day.
That's a bit of a middle finger to all the people who are actually fighting for their country in a real war, while 'Mr Hardcore gamer' verbally abuses everyone and presses buttons. Whilst thinking he has skill.

Also why does it really have a campaign, it basically is just maps that cost £40 and have an add on of more guns.

michael said...

I agree with Kysafen about why more non-shooter first-person games aren't made. Because Call of Duty is more or less the pinnacle of boring, brown, risk-less, hyper-successful AAA titles, and because making video games is expensive. Making other things is a gamble, and if it fails, tons of people are out of jobs.

And to add to Kysafen's example of Minecraft, I refer to Amnesia: The Dark Descent as a fantastic use of the first-person perspective. The game wouldn't work in third person at all.

So yeah, there's always plenty of ways to utilize first-person perspectives in fantastic ways. It's just that publishers and customers have decided that the "best" - most financially sound - way is with Another Brown Shooter. And for AAA studios, that makes some sense. I just wish it wasn't the case.

stevethesteve said...

First off I’d like to ask you, how many successful generic shooters are there really? There’s Halo and CoD, but those are really the only super successful ones. Other shooters, like Metal of Honor or Doom or Far Cry 2, do okay to well, but in reality are just about as successful as most other games. Halo and CoD do have a big foothold on the market and bring in a lot of money, that is for sure, and while FPSs as a hole are very “in vogue” right now I wouldn’t say they dominate the market. A lot of FPSs come out every year yes, and most of them do okay, but most are also forgotten and abandoned within the year, have any of you heard anything about say Haze or Fracture lately, no, that’s because those FPSs were too generic and dumb and didn’t present anything good to the player. Besides the reason FPSs are so numerous right now is because the technology to make them is so good.

Assassin’s Creed, while having its faults, did a really good job at making an open world, free running combat game; I’ve been noticing a lot more of those types of games coming out lately. I wouldn’t be surprised if pretty soon we see a huge influx of games of that style coming out in the near future as the Assassin’s Creed engine becomes more readily available to developers. And I’m sure if and when that happens you’ll start complaining Movie Bob, about how all these “generic acrobatic assassin games” are not colorful retro platformers made by Nintendo.

Also another criticism I have to levy against you, why do you insist on harping on CoD so much. I’m with you a 100% on Halo being a totally stupid game series that doesn’t deserve the popularity it has, but I think CoD totally deserves every ounce of fame it gets. Yes CoD is very brown, yes it’s generic shooting, but it’s really, really, really good generic shooting. It’s a well crafted game; if you look at the single player level for level it’s actually very creative. There is a level where you get to crawl through tall grass in a ghillie suit silently taking down enemies, another level where you get to ride snowmobiles over cliffs, a level where you crawl through a burnt out wasteland slowly dying of radiation, and while I personally didn’t care for it, you have to admit No Russian was a pretty ballsy thing to do. Yes the story of CoD sucks, but first off CoD isn’t about story, it’s about experience and spectacle, second Movie Bob, you’re a Nintendo fan boy, you have no room to criticize a game for being light on story since most of your favorite games barely even have a story.

Continued in post 2

stevethesteve said...

Part 2

While you are to an extent correct that first person is best for games based on shooting things I think you’re limiting the genre far too much. Penumbra and Amnesia have shown that survival horror works extremely well in first person, and as everyone else has said Minecraft is another great example. And while first person and shooting seem to go together, why does shooting and generic games have to go together? Look at pretty much everything Value has made ever, all first person, all based around shooting, yet all unique and creative in every way. Portal is a puzzle game based around shooting, Team Fortress is a shooting game this a creative art style and morbid sense of humor, L4D combines good game play with interesting likable characters and HL2, well HL2 is just amazing. Also all these games, along with others like BioShock, are the ones we still hear about and are still being played, these are the shooters and are fun to play but also add something more to the experience which is why they are not left on the wayside like others like Haze or Fracture. This makes it clear that art direction, story, character design, creativity and wit are equally valued if not equally used in this genre. Also nobody here has brought up Far Cry 2.

Far Cry 2 is probably the most realistic game I’ve ever played and that’s what so great about it. CoD and Halo aren’t really realistic, they just try and make things look as natural looking as possible, Far Cry 2 makes you actually feel like you’re in the heart of Africa. It has a dark, grim, unpleasant atmosphere; it’s like playing Heart of Darkness the game. If Far Cry wasn’t a FPS, if it wasn’t gritty and brown and realistic I would have never had that experience of feeling like a heartless, brutal African mercenary destroying a country for my own profit. I think Far Cry 2 proves that there is a value to be had in realism and realistic graphics, not all games have to be ultra colorful escapism.

Pregnant Orc said...

I'll aim this at anyone who thinks the douche bag jocks aren't doing more damage than the Wii soccer moms. The Wii-moms may flood the game shelves at the game stores with shovelware but they won't greet you with "what's up faggot?" when you try out the multiplayer part of a game. The douche bags cult sets a standard of how to act online that is horrible and anyone who tries to get into online play will have to live by their code of communication, suck it up or leave.
If you're only casually interested in online gaming you probably will go with the last option.
What's annoying with the mentality that you meet in most online shooters is that it's leaking over to other game genres. It's becoming the standard way of speaking in games. I'm not a fan of the culture that has spread out of the FPS genre where you have to take every chance you get to talk down to both enemies and teammates. It's not about some good old smack talk gone to far. It's near customary to insult your teammate because you picked up an item they went for or because you won a random roll in an MMO.
Being jaded to racial, ethical and other slurs shouldn't be a barrier to entry when it comes something as simple as playing online just because you don't do it with a group you know.
That turned into a bit more of a rant than I intended it to.

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

@ stevethesteve

Last time I checked, moviebob's thoughts on CoD, or rather Modern Warfare 2, was that it was a very good game.

NiGHTS Noob said...

What's with the hate on the Prime games? They're worse than Other M? Oh yes, because if a game controls better, develops it's setting better, has more interesting and varied powerups, and more interesting locales and bosses it's surely a worse game isn't it?

Why do you like Other M so much? It's a good game, but it's controls are kind of iffy, it's story is fucking retarded, and contrary to your episode on how it doesn't screw with Samus' established character, it does. It screws with it so hard they were using a power drill. Samus never had a ton of character, but she did have some in Fusion and the official Manga, both of which do show a bit of a softer and more frightened side, but neither of which mess it up as bad as Other M did.

Stop deluding yourself all the time.

One more comment: Portal isn't an FPS, Portal is a first person puzzle game, just like System Shock and Fallout 3 are FPS/RPG hybrids and Metroid Prime is a first person adventure game. I don't think first person is nearly as inherently limited as you do, I do think FPS and TPS are both overdone and boring at this point, but first person in and of itself? Not so much.

akkuma420 said...

Don't agree with you at all, BUT, you do raise a few good points and this episode really did make me think.

I really feel that alot of the backlash for FPS is not because the game is boring or bland, its mostly because of the people that play them.

It's very true that a good percent of people that play games such as COD and Halo on a regular basis are indeed frat douche bags.

Its also very true that the majority of the children/frat douche bags have little to no respect for anyone that attempts to join a game they are in, or even play online for that matter.

I really don't feel that FPS type games are responsible for creating these people.

These people would have existed with or without the combination of a FPS and online gaming.

The fact is that all these Ritalin babies gravitate towards these types of games because for the most part they are extremely competitive and need an outlet for it.
Hence all the screaming, singing, and tea bagging that follows when playing online.

Personally, I have none of these attributes and am one of the very few people that enjoys the single player campaign of an FPS much more than the online play.
I really enjoy the FPS genre and am happy to see it thriving.

I also can totally understand where you are coming from though with this video.

I just think you should aim your insults a little better, you seem to keep hitting your fans and not the people your aiming at.

Ezenwa said...

Is this the last word you'll have on FPS games? I wonder, since, well, you've spent a lot of time on it. I'm hoping to see what other things you have to say.

Christopher said...

Just thought I'd point out that there are plenty of games other than FPS that have used the first person perspective. RPGs have been using them since at least 10 years before Wolfenstein 3D (see the Wizardry series). Same thing with flight sims. Heck, space combat games have been using 1st person since the 70s.

All three of these genres still exist in some form or another (although space sims are rare and mostly indie titles these days. Go Evochron!). So while FPS isn't exactly my go to genre either, I think that you are doing the 1st person perspective a great disservice by using a relatively new genre to pan the whole perspective.

Joao Eduardo said...

