Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters
Well, it seems that a majority of FPS games stick to very generic storylines and don't try to do anything new. Most of the major FPS games seem to be afraid of change, since it seems people are more willing to play a generic action game (Doom 3) than something that breaks the mold (System Shock 2). Actually though, I've found a few console first-person games do have some interesting elements, Perfect Dark and Breakdown are very good examples of games that have interesting characters and innovative features (especially Breakdown, which focuses on hand-to-hand fighting rather than shooting, oh and the story is exellent). Also, wasn't there that one western FPS game that was released recently? Dead Man's Hand or something? I do give that one props for being different, although I hear it didn't turn out all that well.
However the cliches in the FPS genre are quite predictable now: experiment gone wrong, gateway to hell/alien planet opened, mutants on the loose, etc. Some manage to break away from these stereotypes, but I bet if you went to a store and looked at all the FPS games on the shelf, 9 out of 10 of them would either fit into these catagories, or else be WW2 shooters.
But really, I think the FPS genre has been like this for a while now. Even back in the early '90s, games like Doom got critical acclaim, while System Shock and Marathon were almost completely ignored. I don't think we'll break out of this vicious cycle until consumers start buying games that are original, maybe then developers will decide not to make as many "me too" games. Though now that I think about it, a lot of genres are like this...RTS games anyone?