I recently have had the chance to write a piece with one mister Jack Boyfeild. Below you will find for and against statements on whether or not the fps is devolving. Here is mine:
Game mechanics are always evolving. Although some remain constant, in time, most will change as the industry does. Such is the way of capitalism and thus our beloved pastime. The changes are subtle and do not necessarily manifest themselves in double jumps and faster movement speed but in subtler ways. Over the past 2 years I have seen more and more games abandon concepts like iron sights and sprinting. I honestly cannot explain where this trend is coming from but games have begun to focus on more old school design mechanics. Here is a list of Older ideas creeping into modern design and why they kick ass:
-Vertical movement: makes spacial awareness and a full degree of aiming more essential.
-Weapon specific ADS: Makes weapons knowledge more important and gives the player incentive to practice
-Weapon pickups: Forces players to learn map layouts
-Non regenerating health: Evens the playing field and gives less skilled players the chance to still progress
-No cross hair bloom: makes weapons more reliable and removes chance from the moment to moment game play. It also allows the player to move and shoot more effectively thus speeding up the game
-longer time to kill: This forces players to not just shoot first but to shoot second third and last. These extended periods of combat not only reward sustained skill but make encounters more dynamic due to players joining the fight or weapons being picked up during the engagement.
These mechanics are becoming more and more common amongst mainstream shooters. These include Wolfenstein the new order, Doom, Shadow warrior 1 and 2, and Overwatch. Their has also been a rise in the numbers of arena shooters like Toxikk, unreal tournament and Lawbreakers(Side note Cliff Bleszinsky Is awesome, see bottom for link). Do I think that we are reverting back to the early 2000’s? No, some mechanics sucked and that is why they are being left by the wayside. Developers are realizing that there is a reason that people so fondly remember these older games. With these classic mechanics returning and the rise of the heroes shooter and online only gaming, the future of First person shooters is equally terrifying and exciting.
And here ladys and gents is the counter argument from the one and only Jack Boyfeild:
The FPS was an absolute marvel when I was in my teens. MW2 was the most addictive experience I have ever had and I constantly rushed home from school to jump back into multiplayer. The entire experience was largely fresh to me and was one that I could not resist. The perfect combination of fast paced boots on the ground action with a wonderful sense of class customisation. The maps were beautiful and well designed and I remember the exact layout in my mind even now. Contrast that with my thoughts on FPS shooters now and it is largely different. Admittedly I don’t have as many friends to socialise with online as I did back that but i am going to speak of my thoughts on the direction I believe shooters are going in rather than my soured opinion on them. When one thinks of the generic annual releases one thinks of Battlefield and COD so that is my main reference point. COD is as popular as ever in terms of sales as each annual release is lauded over by the masses yet is it heading in the right direction? The high number of dislikes on the Infinity Warfare trailer such not and I cannot but agree. Whilst I do believe the fast pace is what the people want in a period where Twitch rewards the fast and the talented yet Activision just appear to be ripping off the ideas of first Titanfall which is outstanding and now feeding off of the space hype that comes with Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky. Battlefield on the other hand is one that is trying something new. It is a backwards step towards an era of warfare that we have immersed ourselves in before yet with the more powerful consoles we may see it on a grander scale. It is one which I will be much more likely to buy as I love historic warfare yet I don’t believe boots on the ground will be as popular among the Twitch crowd due to its inevitably slower pace. I hope dearly that it outsells COD but I very highly doubt it. In retrospect of these yearly releases, I can safely say I believe that the FPS is lacking innovation in the AAA annual market as the two big boys are relatively stuck for ideas. It is through the unburdened nature of lesser known titles such as Titanfall that we must rely upon in order to get the innovation we desire as true gamers. Yet they do not get the sales of the two games mentioned above and it is this that has caused the FPS market to stagnate and allow other genres to emerge triumphant such as MOBAs and MMOs (which I welcome). I challenge the big developers to create perhaps a FPS set in a relatively untouched setting such as the Old West or experiment with alternative historic events. When this occurs I will safely say that FPSs are moving forward.
Is this the renaissance of the modern shooter? Leave your comments below and have a beautiful day.