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Gamers: Stop Complaining About Shooter Campaigns

Apparently, developers just can't make a first-person shooter campaign that anybody actually likes.

As much as I promote innovation and originality, I still enjoy the occasional shooter. And as it's my job, I've played just about every campaign of every FPS of the generation, from Singularity to RAGE to Killzone to everything in between. And you know, while there are always a few minor issues - as there are in any video game - and some were just plain "meh," I get really confused and annoyed when I see people bitterly complaining. They complain about everything.

Everyone is whining about the Battlefield 3 campaign, for instance. Why? I don't get it. Sure, the AI is outdated and there are a few bugs, but what more do you want? That campaign had just about everything and in direct comparison to other games, it excels in a number of categories. But nobody is satisfied. Nobody ever is. KZ3 didn't control exactly like KZ2 and people didn't like the end. Modern Warfare 2 was too short. RAGE didn't have a good enough story. Resistance 3 didn't have good enough graphics and wasn't as realistic as the military shooters.

It never ends. Just about every single time I hear someone talk about a campaign in a shooter, it's usually described as "meh," "lame," or "boring." There's always a problem. This may be a byproduct of the multiplayer explosion, in that the only people whining are those who only buy shooters to play online, and never cared about the campaign to begin with. But in truth, stepping back from both a critic and fan standpoint, I'm really not sure what we should be complaining about, over and over.

I actually think shooters get put under a microscope more often than any other genre, although I know the hardcore gamers will hate me for saying that. And when these FPSs are analyzed to death, it's inevitable that somebody will find something wrong. I just don't know why the negatives get so much attention, and why everyone seems to flat-out assume that every shooter campaign "could be a lot better" in some way. I'm not saying all campaigns are fantastic. I'm saying there are are fantastic campaigns, and they never seem to get any credit.

Related Game(s): Battlefield 3

Tags: battlefield 3, bf3, battlefield 3 campaign, fps campaigns

11/6/2011 8:50:52 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (87 posts)

jimmyhandsome
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 9:45:59 PM
Reply

Agreed. Shooters get a ton of scrutiny because they saturate the market and they dominate the sales charts. You might even say its become "hip" to hate on the FPS/TPS games. They're the online multiplayers favorite genre, so the single player campaign needs to be EXTRA criticized.

FPS are way too often compared to other genres, and they shouldn't be. This year alone has seen tons of quality titles- Killzone 3, Socom 4 (I may not have too many supporters for this title but I loved it), Resistance 3, Gears of War 3 and Battlefield 3. All of which have a quality single player campaign and addictive multiplayer.

Last edited by jimmyhandsome on 11/6/2011 9:46:46 PM

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Nas Is Like
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 9:49:03 PM

You forgot Rage. ;)

Agree with your and Ben's entire posts. People let themselves get sucked into the hype, then it always seems like a disappointment. I'm more of a multiplayer guy, don't really have any campaign expectations or hopes at all, so every time I play it, I enjoy myself.

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jimmyhandsome
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 9:54:45 PM

True, unfortunately I haven't played Rage yet. Next on the list with MW3.

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friction
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 9:58:58 PM

Lmao I love s4 too :) It could of always been better but I'm sure there will be another, and I honestly can't wait.
No shooter, or game has ever brought me the heart pounding adrenalin rush as the socom series has in those heated suppression matches when its you and one opponent left and your entire team watching your screen.

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friction
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 9:55:23 PM
Reply

I just don't understand why someone can't come out with a multiplayer only game, stop packing two separate games on one disc.
I understand video games have consisted of a campaign from the dawn of time but that doesn't mean miltiplayer hasn't changed the game.

Ps I love your point about resistance 3 not being as realistic as the military shooters lol, why the hell should it be, first off it's an alternate universe being invaded by subterranean beings. If it's one thing I can't stand about this generation, it's having to compare every game to every other game, what works in one game HAS to be in every single other game to be amazing. I think that's why I love this site so much, you guys know whats up in the gaming industry. Thanks for actually being truthful in your reviews :)

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Nas Is Like
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 9:58:04 PM

Because without a campaign, they would be losing a fair amount of profit. They put in both to cater to both multiplayer and campaign fans' needs.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:07:02 PM

Because MAG didn't do as well as one would have hoped.