I don't like FPS very much either (and i'm also anxious for it's decay, lol), but I think its a mistake to say that the games have explored all that is for the genre. Game and level design will always be limitless.

But I think Bob made very interesting points.

Needless to say it's only consequence of a much greater cultural scenario that the gaming industry partially reflects.


ps: The PRIME series is maybe the most brilliant thing i've came across in the gaming industry, (though it's no my favorite series). No one ever achieved to transport the Metroidvania non-linear intrinsic level design and exponentiate (laterally) its complexity to the 3rd dimension. And the Retro Studios not only took this quest and fulfilled it, but they did the hard and unexpected way. Not following the easy fan-service way, but believing above all, in the game they envisioned. Of course, the decision of going with 1st person has to do with techincal/trend/design issues and limitations, but that's only part of its smartness and balls .

Casey said...

I know exactly what's going to start the downfall of the FPS genre: Activision's going to do the same thing to Call of Duty that they did with Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero. And once the king of the genre goes down, how many will try making games.
Look at what's happened in the past: Devil May Cry 2 comes out, and the action genre's almost put on halt until God of War breathed new life into it. Tony Hawk starts getting bad, and the clones stop coming. I don't think the FPS genre will be taken down as much of those because it's too big, but it will be enough to give breathing room for other genres.

E.P. said...

Very candid and thought-provoking vid.

It's an interesting idea, but I'm not convinced it's the fault of the genre. The highly corporatized way in which games are made tends to make uncreative material and that's a big chunk of the problem, but you've talked about that already.

Another thing: you are not being very fair when you say "Not all FPS players are bad people" and then list a dozen disparaging stereotypes of FPS players.

NINJAMAN87 said...

a first person that ain't a shooter, what about the scrolls of oblivion for a chance.

i guess the main problem is that both the consumers and developers have accepted the laziness of this trend of the fps genre.

mits a genre that makes money and have done not even a little to take new directions to it, the only way i see fro this to change is for another genre to do something really drastic and more surprising that the fps hasn't done yet.

the fps has the unreal engine that works perfectly with shooters so maybe if a new engine thats not for fps could do it.

squall lee said...

"competitive urinal racing"

lol, otherwise, great rant Bob, really connected with my feelings about shooters to. Though my thing is I'm in love with Unreal Tournament, and I have been since I was a lad, but no one wants to play it with me

Joao Eduardo said...

Putting in a dev perspective, the First Person View eliminates one of the most troublesome issues of 3D games, the camera. In FP games, the camera responsibility is transferred to the player. That said, 3rd Person shooters tends to work as well because the player is always controlling the camera (centered in the crosshair) too, as part of the gameplay.

Other 3D 3rd Person games like, let's say, Zelda and Mario, the crew have to come up with the whole design (mainly level design) thoughtful of how the camera will behave, and must deprive itself from exploring a more micro interaction of the player with the game world (That's why Mr. John Marston can't interact with a drawer or chest as well as your generic Fallout3 character).

That said, I find too hard to imagine a 3D game-style that will come to surpass the FP in convenience and versatility in the development perspective. Since the advantages of FP are pure logic. But I think that with the evolving of the tools e lowering cost of the whole game dev process, other styles will have the chance to flash out more.

akkuma420 said...

Why try and fix something that isn't broken?
This mistake becomes common among lots of other genre's.
I think the FPS genre has found its sweet spot in gaming and should stay that way.
There are plenty of other genres out there for people that don't care for the FPS genre.
Don't hate cause Black Op's pretty much broke every record there ever was.
They must be doing something right.

Drake said...

Many good points reached, though you are not thinking outside the box as much as you could be for FPS games, it's greatest weakness is also it's greatest strength, lack of perception. I'll explain that in a better way, remember how scary Bioshock and System Shock were? the reason is because in a first person view you can hear things around you but can't see them unless looking directly at them, meaning that first person is the perfect medium for horror games, left 4 dead carries on that tradition and is easily scarier at times than many resident evil games, and even left 4 dead 2 shows that melee weapons can be better than shooting in FPS games, which means that some hack-and slash games could very well be set in first person to make the quest feel more personal and the larger monsters to feel more intimidating. So the problem isn't that first-person is flawed, it's that people don't know how to use it. In fact I'm studying game design as of now and I intend to independently program a game which gives you the ability to switch between first,third and even second person views (seeing through the eyes of a character you don't control)as a core gameplay mechanic.

Joao Eduardo said...

well Drake, Silent Hill 1 and 2 (mainly) is way better at horror than the L4D games. Dead Space is acclaimed as the best survival horror of this gen and is 3rd person, there's Alan Wake. Horror games are not quite my thing, and I'm sure that there better examples of great horror FP experiences, like that infamous Chtulu PC game.

But yeah, I got your point, in many cases the FP can be a great advantage if used right.

David said...

Bob, I've been following you for a while since I discovered "Escape to the Movies" and I think you're great.

But some times you are too narrow minded, and this is the worst I've seen you so far.

I have a very similar taste for video games as you and FPS are WAAAAAAY far from being favorite genre too.

But I can see that many of your ramblings come from pure ignorance. And no, it's not an opinion.

There ARE other kinds of games that use First Person perspective that are not shooters and have plenty of success.

The most insulting part of your video is putting "Portal" as a FPS. In that game you don't shoot a single bullet, for crying out loud! It's a puzzle game! And an innovative as hell one, hence it's massive success.

Then you have First Person Western RPGs like "The Elder Scrolls" series, "Fallout 3" or the "Gothic" series. Hardly "games where you navigate to still images".

Then, "Mirror's Edge" First Person platforming DID work. Actually, the only part of that game that actually didn't work was the shooting, and it was on purpose so the player focused on running and jumping.

If some you are going to say that it doesn't work because you can't see your feet... Think better that statement and you will realize how retarded it is. If you still don't see it, go to YouTube and do a search for "parkour". Those guys don't see their feet either.

And for the bizillionth time: THE "METROID PRIME" GAMES ARE NOT FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS!

Geez, louise, this is annoying as hell! We don't have any problem seeing the classic "Metroid" games are not 2D side-scrolling, "Contra"-like shooters. Why is it so f****** difficult to so many people to see the same with the Prime games?

And finally, if you really think "Half-Life" is the only creative FPS series, think again. Ever heard of "System Shock" and it's spiritual succesor, "BioShock"? Ever heard of "Deus Ex" (which is a FPS/RPG hybrid)?

Yes, "Halo" and "Call of Duty" clones are the mainstream these days, but believing that's 99'9999% of what there is to it is having a very poor view of the medium.

And I'm sorry Bob, but saying "It's my opinion" doesn't excuse this kind of stuff.

Too many people use their "opinion" as a shield for excusing their ignorance.

You are better than that.

David said...

Bob, I've been following you for a while since I discovered "Escape to the Movies" and I think you're great.

But some times you are too narrow minded, and this is the worst I've seen you so far.

I have a very similar taste for video games as you and FPS are WAAAAAAY far from being favorite genre too.

But I can see that many of your ramblings come from pure ignorance. And no, it's not an opinion.

There ARE other kinds of games that use First Person perspective that are not shooters and have plenty of success.

The most insulting part of your video is putting "Portal" as a FPS. In that game you don't shoot a single bullet, for crying out loud! It's a puzzle game! And an innovative as hell one, hence it's massive success.

Then you have First Person Western RPGs like "The Elder Scrolls" series, "Fallout 3" or the "Gothic" series. Hardly "games where you navigate to still images".

Then, "Mirror's Edge" First Person platforming DID work. Actually, the only part of that game that actually didn't work was the shooting, and it was on purpose so the player focused on running and jumping.

If some you are going to say that it doesn't work because you can't see your feet... Think better that statement and you will realize how retarded it is. If you still don't see it, go to YouTube and do a search for "parkour". Those guys don't see their feet either.

And for the bizillionth time: THE "METROID PRIME" GAMES ARE NOT FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS!

Geez, louise, this is annoying as hell! We don't have any problem seeing the classic "Metroid" games are not 2D side-scrolling, "Contra"-like shooters. Why is it so f****** difficult to so many people to see the same with the Prime games?

And finally, if you really think "Half-Life" is the only creative FPS series, think again. Ever heard of "System Shock" and it's spiritual succesor, "BioShock"? Ever heard of "Deus Ex" (which is a FPS/RPG hybrid)?

Yes, "Halo" and "Call of Duty" clones are the mainstream these days, but believing that's 99'9999% of what there is to it is having a very poor view of the medium.

