Are Shooter Games Starting To Lose Their Appeal?

You can only re-hash the same thing so many times before it is no longer desired.  This goes for movies (see – Saw, Rocky, Rambo, Star Wars (the new crappy ones) as much as it goes for music and video games.  In gaming we are starting to experience something that isn’t too dissimilar.  Every November we expect a new Call of Duty game.  While COD is the most common direction people look when it comes to games being the same every year, it is also a trend that is getting (or has gotten) old very fast.

https://i2.wp.com/i.qkme.me/3pku0b.jpg

I am almost to my second prestige in Black Ops 2.  While this isn’t shocking to the many people that have already reached the 5th or 10th prestige it is something relatively new to me.  I didn’t prestige in Modern Warfare 3 and I thought I would give it a chance in Black Ops 2.  The problem with this is the fact that I am playing games and leveling up in their second and third iterations.  There have been some changes along the way, but the one thing that remains a constant is the move towards an almost exclusively multiplayer focused game that revolves around leveling, leaderboards and people trying to make it big on YouTube.

While there are other games that are being milked as a franchise (Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear, Angry Birds and let’s not forget sports games and their wonderful annual roster updates) – it seems that shooters are still the cash-cow that get most of the development attention.  There have been some reports/rumors that Call of Duty is starting to see a slight decline in sales.  Does this really surprise you?  Madden and NCAA have also both started to see a decline in sales over the last few years.  While there have been some fluctuations to these numbers in some cases, it should tell the gaming industry from production company to developer that gamers want new games with new ideas.

If you want to look for hope in gaming, take a look at what some of the indie game developers are putting out.  Support their cause, but please… demand creativity instead of sequels.  That is so… Michael Bay.

Advertisements

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.

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!

E3 Recap – Games To Keep An Eye On and Games To Give The Stink Eye

It was a great week for game fans of all ages last week, but that doesn’t mean that some announcements didn’t disappoint us.

There are some games that have great demos out there right now and there are also some games that shouldn’t have demos (because they are that terrible).

Keep and Eye On:

Spec Ops: The Line (Respawn Entertainment/2K) – This game plays smoothly and feels like a modern military version of Gears of War (executions and all).  In playing the demo there is something left to be desired from gameplay that seems slightly uninspired.  There isn’t a lot of holding your breath in worry that an army of baddies is coming to put you down.  However, the multiplayer gameplay looks like it could prove to be enjoyable, if not at least something different from Call of Duty’s first person syndication every year.

 

 

Madden 13 (EA Sports) – Finally, Madden has come out of the E3 gates with something to talk about other than their yearly subjective roster update.  Real-time physics, connected careers and a new XP system of progressing your players in career modes is a breath of fresh air that every football gaming fan will appreciate.  There are some tuning issues they are still working on for much of connected careers (which is to be expected); but hopefully they can use the next month or so before the game goes ‘gold’ to fix these things.  Don’t expect perfection off the bat, but you should expect some new joy in how Madden actually plays this year.

 

 

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami) – Finally, something playable was present at E3 and did it ever live up to the hopes and dreams of Metal Gear fans!  Raiden was a character that upset many of the Metal Gear ‘purists’ (elitists…myself included) but when Kojima decided to make Raiden into an awesome Cyborg Ninja from Hell in Metal Gear Solid 4?… I was convinced that Raiden was cool enough to be a desireable character.  At this point, MGSRR is looking more and more like Ninja Gaiden put into the shoes of Metal Gear and it looks amazing.

 

 

Hitman: Absolution (Square Enix) – One of the favorites to make people gush over the wonders of Agent 47’s ability to silently make enemies hunker down in fear.  This is proving to be a game that you should be very excited about.  The gameplay is solid and the story of Agent 47 is usually an intriguing one.  Let’s face it, Hitman is a game that really has its set of fanatics and then the rest of the gamers that want to get their fill of digital violence.  The beauty of Absolution is that it seems to have a better feel and look than Blood Money.  There is a fine line for the Hitman series to walk right now but it is avoiding our list of stink eye games… for now.

Give the Stink Eye To:

NCAA Football 13 (EA Sports) – Talk about giving a game a fresh coat of paint and sending it out for the user to beta test.  NCAA Football 12 was decent, but with major flaws on release day that weren’t patched for over a month and a half (player tendencies after re-naming rosters, etc.).  NCAA Football 13 changed throwing trajectories but didn’t implement real-time physics like Madden 13.  They have the same button schemes this year, but after that similarity NCAA falls to the field with a thud.  The menu interface hasn’t changed and the game doesn’t seem to look different at all.  The demo is out there for you to give it a try – but it could be a 1GB file you regret downloading in the first place.

 

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Treyarch/Activision) – This series has been played out.  The fact that they are going to the year 2025 isn’t as impressive as some people want to make it out to be.  Not to mention the fact that they are ‘bringing back’ zombie mode.  What is going to be different from Black Ops or even Modern Warfare 3?  Nothing really.

You already know what to expect if you are a COD fan and that can be a good thing if you love COD games.  Black Ops 2 is like the third Transformers movie at this point –

All of the explosions, the hot girl that replaces another hot girl (albeit, with an accent) and our typical schlubs ‘heroes’ to save the world from bad foreigners (Insert xenophobia here) and you have yourself a “Brand New” Call of Duty Game.

Halo 4 (343/Microsoft) – Did you know that another Halo game was coming out?  Of course you did.   What better way to milk this cash cow of a franchise than to continue the saga of Master Chief from a ‘whole new perspective’?