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Nas Is Like
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:10:49 PM

That's only because MAG sucks.

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Clamedeus
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:29:49 PM

MAG isn't that bad, I enjoyed playing the Beta though.

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dkmrules
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:17:02 PM

Buy Battlefield 3 on the 360, the campaign and multiplayer ARE on separate discs ;)

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slugga_status
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 9:10:45 AM

MAG is a very underrated shooter.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 10:34:13 AM

MAG actually is one of the best online shooters this generation. I know why people say "it sucks" and its a stupid reason. Here's why - it doesn't play like CoD. Of course it doesn't. Its a strategy type game. There's not 6 opponents in a tiny map, that you can single handedly take out. There's far more and if played right in the confines of the maps, there's not many shooters that can do what MAG did. It's a great game, very underrated especially today, after all the updates it's seen.

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Alienange
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:10:59 PM

@ bigrailer19 - No. That's not why MAG sucks. The maps are uninspired, the weapons are hopeless, the character progression is pointless and the gameplay is severely repetitive.

And that's not mentioning the terrible graphics, sound and control.

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slugga_status
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:28:48 PM

@ Alienange

Well that really isn't true..The maps are vast and set up right for each given game mode. The weapons have multiple attachments that you can place on it to your liking. The character progression is some of the best I've seen in a FPS. You literally tailor your soldier to your liking. Not one soldier is the same on the game...

I really don't see how you can say the gameplay is "severely repetitive" when no other FPS offers any of the game modes nor make your want to play as a team. Graphics aren't that bad at all, the sound of each weapon is different and the control is easy to get used to..

I hate to ask but have you played MAG since it's last update? Not knocking your opinion but it's not very accurate to what the game has become today.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 2:23:40 PM

Alien-

I'm gonna ask you a question. When was the last time you played MAG?

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/7/2011 2:25:00 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:09:54 PM
Reply

I agree, FPSs just have nothing new to offer and people are obviously feeling the fatigue. They crave something special, something different, and developers need to go back to the drawing board to deliver that if they don't want their game to be seen as more of the same.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:37:55 PM

Can't go with that. Uncharted 3 didn't "really have anything new to offer," either. I don't think there's anything wrong with refining tried-and-true formulas, and that's what I'm seeing from most modern shooters.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:39:14 PM

The thing about that is Uncharted is on its third entry so it's all good, when there have been over a dozen games that are all basically the same people get fatigued.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:10:00 PM

Well, I don't see how Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Battlefield 3, and RAGE are all identical. I got very different vibes and experiences from all of them.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:59:56 PM

I just think they all pick from the same bag of tricks without adding anything compelling. I don't think they really NEED to in order to keep going on, but to stem the tide of the "blahs" it gives people I think things have to change it up.

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tes37
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:17:30 PM
Reply

I found a solution that works pretty well, for me, that is. I don't buy every one that comes along. I'm probably missing out on a few great titles, but one thing I am not, is burned out. I liked the two I bought this year. Killzone 3 and Battlefield 3.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 3:05:11 AM

Hehe - actually, this is a good point.

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tes37
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 5:57:20 AM

Thanks Beamboom.

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Excelsior1
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:30:22 PM
Reply

oh come on. listen i think we have right to complain if a single player campign is gimped. look at kz3's sp campign for example. you can easily complete it in about 5hrs, and to top that off it's practicaly on rails...a lot sprinting down narrow paths to the next set of glowing eyes.

as long as a sp campign is part of the package and it feels gimped i think gamers have the right to complain. these 5hr campigns with medicore stories just don't cut it for me. they could be so much better. you don't even have to put it under a microscope to see how deficient a lot of these sp campigns are in a lot of areas. again, they could be a lot better in areas like story telling and characters. rage's story was weak.

i don't think a lot of effort is put into sp campigns these days in shooters i know it's trend that is not going to end anytime soon but that does not mean all gamers have to like it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:39:41 PM

That's the problem, right there. Everyone thinks EVERY campaign is "gimped," when in fact, that's crap.

