What More Do You Want From Shooter Games?

The best-selling games on consoles seem to come down to First Person Shooters every single year.

While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does drive me to wonder what else I really want from my FPS gaming experiences.  There seem to be three choices when it comes down to decision-making.

Arcade/Deathmatch Style – Call of Duty is the quintessential example of shooter games that revolve around picking up the controller and smacking other gamers in the face.  It is a fast-paced game with slight differences between weapons.  Not to mention a huge group of core gamers that are dedicated to the game they have come to love (or even sometimes, hate).

What More Do I Want?I have been hoping for years for the sniping in this game to be nerfed.  However, that is the ‘charm’ of Call of Duty games…  the weapons are subjectively rated and designed.  In many cases there isn’t much of a difference between using a magnum side-arm and a MK-14 as long as you ‘know how to handle them’.

I don’t want Call of Duty to change, primarily because I know that every time I turn it on I will be able to play it for an hour or two before I get so fed up with connectivity or quick-scoping spawn trappers that I turn it off and put in a different game.

Objective Based/Simulation – Battlefield 3 is designed with huge maps and team-play as the primary components.  While some of the interactions with vehicles is far from ‘simulation’ the weapons and handling of the game in-general present a much more ‘realistic’ feel to the game.  The recoil of the weapons makes for tough decisions to be made at times when you try to determine if you want more power or more control.  This is a primary difference between BF3 and COD games.

Also, objectives are the primary gametypes for Battlefield games.  This is something that tends to escape the common COD player than ventures into the land of Battlefield.  They will often try to come into a game of Rush or Conquest and try to turn it into some sort of Team Deathmatch.  While this is quite useful in Conquest, it is far from useful if you are the attacking team in Rush.

What More Do I Want? –A preventative measure to keep teams from spawn camping with vehicles like helicopters.  This is a great game, but people that are new to it will find that it is unforgiving when you play Conquest mode against seasoned teams of gamers.  It is one of the biggest downfalls in game design when you make it nearly impossible for a losing team to recover.

 

Sci-Fi/Fantasy – Halo, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series all fall into this category for the most part.  They are either based in a realm that doesn’t exist or in some sort of alternate universe.  Fallout is the only potential threat to this category, but in reality it still has ‘laser’ weapons.  Much like Fallout, Skyrim has magic and other spells that make it fantasy related.  Halo is based on other planets or regions of the universe and uses weapons that either don’t exist or close to that description.

What More Do I Want?–  This category is difficult because there isn’t a lot to base anything off of in ‘real life’.  The issue I have with Halo is recoil with weapons feeling non-existent.  In general, Halo has a feel to it that makes it seem like the gamer is playing the game with a lot less ‘motion’.  There is almost a floating sensation when playing Halo.

What’s the point?

When thinking about any of these things it leaves me thinking that any of the things I wish would happen in FPS games are subjective at best and pointless at worst.  Most of the games we choose to play revolve around what we have had time to find a love for over the years.  Chances are good that you have already pre-ordered a game this fall or at least plan on asking for one of them during the holiday season.

Take that as a sign that you really don’t have a lot more you want out of a shooter game.  Otherwise you wouldn’t pre-order something before you hear about, let alone see any real changes.

What’s Next? Madden NFL Zombie Mode…?

I bet you think I am joking… and I am to an extent – but…

So many people were clamouring for fantasy drafts and player editing in Madden 13 – and their wishes are slowly being granted.  Many people are still playing Black Ops strictly for the zombie mode and are looking forward to Black Ops 2 only for the continuation of it as well.  Now we have numerous zombie add-ons for games like ARMA 2 to go with the already growing number of actual zombie-themed games like Left 4 Dead and Dead Island.

Then it crossed my mind.

What would make a football game more accessible for non-sports gamers?

Zombies!

Consider the possibilities of instead of simply getting tackled by other players you were being chased around the field by zombies.  Maybe you could actually break ankles with a crazy juke move or use the hit stick to wreck a few zombies carrying the brain…err – ball.

I bet Donny Moore would give them all 99 OVRs in toughness and 25s in Awareness…

What are your thoughts? – Should zombies make their way into sports games?

You Can’t Teach Speed – Outsmarting Your Opponents

Whenever I talk to jaded gamers about playing games like Call of Duty, Halo or any other online shooter they usually tell me that the game is too fast.  While I agree that online First Person Shooters (FPS) are rather fast paced you also shouldn’t let this stop you from playing the games you’d like to enjoy.  As we get older we tend to lose a lot of our quick ‘twitch’ reflexes (especially in gaming).  Look at athletes or any other person that relies on their physical abilities early in their career only to have to switch to a more cerebral approach later on.

