Shooters Are Just Not What They Used To Be

Whether you’re sliding a mouse across a mouse pad or rocking the dual thumb sticks, there’s just something unforgettable about a good FPS.

My gaming interests are very eclectic. I would probably have an easier time listing the types of games I don’t like rather than the ones I do (as it would be a much shorter list). Of course I have my staples: racing, platforming, etc. However, it’s no surprise that first-person-shooters are among one of my favorites. I know there are some gamers out there who absolutely despise these types of games, and for good reason. Some FPS gamers can sometimes be... what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah, a complete and total douche. But aside from the stray dick weed you run into, shooters have always been a fun corner stone of our industry.

But are they on the decline?

One developer certainly thinks so. Minh Le was the co-creator of a little title you might have heard of called Counter Strike. The very name will forever be synonymous with the word headshot (the prevalence of the knife as a secondary can also be attributed to this series). However, in a recent interview, Le doesn’t exactly paint a very flattering picture of the state of affairs concerning the FPS industry today. In many ways, he feels we are in the midst of a stagnation period. He simply doesn’t believe fans are "… as exciting as they used to be…To be honest, I think the FPS genre is just so saturated, and CS:GO has really just made it difficult for FPS games to compete in this market.” Le also points to the huge innovations we’ve seen since the days of Counter Strike’s debut, and what the evolutions in console/PC hardware have brought to the market. While affording us things like better graphics and controls, it could also be considered our Achilles heel. The question may be; have we already hit a glass ceiling of new frontiers in the genre? “I think FPS games have gotten to the point where there's not much more you can add to it. Battlefield has really pushed it, and there's not a whole lot more you can do to it." Le states.


So this got me thinking: do I really have as much fun playing shooters these days?

That’s a hard question to answer. I’m sure many of you would agree, there are other things I don’t enjoy quite as much as a used to (and I’m not just referring to gaming here). I have to chalk some of this up to age and an evolution in mindset. Your outlook on the world has a tendency to differ as you get older, and your interests usually follow. While I certainly still enjoy a good shooter, I do sometimes feel like my more fun days are behind me. I can still remember hiding in the dark while playing Aliens vs. Predator. Being invisible naturally had its advantages, as my opponent hid right on top of me at one point, not realizing I was about to swiftly claim his head as a trophy. That was fun. Good times were also had in the original Halo. Sneaking into the enemy camp on Blood Gulch and stealing the flag, somehow managing to make it back to base for the score (without firing a single shot I might add), is a memory I won’t soon forget. While Call of Duty deserves its props (not to mention the upcoming releases of Destiny and Titanfall), I simply don’t see myself making those kinds of memories anymore. 


I guess that’s not really the games fault though. So in response to Mr. Le’s comments, I would say, "Yes, you’re right. We’re probably not as excited as we used to be.” However, I’m not sure I can lay that at the industry's feet. I may be getting to an age where I’ve seen it all and done it all in gaming. Much of what hits the market now is simply new packaging of the same product with a few new bells and whistles thrown in.

You want to truly excite me with an FPS again? Get the Oculus Rift working! The day I feel like I’m actually stepping onto the battlefield (rather than just experiencing it from my sofa), THAT is the day I’ll make a memory.

Jason Messer
Jason Messer

Editor-in-Chief / Video Content Director
Date: 03/03/2014

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