These days, I hear a lot of people complaining about the state of the First Person Shooter genre. They say it has devolved into an indistinguishable amalgmous mass of samey goo. They say the genre is on its way out unless it gets kickstarted. They say that this year’s E3 presentation was just a string of presenters showing them the exact same ultra-realistic, modern anti-terrorist, psuedo-cover based, red dot scoped FPS game with different skins on top of the levels. They say all of that in line to buy a copy of Battlefield of Modern Honor 35.
Well, it’s easy to complain that other people are screwing up and not give a better solution, but it’s a hell of a lot harder to actually think up a way to fix a problem. But not so hard that I can’t do it. Why? Because I am absolutely amazing, that’s why. Don’t try this at home.
4. Cowboys and Aliens
I don’t necessarily mean the movie, though a Cowboys and Aliens game would kick ass. Actually, no. A game based on High Plains Invaders, the movie Cowboys and Aliens totally ripped off, down to the very last minute plot point.
The point is, blockbuster FPS games all look the same, because they are ostensibly about the same thing. The vast majority of our powerhouse shooters are the same anti-terrorism crap we’ve been seeing since Modern Warfare first hit the scene. Those that do stand out as being a little different are Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, XCom: Enemy Unknown, and Halo 4. Did you notice a trend? The only games that are different, are the sequels to existing intellectual properties: we’ve reached a point of videogame narrative saturation so high that it rivals Hollywood. We now find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of being forced to swallow the leftovers of FPS pie that wasn’t all that great the first time.
Yes, annoying indie fan guy I hear you. You play games that are VERY different. Well I have something to say to you – I don’t mind indie platformers, and I get that there are indie shooters available that challenge the mold, but I want high production value in my shooters. I want the kind of production value that put’s chips in the stylized wood grain of my AK-47.
However, I want diversity. I want to aim that AK-47 at a dinosaur with a rocket launcher for a face and chainsaw feet, because not even John McClane has slain as many ethnically ambiguous bad guys as I have.