The first person shooter, love it or hate it, is probably the most prolific genre in video games; largely responsible for the explosive growth of videogaming as a mainstream, socially acceptable hobby. It started out on the PC, with games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, but found a home on consoles thanks to great games like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64, and later revolutionised by Halo on the first Xbox. Now though, when you say “FPS,” thoughts almost immediately turn to “Call of Duty,” a series of games that, says Tripwire Interactive’s John Gibson has “ruined FPS players.”
“I think that single-player shooters are getting better,” Gibson said to PC Gamer. “I think they’re finally coming out from under the shadow of the Hollywood movie, overblown “I’m on a rail” linear shooter.”
You know where this is going.
“I’m talking about Call of Duty-style shooters. In the late ‘90s, you had the original Deus Ex, which was an RPG-shooter. And those kind of games almost took an eight year hiatus. And I’m so excited to see them coming back with interesting gameplay.”
Gibson seems to hate the on-rails experience provided by games like Call of duty and its myriad clones – but embraces the return of a non-linear narrative and RPG elements.
“Like the Fallout games, even though their shooting mechanics could really use some improvement, just mixing a really cool story, but not a linear story, one that you create yourself. The melding of RPG elements and shooter elements has been great. I’ve seen this reflected in a lot of the reviews, it’s like, “Okay guys, we’re tired of this on-rails experience.”
Where he really takes umbrage is on the multiplayer side of things – where he believes Call of Duty has had a negative impact.
“On the flip side,” he affirms “I’m really discouraged by the current state of multiplayer shooters. I think that, and I hate to mention names, because it sounds like ‘I’m just jealous of their success,’ but I’m really, I feel like Call of Duty has almost ruined a generation of FPS players.”
But what does he mean by that? It seems COD has turned gamers in to whiny crybabies who want everything to feel the same, always.
“When I was developing Action Mode [for Red Orchestra 2], I got a group of people that I know that are pretty hardcore Call of Duty players. And my goal was to create something that was accessible enough for them to enjoy the game—not turn it into Call of Duty, but try to make something that I thought was casual enough but with the Red Orchestra gameplay style that they would enjoy. And we iterated on it a lot. And just listening to all the niggling, pedantic things that they would complain about, that made them not want to play the game, I just thought, “I give up. Call of Duty has ruined this whole generation of gamers.”
In short, people complained about everything because of one thing – “it doesn’t feel like Call of Duty,” which seems to be the metric that a majority of gamers use for their shooter comparisons.
Read the entire interview over at PCGamer – and get a little insight in to why everything does, and will continue to try and emulate Call of Duty’s successes, for better or worse.