Single Player FPS

First-person shooters (FPS) are boring, repetitive games that get old fast, but they weren't always like that.

Sure there are game genres that aren't expected to be innovative every time. This is especially true of sports games. EA has been squatting out a new edition of Madden NFL every year since 19881 (source 1, source 2). Flight simulators, by their very nature, can't change tremendously. Although, flight simulators seem to have stagnated themselves out of the market.

Modern first-person shooters rely on multiplayer capabilities for sales. You create a few guns and a few maps, and you're done. You don't even need that many maps; users will make many of them for you now. Single player gameplay has devolved to being barely more than a tutorial. In some games, it's harder to die than to succeed. You just wait a few seconds between battles for your health to regenerate, a laughable ability years ago.

"Contrapants," you might say to me, "you sound like an old man! Why are you in your underwear ranting a 'when I was your age' speech at me?" Because, look at the maps I grew up with vs. what you play.

FPS Map Design
Image Source

That map is from DOOM, the first real first person shooter2. Specifically, it's the map of E1M6: Central Processing.

I tend to play games at 1 AM. My friends aren't around, and I want a challenge. I don't want to pay a yearly membership fee to play against strangers online; I already paid for the game. With most games now, I have to play against my friends over the Internet anyway. We can't sit next to each other and play split-screen. We need two systems, two online accounts, and terrible quality microphones. I don't get to play with friends; I have to play with ghosts.

I miss interesting FPS games. Sadly, quantity comes over quality now, and replay value is a developer's mortal sin. Bring back good shooter, damn it! Until then, I'll stick with my puzzle games and robot building.

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1 This count is by title, not including system ports. There was one year, 1989, when a Madden series wasn't released. Although, multiple titles have come out simultaneously during some years, maxing at 3 simultaneous titles in 2008.

2 While the first-person perspective existed in games before DOOM, DOOM was the first popular game that would fit the modern view of the genre. First-person Pac-Man doesn't really fit that description.