Gaming Today File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 11: FPS Fatigue?

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This week’s podcast may sound a little different to those of you who are regular listeners. We put Shawn in the hosting seat this week, and decided to take a look at the FPS genre. Shawn wonders if the genre has become stagnant, and Ron really doesn’t think so. You’ll also get to hear Ron’s thoughts on multiplayer in Guitar Hero 3, and Shawn’s thoughts on Hellgate: London.

You can grab this week’s episode right here.

As always, you can check out previous episodes at our podcast page, and send your comments to podcast@filefront.com.

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7 Comments on Gaming Today File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 11: FPS Fatigue?

used cisco

On November 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm

The FPS market is so unbelievable saturated right now its not even funny. You cant throw a quarter blindfolded without hitting some new FPS. Part of the reason I started playing more consoles was because I was getting tired of all the quake/doom/halflife clones and now it seems all those game have just transferred to consoles. Give me some good action platforming or a prince of persia style environmental puzzler any day.

Joelteon7

On November 9, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Nice to see the idea adapted and for a nice-length podcast. So, comments.

I strongly believe that FPS’ are facing a fatigue. Rattling off the list of recent ones out or due out (Metroid Prime 3, Bioshock, Halo 3, The Orange Box, Timeshift, Haze, ET: QW) within their own genre types of the FPS fractions and then again as FPS’ as a whole, the general mechanics aren’t that different. So, Halo 3 gives you dual-wielding, it’s basically MP3 with two guns. So TF2′s Pyro is completely different to ET:QW having kits, it’s still the same employment. I’d say the most original FPS out recently was Timeshift and that hasn’t exactly done too well on the review front.

FPS’ haven’t really gone anywhere for a good bit. Okay, Battlfield re-invented the online-PC FPS market, which was cool, but wasn’t that YEARS ago? Halo really did change the way FPS’ would work on console’s but honestly, not much has come about to change the way they’re played.

As for innovations, there is an older game I didn’t quite have the chance to meet, called Red Faction. It attempted to change the way you played by letting you blow up anything, which neatly leads me onto a game that I think is a bit more innovative AND doesn’t even know how to spell fatigue (but probably amazing at blowing it up)…

The game I’m really looking forward to is Battlefield: Bad Company (BF name cropping up). Whilst maybe being potentially one of the more fun FPS’ in its premise of letting you “blow up anything”, it has a story that knows it’s done-before but adds in some humour (a grenade which has a smiley face keyring attached to the pin I’m pretty sure counts as pure win). I think the emalgamation of serious FPS play, comedy and something new (pure, unmitigated destruction) should combine to be a refreshing blast of destruction, I errr, mean game-play. That and the tacked on standard online BF fare (although apparently 24 players, which kinda blows, but it’s not TOO bad).

However, one game is still only one game. I do think FPS’ are becoming a bit samey. I do think there are perhaps TOO many on the market (there’s choice and then there’s rows after rows of choice) and it’s bleeding the developers to want to keep on producing them. Okay, Dead Space looks as if it could be alright, but I’m still not overly convinced that it’ll be anything different to Resident Evil crossed-over with Doom. That could be good, but I’m not too confident.

As for Ron’s rants about Live costs, couldn’t agree with you more, however, whilst the cost is an annoyance, it’s one thing where I don’t mind so much to pay because as you said, it IS the best online (console) service. I do agree on you for one thing; Games for Windows is stupid, especially when the traditional system has worked fine for this long, exluding GameSpy which is an unmittigated suicide-enforcer I’m sure.

Turned this into a marathon, whoops.

Handshakes

On November 9, 2007 at 9:59 pm

ALL of gaming is feeling stale. Games — the size of the dev teams that make them, and the cost to fund those teams — have become massively bloated, forcing developers of all genres to think inside the box where it is safe (and boring).

The answer? Support big developers who take chances (Relic) and every little developer that isn’t making crappy “astropop” style coffee break games (Mount&Blade team – and if you haven’t heard of Mount&Blade you owe it to yourself to look it up).

