Project: First Person Shooter History

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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby dr_st » 2019-3-09 @ 08:20

LunarG wrote:I hope some people might shed some light on this, but I've been under the impression that the average fps player isn't really much into plot etc. It's more about full on fast paced action. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is how it has seemed to me at least.

For the 'average' FPSer, yes, you are probably right. However, as the genre developed, so have the players.

Nowadays, I think there are mostly people who want fast-paced action against other humans, hence the success of multiplayer-only or multiplayer-focused titles, and the people who want to enjoy some form of plot. It's not even necessarily fast-paced action. Titles like Half-Life, DOOM 3, F.E.A.R - all had large fan bases. Half-Life was considered revolutionary mostly because of the integration of plot elements into the gameplay.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-09 @ 10:10

LunarG wrote:I hope some people might shed some light on this, but I've been under the impression that the average fps player isn't really much into plot etc. It's more about full on fast paced action. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is how it has seemed to me at least.

I guess I'm not average then. :) I was never all that good at FPS, and couldn't progress very far into games unless I turned the difficulty down. for that reason, multiplayer fps were even less fun for me because so many of the players were even better than a difficult AI. If I was rewarded for using stealth or my brain, I tended to do better than if had to rely on twitch skills. So games like System Shock and Shock 2 were much more fun for me, and a good plot would motivate me to keep going when I'd otherwise give up in frustration.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby LunarG » 2019-3-10 @ 14:08

I've had to give up on any "crosshair" based games pretty much entirely. When I say crosshair based, I mean any games where your field of vision is locked to that of your characters field of vision so to speak. I.e. moving the mouse = moving your screen around. It just gives me major issues with motion sickness. This means I gave up on any fps or "third person" shooter type games. For this reason, I've not really paid that much attention to have the genre developed outside of seeing my bf or friends play things like PUBG etc.
Last fps style game I actually forced myself to spend several hours on (in short intervals mind) was Mass Effect 2. The story was good enough for me to do 30 minutes sessions to complete that one, as well as the first one.
I know OF most of these games, but I've hardly any personal experience with them. I just notice that the ones that have been popular the last 10 years or so, mostly are online pvp shooters.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-3-10 @ 15:20

LunarG wrote:I've had to give up on any "crosshair" based games pretty much entirely. When I say crosshair based, I mean any games where your field of vision is locked to that of your characters field of vision so to speak. I.e. moving the mouse = moving your screen around. It just gives me major issues with motion sickness.


have you tried motion sickness medication? :)
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby LunarG » 2019-3-10 @ 17:42

rasz_pl wrote:
LunarG wrote:I've had to give up on any "crosshair" based games pretty much entirely. When I say crosshair based, I mean any games where your field of vision is locked to that of your characters field of vision so to speak. I.e. moving the mouse = moving your screen around. It just gives me major issues with motion sickness.


have you tried motion sickness medication? :)

Taking meds just to play games would be unhealthy (all meds have side effects) and expensive, so no.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2019-3-17 @ 22:45

Game 12 Complete!

Unreal

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I've been quite excited to play this one, which has been described as very atmospheric shooter!

Getting it running
Slight problem, this game came on DVD and I had built this PC around a CD drive! My original plan was to not upgrade the PC in any way but then this isn't really a performance upgrade more a "let me install the game at all" kind of upgrade. Luckily I have a very generic (and new) DVD drive from that Tiny PC which I plopped in there. It detected the disk and installed just fine!

Gameplay
Another runny jumpy shooter; I am beginning to get my eye in with these finally and decided to play it on medium difficulty like a big boy. I slightly regretted that decision.

Whilst the action is very high octane with a variety of fast paced enemies, this is the first game that has put any thought to pacing. Starting off with no gun and trying to figure out what is going on; ominous sirens and warnings over the PA, finding our first gun after hearing (and only hearing) the previous owner be killed, before having a "big reveal" on the planet we're on. Unfortunately this pacing is lost later on in the game where it becomes one endless dude-in-corridor murder fest.