KZ3 can't be "easily" beaten in 5 hours. Every single estimate I see for FPS campaigns is ALWAYS exaggerated. KZ3 took me 8 and took most people 7-8. Battlefield 3 takes about 7-8. Last I checked, a LOT of campaigns are about that length, including God of War 3, Heavy Rain, and Uncharted 3.

I'm sorry, but saying the campaigns are "gimped" is just more biased shooter hate. You don't think a lot of effort is put into those campaigns? Really? Seriously? Did you SEE the production values in Battlefield 3? Wait until you see MW3... And what about Resistance 3 and RAGE?

More effort has been put into those games than almost anything I've seen in 2011. Period. They're not my favorite games in the world but we have to give credit where credit is due.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/6/2011 11:10:13 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:43:29 PM

Agreed. Why can't somebody put an Uncharted quality story in an FPS? Or even the drama of Heavy Rain?

It could be done, but the lemmings wouldn't respond to it.

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Excelsior1
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:51:22 PM

@ben

my first playthrough on kz3 was 5hrs and 17 minutes. i know playtimes can vary but i was just shocked when the end credits rolled up. my first response was like...that's it? that's how the story ends? that's all we get? wow. thank god i liked the mp. i feel sorry for the gamers who picked it up for its sp campign however. not every sp campign is gimped so to speak. i think crysis 2 at least put some effort into the sp campign. even it is just your standard sci fi aliens attack story though. B movie material at best. nothing spectacular. i keep thinking to myself these games could use some quality writing. it would make the experience so much better. bring in some A level hollywood talent if you have to.

maybe the effort is there in terms of production values but i don't think a lot of effort is put into the stories. if there is a lot of effort put into the stories then the execution is just poor. i think they could do a lot better.

@world

exactly. why can't somebody put a decent story in these shooters? if it can be pulled off in other genres then why not shooters as well? i don't think most shooters are strong in story telling. again, they could be so much better.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/6/2011 11:57:48 PM

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Nas Is Like
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 12:38:16 AM

Honestly, if you want "Uncharted" quality, then go play the Uncharted series. Simple as.

The series is arguably the most popular and universally praised series on the PS3. How do you expect a campaign of that sort of quality/caliber? It's damn near impossible to match, let alone surpass.

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AshT
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:07:25 AM

@Excelsior1, oh how i agree with you here, what we are seeing here is sacrificing SP quality/length/story for MP

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 3:04:06 AM

@World: I really can not see how you could put a Heavy Rain drama into a fps. Not unless you insert mile-long cutscenes that have nothing to do whatsoever with the gameplay.
It's like asking Arnold Schwarzenegger to do family friendly comedy. He did try, but we all know how that turned out.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 3:04:43 AM

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Lawless SXE
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 3:55:02 AM

Beamboom,
Character drama doesn't necessarily have to be attached to the gameplay. I mean, if the developers could accurately portray the feelings of a soldier at war... Sure, it would require quite a bit of exposition, but if you read my comment below, you'll see how it might be possible so long as the developer is willing to take a bit of a risk at pissing people off. It could definitely be blended into the gameplay though. Interactive cutscenes for example. Again, it wouldn't be popular, but it could very well be a step forward.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 5:37:18 AM

Lawless,
I did read you comment below and it was a very good read (as commented already) but trauma of war can not be compared to the low key, human drama of Heavy Rain, where scenes like everyday life in the back yard, family life, father-son relationship, a lonely parent, those aspects of life is portrayed.

A good simulation of war and the trauma that follows could very well be implemented into a fps, and the fps games could very well contain a bit more humanity, that I agree with. But there is a huge stretch from there to Heavy Rain.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 5:39:24 AM

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Lawless SXE
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 5:53:25 AM

I know, I replied before you did ;)

While it's true that it is a different kind of drama to be expressed between child-gone-missing and soldier-at-war, I fail to see how a similar emotional connection between player and protagonist couldn't be made. The soldier is still a person, and although he is attacking/killing other people in the name of his country, he still has people back home that he worries about. It could be narrated by his journal entries, interposed with scenes of him talking to his family.

Of course, the typical FPS story would have to be eschewed for it to work. You couldn't have a supersoldier with overwhelming amounts of enemies. It wouldn't be about saving the world, but surviving. It'd be a new breed of FPS as it simply wouldn't fit into what we already know and think of the genre. Considering it like that, I don't see the huge stretch, but perhaps you disagree on the alterations to the formula of the FPS and if that is the case, then we are at loggerheads.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 7:04:15 AM

no no essensially we agree here, don't get me wrong.

