The Evolution of the First Person Shooter (for the worst) 2006-02-24
As we near the official 10th anniversary of the Quake it made me think why I still have interest in the game. At first I thought it was simply nostalgia. I was also thinking its because it was my true first online game I ever played. But in fact I have come to the realization that it is none of the above. Quake is viewed (in my eyes at least) as a superior FPS (first person shooter) because of how revolutionary it was at the time. Much like all technology and society things evolve. However, has the first person shooter evolved for the better since Quake?

As I pondered this question it made me look what type of first person shooters have come out since Quake. The obvious would be the continuation of the Quake franchise (Q2-Q4). Even looking at such games I feel they became sluggish. The fast pace, fast thinking anticipation game play just simply wasn’t mimicked. Maybe ID thought they were changing the game for the better. The Quake to Quake 2 move has been deemed by many as a giant leap back. I tend to agree with this. Quake 3 brought back some of the ‘speed’ of the original however, with the use of the rail gun, made the game slow down a great deal so that one could just get the maximized number of kills. I personally have yet to play Quake 4. I do not have a good enough machine to enjoy the game as much as it was intended to be. However, many have told me that their attempt at making it like the original Quakeworld was a failure. This includes the q4w mod that is set to be released.

Although I have played through the Quake franchise thoroughly and enjoyed most of it, that does not mean I have not embraced other forms of FPS. In fact just about every game that hits the market in this genre I have given at least a chance. Such games include Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Doom, Battlefield, Pain Killer, as well as many others. One common thing in all these games though, is they are primarily strategy and aim. Given I feel strongly that the first player modes of most of these games are very fun to play through. On the other hand, when it comes to multiplayer online modes, they just do not have that additional flair that Quake has always had. Headshots are fine and dandy. But in the games that offer such things they are missing at least one of the three main things that go into a good FPS. The complex strategy. I find it almost disturbing that game developers have not at least tried in any forms of beta to reintroduce a Quake type engine. They were so consumed with graphics (which I do feel is important) and trying to make changes that they left out some of the best things in a FPS.

Think back to when Golden Eye came out for the Nintendo 64. That engine was mind-blowingly good. To this day anyone whoever played the original Golden Eye will have no problem picking it up and picking up where they left off. Games evolved from Golden Eye. Graphics got better, options became vast, levels bigger and more complex, however one common thing is the engine was altered very little. Quake is near and dear to my heart when it comes to gaming. The speed, strategy, anticipation, team play, and fun factor far surpasses some of the aforementioned games. It makes me feel as if the evolution of the FPS has forced the gaming community to accept some other games for what they are. It makes me think of the infamous saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’

Literacy is not a strong suit of mine, so be kind, and keep it in mind.
Written by: codelock4 Comments

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