Year of the FPS

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  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 14:02:08
    Steven Poole's article in this month's Edge is all about "Neophilia" with regards to games, and in particular he talks about his experience with Far Cry, and how he can't help looking forward to Half-Life 2 and co, and how this affected his enjoyment of Far Cry. I generally find his articles a bit hit and miss, but I thought this month's was excellent, and well worth a read if you have a copy, covering a topic that we have been discussing a lot recently.

    So, despite the various Halo 2, Doom 3 and HL2 (medulla!) threads that we've had, I think we need to bash it out in one consolidated one.

    What's got me thinking, is if I go back a year, the game I was looking forward to more than any of the above, was Deus Ex 2, and yet, IMO, it was a big dissapointment. I recently finished Far Cry myself, and thought it was pretty good, if a little over-rated, but now I am really looking forward to the "big 3". However, it occurs to me, that Far Cry could be better than any of them, and what a let down that's going to be. And now I'm worried. I've been looking forward to these games longer than pretty much any other game I can think of, and basically, I am virtually guarenteed to be dissapointed.

    Than again, there are things like Riddick and Stalker, which comparitvely have come out of nowhere, and these could turn out to be even better. I just hope that for all the hype surrounding the FPSs that are coming out this year, we actually get some truly excellent games.
  • templar-wizard 24 May 2004 14:08:29 3,153 posts
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    i personally think Stalker will be a shot below Farcry. nice to look at, but boring.
    the recent EDGE article about it made me lose the tiny interest i had for it. no AI, and swinging light gimmick.

    out of the big 3, i think Doom3 will be the loser, but still quite good. very linear corridor-type gameplay, but nice and slow.

    HL2 will be high quality, but we MAY have seen most of its innovations in recently released games. Valve have proven themselves liars so we may not see it this summer.

    Halo2 will be something special. its on console so its a cousin to the pc two and not a direct competitor.
    Bungie have set themselves a release date, have shitloads of M$ money and support behind them. and EVERYONE who has played the demo loved it.


    THE game to look out for is Operation Flashpoint 2.



    Edited by templar wizard at 13:09:15 24-05-2004
  • Blerk Moderator 24 May 2004 14:10:22 48,225 posts
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    That's the danger of building up the hype for games above and beyond the normal media buzz.... sometimes they can be really very good, but you've built your expectations up so high that anything less that 'mind-blowing' feels like a disappointment.

    I get the idea that regardless of how good they are, Doom 3, Halo 2 and Half Life 2 will feel like a disappointment to some people.
  • Machiavel 24 May 2004 14:11:55 5,964 posts
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    I know what you mean. I'm very worried that Halo 2 will be another 'Perfect Dark after Goldeneye' - superb multiplayer but a strangely less-appealing single player game (which is all I'm getting it for, along with the presumed co-op).

    And as amazing as it looks, there was a creeping sense of "Oh no, this again" when I saw Half-life2 trailers with familiar black&white tiled floors and swatting at headcrabs with crowbars - so fresh the first time, now in danger of seeming rehashed.

    But then the joy of FPS for me is the purity of the play - and just maybe Doom3 will surprise me most by bringing back that pure, immersive experience - even though it looks the weakest in concept.
  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 14:14:22
    I agree, there can definitly be too much hype.

    I'm a bit worried about the lack of single player info we've had on Halo 2. Its all very well making it the best multi player online console game evar, but for me, it needs to be something pretty special in single player for me to want it.

    I think its becoming more and more clear that Doom3 will not really be anything special in terms of innovation, and it is all going to be about the atmospheare and graphics. Depite myself, I have very high hopes for HL2 and Stalker.
  • Spanky 24 May 2004 14:21:23 14,610 posts
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    I'm hoping hl2 will pull through with a good story. All the fps are getting generic theres only so much that can be done with them, now i think they're either fleshing out the physics or adding rubbish(jumping and platforming). Hopefully now that the gameplay/graphics side is saturated and fully realised they can focus on the story side of it.

    Halo had a shite story(the back story sounds interesting but thats about it), halflife the same(same as doom, monkeys open up a portal to 'fuckknows'), farcry generic island of doctor moreau gubbins. From the sounds of it doom3, hl2 and halo2 will all have next gen stories, the tech doesn't really bother me any more.

    Far Cry has so far been one of the best i've ever played, the learning curve is nice, i've never been stuck on a section for a stupid length of time and never been handed an obtuse or abstract puzzle... so far.