Have you played Resistance 3? I almost fell off my chair in surprise when i started playing. That game had the *potential* of being almost exactly what you describe here. It started off so incredibly good. Vulnerable humans, the feeling of a totally overwhelming force against you, using your brains against brute force, running away and hiding from enemies, the setting were just perfect. A man, leaving his family behind to go on a travel across the country with the company of a fragile, old man. Oh man, the setting was so good my jaw dropped.

But then... Then it drifts off into being more of a shooting gallery, hitting the all time low when it turned into a zombie shooter at one stage. At that point in the game I could just have well started to cry. I gave up on the story and treated the rest of the travel as just another shooter. Bloody shame.

But therein lies the entire problem I think: The market *expect* the fps to be just that, impressive and varied scenes with lots of different stuff to point at and shoot. A coherent story can not embrace *everything* in the name of entertainment. It need some structure, some persistence. And that's where Resistance 3 sadly stumbled and fell, along with many other shooters.

Then it is far easier to create a typical fps-setting where you are, or become, a Godlike superbeing. Crysis being the prime example of that - only in those games it *works*, in my humble opinion.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 7:12:38 AM

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 10:58:03 AM

I agree a lot Campaigns are very short in the FPS world. But here's the thing. KZ3 took me about 7-8 hours on hard. If it took someone 5 hours it's because they just ran through it. Games are jot meant to be ran through. But that's the problem with shooters, is that's what they are. The pacing in a shooter is very fast paced, and in turn pushes players to rush to the next enemy. I think this results in what is being referred to as a short campaign.

When you up the difficulty though, you are more restrained from hauling a** to the next enemy. You are more grounded, and forced to take a more strategic approach. Again KZ3 took me 7-8 hours, because I was forced to "PLAY" the game, because as we all know the AI is brilliant and on harder difficulties kept me from trying to be Rambo. Looking back there's no way on a harder difficulty I could have completed the game any faster unless I did try to run n' gun through the game.

The CoD games are short I think since MW2 they all have been between 5-6 hours long. But that's the type of game they are Rey almost force you to rush through the game. They are always frantic and packed with tons of action around every corner. If I played CoD the way I play KZ it would probably add another hour.

As for BF3 that game was just plain short. I feel like it took me 4 hours to beat. It probably took more than that, but I can say with confidence it's the shortest FPS I've ever played. It was good, it was fun, but short and the ending was a let down for me. I sat there wishing, hoping something else would happen at the end, but sadly just credits. O well.

Anyways that's my take on it. Play the games like they are meant to get the moat out of them. The moment you change the way the game is meant to be played is the moment your perception of it gets skewed.

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Excelsior1
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 11:27:27 AM

@bigrailer

you make some good points. i always count the playthrough times of a sp campign when the game is on normal difficulty. sure you can crank it up to hard to add to the time but that's kind of an artificial way of extending the game. most people are going to probably play it on normal difficulty. you make a great point about pacing. kz3 does push you forward so to speak. that adds to its length issues i think.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 2:34:35 PM

I brought up using the hard difficulty because shooters are very, very easy. On Normal with most shooters I've come across, I could stand in one spot and live for nearly 5 sec. Before finally being killed. That also results in people running through games because with regenerating health you can simply afford to run right through enemies, without having to take cover and strategically move up the "battlefield". Yes most people will play on normal, but because of this they are able to more easily be encouraged to Rambo on through. The player almost feels invincible at times. Leading to short campaigns. ;)

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ZenChichiri
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:47:15 PM
Reply

Imagine a game like Turok 1 and 2 for N64 in HD glory. Those had actual boss battles, variation in enemies and level design, and innovative weapons. Now that would be cool. I want to see the River of Souls in HD glory. I also want to use the Cerebral Bore again and suck out some brains. Too bad the new Turok sucked.