Much like Call of Duty and even Gears of War, Halo 4 is a game that has many people excited because they worship the Halo universe and think Master Chief is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Say what you want about the books and everything else… if you love Halo you will buy this game.  After that what is there?  One of the ‘features’ listed for this game on Amazon is telling –

The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Humanity and the universe will never be the same again.”

If you pay attention to the last sentence of their description, it is one of the most hilarious marketing ploys ever.  Consider what has happened over the course of Halo, Halo 2 and then Halo 3.  Then consider what happened with Halo 3: ODST and then the prequel Halo: Reach.  It is something of a guess, but after 5 games that gave us a great trilogy a prequel and even the perspective of a different soldier (ODST) there isn’t much more to care about is there?

It is always a funny argument to hear when a Halo fanboy and a Call of Duty fanboy come into a game store or game department… or God forbid – forums.  Both sides love to present their game as being superior in some way shape or form.  However, in the end they are both arguing over something that they both share in… being duped into buying the same game every year or two.

Gears of War: Judgement (Epic/Microsoft) – Say what you want about the story of Gears of War, it was original and the voice acting was impressive all the way through.  However, the latest announcement is bringing up the same old argument we just made about Halo and Call of Duty.  The most insulting thing you can do to a gamer is try and squeeze out more money for a prequel.  George Lucas was able to fool some people into thinking the new Star Wars prequel trilogy would be worth the excitement.  However, in the end… people still prefer to go back and watch the movies that are now nearing 40 years in age.

This announcement of a new Gears of War game is exciting for people that enjoy the Gears story and gameplay.  Unfortunately, outside of that group of people there are many other gamers that would prefer to see something original come out and blow our minds.  Maybe this is the last Epic game that will grace the 360 before they move on and develop a new series for the XBox 720.  We can only hope that this game is a final conclusion… or pre-clusion?

Building A Game Collection For The Price Of One New Game

By the time you get a new console, controller and a couple new games to play you are going to spend around $600+.

If you are in the market for a new console and would like to get a decent amount of games to play on it we have just the help you need to save money as you start building a new gaming library.

Low Budget Online Gaming

Gaming on a budget? These games are still played by many people online and well worth the small investment.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 = $12 – One of my all-time favorite games.  This is a very fast paced game that has a bit of a learning curve now.  Beware of hackers and glitchers that have taken over some lobbies. 
or
Call of Duty Black Ops = $20 – Treyarch put this game out to high praise that they fixed many things that people didn’t like about Modern Warfare.  You will notice that there is quite a split between some people in their preference for Call of Duty titles.  This game is a good purchase to get ready for Black Ops 2 coming out in November.
———————————————
Halo 3 = $7 – The game that got every online gamer to think they could ‘Go Pro’.  You will find a dedicated group of gamers that still play this game religiously.  This is a great cheap way to introduce yourself to Halo if you haven’t played the series before.
or
Halo Reach = $18 – Where there is Halo, there are gamers playing it online.  Reach changed a lot of things from Halo games before that may remind some people of Call of Duty’s ‘Perks’.  However, you can also download a ton of new maps and modes that give this game a long life.
———————————————
Gears of War = $7 – The first Gears of War is still preferred by a smaller contingent of purists.  The series has a tremendous community that is dedicated to the team-based third person genre that Epic Games nearly perfected with this series.
or
Gears of War 2 = $7 – The second game of the trilogy was a great success, but some glitches and online issues marred the longevity especially with GOW3 following.
or
Gears of War 3 = $24 – This game has a huge fan base even after a year of being released.  The season pass can get you all the modes and maps that were released for this great online experience.  This title is the most refined of the three and rightfully takes its place at the top of many GOW fanatics libraries.
———————————————
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 = $10 – The rival to Call of Duty that is based on large team objectives and involves huge maps with a larger focus on realism.  Weapons have more recoil and handle more realistically.
 
———————————————————————————————————————————————–

The Lone Gamers On A Budget

For the offline/lone gamers out there, these should be in your library ASAP!
Fallout 3 – Game of the Year Edition = $16 – Getting this game with all of the add-on content is going to provide you with well over 60-70 hours of gaming.  You are set up in post-apocalyptic Washington DC where you will have to battle mutants, survivors, bandits and even radiation to survive.
or
Fallout: New Vegas = $10 – This is a separate story from Fallout 3 and gives a nice facelift to some of the things people wanted changed from Fallout 3.  You will have to be sure to eat and stay hydrated in this iteration of Fallout.  Who says you can have too many details?…  Not Bethesda.
———————————————-
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion = $10-15 – Before Skyrim there was Oblivion.  A game based in a fantasy realm of knights and kings where you can become a feared assassin or an admired mage/warrior.  Either way, you get to roam a huge world filled with treasure and danger.
———————————————-
The FEAR Series = $10-12 – One of the scariest series of this generation is based on Sci-Fi and Horror genres being thrown into a blender with a creepy telekinetic girl that haunts you throughout.  You will learn to fear Alma and you will learn to love your shotgun.  A great game for dark quiet nights at home.
———————————————-
The Assassins Creed Series = $ 10-22 – Cloak and Dagger doesn’t even begin to cover it with this title.  If you want to feel like an ancient bad-ass(assin) you will get this game.  Walk around cities like Jerusalem and follow the story that leads you through the lives of your ancestors, who happen to be assassins.
———————————————-
The Splinter Cell Series = $8-10 – Sam Fisher is highly trained and voiced by Michael Ironside.  Other than that, he is also equipped with some of the coolest gadgets and gear that have ever graced the planet.  You will not regret picking up this amazing series on the cheap!