    Plubs

  • ruttyboy 24 May 2004 14:36:58 7,949 posts
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    As long as they do get them out this year. Release in the summer? Pffffft! We all know that isn't going to happen, the game could have been finished 10 years ago and they still wouldn't release it in the summer, Christmas 2004 maybe, Summer? Ha!
  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 14:38:44
    You see, for me how good the story in a game is, is not really the point. Its how well they integrste the story into the game. Personally there are few things that annoy me more than having to sit through a ten minute cut scene when I'm high on gaming adrenoline.

    HL may not have had the best story ever, but I think it set a new standard for integrating a story into a game, and I struggle to think of a game that does it better. I'm hoping HL2 continues the tradition.
  • Spanky 24 May 2004 14:47:11 14,610 posts
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    I did like the integration of the story into the gameplay ala halflife and halo it was the overall story that was a bit mince in the case of half life. I'm with you though, i hate cut scenes. Funnily enough when playing Far Cry at the weekend a cutscene came in when you meet that woman for the first time, the graphics were tremendously bad, if they used the ingame engine it would've looked 10X better.

    Actually i take it back, i'm not sure what benefits a better story might have as in the wrong hands it could destroy a game.

    Plubs

  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 14:55:48
    Spanky wrote:
    Actually i take it back, i'm not sure what benefits a better story might have as in the wrong hands it could destroy a game.

    Completely agree. MGS 1+2 being good examples. Good story, but write an accompanying novel FFS!
  • Spin_Dr_Wolf 24 May 2004 14:56:50 6,170 posts
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    The trick imo, is to be extra sceptical of everything untill you have played it, or at the very least read a review or two. Because there is always a chance it could be shit.
  • Spanky 24 May 2004 16:02:36 14,610 posts
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    medulla oblongata wrote:
    HL2 has mastered story telling.
    The proofs in the pudding and we ain't got no pudding. It could be disjointed and shite, the story itself could also be a pile of poopla. Could?!

    Plubs

  • ruttyboy 24 May 2004 16:07:00 7,949 posts
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    medulla oblongata wrote:
    It gives you the sense of control when someone is talking to you and your thinking "i can walk away at any moment if i want to"
    The trouble for me though with that style of plot exposition is that if you walk away from the character they will just keep talking away as if you were invisible hence ruining any immersion created. If they told you to 'Get the fuck back here!' or got upset with you it would be much better.
  • MikeD 24 May 2004 16:08:41 10,063 posts
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    ruttyboy wrote:
    The trouble for me though with that style of plot exposition is that if you walk away from the character they will just keep talking away as if you were invisible hence ruining any immersion created. If they told you to 'Get the fuck back here!' or got upset with you it would be much better.

    i think that was one of the plans though.

    I remember from the beta that if you stared to lang at Alyx she would tell you to stop staring, and similar things.
  • Gorgoroth_II 24 May 2004 16:32:39 42 posts
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    It's been the year of the boring, uninspired FPS since about 1992.

    They bore me to tears lately, the genre needs re-invigorating, "big time".
  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 16:34:07
    Gorgoroth_II wrote:
    It's been the year of the boring, uninspired FPS since about 1992.

    There's a game called Quake that you might want to try.
  • MikeD 24 May 2004 16:34:18 10,063 posts
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    if you think fps games haven't been invigorated since 1992 then it'll never happen, and you know it.

    edit: bested by 11 seconds by kalel.

    Edited by MikeD at 15:34:42 24-05-2004
  • Gorgoroth_II 24 May 2004 16:35:42 42 posts
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    I own all of the Quake games...They are good.
  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 16:39:03
    @MikeD :-)

    @ Gorgoroth II

    Sorry, I think the point that we were making is that there have been quite a few good FPSs since '92, as you yourself have recognised.

    In fact, IIRC Doom didn't even come out 'till '93.
  • UncleLou Moderator 24 May 2004 16:42:27 35,851 posts
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    I don't think first-person-shooters have evolved any less (or more, for that matter) than other genres.

    Which genre did dramatically change or improve over the past few years?

  • yegon 24 May 2004 16:45:19 5,416 posts
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    I prefer Dark Forces II:Jedi Knight(1) to Half-Life by a country mile

    /runs
  • Gorgoroth_II 24 May 2004 16:45:21 42 posts
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    Yeah, I wasn't really knocking FPS games, just saying that they have been hugely popular for over a decade. I don't like to think that this year will be another year of FPS's.