And I'm sorry Bob, but saying "It's my opinion" doesn't excuse this kind of stuff.

Too many people use their "opinion" as a shield for excusing their ignorance.

You are better than that.

David said...

Bob, I've been following you for a while since I discovered "Escape to the Movies" and I think you're great.

But some times you are too narrow minded, and this is the worst I've seen you so far.

I have a very similar taste for video games as you and FPS are WAAAAAAY far from being favorite genre too.

But I can see that many of your ramblings come from pure ignorance. And no, it's not an opinion.

There are other kinds of games that use First Person perspective that are not shooters and have plenty of success.

The most insulting part of your video is putting "Portal" as a FPS. In that game you don't shoot a single bullet, for crying out loud! It's a puzzle game! And an innovative as hell one, hence it's massive success.

Then you have First Person Western RPGs like "The Elder Scrolls" series, "Fallout 3" or the "Gothic" series. Hardly "games where you navigate to still images".

Then, "Mirror's Edge" First Person platforming DID work. Actually, the only part of that game that actually didn't work was the shooting, and it was on purpose so the player focused on running and jumping.

And for the bizillionth time: THE "METROID PRIME" GAMES ARE NOT FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS!

Geez, louise, this is annoying as hell! We don't have any problem seeing the classic "Metroid" games are not 2D side-scrolling, "Contra"-like shooters. Why is it so f****** difficult to so many people to see the same with the Prime games?

And finally, if you really think "Half-Life" is the only creative FPS series, think again. Ever heard of "System Shock" and it's spiritual succesor, "BioShock"? Ever heard of "Deus Ex" (which is a FPS/RPG hybrid)?

Yes, "Halo" and "Call of Duty" clones are the mainstream these days, but believing that's 99'9999% of what there is to it is having a very poor view of the medium.

And I'm sorry Bob, but saying "It's my opinion" doesn't excuse this kind of stuff.

Too many people use their "opinion" as a shield for excusing their ignorance.

You are better than that.

Joao Eduardo said...

it's valid to notice that most of the criticism for this post are being made by non FPS fanboys.

Nathan said...

"Trudge through another Metroid Prime game?"

little harsh ain't ya? Especially since going over your list of grievances with the genre, I don't see any that automatically pop up as even applying to the series.

Nathan said...

Besides thinking it over, i don;t think there'll ever be another TRUE metroid Prime game, Retro told the story they wanted and wrapped it up nicely before going on to make Donkey Kong Country Returns (btw, how badly do you want that game bob?)

H said...

as for what the industry will look like if that trend continues, no more heroes 2 seems to think it'll be like a dying inner city ghetto. and i agree.

(sorry, i'm doing an essay and have this stuff on the brain right now)

Clayton said...

I WOULD chide Bob about taking a shot at the manbabies bitching about Other M, but I'm not. Why? BECAUSE YOU DESERVED THAT. Christ I hope Nintendo doesn't pander to the twits and release another Prime. That series was tapped out by 3 and I doubt Retro feels like being chained to it forever.

As for FPS's, I do agree that most forms of gameplay don't really work. Plus the glut of Halo and CoD clones IS NOT HELPING. What this current environment should do is cause developers of those games to GUT the mechanics of them and use the perspective for new and exciting gameplay mechanics because, let's face, YOU'LL NEVER, EVER BEAT COD OR HALO AT THEIR OWN GAME. Period. Just like how no MMO will ever beat WoW at its own game. The genre is constantly regurgitating the same crap over and over again and it NEEDS TO STOP. This is doing a disservice to the genre and the industry by glutting the market up with generic, "realistic", sludge. This is why I thank Mikami for making Vanquish which is OUTRAGEOUSLY over-the-top.

Twinmill said...

Alright... so, after finding out that you made an entire episode around first person shooters, I had to see it.

And, I gotta say, I'm impressed! It shows me that you do listen to your audience, and moreover, care about your fanbase...

...So I won't argue your points much. In a sense, you're right. Borderlands wouldn't be the game it was without the yellow and black sniper rifles. That doesn't, however, mean that the characters you play in them aren't personified.

I will, however, point you in the direction of the game I've used to make every amount of criticism against the genre mostly invalid... at least in its own case: S4 League.

Twinmill said...

Against the shooter* genre.

It's kinda an important word there.1

Joao Eduardo said...

So let's talk about Metroid, because I love it:

Prime was REALLY great and all, but I think the Other M style is the way to go from now on. Of course they must cut the drama overdose crap and polish the new design a little. (And to think that Other M would receive about a much better gamerankings average if just Samus had a good voice-acting...=/)

I think 3DS may be a damn nice resort for Metroid for awhile. Face it. Metroid had it's shot on the Wii. 3DS with almost Wii graphical capabilities, and the 3D stuff will force them to move away from 2D (I love the GBA titles, but the idea here is move on, right?).

Well, maybe the Prime style might return in the 3DS in a new Prime Hunters. A more uncompromised project with multiplayer features.

Cadfan said...

Well, lets leave aside the Minecraft thing.

FPS games OWN the horror genre.

And they always will.

Horror games rely on creating a sense of fear in a player, and no spooky graphics can possibly compare to knowing that you have to sneak across a construction site at night, knowing that somewhere in the construction site is a horrible monster, knowing that it could attack at any time from any of a dozen different angles... and knowing that your field of vision can only cover 1/8th of them at a time.

It forces you to listen desperately for auditory cues, to flit your vision about at every small movement or sudden noise... it uses the interface itself to create a sense of paranoia in you that is precisely what the genre wishes to instill. You find yourself rushing from hiding spot to hiding spot, leaping around corners with your pitifully small weapon brandished... basically, you become precisely the person the game wants you to be in order to best tell its story.

toosoo said...

I'm with you dude

i grew up with consoles and im more happy playing mario, fable, or some other third person game

i love half-life and i love left for dead but, for the most part their the same game 10 times over the great ones are awsome the good ones are the game equivialant to a popcorn movie and the bad are rents at best

im also tired of the obsession with multiplayer its lazy cause all it is is placing you the player on a map versus something and possibly giving you a 6 hour(or lower) totorial with some bmovie-esqe story its basically an excuse for less development

im am also tired of brown graphics brown =/= realistic

RockPlazaCentral said...

Bob, your video was so interesting. I had never thought about how well immersion can come from being in the 3rd person.

I found the limits of 1st person in Metroid Prime immersive because of the sense of loneliness. I found being in 1st person in Condemned: Criminal Origins scary because I couldn't see everything.

Having said that, I support your opinion; gaming would be better off with fewer FPS's.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
Why do you have such a problem with online multiplayer? Multiplayer is just as, if not more important than singleplayer.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ REPTILE 0009

Go and watch his "Building a Better Gamer" video to see how he feels about online multiplayer and how it's changed playing games with other people.

Matwisto said...

Bob's points about the gritty and emotionless (my phrasing) FPS genre are true. FPSs are stuck in one place and are encouraging stagnation in modern games.

However; Minecraft, even in alpha, is very detailed and complete. So are the Metroid Prime games, the Fallout games, the Thief games and at least a few others.

The perspective isn't the main issue. Creativity, and the appreciation of creativity, is.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Smashmatt
I'd say that a small percent of people online are assholes. And don't any of you dare bullshit on this. I play online constantly.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Reptile

A thought occurs: maybe you don't meet that many assholes online because you yourself are one of the assholes?

Or maybe you're just so good at playing online that you take care of people so quickly that you don't hear their reactions?

Or maybe you're one of the few people who constantly runs into nice people, because let me tell you, more often then not, I run into a douche of a gamer that's more interested in beating and humiliating me then actually being friends or being respectable about the game. Then again, I don't play online games that much, but when I do, it's usually not a good experience. I prefer playing with people who are sitting next to me than facing a random person I've never met before nor will I ever meet again, most likely.

imsmart said...

I have trouble with the concept of a single genre of gaming having an effect on the whole. I'll bet if you could flip a switch and every game and gaming trend that you hate would disappear instantly, the gaming market would shrink by nearly the exact quantity that those things amounted to. So if you just ignore them, it's basically the same difference.

Smashmatt202 said...

It's not JUST that there should ONLY be single-player modes for games, it's that the games should have a fleshed out single-player mode AS WELL as a multiplayer mode. Yahtzee explains this as well, games shouldn't rely on multiplayer as their selling point because, believe it or not, there ARE people who just want to play by themselves.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Smashmatt
No I am NOT an asshole. However I am pretty good at playing online. But on those rare occasions were I do meet a douchebag, I just mute them. It only takes a couple seconds.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Reptile

Well that's a good way at dealing with it. Probably the best way, aside from not playing with them at all.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Smashmatt
Well I don't understand why Bob makes such a big deal about fps's focussing on multiplayer.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Reptile

Because not all experiences are as lucky as yours are.