I wish they would make games like that now, but when people think FPS these days the first thing that comes to mind is multiplayer. Ugh! I hate being in the minority because there is nothing I can do about it. I think because multiplayer is a big issue they can't make anything too game breaking in the single player because they limit themselves with what multiplayer is capable of. For example if a weapon you get in single player is seen as overpowered in multiplayer, they might not even add it to the single player! Sacrifices! Buuuut that's the thing. Many of us single player only (I should say single player usually) are now in the minority so too bad for us I suppose.

Rage is a nice exception this gen. I'm digging it, as it has innovative elements to it, with enough variation mixed in. I'll wait to pass full judgment until I'm done with it though. And don't get me wrong. I DO enjoy FPS games this gen, but I'm not enjoying the campaign as much as I enjoyed some other FPS games from other generations that were more campaign focused.

PS - I love Battlefield 3 online.

PPS - By no way am I saying the campaigns are gimped, just that they are lacking something special.

Last edited by ZenChichiri on 11/6/2011 10:54:16 PM

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Dancemachine55
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 10:58:32 PM
Reply

I loved the campaign in CoD 4 MW1. It was varied in terms of gameplay and was long enough to satisfy. I wasn't expecting a 30 hour long masterpiece like an RPG, and MW1 was great for it.

Naturally, I compared MW2 to MW1, and to me MW2 just wasn't as varied and wasn't long enough to satisfy. 5 hours long the campaign was, and I think MW1's was around 7 or 8 hours. I know it's not much, but it's enough to make that difference between feels too short and rushed, and feels just right.


I loved Killzone 3. Never finished Killzone 2.

Resistence 3 was disappointing to me. Not the story or length, that was brilliant!! The guns were fun, but the FPS mechanics felt clunky and dated, like a PS2 FPS but with great graphics and a great story. The tech side of R3 kinda ruined the experience for me, made it feel more like a chore to finish than fun.

I'm enjoying Battlefield 3 right now, even if it is on 360 (wanted the PC version, but wanna play with my brother)

I'm really not surprised why people are complaining about the story in FPS. It is the dominant genre in video games right now, in terms of press coverage and sales. Of course people are gonna be really critical about FPS campaigns!! There's so many of them to choose from, so naturally you go with the best and you compare the new FPS' to the great classics!!

Personally, I'm hoping MW3 will have a great campaign, varied in level design, uses the new environment damage model to full effect and is at least around 7 hours long. CoD has a smooth 60 frames/sec and highly responsive controls, I've always found it to be the best controls and presentation in an FPS. It's just a shame Activision had to recycle the content so heavily. Keep the essentials, but add content rather than just simply swapping one map and gun type for another.

Chances are I might get MW3 when I find it cheaper than 60 bucks. (Australia, 60 bucks is about half the price of MW3 at launch)

Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to Harmonix's new ideas, and where Naughty Dog will go next. In fact, I'm tired of 360 gimping games, forcing PS3 multiplats down with it. I say bring on the next generation!!! I wanna see what AI, physics and graphics look like in FPS' then!!!

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Dancemachine55
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:04:05 PM

Just thought of something. I love CoD's controls and 60 frames/sec smooth gameplay, but am sick of CoD's recycled content.

Something tells me I might like Goldeneye Reloaded. Soon as I find it cheap during the lull period next year, I think I'll pick it up. Only question is, 360 or PS3? PS3 has Move, and it's my solo player console of choice. 360 is where my friends are at, so getting it for that might convince others friends to join me online.

I can't wait for PS4 to release first and dominate, I hate this multiplat divide. Last gen it was PC or PS2, so simple, so much better. I miss those happy simple days.

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dork02840
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:04:07 PM
Reply

by their nature FPS are more action then drama/story related. i loathe the cheap B movie feel of most of their plots, with the exception of several. Havent played Killzone 3, eyeballing Goldeye 007 when it drops in price at Newbury Comics :). For me a shooter has to be the right mix of sci fi, shock, gore, and characters. i often find that the blend in what i find...even in a game like Mass Effect, i find that they focus too heavily one one end or the other. The end result for me then becomes a chore. FPS do dominate the market and the sales, let alone the advertising. i work at a local naval base, and every time i drive by our entrance gate after flashing ID i see a MW3 sign along the softball field fence, and i always mutter...shameless fucks blatantly catering to the gun toting military crowd...makes me nauseas. as a rule of thumb personally, i usually find my gaming experience to be much better with 3rd person games then FPS. i like being able to see character nuances and effects, with the wrong story(personal taste wise) and an over inundated game HUD i often roll my eyes before even 10 hours of gameplay, that and horror/military themed titles slay me. if you give me the choice between vanquish and MW3...i will choose vanquish every time. vanquish has style, and an arcade sensibility that i feel many hit games sorely lack.