An absolute highlight for me was in an early level, making my way down a corridor and suddenly the lights go out one by one in a very ominous way; I can't see anything at all. I can hear something close by that I haven't heard before. I frantically press QQQQ to rotate out my kit a flare and light it, only to see a new, large and angry monster dude (unhelpfully bathed in a scary red glow from my flare) only a couple of meters away! This moment was as effective as any fancy-pants graphics scripted set piece, and compared to the universally slated "press F to pay respects", this actually makes you feel something (in this case, the warm feeling of poo in your pants) rather than just telling you to feel something.

However after the first few levels, which are brilliant, the world building and atmosphere falls away into a fairly generic spacey alieny shooter. At some point I'm pretty sure we changed planets and near the end I think we went onto a space ship but I couldn't really tell, it just all looked the same. This is a bit disappointing as the graphics are excellent from a technical perspective but the world it creates wasn't very... interesting. There are certainly areas of atmosphere such as a couple of boat rides and one of the last levels (The Darkness or something) but overall I just couldn't get absorbed into the world.

Enemies are varied and generally good at conveying their strength. My least favourite dude is the "dual light blob from the hands" who dodges my bullets a bit too often. Enemies dodging is one of the worst parts of the game, they will dodge out the way literally on your mouse click for fire (and only when you click fire) and as such you can't anticipate where they're going to be or time it so they're mid roll and then click fire etc. This is bid deal with the above dual light blob from hands dudes who will dodge about 75%% of the time, this resulted in a lot of wasted rockets.

The weapons are a nice mix with a starting pistol that gets upgraded as you go to become less useless (and also recharges), the flak cannon which immediately became my favourite weapon, a blue laser thing which was my go for those dodgy ******** as it an "instant hit" weapon. A blue nail gun equivalent (i.e. slow 3d projectiles) is also quite satisfying to use especially with its slight delay on shooting the first round with an slightly different sound "pong... pingpingpingpingping..."

The levels are generally linear and thankfully involve no backtracking between levels like in Quake 2. However, a fair bit of "obscure button pressing to open doors on the otherside of the map" was going on, which made me resort to a walkthrough for the second half. However, there was no key hunting; hoo-bloody-ray!

Unreal is a long-ass game taking me about 25 hours to complete. I died quite a lot, but found the bosses quite easy. Quick save and quick load saved the day more times than I can remember.

Graphics and Performance
Unreal looks fantastic. lighting, smoke effects, reflective floors, little details like "idle weapon animations" like the blue laser occasionally venting steam helps to create a very graphically impressive world, even if it is not that interesting. The flares in particular looks great. Certainly good enough to draw me in during those first few levels.

I played in Direct X mode and in general I got a constant 75fps except when screenshotting or quick saving. There were the odd stutters here and there.

The graphics were very dark. I had to play it on maximum brightness, however, screenshots in both fraps and the in-game capture both use the default brightness so they're all very dark.

Sound
The music was forgettable, except for the ambient music during the second level where you walk around the planet outside your ship for the first time, which matched the mood perfectly. The music would seamlessly change from action music to ambient music when enemies were around which I liked.

The sound effects were "good" in the sense that I did not notice them being poor. There are a few exceptions for great sound effects, and I would like to make special note that this is the first game that has a different sound as you near the end of a magazine! I swear I first heard that in something like CODMW2 but Unreal did it 10 years earlier!

Was it fun?
Yeeeeeeannno I'm not sure. The first few levels definitely but it falls away to outstay its welcome a bit too long in the second half.

Should you play it?
Again, the first few levels yes, but you might get bored after a couple of hours.

Screenshots
500mb of BMP screenshots this time, and most are too dark to see anything!

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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2019-3-17 @ 22:51

LunarG wrote:I hope some people might shed some light on this, but I've been under the impression that the average fps player isn't really much into plot etc. It's more about full on fast paced action. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is how it has seemed to me at least.


I definitely am interested in plot; from all the reviews you can see I highly value atmosphere and world building. The plot of a game is intrinsically linked to the world. I am not going to be interested in the world's best plot if the game can't present the atmosphere to match, and conversely the most atmospheric game needs a plot to give context for the atmosphere. Imagine Silent Hill 2 without a plot! Good stories ultimately lead to the most memorable gaming experiences for me. Spec Ops - The Line, Life is Strange, Mass Effect...