For those of you that don’t have the ‘reaction time’ for some of your favorite games, it might be time to come to terms with the fact that you are ageing.  It sounds almost comical from a gaming perspective but really there are many more tactics and strategies that can help your performance than the twitch reflexes you have lost (or never had).

Plan Your Movements

Even if you have to think about your movements in a calculated manner for each match you are probably thinking more than any of your other opponents and therefore – gaining an advantage.  It isn’t that someone with fast reflexes doesn’t think but they tend to operate in a more instinctive fashion.  The benefit you gain from planning out your attacks is that you actually work out multiple potential problems as you advance.  A prime example of this can be found in the following clip from the movie Sherlock Holmes –

Know Your Speed and Stick To It

Nothing can screw up your gaming ability more than playing out of your element.  If you have an opponent in Madden that prefers to play a no huddle offense and leave you grasping for time outs or hopeful incomplete passes you shouldn’t stoop to their level when you get the ball.  Slow the game down, take your time with every snap and adjustment (we will have a full feature on how to do all these things in Madden 13 over the next week).

Always make it your mission to play ‘your’ game.  It is vital for you to take every opportunity to make your opponent think and sometimes overthink everything they are doing.

When playing a game like Call of Duty there are often only two types of players in a team deathmatch setting:  Campers and Rushers.  Campers hate to be forced out of their favorite spots and rushers hate having to stop and slow down to kill a well placed camper.  It is really the ultimate conundrum when it comes to gaming and it can provide you with the ability to create a third type of COD player… a hybrid of camper and rusher.  We will call it a Cramper.

One of the videos I posted back in April shows you the best of both worlds –

Need Some Help Developing Your Gaming Identity or Game Speed?

NoobTubeTV recently started offering Game Training sessions for your convenience just a few weeks ago.  For many people out there the gaming world can be a rather unnerving place if you are new to the online realm especially.  We offer a professional, courteous, patient and friendly atmosphere where you can develop your skills and find your desired level of gaming.  For more information on our Game Training sessions, please visit the NTTV Game Training page.

Is Halo 4 The Dark Horse of FPS Games This Year?

Surprisingly, Halo 4 has managed to sneak up on many gamers this year.  It could be a case of the series being over-produced and pushed to its creative limit.  It could also be a situation where people have pretty much had their fill with Halo and the expected gameplay that has become synonymous with the Halo series.

Master Chief is poised to lay the smack down with some black ops of his own… Call of Duty is probably going to respond with nazi zombies… from space.

With 343 (the studio behind some of Halo: Reach’s multiplayer content) pushing out the latest title you should know to expect similar gameplay.  Outside of that, you will have a lot of new possibilities that make Halo fresh.

This iteration of Halo allows you to pick your weapon load-out much like Call of Duty or Battlefield, however there are other tweaks that make it a more unique game than than the typical – Hey, lets go shoot the other team and rank up so we can prestige and call people noobs type of experience you see on Call of Duty quite often.

Halo 4 is also going to also allow you to sprint and play the game in a faster fashion than other Halo titles previously.  It seems that playing a faster paced game is more important to the growing base of gamers than playing a more cerebral game that is slightly longer.  This said, you can probably recall many Team Slayer matches that actually lasted until the final minute and they weren’t  even close enough to call them good matches – they were just slow.  That should hopefully change for the better with these new additions.

War Games is the new addition to multi-player that will essentially put gamers onto a ship – the UNSC Infinity that will allow gamers to experience a new type and form of multiplayer that features smoother gameplay and better lighting.  Not to mention the new concept of teamwork and playing through endless scenarios with new ways to earn power-ups and develop your Halo 4 experience.  Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV for more Halo 4 updates and other news as we enter the busiest part of the gaming year!  Don’t be afraid to pre-order Halo 4 either – we are providing a link below so you can join the experience on November 6!

Are You Not Entertained? – Actually… No. – The Downward Spiral of Annual Game Releases

If sports and first person shooter (FPS) Video Games were a ‘Nation’ and I were the President of Sports and FPS Video Games, I would have to say that the State of our Union is weak.

This isn’t coming from the stand-point of the gaming companies like Electronic Arts or Activision (judging by their weakening stocks I would say that they feel the same), but from the aspect of gamers.  There are numerous games that have grabbed our attention and held onto it for a few years such as the Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect and some others that you might be able to throw out there in the comments section below.  However, sports games and some shooter titles are constantly being thrown at us every year during the summer or fall.