GiganteAsesino said...

Try amnesia the dark descent or Oblivion or fallout, I think they are really good examples of FPS that don´t have yo watching your gun the whole time or Deus EX which is my favorite FPS ever as a PC player.

I don´t really care about the multiplayer part of FPS I really enjoy the single player experiences they offer, viewing everything from a first person perspective gives you the freedom to see everything from up close and personal angle gives a more exciting experience than jumping from one platform to another which I also enjoy (I own a wii) but I never really take seriously.

I never felt that I was the one playing a FPS I felt I was watching someone else world through his eyes which is the goal of a first person perspective.

I finished yesterday Black Ops and I think its a great single player experience the story heavily borrows from movies (like apocalypse now) but it presents it in a way that is entertaining to watch and in some levels present some very original twist to the formula of previous Call of Duty.

I play on Steam so I haven't had the problems at the degree that Xlivers have and if I do have someone ranting crap you can just mute them and keep playing or if its by text then I just rofl at them or if possible tell a server admin about it.

So my conclusion is that everyone plays the way they want to, would it be different if Mario Brothers Wii offered a multiplayer mode with voice chat? I don't think the apple would fall to far from tree I think the problem is not the genre its the medium. We need to clean our community and treat it with the dignity and respect it deserves.

Smashmatt202 said...

And besides, it's a matter of personal opinion. Like Bob, I don't like using online multiplayer either. It's more because I'd rather play the game with people who are physically sitting next to me, but it's also because there ARE quite a few people out there that are obnoxious players. And personally, I'd rather deal with people I know who are playing obnoxiously than deal with a random stranger who I've never met and probably never will meet.

James said...

I like shooters okay, though I'm more partial to ones that actually do something clever. Anyone remember "No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'S Way"? THAT was a great shooter. (Because you did more then just shoot) Not to mention that it was loaded with personality. You not only shot things, you collected intel, evesdropped on people and the game was more stealth focused then run and gun. (Not to mention it was positively HILARIOUS) If more shooters were like this one I may be inclined to be more interested. But instead I'm just required to do one of two things

1.)Fight another war I've fought before. (In a series of overrated games)

2.)Fight off an alien invasion strangely similar to the one I already fought. (In a series of overrated games)

They should either find some personality for these games (So I actually give a damn about what I'm doing) or get wildly creative. (I.E. Bioshock.) Not every game has to be realistic.

But anyway, I do feel like gamers like myself and others tend to get the shaft because we don't choose to play online. (I'm one of those that has really bad luck running into every D-Bag in the world online. It's soured me on it, the only game I played a good degree online was SSF4) It is not just exclusive to the shooting genre either. A lot of games now don't even include local multiplayer. (Most recent offender? NFS:Hot Pursuit. A RACING GAME HAS NO LOCAL MULTIPLAYER!? REALLY!?) But my half-assing the offline portions of their games, the message "Play online or don't play at all" is being sent. And that is just ridiculous.

Twinmill said...

The reason why we haven't seen many outrageously different games is... well, aside from the marketing they have behind them...

The gaming industry has grown into a world of multimillion dollar projects that take years for a team of triple-A professionals to make. Game companies are much less likely to take risks when every project has that much money at stake. A super awesome game that uses this totally new idea and has top-notch writing behind it isn't going to get the green light unless they're sure it will make money. And right now, they really aren't sure how the main source of revenue, the playerbase that sticks to first person shooters and buys new issues of CoD religiously, will react.

They could like it, true, but they're probably not far off on their assumptions that they won't. There are alot of people out there who will not buy anything but another military shooter. I'm tempted to say the majority of the playerbase, the casual gamers, so to speak. It's not that they're bad people, it's just that, they'll turn down a game that has a different cover.

So the companies have to play it safe, even if it isn't the case at all with the potential playerbase. I'm not even going to mention this economy, either.

But I will say that it's very possible that the core gamers, those that don't want another FPS, are in the niche right now. Don't believe me? Look how many people "Like" Black Ops on Facebook. I'd estimate there's about 50,000 registered American users on The Escapist, by counting the pages of the User Search function, multiplying it by 20 and doubling it.

That's why the indie market is exploding. In a sense, indie developers are guinea pigs. They have to use outrageous ideas, and if they sell well, the major companies get the green light on similar ideas.

The exact same stagnation is happening in the MMO industry right now, too, so it isn't just first person shooters. That isn't to say they're all bad and don't take steps forward, either.

Alessandro said...

Hello there!

I think while the video makes some good points, I would not go as far as putting all evil of multi player rudeness at the feet of the First Person genre and would also point out that much more than just shooters has been done with the first person perspective.

Survival Horros like Penumbra or Call of Cthulhu games, rpgs like Fallout 3, Oblivion, Morrowind etc, Puzzle games like Minecraft or Portal, adventure games and so on.

I also do not feel that the genre has not progressed since Doom to nowadays. What I suspect is that as for YOU the FPS genre is not very good, then you discard such innovations as no health, cover based shooting, intelligent enemies and so on in the same way than I, that really do not like platform games, would discard the innovation between the first mario game (That I never played, being a primarily a PC gamer) and the last mario game (see above). And note: in my "love" list of video game genres, FPS would not be at the top, RPGs would be there, but FPS would not be at the bottom either. I also want to add that I do not play multiplayer FPS at all.

While it is true that there are certain FPS that seems geared only toward the multiplayer, there are still lots of offering that do not only go multiplayer. I would like to cite, beside what others have said here, especially Crytech and their series of games, From Far Cry to Crysis.

These games are always large, region wide expanses of jungle or other terrain in which you are more or less free to move around as you please, creating a sort of "sandbox FPS". Yes, you do have missions to complete and especially Crysis has actually a narrative that push you forward, but the sheer scale of the regions in which it take place put their games on another level entirely.

So when I look back, I remember really good FPS, titles like Deus Ex, Crysis, Bioshock, Fallout 3, Half-Life, System Shock 1 and 2, Call of Chtulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and so on, and forget the rest.

Was it really so that the rudeness of Multi player is because of the FPS? or would it had happened anyway, no matter what genre would have broken the multiplayer barrier first? I can tell you there are plenty of rude people in Multiplayer RPGs nowadays, do you really think a... dunno, online multiplayer Mario would be filled with polite youngsters that do not swear at you because you made them fall off the platform?

I do not know the answers to those questions.

JediMB said...

I have to start by saying that I loved Mirror's Edge. Maybe I'm biased, since I'm Swedish (like DICE), but I thought it controlled really well, and didn't have any more trial and error going than any other platformer.

Anyway, the main difference between playing in first person and controlling a gun-wielding robot in third person? Your view doesn't rotate around the weapon, which makes turning around a completely different experience, and avoiding enemy fire is all about stopping the bullets from hitting that invisible hit-box in front of your monitor.

So, yeah, anyway... I'm mostly with you as far as video game genres I enjoy go. Realistic, or "simulator", racing and sports are the two (sub)genres I'm the least likely to get any enjoyment out of. Also, sandbox games only appeal to me in specific settings, like the Spider-Man 2 movie game.

I should stop typing now.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
Why do you think the rise of fps's is the worst thing to happen to the videogame industry since E.T?

Twinmill said...

I got a game that symbolizes the pinnacle of everything you hate about first person shooters, and you just might love it.

You'd have to... you know, give it a chance first, but it proves things don't need to be all unicorns and rainbows to be compelling, even in today's world.

Also, there's almost no gunplay in it until the second half... and technically it's two games.

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/review-riddick-dark/47698?type=flv

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Reptile

Excuse me? "Unicorns and rainbows"? ...You're a real douche, you know that?

Twinmill said...

^- Not Reptile.

And counter strike players play murder simulators and foam at the mouth while doing it.

@Smash
You get offended too easily. Yes, unicorns and rainbows. It doesn't mean all games that have unicorns and rainbows in them are compelling, but it sure seems that if it doesn't, a huge portion of the hardcore gaming community will dismiss it as macho bullshit. Case in point: http://www.bored.com/game/play/151028/Robot_Unicorn_Attack.html

Now, yes, I apologize to Bob in my above comment. I respect the man and while I disagree with his core views most of the time, I should have corrected myself as to not enforce the notion that he hates any type of game. It's pretty obvious that he doesn't want that message to keep spreading.