However I am not an average gamer. I don't want to haemorrhage money at play games-as-a-service games like Anthem or "git gud" at Battlefield 24 or whatever.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby LunarG » 2019-3-18 @ 10:24

Almoststew1990 wrote:
LunarG wrote:I hope some people might shed some light on this, but I've been under the impression that the average fps player isn't really much into plot etc. It's more about full on fast paced action. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is how it has seemed to me at least.


I definitely am interested in plot; from all the reviews you can see I highly value atmosphere and world building. The plot of a game is intrinsically linked to the world. I am not going to be interested in the world's best plot if the game can't present the atmosphere to match, and conversely the most atmospheric game needs a plot to give context for the atmosphere. Imagine Silent Hill 2 without a plot! Good stories ultimately lead to the most memorable gaming experiences for me. Spec Ops - The Line, Life is Strange, Mass Effect...

However I am not an average gamer. I don't want to haemorrhage money at play games-as-a-service games like Anthem or "git gud" at Battlefield 24 or whatever.


I was specifically talking about first person shooter games, which obviously doesn't include games such as Life is Strange etc. I also realise that many people excluse games like Mass Effect from the FPS genre, although I would personally claim that it is primarily a first person shooter rather than primarily an RPG or whatever. There are of course plenty of great FPS titles out there, many with strong story aspects, but it seems as while that used to be the norm, today, mostly the multiplayer part is what gets focused on.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby doaks80 » 2019-3-18 @ 11:39

Are you going to play NOLF? One of the great FPSsss...with a story. Great early 2000s game. So many greats from this era. Leading onto the 3 awesome ww2 games of that time...MoH, CoD and bf1942. The first two are awesome single player FPS...but the last one is eye wateringly good multiplayer, perfectly balanced ww2 combat...
I can still fire up the road to Rome expansion and play against bots for hours. Then 2004 came along and the new era of realistic graphics was born thanks to far cry and doom3.

Ah the memories.

You have a fun journey ahead grasshopper :D
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2019-3-18 @ 12:22

LunarG wrote:...There are of course plenty of great FPS titles out there, many with strong story aspects, but it seems as while that used to be the norm, today, mostly the multiplayer part is what gets focused on.


That we can agree on!

doaks80 wrote:Are you going to play NOLF? One of the great FPSsss...with a story. Great early 2000s game. So many greats from this era. Leading onto the 3 awesome ww2 games of that time...MoH, CoD and bf1942. The first two are awesome single player FPS...but the last one is eye wateringly good multiplayer, perfectly balanced ww2 combat...
I can still fire up the road to Rome expansion and play against bots for hours. Then 2004 came along and the new era of realistic graphics was born thanks to far cry and doom3.

Ah the memories.

You have a fun journey ahead grasshopper :D


I am indeed playing NOLF1 and 2 as well as MOHAA, COD1 (and 2) and BF1942.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-3-18 @ 16:24

Here are a few more I enjoyed back in the day.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 although 2003 seemed like a better game to me.
Unreal 2
Half Life 2 (must play all the episodes).
Call of Juarez
Descent
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby doaks80 » 2019-3-18 @ 19:52

cyclone3d wrote:Here are a few more I enjoyed back in the day.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 although 2003 seemed like a better game to me.
Unreal 2
Half Life 2 (must play all the episodes).
Call of Juarez
Descent


Unreal2 was a terrible game, it doesn't deserve to be remembered let alone put on some list of "must play FPS games".

2003 wasn't a huge year for FPS, but you have CoD, Max Payne 2, and a little known game that was quite good as I recall, XIII (first cell-shaded FPS).
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby blougaville » 2019-3-21 @ 06:08

This is an awesome thread and it's making me realize how few of the classics I've done anything more than just tinker with here and there. As a kid, I was too scared to play Doom without IDDQD, so I've started playing through Doom 2 on hurt me plenty and seeing what it was like as an actual game (Doom never really did it for me for some reason but Doom 2 has always been my jam).

