Love-Hate Relationship: First-Person Shooters

Where do I begin? The First person shooter has become rapidly popular in the past few years, thanks to games like Call of Duty and their modern warfare franchise. That’s not too hard to believe because hey, who doesn’t love shooting bad guys to pieces and blowing stuff up? While most gamers are satisfied with the overabundance of the genre as well as their sequels and loving every second of it, maybe it’s the rush of being in the middle of war-torn landscapes and shooting off guns without any danger present whatsoever, but I for one am getting tired of the same old redundant formula. You go into enemy territory. Hundreds of enemies surround you. You shoot them all dead. Repeat,repeat,repeat. But for some strange reason I can’t help but play them. What gives?

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve bought almost all the popular FPS’s known to man but it’s just that some developers are taking the fad a little too overboard. Yea, we get it, blood and bullets sell. But that doesn’t mean you have to continue using all the same junk found in every other game. Oh wait you’re FPS is different because it takes place in the future and in space? Big deal. You still have the same concept and objectives as the others. Some weapons may have different attributes or firing rates but honestly, can you even tell the difference between the weapons? Yea OK some may be stronger than others and oh look! That one shoots lasers! but after awhile they all seem to meld into the same damn weapon. I will agree that some of them have good story lines and I respect that, but can’t you add a few exciting differences here and there to make the total experience interesting? It’s not even the first-person view that bothers me, I enjoy that and, heck, some games have taken that view point and completely changed up our usual expectations associated with it.

The Portal franchise comes to mind right away. Instead of relying on killing and exploding things to complete the game, Portal gives us the challenge of actually using our mind to combat not bad guys with guns, but puzzles. Yea how often do you hear that! Plus to keep things interesting, Portal 2 gives us an awesome story with witty humor and memorable characters that give that feeling of accomplishment when we complete a seemingly difficult puzzle and the anticipation of what will happen next. Then you got series like the elder scrolls that successfully meld an RPG with a first-person view. Games like these are a breath of fresh air to act as a a break between the bombardment of FPS’s. And we need that break because otherwise we would become lethargic from repetitiveness.

Now I’m not saying I despise FPS’s. They are fun. I just feel like there’s just too many of them being made. Not all of them are exactly carbon copies of the others. Crysis 2 gave us the usual shoot-em-up genre but gave us a eerie futuristic story line and the addition of an innovative armor system to keep gameplay from getting too repetitive. And it works. Although some franchises are doing absolutely fantastic keeping the same old formula as a structure. Call of Duty has become the Madden of FPS’s and releases a similar game every single year. I mean they aren’t completely the same because improved graphics and new story lines are always present. The shooting stays the same but then again the huge appeal from it is the online game play and gamers, as well as myself, are too busy ranking up and exterminating noobs to worry about that gun being like that other one. I do enjoy the occasional FPS but I just think the industry needs to take it easy on releasing so many. Plus who doesn’t enjoy that satisfying moment of getting the last kill by landing an impossible head shot at the last possible second?