At the same time, he really should check out that game, because if what he said is true, and he can get around the surface, he should like it. If not, it only enforces what I said. If the game, and I'm going to hold back here for you, Smash, had a much less grungy skin to it, would that significantly impact his enjoyment of it?

I like the Game Overthinker, and the reason why I like it is the themes of the earlier episodes. Like how you should give Kirby a chance even though he's a pink, gay, ball of joy with a good set of gameplay mechanics around him, that would still get you laughed at in the mid-90's and probably today. I've been starting to think that maybe a particular section of gamers needs to take that mentality, and apply it to the games that aren't a million shades of ROYGBIV.

Genya said...

"Unicorns and Rainbows" eh? Both of those things are kinda nice...a shooter where I rode a unicorn along a rainbow road, that might be pretty sweet. Just sayin...

Benny Ortiz said...

Bob, there's two factors you've left out that are crucial to the FPS dominance. First, Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (GIFT): Normal person + total anonymity = total fuckwad. The rise of the internet has brought the worst in people, and what better way to do that than in a game where aggression and conflict are central and encouraged?

That's not to say that all FPS' have fuckwad audiences: I've played TF2 for a year now and they're probably the friendliest guys around to play against. I feel that if a game has a sense of humor about itself, the less people are willing to be dicks about it. Also, you've forgotten First Person RPG's like Elder Scrolls IV and the new Fallout series developed by Bethesda. There's potential for the FPS market to be more than just shooters.

The second and last item you forgot to notice was the culture itself. Entertainment is a symptom of society and what's going on. The past decade was marked with a terrorist attack and a sudden upswing in patriotism which soon turned into jingoism. Not only that, but with two active conflicts and a conservative movement that heartily supports and endorses the military, we've got ourselves a full blown military industrial complex. Military FPS' like Call of Duty are endorsed by the US Military since they play out like a commercial for them. As long as the nation is on this jingo trip and as long as the complex is active, Military FPS' will be in high demand as most twenty-something gamers apparently want to vent their frustrations of the current conflict and terrorist threats thru being a soldier.

I wouldn't call it a crisis, though. Give it about another five years. Videogames are going thru a dark age just like comics and every other medium. It's all about our medium growing into being and as long as there's developers like Valve, Bethesda, and Gearbox out there trying to bring personality back into the genre, we'll grow out of this. It's just a phase, trust me.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Smashmatt
I don't know who you're talking to you douche. I am NOT a douche.

chaosord said...

While I do tend to agree with Bob most of the time, there is some good fun work being done with FPS. Case in point Bulletstorm.

John said...

While I can see where Bob is coming from, I have to say that him not growing up with PC gaming really does put a very unfair color on his perception of first-person gaming.

First-person gaming wasn't always the way it is today. It wasn't always Brown and Grey Shooter #124102121.

Back when these things were new, we had the likes of Doom, Heretic, and Hexen. And while Doom was indeed the typical space marine fare that has become so very cliche in shooters, it came at a time when space marines were allowed to have more than the typical pistol/machine gun/shotgun/sniper rifle/rocket launcher. The BFG 9000 was something completely new. And then Heretic and Hexen mixed it up with even more weapons that were only loosely analogous to guns as we know them.

And then there were games like Descent, a free-floating 6-degrees-of-freedom game that has only ever been done again in Forsaken, back on the N64. Descent's weapons were wild and varied and imaginative, and you couldn't even begin to say that the game was all brown and grey if you played past the first level.

Or take Shogo, or Turok. With crazy weapons that were completely off the wall, and these games were vibrant and full of color, and neat ideas and concepts. They were nothing like the Call of Duty clones we get today.

Not to mention the numerous space combat sims, or Mechwarrior. These games were all first-person, but they have none of the tropes and problems that Bob cites as endemic to the genre.

Simply put, first-person games can be surprising and imaginative, but that's simply not where the money is.

John said...

And Bob, let's be real and honest. You can't lay the douchebaggery of modern online multiplayer participants at the feet of shooters. To say that is to reveal that you've never played a fighting game online, or a racing game, or ANY competitive game, really. We talked trash to each other playing street fighter in our living rooms back in the 90s, we did it in the arcades, and now we do it online. The only difference is the anonymity of the internet -- but that is NOT due to FPS games, that is inherent in the medium. And the modern excesses of trash talking happen in EVERY genre, and always have. It is simply incorrect to say that first-person games brought it, or that only first-person game players do it.

I also have to exception to this seeming assertion of yours that FPS games are only for assholes that need venting.

What about people like me that play first-person games AND just happily picked up a copy of Kirby's Epic Yarn? What, am I now just a pseudo-macho asshole?

The pigeonholing really has to stop, Bob. You're beating a dead horse that was never alive to begin with, and it hurts your argument to include as part of it this ridiculous notion that the only people that play FPS games are the kind that think colors are "so gaaaaaaay". Because it's simply not true. I play modern FPS games (though I long for the return of series like Descent and Shogo), AND I go back and play NES platformers regularly. Super Metroid is my favorite game of all time to this day. I manage to enjoy just about every genre of video games.

And I am not alone.

Twinmill said...

To be perfectly honest, I usually don't get alot of flak in first person shooters. I have, however, gotten a ton of crap from elitists when I tried to play some of those addon WCIII gamemodes. Like roleplaying.

But I don't think that it's nessecarily about which genre has a more vile group of assholes than the next. Simply put: When I pick up a first person shooter, I know the general rules of what to and what not to do. Pick up a gun, preferably an accurate gun, watch myself, and aim for the head. That base set of fundamentals is nonexistent when I try to play an RTS, or even a spinoff gamemode for an RTS. So I become a noob... and it doesn't matter which game I'm playing, I'll be a noob. When I played WoW, I've heard alot of bad talk about gear and stuff all the time that made me [i]wish[/i] the game was a first person shooter.

Still, I won't say that all gaming communities are the same. I've had days where I fail at first person shooters, but as long as there's no voice chat, the most people have actually said is "fail team" or something. Well, there's personal stuff, too, but only if a player's teamkilling, hacking, etc.

That's nothing compared to a time when I was playing FS2004 Multiplayer -this was a long time ago- and I accidentally rear ended another player who was taxiing. It wasn't my fault. If you play the game, you'll know that sometimes what the player shows up as and what they are are two different things. Oh. My. God. I have never seen so many death threats from one person. And this wasn't some random anonymous crap either.

So I'll propose this theory:
First Person Shooter players are much more lighthearted than other gamers. The games are much more lighthearted too. You die. You respawn. You lose. You get another round. So people say stuff. People vent immediate frustration. They will call you a n*ggermonkeydouchefag and also fat, but they'll also be over it in 3 minutes or less in most cases. Most of the things they say, they don't actually mean.

Players of a much more serious genre, like RTS, or Flight Simming, or anything that doesn't have almost no consequences for dying, are alot more... well, serious. They may not say these things often, and they may not say the same things or cut straight to racial/sexual/size-related slurs, but when they say something... oh, they mean it. Unless you work something out with them, they will probably hate you forever too... or at least... alot longer than 3 minutes.

And that's why when playing a shooter, it's important to take everything as a joke. Really, if there's no voice chat, they're pretty quiet, because most people aren't daring enough to call someone a N***** in text, simply because it's less impulse driven. So the only people that do type in first person shooters, saying things like "noob team" and "l2rush" are usually looked down upon by the rest because it shows that they ARE taking the game too seriously?

Did I contradict myself enough there?

Blake said...

You want to know how it stops; very easy; people stop buying FPS's. I like FPS; I played CS: S and I own the Halo trilogy; Metroid Prime is in my top 3 of all time favorites (First Person Adventure by the way; just because you shoot stuff a lot doesn't mean it is a shooter; contrast Halo's gameplay to Metroid's; I think there is a difference). I like FPS; that doesn't mean I buy Call of Duty annually; I don't have any of them. I didn't buy Medal of Honor. People need to convince themselves that they don't need to buy EVERY FPS that comes out.

I endeavor to stay away from games that don't include a worthwhile campaign; I like 20 hours for $49.99 and I realize that Halo 3 came up a bit short on that. People just need to set benchmarks for themselves for what makes an FPS worth it and what doesn't. For me, CoD is NOT worth it; I don't want a 4 hour campaign.

In fact, I don't plan on buying a new FPS until next year; Homefront sounds cool.

