Cutting Through the Shooter Fat

hot-dogThose of you that frequent this site know something of my sordid disdain for the FPS overflow of the current generation. It seems that nearly every blockbuster title for the last couple of years has been some kind of shooter, be it Resistance, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo, Left 4 Dead or Killzone. Shooters are bombarding us from every corner, and after some time, I grew rather sick of them.

So for the last few months, I’ve been on something of an FPS diet. I’ve been on a real diet, too, coincidentally enough. The funny thing about losing weight is that people always want to know what your secret is. You say that you’ve lost x amount of pounds, and people always ask, “How have you been doing it?” When the answer is “getting off my ass to exercise and not eating like a wildebeest”, they tend to get a tad upset. As if I’m holding out on them. Oh right, there was also a secret pill that made it really easy. Forgot to mention that part.

A gaming diet works like any other diet, I suppose: trim the fat. Watch what you eat, consume less calories and better ones, and start working out. My FPS diet consisted of a complete cold turkey cutting off of shooters in almost any form. Left 4 Dead moved to the wayside, as did Resident Evil 5. I haven’t touched Halo in almost forever. Sure, I may have cheated once or twice, but I just had enough.

monkeyislandWhat did I fill the void with? Strategy games like Civilization Revolution and Halo Wars. Ghostbusters and Star Ocean: The Last Hope. 1 Versus 100 and Secret of Monkey Island. Fight Night Round 4, Wolverine, Sacred 2, Mass Effect… All of these games helped cleanse my palette, so to speak, and really got some variety. They say when you eat better, your body starts to crave what’s good for you. Well let me tell you, gaming variety has made me crave even more, and really helped prepare me to find a better shooter.

Enter Battlefield 1943. I think this was just the game I needed after the FPS diet. It has everything that I really love in an FPS. Little-to-no auto aim, team objectives, vehicles, and just general mayhem. It’s really hit the sweet spot for the last couple of weeks, and reminded me exactly why I love shooters after months of growing tired of them. It makes me think of all the great things in FPS games I love like Counter-Strike: Source and yes, even Halo and Goldeneye before it.

As much as I’ve gotten sick of FPS games, it really hasn’t hurt my love for the genre. I think my problem was that there were so many mediocre ones in a great big sea of games that it was hard to sift through. So what about you guys? What are your favorite FPS games, and why? Feel free to be as detailed as possible, and tell us what you love about shooters.

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

16 thoughts on “Cutting Through the Shooter Fat”

  1. When it comes to FPS games, I’ve grown up with the ones valve put out, half life and CS, TFC, (The last 2 started out as mods, but they’re inseparable with valve IMO)

    “Oh right, there was also a secret pill that made it really easy.”

    Lol, you’re not talking about Alli are ya? I’d sure hope not, that thing is the devil’s suppository in disguise.

  2. Your right there are a lot of mediocre games but they still get bought because of the one thing that makes me love FPS games. Point of view, FPS games take the normal game idea of do this and blow that up but you get to do it from the perspective of the hero, understand the world from their point of view. Take COD4 for example, if Infinity Ward took it and made it into a third person shooter the amount of people buying it would decrease by masses, I mean I’m staring at my games now trying to find a Third Person Shooter that had as addictive gameplay as any FPS and I can find only one. GTA4 is the sole game on the shelf that stole peoples heart without recharging shields. If you think about it, it’s not that there are too many FPS games but the fact there are too little of other genre’s that wow us. I’ll just let you take that in for a while. :3

  3. Team Fortress 2 and BF:BC/1943 are my favourites. I think it’s because they are both really well balanced. Plus they’ve got options, do you want to be on the frontline as a soldier (TF2)? Or in a tank attacking the front(BF)? Do you want to hold back as a sniper (TF2 and BF)? etc. etc.
    There are so many options and in both games not one class or vehicle is not over-powered on it’s own. The class or vehicle is only over-powered if the person playing is too good.

    Lastly, what do I love about shooters? Perhaps just the satisfaction they gives when you work as a team and pull off a great attack, or hold out against wave after wave of enemies (Mount Suribachi BF:1943). Too me it’s all great fun. That’s all it is to me I don’t care if I win or lose, it’s just a game. Though I do get angry when people play objective games and do nothing but kill, or camp at the aircraft carrier or helicopter spawn all day waiting for the said vehicle to spawn (BF:BC and BF:1943).

  4. Oh and I love the destructible enviroments of the the battlefield games. Oh and does Splinter Cell count? If it does the stealth element and the team work required is what makes me love that game aswell.

    I shoulda put this in the first post but I just forgot all about it, sorry.

    Argh I just noticed in my first post i’ve put it’s where it should be its, stupid habit I have of writing it’s all the time without paying attention.

  5. The real basic reason FPSs are so popular and out there is because it’s such an easy concept of going around and shooting stuff. However, in my opinion, Left 4 Dead is a new breed of First Person Shooter as it really incorprates co-op with fast gameplay. Sure Counter Strike or Battlefield require teamwork, but if you go in to a server, everyones going rambo and doing stuff alone.

    For me, my favourite FPS is either Counter Strike Source or SWAT 4. You should definatly check out SWAT 4 because it really brings some innovative stuff to the table.

    For me, it’s a matter of the whole gameplay experience. I like Counter Strike for different reasons then I like Far Cry 2. One is a fast paced multiplayer shooter, the other is a story driven, non linear game. It’s the different and intresting gameplay I like. Every litte thing factors into the experience for any game. whether it be graphics, story or different variation of gameplay, it’s all important to the imersion and feel of the game. Thats what (In my opinion) a first person shooter is. A whole varity of exciting and story driven games.

