The First Person Shooter Dilemma
Let me start by saying I love First Person Shooters (FPSs). I can honestly say they were some of the first games I started playing with Goldfinger and Turok being the earliest. Although I love these genre of games. I have begun to notice an unfortunate trend in my “skill” with newer FPS games come out. I have noticed a new type of player and the true dedication required to become amazing at FPS games. This is not to downplay the lack of my own gaming abilities but more to call out the dedication required to become great.
You Can’t Handle the Time Commitment!
When I started playing first person shooters there was a huge learning curve. I believe this was part of being a console player as well as being young. The time it took to become good at an FPS was insane to start with not to mention difficult with wonky/inconsistent controls. Often times it would take weeks playing 50+ hours before getting a 0 Kill vs Death (K/D) ratio. This large commitment of time has become a huge part of FPS games now days. This starts to create a serious divide between casual and hardcore gamers. This divide is expected but it is hard to maintain without skill based matchmaking. It is a hard balance to maintain for any game between these two groups. However being able to simply keep up with your opponent is only half of the problem as I see it.
There Is No “i” in Team
The other half comes from the community and communication required in games now days. Early in my gaming career on Xbox Live I played Rainbow Six and Wolfenstein. These games absolutely required team interaction and verbal communication in order to win. Whether it was stating enemy positions or strategizing for an objective the human and team element was present. I feel this has taken a sharp decline when it comes to FPS games now days with games like Call of Duty, Halo, Destiny, and Titanfall. That is not to say they don’t occur anymore (Evolve and Rainbow Six: Siege) but the friendly atmosphere within games is completely gone. With most people who are communicating are simply heckling or trolling people online. This naturally limits the communication aspect and in a lot of cases is a huge deterrent for people to communicate or even talk.
A Love That Won’t Die
Overall I still love the genre and am a huge supporter of most if not all FPS games. If I was able to provide 2 basic pieces of feedback to game-makers, it would be to get the competitive and communicative elements back into the game. I believe this could be done by heavily rewarding or even requiring communication in games even if it is just random conversations. Another aspect I feel would help would be automatically base match-making based on skill and personal metrics (K/Ds, Avg. Wins, Time Alive, Etc.). This is probably easier said than done, however it would be a huge win to help newer players get into a game instead of being discouraged. All while helping more advanced players enhance their skills by getting into games with formidable opponents.
These 2 aspects combined with a large emphasis on team-work could help the genre on consoles gain the enjoyment it seems to have lost. (Side note and just to put it out where Rainbow Six: Siege has done an amazing job bringing these elements back into play!)
I am an avid gamer and have been gaming on anything and everything since I was 4 years old. Addicted to FPS's but can play just about anything!
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