Smashmatt202 said...

I got offended by the "Rainbows and unicorns" statement because it seemed like you guys are assuming he'll only play colorful games, or otherwise "sissy" or "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY" games. You know, the kind of things that he keeps bringing up to show how stupid the douchebag players are?

And besides, he's not like he exclusively doesnt ignores that sort of style. It's helped make BioShock what it is, and he said he freakign loves BioShock. Not to mention, he's PROBABLY played other First-Person Shooters, including the ones you've mentioned, and just didn't care for them. Simple as that.

Cerilious said...

I agree; where has the rest of gaming gone? The only decent modern RPG's were done by Square and now they can't even get it right. I'd kill to have my old PC back from 10 years ago that would run Might and Magic VI or Baldur's Gate, but I guess we have to suffer.

Alessandro said...

@Cerilious
Are you kidding me? This is like.. the golden age of RPG! Between Bethesda, Bioware and Blizzard, what more would you want?

Not to speak of other gems like The Witcher.

KOTOR, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Witcher, Fallout 3, Morrowind, Oblivion, soon-to-come Diablo III, Even Borderlands has RPG elements (and that game freakking rocks, take note, Bob, BORDERLANDS! There IS hope in the FPS genre after all).

Infact you cannot sneeze without tripping on rpg games or rpg elements at least.

Valkirya Chronicles, awesome game, ok more like a strategy RPG, but noooo, Square Enix are far from the only one doing rpgs nowadays.

Twinmill said...

*Polishes my yellow and black sniper rifle that shoots lightning*

Ahhh, Borderlands...

But I agree with Alessandro here.

RPGs are everywhere, and to say that all of the new ones suck is just plain ignorant. Even if you want to be dumped into the world with no guidance whatsoever and really enjoy the immense struggle, there's plenty of niche RPGs and MMOs to satisfy your tastes.

It's niche for a reason, however, and because it's not my thing at all, I can't name any of them, but I have a friend who was really into one that came out not too long ago.

Not to mention... the amount of MMOs out there on the market today. Just look at the lists on mmorpg.com and mmohut.com, and then try telling yourself that almost all of those you'll come across are free.

Now... unlike first person shooters, RPGs don't really appear in commercials unless they're really big and probably developed and published by Square. Or Bioware.

akkuma420 said...

Just picked up COD:Black Ops and I must say..... That game makes me disagree with this video even more than I already did to begin with.
The main character is extremely interesting and full of depth, the story kept me guessing, the pace is unrelenting and has an excellent payoff with the twist in the story at the end.
Overall, the best COD to date....by far.
Just because A game is a FPS does not mean it cant be an excellent game.
Don't get me wrong, there are some real stinkers out there, but I think that applies for any genre.
Black Ops is excellent, and the FPS genre just seems to be getting better and better.

Genya said...

@akkuma420

I don't think that he is saying "ALL SHOOTERS BAD" What I believe he is saying, is that they are creatively bankrupt.

Me personally, I don't mind shooters at all as long as they play well and offer at least some mild variety. I am sick of "SOLDIER SIMULATION GAME #435B" or "ALIEN INVASION SHOOTER #556S" Which I think is what Bob has in mind...there are OTHER things you can try with a shooter.

Why not do something crazy like...a shooter starring ALL ROBOTS or something. That's just a very basic idea...(Or how about "No One Lives Forever 3?" I'm gonna beat that horse to death cause NOLF2 was amazing) One I regret never playing was Deus Ex...which I think I'll track down as it sounds pretty snazzy. Creative concepts! That's what the genre needs. Games like Portal can lead the way!

Christoph said...

Hey moviebob!

Just admit that you are not open minded enough to enjoy and respect FPS.

I was with you all the time, but you ignore games like Bioshock, Zeno Clash, The Void, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, Deux Ex, Star Trek Voyager Elite Force, etc. etc.

Also are you really implying 2d plattformers and fighters are more innovative? Seriously? Those games are supposed to have more variety?

You are just biased. You should not comment on FPS.

untra said...

Actually bob, do check out Zeno Clash. Its a first Person Brawler, andits story is pretty cool. Just look it up. Trust me, you'll be impressed.

Smashmatt202 said...

@ Christoph

Uhh, Bob HAS played BioShock. In fact, he LOVES the game! It's one of the two games he owns for the Xbox 360 (the other's Batman: Arkham Asylum).

And another thing, maybe he DID play those other games, but didn't find them as deep and compelling as BioShock, Portal, and Half-Life? Or maybe you're just convincing yourselves that they are. Seriously, you guys are only making yourselves look bad.

Twinmill said...

I think it's less that those games aren't compelling, ant that people have trouble caring for certain things. I'm going to be honest, the only reason why I cared for the characters in BFBC2 was because of their cliche personalities all thrown together to feel like something straight out of 1950's film.

Other *Modern* shooter characters? Not so much. But. God. When [censored] died, oh I was ready to bust out the most overpowered weapon in the game and slaughter some npc ass.

This might explain why I like games such as S4League, where your character is a moderately customizable entity that hopefully nobody else looks exactly like.

I'm pretty sure, however, that if most first person shooters had lewdly dressed, but still badass and somehow not degrading females, like Myuria from Star Ocean IV, people would care more about them.

Bob's right that there's not much to care about when playing them *for some, but he's not as right with the gun thing. While some people might care alot about what happens to the AK-47 on screen, most aren't like that. Replace the soldier (no disrespect... I swear,) with someone like Riddick, Gordon Freeman, Mordecai, that guy from Bioshock, Commander Shepard, the chick from Portal -in Portal's case, GlaDOS gave the game personality actuallly- or even Duke Nukem, and beit because the characters are naturally more colorful, interesting, different, or just plain more relatable -once again, no disrespect to those in the service- in some way, the game suddenly becomes exceptionally compelling.

Ryan said...

Mr. Chipman, Bob, you have brought up some good points such as the over popularity of games such as Halo and CoD, though the FPS genre being creatively bankrupt isn't exactly true within my own personal opinion. Just look at Deus Ex, the Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Left 4 Dead, Amnesia: Dark Descent, debatably Pain Killer, debatably Borderlands, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., etc, etc. A simple Google search of all these games would show just how much variety there really is in the genre and how the First Person perspective can be used as an advantage.

As for the topics of Halo and CoD. To me, they're really just unsophisticated shooters who don't know what they are. The games hold the catharsis of old school action gaming yet play it out as if there was more than that while in reality it's all they have.

Still, good video with some good points; just not a lot.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke said...

What about RPGs? The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Quest, and the more recent Fallout games all work great in the first-person perspective.

And for god's sake, OBSESSION OVER GRAPHICS IS NOT A RECENT DEVELOPMENT! I am so sick of people talking about this! Have you NO memory of Battletoads? Or Donkey Kong Country? Or Killer Instinct? Or the numerous reviews of Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time that gave it high marks solely for the graphics (not that the games themselves weren't flippin' fantastic)?

Quite frankly, games that look pretty have ALWAYS been given high regard.

Smashmatt202 said...

He already talked about graphics in one of his previous videos. He makes a point here that, since FPS's are so easy to make nowadays, all that's left is to focus on the graphics.

tnu111 said...

Long time fan first time poster here. But this brings up an interestign question? have youe ver played a Bethesda RPG? they run primarily in the first-person perspective. While it is true that they CAN be played in third person First Person is their default and Bethesda just makes genuinely fun RPGs

Ezequiel said...

OK, So you're in the middle of a fanboy bitching rant because of Nintendo giving in to some OTHER people's fanboy bitching. Ah, the hypocrisy, Bob. Someday you'll have to admit you're just as bad as the people you rally against. You're just on the other side of the fence

Jualr said...

Bob,are you goning to do a review of epic mickey when it comes out ? the game seems like its something you'd enjoy seeing as its a
platformer/rpg/ nostalgia trip.

Seeker said...