What is becoming more evident as we get closer to the end of this generation of consoles (XBox 360, PS3 and Wii) is that sports and shooter games are really coasting along for the last few quarters before they jump into a new fray of next-gen console development (aka – more of your money).

We have recently focused on games like Madden NFL and NCAA Football sense they are the primary Summer Releases for EA Sports.  The next game that will get our full attention is Black Ops 2.  Call of Duty is a game that is technically released every two years if you want to dive into the fact that it is split between development teams (Infinity Ward and Treyarch).  However, the series itself is pretty much the same concept with a few nuances that make each game slightly different.

These games feel disposable at this point.  We aren’t in a time period of creative thoughts in entertainment in general.  Movies are the same way with sequels and remakes that really aren’t too dissimilar from what annual sports games and FPS games like Call of Duty are doing.  The publishers of these games like to sell you on trailers and big budget marketing rather than actually take the time to be creative and take a chance with something new.

If in 2013 there would be an announcement that Madden and Call of Duty would not be released in order to drive creativity and innovation in each series, would you applaud this decision or take it upon yourself to scream in ALL CAPS that it is the worst thing that ever happened to gaming?

NoobTubeTV would applaud this decision but what is your take?

To Prestige Or Not To Prestige?

When it comes to FPS games, ranking up is one of those things that seems to grab some people in the community by their joy stick and pull them around like parents with kids on a leash.  In Call of Duty it is referred to as ‘Prestiging’ and it also happens to be one of the most annoying bases you will find from verbally abusive gamers looking to put you down.

The only thing that changes might be egos…

Why do they choose to put people down in reference to prestige?  It is quite simple really.  They have theoretically mastered the game in such a way that they are actually better than you.  The funny thing is that this doesn’t usually become an issue until you start making them look bad in a game that they want to feel elite through some sort of icon.

How do we best come to a decision when it comes to the all-powerful action of ‘Prestiging’?

The decision to prestige often comes from wanting to add longevity and a sense of purpose to the multi-player aspect of Call of Duty.  You get a new icon each time you top out the leveling system (in Modern Warfare 3 it is 80) but in exchange, you lose all guns and other equipment you opened in your gaming process.  This is a steep penalty to pay in order to get an icon, but some people find it worthwhile.  Outside of the vanity of a new blinging icon and having to re-earn weapons… there isn’t any real practical reason to prestige.

Being one of the few that have chosen not to prestige, it is really quite simple.  I play the game to have fun, shoot opponents and make them angry for underestimating me based on my lack of prestige.  You get to keep every gun and piece of equipment you earn and in the process you will get a chance to earn camouflage for your favorite weapons.

In the end it really comes down to personal preference.  Prestiging in itself doesn’t make any gamer better than any other gamer.  In some cases, it does seem to make some gamers rather full of themselves if nothing else.  In which case, it is often rather fun to put these people in their place after you calmly show up and own them with your non-prestige Level 80 persona… and politely mute their angry voice.

 

How Should Sports Games Reflect The Happenings of Real Life?

Today the NCAA decided to pass down a punishment on Penn State that would essentially cripple the football team and university for years.  It does raise a question about how much video games should or shouldn’t reflect what happens in real life.  For instance, in NCAA 11 and 12 you will notice that teams like USC and Ohio State are given terrible ratings as far as Championship Caliber and Coach Ratings matching those of Luke Fickell (eventhough they aren’t really those coaches… riiiight).

When game developers gloss over the realities of the sports they are trying to reproduce they are short-changing their creativity and the consumer’s ability to take part in a true simulation of the sport itself.

Now we are in the midst of a USC team coming off of a ban, an Ohio State team starting a one year ban and last but not least – Penn State.  In NCAA Football 06 you would have to deal with players violating team rules and all sorts of things that brought real life situations to the game.  Why have these things been taken out of games this generation?

Madden NFL Football doesn’t have late hits, real-time injuries or even contract holdouts.  Are sports games being held to a different standard somehow?  We have shooter games that allow for some of the most gruesome actions to take place but when it comes to sports titles we can’t have late hits or concussions?  We can’t have bowl bans or shady recruiting?  We can’t have team rules violations by players that have questionable motivations?

You can’t say we never had these things before…  we did… but  now they are gone with the winds of political correctness or some sort of false societal demands.