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main_event05
Sunday, November 06, 2011 @ 11:53:36 PM
Reply

pass

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 12:10:53 AM
Reply

How many FPS games come out a year? Imagine if that many Transformers movies came out a year; people would be right to be turned off by it. All flash an no substance.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 12:17:33 AM

How many? Not a fraction as many action and sports games come out.

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Dancemachine55
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 12:25:32 AM

Or Wii party games for that matter. I think we can count ourselves lucky FPS' haven't become the new shovelware of 2010 and 2011. There's still a level of quality that they all must have.

Bodycount is one exception. FPS shovelware from a great developer who once made Black. Such a shame.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 5:33:32 AM

Statistically Ben is right.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 9:04:27 AM

But he is, downthumber! This is fact, not opinion. Just go count for yourself, ask gamerankings to give you a list of all the ps3 releases so far this year and start counting.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:41:26 PM

Yeah cuz we all know God of War and Devil May Cry are worthy of comparison :P

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 12:32:18 AM
Reply

I'm waiting on Valve for my Single Player FPS experience. HL2 (and the 2 episodes) is still one of my favorite SP experiences EVER.

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bigrailer19
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 10:44:18 AM

I played trough the Orange Box when it came to consoles. Yes the PS3 port had major issues, but I also loved the games. Not my favorite, but those are games that had great stories and excellent gameplay.

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Gabriel013
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:00:47 AM
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Is it because when people buy a FPS with single player they expect the single player alone to be worth the full $60?

I often completely ignore the multiplayer when assigning an acceptable price tag to a game as I get no value out of that component.

Thing is, I do enjoy FPS single player (BFBC2 was good fun).

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___________
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:12:01 AM
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i cant understand about the BF3 campaign whining either.
i really enjoyed it!
yea its short, buggy, the AI has the inelegance of a dead horse, and theres no where near as many vehicle missions as their should be, but so what?
there minor blemishes on whats a fantastic campaign!
the story is not half bad either, i mean yea its a bit cliche, the big bad russians have stolen a nuke but still.

people are sick of them though thats why there complaining in general.
we get 1000 shooters a year in comparison, how many racing games do we get?
how many open world action games like AC or batman AC do we get?
we get at least 50 shooters to every other genre of game we get and thats why people are sick of them!
though they have no one but themselves to blame, because every single time a game sells 5M+ units its a shooter.
VERY rarely does a non shooter sell that well!
so of course theres going to be nothing but shooters, developers and publishers dont make games for charity you know?
they look at the market and see ok 99% of the games breaking sales records are shooters, so of course there going to make a shooter!

the industrys changed allot over what we had last gen.
in the ps2 days we use to get allot of publishers who would look at the market and say ok where is there a gap?
where is a genre that is not too flooded that we can try break into?
now though its the complete opposite!
publishers try to avoid the quiet unsaturated markets because there in this mindset there unsaturated, unpopular because no one wants it.
well, for something to be popular it has to be made in the first place!

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Lairfan
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 6:20:45 PM

Wow. I'm shocked. This was a very well thought out comment that I pretty much completely agree with.

I tip my hat to you sir. You appear to be getting better at voicing your opinion without being hypocritical or cussing out people.

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AshT
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:13:43 AM
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Ben, I think people have the right to complain if they are not getting what they expected for $60. Why can't FPS have better stories or lenghty campaigns or better quality, if Devs want to concentrate their efforts so much on MP why not make MP only games like MAG.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 9:45:01 AM

That's the point. The expectations are out of whack. There's NOTHING wrong with the quality of the FPS campaigns I've been playing. In fact, most of them are way better than the majority of games on store shelves.

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AshT
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 9:57:09 AM

Ben, its not like gamers expect a quality level of uncharted series from all the games, i mean a decent story, a little lengthy campaign and better quality is that too much to ask for?