Show some love for the mod community, they produce a lot of unique mini games. That is to say that the mods often don’t have a ton of staying power, but for a month or so they can offer some real fun and unexplored gameplay. Then of course every once in awhile you get a mod with massive staying power for being both unique and infinitely refined and playable, like Counter-Strike or Desert Combat.

You want singleplayer FPS innovation? Too bad. The SP FPS is dead, as it should be. Scripted sequences do not good gameplay make.

P.S.: For the record, there is nothing innovative about TimeShift. Slowing down time is a gimick, not a gameplay innovation that furthers the genre in any way.

Steve

On November 9, 2007 at 11:42 pm

I agree with the above poster regarding “lesser known” titles or resource starved developers having an edge right now. They may very well be the pulse of creativity a flatlining gaming industry needs. Introversion software has been impressing me with its low-budget titles for the past few years. They’ve proven to me that you don’t need a bunch of zeros tacked on to your development cost to have “wow” factor in your game.

What about Portal? It’s not a totally unique concept. Portal concepts in games go back as far as early development in Prey in 1998. The Borg, I mean Valve, basically bought up a small Indy developer just so they could add a Portal concept to their collective. So, is Portal now a gimmick because of Valve’s high profile in the FPS genre?

Gimmicks aren’t necessarily a bad thing. A game can shamelessly use gimmicks to draw people in and still stand as a good game by itself.

I don’t think FPS games are dead. If anything they are creeping into other genres like RPGS, MMOS, etc. to create newer hybrids. You can’t kill the FPS genre off, it’s here to stay. The only thing dying is the flame of creativity associated with them. It reminds me that South Park episode where Butters is trying to come up with a unique diabolical plan, only to have his sidekick rhetort “The Simpsons Did It!”

FPS games just happen to be the larger population here, so they are connecting more hits from the beating stick.

xx-Thor-xx

On November 10, 2007 at 2:01 am

“Give me some good action platforming or a prince of persia style environmental puzzler any day.” same here, and no lame ass physics puzzles where you have to weigh something down with cinder blocks or float something up with barrels. i want good ole box pushin, switch throwin, mad ass dash across the level puzzles that take so much precision they might as well be impossible. add in some evil pissed off bad guy trying to kill you while you are in the middle of the most impossible puzzle yet and thats what i want.

weclock

On November 10, 2007 at 9:38 am

You may call me a fanboy, but I have to come to Valves defense.

1. you can’t group ‘the orange box’ as 1 fps, it’s many.

2. Portal type game play has not been explored to the degree it has been explored in portal

3. The orange box is half-life. It is the giant trendsetter. What all of a sudden you expect them to come out with a half life puzzle game? (oh wait look at portal.. portal isn’t even a shooter..)

4. Team Fortress 2 is the same old thing with better graphics.

5. Yes, there are a lot of First Person shooters, and I personally attribute this to many things, ease of creation, market interest, and the success of the genre as a whole.

@ Thor
Play portal, it’s a puzzle game while you have a pscyho robot trying to kill you.

@Steve
Portal concepts have been used in the past, this is true, but has it been used to the degree of the player relying on making portals ever 2 steps they make? portal is a first person puzzler, not a shooter. “FPS games just happen to be the larger population here, so they are connecting more hits from the beating stick.” Not necessarily, there’s a huge market, and people like Micro$haft have been expanding that market. Thank you massive halo 3 ad campaign.

@Handshakes
FPS games may be dead to you, but I’m still going to play Half-Life, and other first person shooters, and I think I’m not alone.

Perhaps I’m the only one who isn’t jaded on gaming anymore. You all feel a little bit of buyers remorse or jealousy because you can’t get every game on release day or something? Maybe it’s because I don’t have a controller glued to my hand, or a game running all the time.

If you guys really want to rally behind an idea, rally behind the idea that the espn gamer is ruining life for normal gamers.

Micro$haft has made video games more mainstream, so that your football idiots in highschools and colleges are playing halo.

Sherali

On January 12, 2008 at 7:31 am

if you need podcast just tell me