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30 Genres of Christmas
First-Person Shooter
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 23, 2009   |   Episode 28 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



Valve, just admit it ... there isn't going to be a Half-Life Episode 3!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a First-Person Shooter? Are you getting motion sickness from your favorite action game? Do the people online call you mean hate-filled names? Is brown the primary color in the environment? Did the special edition version of the game come with a big cat helmet or night vision goggles? If so, you may be playing a First-Person Shooter. What sets this genre apart from the more traditional action genre is the perspective you find yourself seeing the world. Instead of taking it from an over-the-shoulder point of view, you witness everything in the first-person perspective. This really puts you into the middle of the action like never before. It also means you're going to have to learn to use your left and right hands to accurately navigate around a 3D world. Talk about tricky.

Patron Saint: Having eyeballs and enough body strength to pick up and fire a real gun.

Typical Story: Aliens have invaded your normally peaceful community and are here to cause as much destruction as possible. And if that wasn't enough, you accidentally opened a dimensional portal that is allowing gooey monsters to take over. No place is safe and you're the only one who can save us all. To do this you don a helmet and a crowbar and you get angry at these creepy, crawling creatures. As you progress through the game you will learn new techniques, upgrade your armor and take back your home town once and for all. That is, unless you're playing the online story, there you'll get called hateful names and watch immature kids "teabag" you.

What Your Annoying PC Gamer Friend Says: "I see that you bought Halo 3 ODST. Yeah, I heard good things. But I won't be playing it. Nah. I can't bring myself to playing that kind of thing with a controller, it's just not natural. The only real way to play a First-Person Shooter is to use a keyboard and mouse, everything else is

To this day people still blame Doom for school shootings!
shit. Don't you feel like a fool when you're using that dinky little control to play the game? And you have to pay for all of that extra content. That's something I'll never understand, I get all my extra maps and mods for free. I even pay less for my games. See, that's why I'm a PC. I'll never understand your infatuation with those stupid game systems. They are for little kids, y'know. You should grow up and be an adult like me and my friends. Throw down that control, it's time you get used to the keyboard and mouse."

Not a First-Person Shooter: I don't care what it looks like; Metroid Prime is not a First-Person Shooter. Yes, the game is presented using the first-person point of view, but the Prime series was about platforming. This is a franchise that is entirely built around backtracking, exploring new areas and avoiding conflicts. Oh sure, you will have to shoot your guns and missiles from time to time, but there's nothing about this

Forget Halo, BioShock is the best reason to play a console First-Person Shooter!
game that screams "Shooter" to me. The first two GameCube games even go as far as to bucking the traditional FPS controls, instead forcing you to lock on enemies instead of independently targeting them. Metroid Prime is that blurry line where games go from a First-Person Shooter to be First-Person Adventures.

Then vs. Now? I love old school First-Person Shooters. I still have great memories of Doom, Wolfenstein and even the original Quake. But let's be honest, nobody is going to choose those games over Half-Life 2, Call of Duty 4, Halo 3, BioShock, Killzone 2 and countless other modern examples of the genre. The improvements that have been made are simple too big and important to ignore. It's not just the level of storytelling found in these new games, but also how massive the online portions can be. There are people that never touch a game's single-player mode, instead focusing all of their time at mastering the competitive online multiplayer modes. We're seeing rooms with 64 people in them, all out wars that are so much more impressive than what anybody could have imagined fifteen years ago. Doom is a great game, but I can't imagine many people choosing it over Halo.
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