  6. Well, COD and KZ2 are great. I love them for multiplayer and single player. Speaking of COD, you’ve all seen the MW2 multiplayer AC130 trailer right? That’ll definitely top my fave FPS games.

  7. One ingredient that I love to see in shooters is an inventory system. Even if it’s as simple as being able to hold more than two weapons at a time, I’m happy. I get that it’s not realistic to carry an arsenal around with you, but I like it.

    No, but uh, you’re right about the FPS Overflow. Too right. That’s why I tend to just play the GOOD FPS’s, as well as playing strategy games and such. I like to find balance. Recently, I’ve returned to Fallout 3 (but didn’t buy any expansions, just restarted the game as an Evil character, muhuhahahaha, which is more difficult than it sounds) and Halo Wars, meanwhile still playing L4D and GASP Halo 3! Actually, when you play with friends and ACTUALLY BLOODY STICK TOGETHER, Halo 3’s super easy and fun. Plus custom zombie games are the best.
    Once MW2 comes out, I’ll be stuck in a dark room all night playing the crap out of it, and it’ll probably stay that way for several months, if not the whole year. Plus, AC2 is coming out around that time, so I’ll have to manage that in. So for the Twilight of ’09, I’m set with two sequels. Two games, that’s it!

  9. i think my favorite shooter ever was L4D. It was awesome to have a few simple guns, simple equipment, and simple objectives. There wasn’t some bad story about a government lab creating a virus or terrorists unleashing it, it was a simple run and gun with friends. The one thing i admire most about FPS games is that you can play with friends. its awesome to play Fallout 3 or Mass effect, but if your hanging out with friends they can only watch. when your playing games with people you know and desperately trying to survive the zombie apocalypse or outsmart the other team, it tops every game experience out there

  10. TimeSplitters. Simply the best FPS series outside of Valve-developed games, at least TS2 and TS: Future Perfect. Never played TS1 since it’s PS2-only. It’s fast-paced, has a huge selection of weapons, large selection of characters, a mapmaker mode, and is humorous and doesn’t take itself too seriously. And before someone brings up the lack of a jump button, it doesn’t need a jump button. Game was just fine without it. I’m truly sad that I have heard nothing about TS4 since the whole FRD being bought by Crytek thing.

  11. HALF-LIFE SERIES! They’re my favorite because they combine awesome plot with good gunplay and puzzle elements. I consider Half-Life a puzzle game with bullets actually.

    Although if you really wanna make me happy give me a shooter with the following ingredients:

    1.) Orgasmic Plot. This is a must have to make me want to play the game.

    2.) Teammates. I HATE going solo, I refuse to play cage match in CoD and hate levels where it’s just you.

    3.) A cover system. Something A la Killzone 2, Rainbow 6: Vegas or the GRAW series (My first true shooter love.) It makes it that much easier to not get killed and makes it seem more realistic.

    4.) Realism. I am a realism junkie. If I can’t aim down the ironsights or if I can’t expect a guy to be dead after a few bullets (same for me, keeps me on my toes) I instantly don’t like the game.

    5.) Accuracy to weapons. If I’m playing a game that uses real-world weaponry I expect it to function just like the real deal.

  12. IMHO, DICE is an excellent source of premium grade teamwork fuel. I would definitely suggest Bad Company to anyone who has played 1943 and enjoyed it, as ’43 is really like Diet Bad Company. In a WWII can…


    Anyways, when it comes to games, I really just try not to worry about variety too much, as if there’s a new title that mixes things up, chances are I already own it (less likely) or it’s on my radar (much, much more likely).

    But, on to the topic. Attention to detail really makes a shooter for me. As an example, if I’m shooting a shotgun in-game, I want that satisfying shotgun “taste” and experience. Not just a cheap muzzle flash and a loud, cheap sounding “BANG”, with the bad guy toppling over lazily if he’s closer than 3 feet away, and barely looking annoyed at any distance further (LOOKING, NO, GLARING AT YOU, HALO). No, I want a solid kick back, I want to see that shell go flying out the side and onto the ground, I want to see that baddie get his ass knocked straight out like he was hit by a freight train when the shot hits home (Pleasantly nodding towards you Killing Floor and you Bad Company).

    Also, destructible cover and environments are lovely to see. Once you play a frostbite engine game where shit gets torn up all around you all the time (like when the house you were so pleasantly occupying not seconds earlier is totally obliterated and in comes charging, through the smoke and debris, a squad of knife wielding maniacs after your dog tags slashing away gleefully while you spray automatic fire in a corner crying like a newborn babe) you can’t really go back.

    Plus it’s hilarious when something like that happens to one of your mates.

    It’s just the little things like that that are the icing on the cake in an FPS for me. Things like that can make a title really stand out.

  13. There are a lot of mediocre games out there in general, but most of them are still worth playing, get away from the world for a while.

    I always liked the ones that have changed the genre, and not in a “games that change only fanboy” kind of way.

    Rainbow 6 series was awesome. HL series was awesome. Both shooters, both totaly different games. Battlefield 1942, the original Counter-Strike (F you source!).

    Max payne was great because of Bullet Time and the sweet diving, never had that in a game before and now look how many games have it.

  14. Man, shooters are what pull my friends and I together. For example, last Saturday, we all got together in my friend’s basement during a heat wave, and played Battlefield 2. Five dudes, five computers, and a whole lot of beer. Good times.

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