Over the last generation of console gaming we have seen a dramatic increase in online gaming. The primary gain in this user-base has been in first person shooter (FPS) games like Call of Duty, Halo and Battlefield. Call of Duty 4 seemed to fill a void for gamers that weren’t fans of Halo. They wanted a shooter that was military based with more customization and depth in the online arena. What COD4 brought to the table was a game that still ranks among my personal favorites in the series, surpassed only by Modern Warfare 2.
The biggest issue that started the downfall of Call of Duty was the annual release to the lemmings that can’t seem to get rid of their money fast enough. Call of Duty has become the Madden of shooter games. The one thing you are guaranteed with the annual online experience is the large population of gamers screaming obscenities in your ears. While that isn’t the primary downside, it is one of the more common complaints when it comes to online gaming. (This is even with the ability to mute players… it shouldn’t have to be an issue but it is often on the edge of infuriating to have to deal with such nonsense.)
After the relative annoying of gamers you are going to start seeing where Call of Duty is really starting to fall off. It is actually in the repetitive nature of the game and how predictable every round will unfold. Team Deathmatch is what it has always been – a hunt for the perfect camping spot or some sort of search for a bottleneck. Domination is still the wonderful spawn-camping disaster it has always been. Now there are numerous clans that seem to stalk the public lobbies and destroy players that are trying to enjoy some casual gaming. It has become a self-destructive game in how it is constantly building itself to be dominated by people that dedicate obscene amounts of time to leveling up and figuring out every nuance to making the casual gamers rage quit and sell their games on eBay or even trade it for pennies at GameStop.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t talented gamers out there in every genre. However, it seems that FPS games are starting to try and copy many aspects of Call of Duty because of the monetary success the game has seen every year since COD4 was released. This isn’t a good thing for gamers that would like to have something that feels and plays different from COD titles. Battlefield was once that bastion of hope that FPS fans could look to when thinking about the shortcomings of Call of Duty. The problem is that with maps like Operation Metro (BF3) and Operation Locker (BF4) it seems as if EA/DICE is trying to emulate Call of Duty in death-fests that are less tactical and more deathmatch-like. While these are relatively small segments of the map population it is discouraging to feel like you can’t escape this apparent necessity of slaughterhouse maps in a game that many purchase as an escape from that.
We have been fortunate to see many gains made in graphics and even physics (at times). However, the common devolution of
almost every game ends up turning the shooter game into some sort of Call of Duty-esque bloodbath of reflex/twitch-based shooting. It starting to become wash, rinse, repeat with shooter games – especially online shooter games.
Where do you stand? Are you ready to move on from FPS online gaming… or maybe from FPS gaming altogether?