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Old 08-11-04, 08:59 PM   #1
karkrash81
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Default No Innovation in First Person Shooters

This thread is about first person shooters (and some 3rd person ones) since i don't play much else...

While there are many well done games in the first person shooter genre that have been released this year I'm starting to wonder what happened to any sort of real innovation in first person shooters...

Far cry was great, doom 3 was excellent (in my opinion), and painkiller was a blast... however, none of these titles really innovate... far cry had great graphics...doom 3 had great graphics...but both of them had the same story...which, by the way, is the same story that half life had, and the original doom games had...

i've been waiting for a first person shooter that stands out but not because of its graphics... no new games i see really catch my attention...I'm getting tired of the same old same old...I want to see something fresh and new... developers seem to be sticking with the tried and true formulas...sci-fi, world war 2 and realisitic military themed shooters...

innovation doesn't necessarily have to be in just the gameplay in my opinion...it'd be nice to see a game with a totally unique setting and atmosphere...how many dark dingy corridors do we have to play through??

what happened to games like no one lives forever? hexen? heretic 2? giants? american mcgee's alice? MDK2? max payne? manhunt? while these games had their own problems, they were unique and unmistakable and were different from any other game when they came out...

I'd like to see a first person shooter with real characters that the player can get to know...Cate Archer (Nolf Games), max payne, and Kyle Katarn (Dark forces/jedi knight) are the only well developed characters in the shooter genre that i can think of...

i can't wait for half life 2 ... but it's not because of the graphics or physics... it really looks like they've managed to invest a lot of energy into the characters...

and what about humor? it'd be nice to see a game with a great sense of humor (ie...nolf series, mdk 2)...

i know it's harder for a publisher to get the consumer interested in games that aren't so mainstream...

anybody have any thoughts on the subject or am I expecting too much from these types of games?
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Old 08-11-04, 09:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

I personally can't wait to see what id does next. They've said it's not going to be in any of the Quake/Doom/Wolfenstein style of games (as a good amount of people at id didn't really want to do another doom), so it'll be interesting to see some first shots of whatever they're gonna do. Probably won't hear anything for a couple years but hey.. I still can't wait
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Old 08-11-04, 09:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

I wonder if they could do a game that won't have a dark theme?

i'm sure their next project will be good regardless... but will it bring something significantly new to the table besides graphics?

I've never been disappointed by an ID game...while I agree they aren't as innovative as other games they are always highly polished and always well done.
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Old 08-11-04, 09:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

Heh they've done lots of games without a dark theme. Like quake3, commander keen
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Old 08-11-04, 09:23 PM   #5
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Default 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?
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Old 08-11-04, 09:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

never played commander keen... but i thought quake 3 was a dark game... had all the skulls, demons, lava, etc...

maybe "dark" was a poor word...doom, doom2, quake, quake 2, quake 3, doom 3...they all seem related...all have the sci fi monster/hell stuff going on...

i guess i was referring to the theme of their games...most of ID's games are similar in that respect...which isn't bad...but i'd like to see them try something completely different

now doom 3 really got me because i was totally immersed in the environment...i've never played a game where i was always on edge all the time...

EDIT below>
undying...there's another one...

at one point the games I (we) are calling cliche were once innovative...remember when medal of honor allied assault came out? it was pretty spectacular because it was the first WW2 game with that cinematic feel... quake 3 and unreal tournament were innovative because they were the first multiplayer games that took hold... half life was the first game that i felt really attached to the gameworld...it all seemed cohesive...the story was worthless if you ask me, but the gameworld and gameplay was phenomenal at the time...it was really a giant leap forward in terms of gameplay...

Stalker looks promising but it's still got that "gray" feel to it...the unreal 3 game screenshots look interesting...
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Old 08-11-04, 09:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

Honestly, I think one of the problems is that people have become such graphics snobs. In order for people to get excited about a game, it has to visually wow them. Therefore, more and more time is spent keeping up with the competition graphically as opposed to innovating. Then when a really nice looking game is released, people complain that the game relies too heavily on graphics even though they know damn well that they would whine if the situation were different.

In either case, innovating isn't simple in a first-person shooter. In the end, the basic formula is that you point and click at things that die on screen.
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Old 08-11-04, 09:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

I agree with you ... but you can't deny that good looking graphics can draw you into the game better...however graphics shouldn't be the main factor in determining the appeal of a game

It'd be great to see a game with a fresh spin...especially in regards to story and character...

Goldeneye rogue agent looks interesting from the standpoint that you play as the bad guy
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Old 08-11-04, 09:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

I forgot to add this in regards to storylines...

Essentially, there are only so many words in the English language, and only a few of them are intriguing in a certain order and sequence.

In other words, every single story or plot you see now, has most likely existed prior to your thinking or hearing of it. The Doom story (scientists uncover new technology -- bad stuff happens -- people die -- lone hero saves the day) is a story archetype. There are many archetypes in writing, and unfortunately they're so prevalent today that sometimes people don't even notice.

Really, the only thing a writer can do is change what happens in between the beginning and end and at least try to make it seem original.
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By the way, my reasoning isn't unique... it's been stated before. There are not many original thoughts.
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Old 08-11-04, 09:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

True, but i think there's still lots of room in the shooter genre of games to really do something story wise...while the stories have been told somewhere...have they been told in the shooter genre yet?

if not story wise...what about the whole setting / theme of the game... why don't developers mix things up thematically? take the normal story and put it in a new setting that hasn't been done...

I actually heard that wild west game was decent (pc gamer liked it and said it was a steal for 20 bucks)...dead man's hand
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Old 08-11-04, 09:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

Quote:
Originally Posted by karkrash81
if not story wise...what about the whole setting / theme of the game... why don't developers mix things up thematically? take the normal story and put it in a new setting that hasn't been done...

I actually heard that wild west game was decent (pc gamer liked it and said it was a steal for 20 bucks)...dead man's hand
I guess there are only a few appealing settings. For example, I don't really like cowboy stuff. If I wanted to be a guy in tight jeans who rides fat creatures for a living, I'd be a Chippendale's Dancer at a stripclub for Plus Sized ladies.
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Old 08-11-04, 09:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: No Innovation in First Person Shooters

haha...bad image

personally...I think there's plenty of themes that haven't been put to good use

here are a few examples

1960's spy themes
1970's cop theme
1950's film noir
civil war
fantasy first person shooters
1970's soul movie (ie foxy brown...shaft..etc...)
world war 1
cold war espionage...

and what about tron 2.0...? that seemed like it got reviewed well...i never got around to playing the full game though...

FEAR looks promising as well...

EDIT>
what about postal 2...haha while the gameplay was truly horrible it had a "unique" spin on things... imagine if they had actually made a good game to go along with the shocking elements of the game
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