    I'm most excited about the new Zelda and Metroid games, one of which (ironically) actually uses a first-person viewpoint. In fact, the Metroid series is ebbing ever closer to becoming a bog standard FPS, what with the inclusion of ammo for Samus's beams.

    Metroid has always been about exploration, and Samus is supposed to be omnipotent - the enemies being naught but cannon fodder (save for a few bosses). I don't want to get into a Metroid rant though.

    *sigh*...I love Metroid far, far too much.
  • Amajiro 24 May 2004 16:45:58 2,214 posts
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    UncleLou wrote:
    I don't think first-person-shooters have evolved any less (or more, for that matter) than other genres.

    Which genre did dramatically change or improve over the past few years?


    Good question - almost worthy of a thread in its own right. Off hand I can't really think of anything. The development has always been in the tech (read eye-candy) rather than the game mechanic. Really the only way these days to be innovative is to create a new (sub) genre rather than change an existing one.
  • yegon 24 May 2004 16:50:28 5,416 posts
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    More convergence than evolution - certainly in the last few years.
  • elevenses 24 May 2004 16:51:50 386 posts
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    The only innovative game I can think of recently is Animal Crossing. It seems to be all evoloution now - which is no bad thing I suppose.

  • yegon 24 May 2004 16:53:09 5,416 posts
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    But isn't AC an evolved version of Little Computer People...?

    edit: completely different really, but there are similarities. I suppose The Sims is more like LCP.

    Edited by yegon at 15:54:13 24-05-2004
  • Deleted user 24 May 2004 16:53:49
    Beat 'em ups. Tekken 4 took the genre to completely new levels and it will never be the same again.


    Shit, my tongue has actually penetrated my cheek.
  • pjmaybe 24 May 2004 16:54:48 70,676 posts
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    Hrmmm, even Animal Crossing (original though it was) was still based on an old N64 game though, wasn't it.

    Was just over at gametrailers.com - it's bloody amazing the amount of SIMS style games that are about to hit the shelves....

    As far as "redefining genres" goes, I think BF1942 did a good job of providing something other than just the usual FPS fare. It did actually manage something reasonably original for a little while, but of course now it's spawning clones quicker than anything else...

    If there's one genre I'd like to see re-invented it's the driving game. Though I get the feeling that Burnout 3 / Flat Out might go some way towards that this year.

    Peej
  • UncleLou Moderator 24 May 2004 16:58:45 35,851 posts
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    Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to HL2 like the next guy, but even I must admit I miss something. And the thing is, a few years ago, I really thought games were developing in a different (and probably better) direction.

    It were mainly two games that were responsible for my optimism: to a lesser degree, dare I mention it again, Gothic, but mainly Outcast. A game that was comparatively non-linear, but managed to tell you a great story nonetheless, with huge worlds to explore, good AI (and not just the combat, but the overall NPC behaviour), and creating a believable, living world around you.

    But these games stayed exceptions. GTA (though I didn't like it too much) was a bit like this, too, of course.

    I was really thinking developers would use the additional horsepower to improve upon these things, but most genres really still stick to the old formulas, with just tiny improvements.

    At the time, while I really did like Outcast, I wasn't quite as impressed wih it as I am now, years later. It was far from perfect, but it was (and still is) lightyears ahead in terms of game design than most stuff we see today.

    And not only did hardly anyone learn anything from Outcast, no, they've even cancelled the second one.

    I just hope that Stalker (see how I cunningly went on-topic here again) will be a bit like Outcast.

    edit: um, sorry for the unconcise rambling, I got interrupted by the phone and the boss several times. And I haven't even had lunch today, so my concentration is a bit lacking. ;D

    Edited by UncleLou at 16:00:43 24-05-2004
  • elevenses 24 May 2004 17:02:03 386 posts
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    yegon wrote:
    But isn't AC an evolved version of Little Computer People...?

    edit: completely different really, but there are similarities. I suppose The Sims is more like LCP.

    Edited by yegon at 15:54:13 24-05-2004

    Possibly - I'm not a big PC gamer. I found AC innovative largely because of the way it makes you play the game. After the first couple of months there is'nt much to do so rather than finish a game in a couple of weeks and not play it again for ages you play AC in very small doses most days. The game is meant to and will last at least a year.
    I also cant think of anything that has been done in real time either.

    and yeah - it was an old N64 game though never released in Europe
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