This whole subject touches on something I've done a fair bit of Overthinking about myself. Three major thoughts have crystallized while reading through the comments here (In particular some of the lists of first person games cited as noteworthy):

1- The first person perspective (FPP) has serious merit as a method of investigating high-detail environments. The mere illusion of first-person exploration made Myst a blockbuster. Although the Tex Murphy games are about all I can name for mono-genre puzzlers with FPP, I blame that more on the death of the adventure genre than unusability of the viewpoint. More recently a slew of hybrid-genre games have delivered something of a proof of concept here-- the perspective allows a natural way for players to identify and select between scads of objects in a visually cluttered environment. For examples, see any RPG by Bethesda, the 'Shock games, and the Thief games. All enable the player to smoothly examine and select tiny objects in the environment. I'm not at all sure there's any sane reason to render as many objects in an environment interactive as Bethesda seems to like to, but hey! Even when every spoon and teacup is a separate selectable object, first-person parsing of the environment is reasonable! Third-person perspective gameplay generally only enables the player to select large-scale areas of interest (A desk, a wall, etc)-- additional interface is required between the player and the game to make small-scale selections. Additional interface or less character-focused views make fine detail investigation possible again at the cost of increased distancing of the player from the game world. *

2- I have heard somewhere (Valve developer commentary, maybe?) about the merit of FPP in terms of placing emphasis on the environment. Something about not spending the bulk of game-time watching a focal character and the ways they interact with the world, but just watching the world directly. Artistic sensibilities are pretty far out of my areas of understanding, but I will note that the strength of my sense of place for the Covenant Estate from Undying or Rapture from Bioshock exceeds anything from my favorite games of other genre. So, at least anecdotal evidence for the merit of FPP as an artistic tool, I guess? ...Man, I can picture The Cradle from Thief: Deadly Shadows with unwholesome clarity even now. Actually, I think the near-PTSD I suffer with regards to that place makes a pretty good segue:

3- The combination of immersion in the game-world and limited view offered by FPP is a powerful tool for creating tension and even fear. Being stripped down to two-and-a-half senses may not do much for simulation of being an unstoppable space marine, but it does wonders for inducing claustrophobia and jumpy paranoia. The scarier entries in the Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises intentionally limit the god-visibility given by 3PP using darkness, fog, and strange/unhelpful camera angles-- all of that just brings the player back to the basic fear provided by not knowing what might jump out from behind or the sides. FPP does that without even trying! Examples: All of the Thief games employ this magnificently (Coupled with unmatched audio elements), System Shock 2 and Bioshock aren't far behind, and Condemned not much behind that. Even titles not nearly so well-designed, like FEAR or Doom 3 get a lot of mileage from the perspective, I suspect.

So, yeah. Some technical and artistic merits of first-person perspective gaming. Admittedly no dang defense or excuse at all for the slew of largely merit-less FPS games Bob seems so particularly offended by :P



*I was tremendously impressed with the way Silent Hill: Shattered Memories spliced first-person view at the press of a button into a third-person game as a seamless mechanism for closely inspecting the environment. I found it very effective-- far more natural than similar mechanisms attempted in some MGS games and Metroid: Other M. Too bad 'bout the rest of Shattered Memories.

Markus said...

Bob, as much as I disagree with you, I totally respect your opinion. But seriously, do you think all - or even the majority - of people who enjoy playing first-person shooters online are moronic assholes? That's beyond ridiculous.

Bob, you can't just completely dismiss online FPS gaming and look down on everyone who likes it (like me, for instance) because YOU don't like it. That's the same as saying "Only my opinion matters". In MY opinion, there aren't that many video gaming experiences that can truly match up to playing "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" online. The FPS genre has brought a lot of good with it, regardless of what Bob says in this video.

Smashmatt202 said...

He said flat out in the video that this is just his own opinion AND that not all FPS players are like that.

Really, people, pay closer attention.

Jon Ericson said...

Assuming that the FPS culture represents the majority of your objection to the genre, I'd suggest that correlation does not equal causation. Imagine a world in which Blizzard successfully ported Starcraft to Xbox and this video might be a rant against RTS games instead. It's just a twist of fate that online gaming hit critical mass at an epoch when first person shooters were in vogue. I'd argue that your real issue is with online gaming and the complications that arise from it.

You made some excellent points about the limitations of the first-person perspective. By the same token, other perspectives have equivalent problems. For instance, flight simulators and racing games work best from the first person as they allow more direct translation of physical controls to virtual controls. If you push the stick to the right, your viewport correspondingly turns right. Side and top view versions of these games tend to ditch realistic controls.

And that's the real problem with this argument: the first-person perspective is a tool not a game style. Nearly every genre can and has used the tool to varying degrees of success including: adventure, horror, racing, sports, flight and other simulations, 3D platformers (Mario games even use it on occasion), mystery, role-playing, and puzzles. Good game design requires choosing the best tool for the job, which means sometimes using the first-person is the best tool.

Beandon said...

Wow... I just lost so much respect for you. Some of the analysis in this episode was terrible. This is probably the first episode in which I could no longer follow you argument.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
So, it appears that your reason for not liking fps's is because they're the "new" thing. Besides what makes Mario games any better than Call of Duty? Super Mario Galaxy seemed like the same game as Mario 64, only set in space. This is similar to the transition between Call of Duty 2 to Call of Duty 4. Cod 4 had the same mechanics as Cod 2 only set in modern times.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
I find that your argument about how all Fps's focus on graphics flawed. Most Fps's focus on making their multiplayer as high-quality as possible. Whether or not the multiplayer looks good doesn't mean jack-shit if it isn't balanced and fun to play.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
Are you going to do an episode about Call of Duty Black Ops? It seems to be a big deal with everyone.

Leon' Bandeira said...

Hey, make an episode about Cominc Books adaptations to Cinema.
Kick Ass was specially disturbing to me with that little murdering girl covered in blood and smiling - my friends didnt seem to catch the absurdity of this.

Simon said...

I don't really like FPS games either, I usually play old western RPGs. That said I think you got something wrong. You named the FPS genre as the cause for the obsession with graphics. I don't think this is true, I think the FPS genre is a symptom of said obsession.

The obsession with graphics comes from the fact that it's easy to market, it's hard to convince someone that your game has a good story but you can show them that the graphics is good with a single picture. FPS games benefit the most from this as they are fantastic at showing off the graphics since they are viewed so directly while being in a 3d world.

That the obsession with graphics didn't start with the FPS genre can be seen in Final Fantasy 7. It was marketed mostly by showing off the technology used in the pre rendered cutscenes and it came out before the FPS genre invaded consoles and at the time the graphics arms race hadn't really started on PCs either.

So in conclusion: I believe that the first person perspective is a product of an unhealthy graphics obsession and not the cause of it (most of them are still really boring though).

wazzo said...

Here's the thing:
I play & love lots of driving simulations/racing games and to really be competitive, especially with a steering wheel, you have to race in 1st person, which is to say the view where you see the hood only (you never look at ur or dashboard to often when u drive, u really focus on the road & feel ur cars response...)
so there, an overlooked genre that benefits from FP view.
love cars, cant afford em..


ps. when you mentioned venture brothers as the greatest show ever, i must say i was temporarily stupefied...
im the only person i know who even watches the show, let alone follow it religiously.
thank you for validating my opinion.

props.
love your work.

REPTILE 0009 said...

Steps of the FPS World Domination! ;)
1. Grow on the PC
2. Explode on the console
3. Unleash the horde
4. Dethrone the corrupt king
5. Crush all resistance
6. Become the most critically and commercially successful genre ever
This was something my friend came up with one day and I thought it was pretty funny.

Ian said...

I know I'm a little late to the discussion, and it appears that the whole FPS debate has been done and said, so I want to talk about something else. Mainly, that part in the beginning that we're going to get another Metroid Prime due to 'fanboy bitching.'

I hate to break it to whoever believes this, but if we're getting another Metroid Prime, it's not due to fanboy bitching; it's due to fanboy praise.

For those that missed it, Nintendo publicly stated that Other M bombed. They were expecting a million sales by now, but sales trends show that it won't even reach a million at the end of the holiday season.

They're trying to figure out why. Here's where the problem lies with those defending the game; namely, those that I've seen call Other M 'like Super Metroid with a story' or 'the perfect Metroid game.' If Nintendo catches wind of people calling Other M this, they're going to think, "Oh, we did everything right, there's just not enough people that want it. Better stop making them." We know that's not the case; Other M was one of the most anticipated games across all platforms when it was announced up until release when everyone found out that there was no exploration and, regardless of how you view Samus' portrayal, a horribly written story that interrupted the game's flow at every turn from cutscenes to those segments that felt like playing Where's Waldo when you didn't know what Waldo looked like. Aside from the title and some character names, Other M doesn't play like a classic Metroid game AT ALL. That's why people didn't buy it; not because it's not in first person, but because it's an almost completely automated action game with little to no reward for playing: no power ups for beating bosses, very few memorable bosses to begin with, and the most lifeless, uninspired level design I've seen in a long time.