A few FPS's that I have played through a few times and can highly recommend are Dark Forces and Jedi Knight! Since others are pushing for them, I might as well also put in a vote for you to consider going back in time at some point in this project to check them out. I feel like they still hold up really well.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2019-3-21 @ 16:09

doaks80 wrote:2003 wasn't a huge year for FPS, but you have CoD, Max Payne 2, and a little known game that was quite good as I recall, XIII (first cell-shaded FPS).


I have XIII somewhere as a loose disk (or 4!). I got quite far into it a few years back. If it fits in between cod 1 and 2 I might add it to the list.

After I've finished COD2 I'm planning on going back to play Doom 2, maybe hexen,... More DOS shooters basically.

But at the same time I want to do a "play all the elder scrolls game on one PC" project using an sli s775 build with a sb live or something. Hmm....
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby doaks80 » 2019-3-21 @ 18:02

Then compare 2003 to 2004 for FPS...hats off to this monster of a year!

Half Life 2(!!)
Farcry(!!)
Doom3(!!)
UT2004
Painkiller
CS: Source
BF Vietnam (not the best in series but was pretty good)
CoD: United Offensive
MoH: Pacific Assault
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (3rd person but compared to HL2 and FarCry and considered one of best games of all time so worth mentioning)
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby badmojo » 2019-3-22 @ 00:23

This thread is bringing me much joy, thanks for your efforts OP!

In general I'm in agreement - even when nostalgia is in the mix I struggle to enjoy some of these older shooters. Decent is a great example - should be fun, is not fun. DOOM and Duke3D are exceptions, they still blow my mind.

The maze-like level thing is what really slows me down. Dark Forces and Strife are 2 games that rock in so many ways - beautiful presentation, great music, interesting worlds, and really fun shooter mechanics too. But both get start throwing really big, complicated levels at you after a while and I just don't have the time or energy to run laps around those pixelated worlds looking for hidden keys anymore.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby doaks80 » 2019-3-22 @ 04:35

1. Decent was not great back in the day either.

2. Also back in the day it was normal to draw maps on paper to navigate games. This whole scene emerged from D&D remember.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby dr_st » 2019-3-22 @ 07:03

Please stop misspelling 'Descent'.

I grew up playing some of these old shooters, so I can still enjoy them from time to time, although I rarely feel like replaying any levels.

I remember that what 'killed' me was Hexen. That game brought the 'find key, retrace steps' puzzling to a whole new level - now do the same thing across multi-level hubs! The concept is super-neat, but I just didn't find it fun. Ended up using a walkthrough for some parts just so that I could play it through and experience the different levels.

Descent is also something that would fall under this category - a very novel and interesting concept, but one that has limited appeal. The maze is super-confusing, the map (although is great that they managed to pull it off at all) barely helps, and it just gets rather hard very fast. Plus, the engine limits make for a whole lot of similar, repetitive, quickly getting boring levels.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby LunarG » 2019-3-22 @ 10:11

doaks80 wrote:1. Decent was not great back in the day either.

2. Also back in the day it was normal to draw maps on paper to navigate games. This whole scene emerged from D&D remember.


Descent wasn't great back in the day? Hmmm, I remember it getting pretty solid reviews, and most of the kids my age played the heck out of it. Most people considered it to be pretty awesome.
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Re: Project: First Person Shooter History

Postby doaks80 » 2019-3-22 @ 11:30

LunarG wrote:
doaks80 wrote:1. Decent was not great back in the day either.

2. Also back in the day it was normal to draw maps on paper to navigate games. This whole scene emerged from D&D remember.


Descent wasn't great back in the day? Hmmm, I remember it getting pretty solid reviews, and most of the kids my age played the heck out of it. Most people considered it to be pretty awesome.


It felt more like a 3D tech demo than a game, and once you got over the "ooh aah 3D" the gameplay basically sucked. I mean, if there were two genres that weren't supposed to be combined, it was space flight sim and FPS. If I remember you basically played Descent for a break/something different after playing Doom or Warcraft for hours and hours and hours on end.
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