I have been an FPS guy for years. Years upon years, even. I remember playing Wolfenstein 3D, Quake and Doom on my slow-as-balls PC, gunning away to my heart’s content. Eventually, as the Internet actually became a living, breathing entity that took hold of our collective psyche, I started jumping into multiplayer matches like they could sustain my very being.
I loved playing CTF gametypes in shooters, or planting bombs in Counter-Strike: Source. These were fun and interesting ways to play games that were essentially the same, and they added lots of depth to keep you playing for endless hours. But sometimes, things change.
Fast-forward to 2009. Battlefield 1943. My teammates and I haul ass across Iwo Jima, the jeep is giving us everything she’s got. We power slide towards the lighthouse, and promptly capture the point. We immediately get back into the jeep, and proceed on to capture the next two points. After all of our toil, we look up to see that not only have we lost the lighthouse, but also the next capture point as well.
If the 3 of us could take 3 points like that in succession, why could our other 9 teammates not capture or hold a single one? A quick look at the scoreboard shows that while our teammates have killed plenty of Americans, they don’t have nearly enough points to win. Conclusion: in their minds, they are playing a slayer gametype in a team game that is nothing like slayer.
This is a problem that I’ve started to encounter a lot in multiplayer games. People don’t know how to play anything besides slayer or deathmatch. Oddly enough, this isn’t exactly a recent problem, either. Years ago, I remember playing Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow in online multiplayer matches. I had never experienced anything like it, getting to sneak around and away from mercs in multiplayer, getting to employ all of Sam Fisher’s moves against other active users.
Unfortunately, the game didn’t always work that way. More often than not, people just ran the spies headlong at the (supposedly) more powerful mercs, flip kicking them and putting all kinds of crazy deathholds on them. These crazy espionage experts didn’t even go for the objective half the time, they just went straight after the soldiers, balls-to-the-wall. In a sneaking game! This upset me like crazy at the time, because people were treating Splinter Cell like Halo, and not like the game it was designed to be.
The more I play new multiplayer games, the more I can see this idea spreading. I’m not exactly sure what caused it. Maybe Halo did have something to do with it, I’m not sure. But as far as I can tell, the same problem exists on other consoles as well as some PC games. Playing a match of Call of Duty 4 in any mode besides deathmatch will show you the same results: people don’t know how to play other gametypes.
Oddly enough, the one exception to this that I’ve seen seems to be Team Fortress 2. Sure, it’s got its own private retard army like any other game, but more often than not, I see teams actually functioning together in that game.
Now, maybe that speaks to Valve’s more adult fanbase, but maybe it speaks to something else about the game’s design. It makes me wonder if some of these other shooters aren’t designed in a way that promotes teamwork, teamplay and following the objective’s rules. It would be interesting to note how these things all come together to affect the way gamers play these games, and whether or not they participate.
So what do you guys think? Do you notice this problem a lot, too, or am I just a crazy dude? Do you ever experience people not performing the objective in multiplayer gaming. If so, how do you react to it? Is Halo to blame, or is it the overall design of these games that hampers the experience? Give us your thoughts.