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 11:19:28 AM

... But read what he is saying, lol!
His entire point is that the campaigns *are* of a good quality today - that there is nothing wrong with them!


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 11:23:17 AM

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dillonthebunny
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:49:48 AM
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The reason its meh is because dice just dont make a good sp story. imo cod is just pure hollywood, its crazy.. and i expected bf3 to be more mature.. like moh. but moh even tho it wasnt hollywood, you were allowed into the world of spec ops, they went on record to say.. this is what we do!
Bf3 gave us a campain that tried to bridge the two.. and i wished they hadnt bothered. not because i hated the sp, because i dont. but because critics would of gone easier on their review if it was an mp only game, they could of reduced the cost of the game and sold it that way.

When you play mw3 you will see the contrast in sp, personally i prefer mw3s sp, i think as always it delivers. but i will always prefer bf3s mp.. its second to none.

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Excelsior1
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 4:46:02 PM

i second that. what a spectacular read. psxe has the most in depth comments section becuase of great posts like these. great job guys. keep it up.

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Excelsior1
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 4:46:03 PM

i second that. what a spectacular read. psxe has the most in depth comments section becuase of great posts like these. great job guys. keep it up.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:50:18 AM
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Eh, if damn near every other genre can come up with an engrossing narrative, uniquely interesting elements and characters that feel like real people as opposed to cardboard cutouts, then why the hell can't FPS games? I concede that Resistance 3 was, for the most part, fantastic on that front, but it is the exception in the FPSs that I've played thus far. Alex Mason was altogether rather dull, his story a series of disconnected analepses that wound up feeling derivative and pointless with the supposed twist being unimpressive.

B Company were a bunch of cardboard cutouts in a story that dragged out longer than was necessary, with there being very little point to the antagonist. Sev and Co. tried desperately to be taken seriously in their plight against the Helghast, but the truth of the matter is that they were ultimately aiming to perform that most cliched of goals and overthrow a dictator. Mind you, they had invaded Helghan, which makes the whole affair seem a bit off when you really think about it.

F.E.A.R. had moments of greatness, but it wasn't near as frightening, or memorable, as I had been expecting. Oh and The Point Man? Really? Bioshock was brilliant, but its sequel was redundant, with an antagonist with none of the drive of either Ryan or Atlas. And while it was fun to play as a Big Daddy, you hardly felt powerful enough for most of the game.

Admittedly, I haven't played as many FPS games as many of the other regulars here, so I am, perhaps, less qualified to criticise them. But the tale of the tape above illuminates my lack of satisfaction with FPS narratives when placed against games of other genres. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting every character to be as memorable or endearing as Drake, or Dante (DMC) or Kratos or Nariko or even Isaac (Dead Space), Cole McGrath or Eddie Riggs. But make them more than Charlie Chaplin in the silent move days. Give them a personality beyond: "I'm a soldier, no I'm a conflicted soldier. I don't want to do what my superiors tell me to, but if I don't I'll be court marshalled. I know I'll save the world." It's boring. I want to know how this soldier is feeling about being separated from the people he loves and left behind back at home. I want to know what he wants and what he expects to find in the army. I want to feel the fear that he feels when he has to gun down his first enemy, and the tension when things escalate to a battle against odds reminiscent of Long Tan. I want to see him hanging around with the other members of his squad relaxing after a day of worry. I truly want to live alongside the character. It is for this reason that I simply can't wait to see David Cage tackle the FPS genre as he once stated his desire to be. I think that, in terms of narrative and plotting, he could almost singlehandedly raise them to the point of being as deep and emotional as any other genre going.

Rant part 1: Complete.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 2:49:16 AM

Okay *takes a deep breath* Here we go again. Part 2:

Now that I've dealt with the narrative elements that annoy me, time to get into the mechanics, which will actually have some crossover. The first thing is the lack of impact that it has. It ties over to the idea of the character gunning down his first adversary. If I'm not mistaken Homefront toyed with this very idea. However, the character received his gun and immediately started shooting like a champ. No hesitation whatsoever. I mean, it wouldn't be difficult for the developer to infuse the initial, say, half of the game with an unreliable aiming mechanic to heighten the association with the narrative. Most players would get annoyed at the very thought, but some would truly appreciate it.