That said, if you don't want another Metroid Prime, stop defending Other M. You and I both know that it doesn't play like a classic Metroid game, and if everyone keeps calling it 'the classic Metroid game they've been waiting for,' you're not getting another one.

twinsaneincarnation said...

Wait, you think fucking SIM DATES are better than fps games? BUAHAHAHAHA!!! I hate the generic xbot as much as the next guy, but that is the most retarded thing I have ever heard you say in my life! What about TF2? No mention of that. What about anything that ISN'T the generic WW3 sim? Fps games tend to be mediocre at best 50% of the time because of Call of Duty, yes, but what about the other 50%. Dude, your sounding like the "Hardcore" elitist pricks you supposedly hate with a passion with that statement ALONE!

Qulqu said...

PLAY!! FREAKING!!! AMNESIA!!! Yeah, you are dead wrong here. Amnesia is a first person horror game with a the ability to pick up and throw things being your only ability. Well that and a lantern which burns through oil like a hummer. If you put Amnesia in the 3rd person it would do nothing but harm to it.

thebigJ_A said...

How about Morrowind, or Oblivion? Morrowind, at least, is effing excellent, and you can play them both on either console or pc.

Morrowind was perhaps the deepest rpg of its generation, as well as being one of the best open-world games to this day.

The newer Fallouts aren't FPSs. Even if they have guns and shooting in the first-person, it's not at all the same as CODBLOPS or whatever.

I think, in the single-player market, at least, there is still some interesting stuff in first-person. Hell, have you played Amnesia?? If you haven't, you really should. First-person, yes. But there are no guns, or even weapons of any kind. The game is literally the only on that has ever honestly scared me. It's like half-off on Steam atm, too. Which is nice.

El Flaco said...

NFS: Shift had a first person view that worked and it's not a shooter.

blog091211 said...

Bob, I think you are wrong about this

First, the best CRPGs out there (see System Shock, Deus Ex, VtM - Bloodliness) are played mostly or exclusively in first person perspective because first person is the best way to immerse a player in a virtual world.

Second, first person is the best camera for 3D games. Games that embrace six degrees of freedom like Descent and Freespace and basically all flight simulators use a first person perspective because of the freedom it allows.

Third, the reasons why the first person perspective is not as popular as it should be are:

1. PC games are not as popular as console games.
2. Most console games dont have support for mouse control.

Try to play PC games like Freespace 2, Minecraft, Thief 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Mount and Blade or Deus Ex. There are six games from six different genres listed there.

Then we have puzzle games like Portal and Tag, then we also have platformers games like Jumping Jack and Half Life.

There is a lot of untapped potential for first person games, and for first person shooters too.

Steve said...

There... wasn't a single critique of the first-person shooter genre anywhere in there. I saw critiques of a particularly vocal, belligerent audience that partakes in FPS games, critiques of the limitations of the first-person perspective, and critiques of the derivativeness and bland sameyness of current generation shooters, but nowhere in there was a critique about first-person shooters themselves.

Cory said...

You can't just say the UE3 engine is for 1st person shooters. Games like Enslaved, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and even Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe used it. You also say you prefer actually seeing your character...well, the Gears of War series is a 3rd person shooter when you pretty much always see you character, AND it's also powered by the UE3 engine...

Jonathan said...

I'll start by saying that I never play FPSs online, and that I usually place RPGs, not FPSs. Also, I respect your opinion, but it seems that you speak from a position of ignorance.

First off, I don't think that it's right to blame the gaming community for the low quality of online play. The game devs don't design the game around people being jerks, they design the game around "What was successful before, and what wasn't? How can we improve the current design?". People are jerks online because being online has that effect on people. Besides, some great FPS's have been made that are only single player, like Half-life.

You ignore great horror games like Condemned and Amnesia that capitalize on the immersion of the first person POV to help instill the sense of personal danger. Yes, many good horror games have been made in the 3rd person, but it's a lot scarier when the only thing you can see is the monster you're running away from.

Speaking of horror first person games, single player first person games really shouldn't be categorized with FPS's designed for multiplayer. First person RPGs like Elder Scrolls are a completely different animal, and first person puzzle games like Portal may be uncommon, but they're not at all the same animal as normal FPS's. Also, some games like Deus Ex, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and Fallout are shooters and are in the first person perspective, but those are single player RPG's, and are a completely different animal than Call of Duty and Medal of Honor.

Something you mentioned that you don't like playing soldier. I honestly think that is the main issue. You don't like the idea of a FPS on principle of the role you must assume in the game. However, many people, such as myself, like the idea of pretending to be a soldier. Examples:

I loved Battlefield: Bad Company because it gave me the opportunity to pretend to be an under-appreciated, expendable, reckless soldier. It was a game that encouraged resourcefulness because your superiors don't care if you live or die: I had to run trucks through buildings to kill enemies when I ran out of ammo, and that was really fun.

In CoD: MW, I like grabbing an LMG and shooting through a wall where I have cleverly deduced the location of an enemy so I can kill him without exposing myself.

In CoD: WaW, I like burning grass just in case Japanese ambushers are lying in wait, because the last banzai charge nearly killed me, and the sight of all the tall grass makes me nervous.

About your argument about the sense-based limitations of the first person perspective: this is very subjective. I very much dislike Oblivion, but its first person perspective did not hinder me at all when I had to run and jump around. I think that it has more to do with how comfortable you are with the perspective, and I find it a great way to observe a 3D environment. Say what you will about first person games being restricted to shooters, how many good third person shooters are there? Yeah, there are plenty, but they're almost always over-the-shoulder style, which is as close you can get to being first person while actually being third person. The shooter genre gravitates towards the first person perspective, not the other way around.

Lastly, your complaint about "brown and grey" realism is very valid, though. That's a weak attempt at building realism, but to be fair, that's a current trend, not a flaw in the entire FPS genre. Even then, that aspect isn't a game killer. I love Gears of War (yeah, it's a third person shooter, but it goes along with the fake realism complaint), and I accept the ridiculously brown "realism" along with the absurd testosterone poisoning that goes along with it because it's a really fun game.

Anonymous said...

1.-You are mostly right, but I think you don't see games as valid outlet for violent impulses, and they are that, among other things, for most of us. At least for me. I think you play to recover your childhood and that's valid too.
2.-They don't make more first-person non shooter because they are stupid. First person can do platforming but you have to tweak cammera controls for it to work (looking a bit down when running instead of straight ahead so you can jump with prescission). It can do melee and stealth. The genre that would be best in first person would be a stealth-survival horror hybrid without combat(It would be the most immerssive game ever). Hugs and greetings.

Anonymous said...

So I know I'm far too late to really add anything meaningful to the discussion, but I'm going to say it anyway, just to get it off my chest. Looking at the Modern Warfare franchise as a whole on the grounds of artistic merit and/or positive lasting effect on people, I can only say that they are good for having fun and letting off steam, but nothing more. There is nothing in any of these games that actually leaves a lasting impact on anybody and changes their worldview. Every single part of these games is just gun-porn machismo bullshit and an excuse to play with Uncle Sammy's newest toys, like the Game Overthinker has stated.

Except for one single scene. The nuclear blast in MW1 and the ensuing aftermath is the one single redeeming thing in the entire franchise. This is because it actually utilizes gaming's greatest strength: having you live out a scenario that is impossible in real life. You can literally feel the excruciating pain Jackson is going through as he stumbles out of the downed helicopter. And when he looks at the sky and sees the mushroom cloud looming over the obliterated city, you can feel what little hope Jackson had of surviving the crash drain out of him. Put in his shoes, you yourself become desperate and roam around trying to find any help, but it is apparent everyone else is dead. You fall to the ground, succumb to the injuries and the radiation, and the screen fades to white.

Whereas the rest of the series' message is apparently about how awesome [and racist] it is to shoot guns at brown people and Russians, this one scene forces you to experience the utter atrocity and devastation of nuclear warfare. If more first-person shooters were to utilize their gameplay style to teach us something like this scene does, I can see more worth in the genre as a whole.

And no I'm not mentioning the "second sun" moment in MW2 because 1) this was clearly put in for sheer shock value and doesn't really teach the player anything, and 2) SCREW YOU I LIKE THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION!!!!!! HOW DARE YOU BLOW IT UP LIKE THAT!!!! And while we're at it, SCREW YOU MW3 I LIKE THE EIFFEL TOWER!!!! AND SCREW YOU FOR HAVING DOGS WITH EXPLOSIVES STRAPPED ONTO THEM! THEY DIDN'T DESERVE THAT!!!