Imagine a scenario like Six Days in Fallujah, where it is as much of a survival scenario as FPS. Picture knowing that an enemy could be around the next corner and having to keep your gun steady. Imagine that you make a mistake and pull the trigger on a civilian and the immediate gameplay consequences of the action. The fear and tension. Slowed reaction time, blurred vision... it would help to bring the experience to the fore, rather than the spectacle. The mechanics would be unique, and bring something new to the table. I'd love it.

But Imma move away from that. Take a look at the level design. It is usually super linear. I have no issue with that when it is used to sell events, but most FPS games fail on that front thanks to their reliance on the setpieces. Even so, it's corridor-sy, occasionally opening up into grander battlefields (Battlefield being the exception to this rule, but the level design on show there is dull as ditchwater) where the enemy placement and AI is heavily scripted, and often in points inaccessible to the player, meaning that they have to rely on sniping, rather than freedom of play. Now I'd be less critical of this if buildings felt like buildings, rather than careful constructs to make the gameplay solid. I'd be happier to see verticality more often, with enemies both above and below, yet all within an area to which the player is capable of reaching.

Speaking of, why not inject more exploration into the games? Far Cry had an epic sized map if I'm not mistaken, but instead of that, why not just have more splintered level design, and encourage players to look around by, say, hiding special ammunition or custom gun parts in such areas. Something that has an effect on the gameplay because so many people seem to hate intel.

Hell, even enemy variation could do with improvement. Sure, there are only so many types of people for you to shoot, which is why they bring in armoured enemies, but what if you were to walk into a compound only for the antagonists to lock you within and release a pack of rabid dogs upon you. Sure, it may be flagged by PETA, but it'd be an interesting change. How about enemies who cruise about on ATVs? Or unmanned turrets, or I don't f***ing know. Something more interested than Grunt, Grunt with a Shotgun, Armoured Grunt with a Shotgun, Armoured Grunt with a Minigun, etc.

Now, I'm not saying that FPS campaigns are bad, but I am saying that, as often as not, they don't fit to my tastes. And they could damn well be improved. That's my rant for PSXE for this week done. I'm out. Catch you later.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 4:11:40 AM

A very good read Lawless, and I agree with most of what you say.
But for the sake of the argument: Can't the same kind of criticism be said about every other genre too?

I mean, what's *really* the difference between the racing games for instance? No thought about the victims in the crashes or their families, not a single racing game has raised the issue about pollution, or how we really should leave the car behind and work out on the bike instead.

Or strategy games. Aren't they all the same? You got slow moving, hard hitting units, fast moving soft targets, the rock/paper/scissor mechanics, I mean, basically it's all the same? There's no emotion here, just simple math going on, no matter what title we talk about.

Or even the rpgs? Do the world really need another fantasy themed rpg? Do we need another mindless dragon? Don't the cliches stack up highest in the rpgs? The big guy with large hammer, the small girl with agility and speed, the dumb colossus that can take a million hits, the numbers floating over their heards showing the result of the dice throws, I mean... Haven’t we all heard and seen it all too many times by now?

I value exploration (as you mention) extremely high so for me a good shooter MUST feature exploration elements or it is a fail in my book. Hence my dislike for Killzone and even Uncharted, despite Uncharteds undeniable story qualities. There are however *plenty* of shooters with good or even excellent exploration elements. Luckily for me, or I'd not play a single fps I think.

And I too rate a good story very high. However I do not expect anything but an action oriented story in an action title, and FPS/TPS is per definition action genres. It simply is not the place for slow paced drama narratives.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 4:37:44 AM

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AshT
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 5:05:45 AM

@Lawless SXE: that was brilliantly put, you summed up pretty much everything i dont like and wud like about FPS genre.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 5:07:41 AM

Damn joo, Beamboom. I thought I was done. ;) Just kidding, I love it. Thanks AshT, I try my best.

Honestly, yes. The very same criticism, or some permutation of it, can certainly be levelled at any other genre. I like what you say racing games in particular. The problem is that no racing game to date has been story driven, in spite of the effort of NFS to often cater to that crowd. Being as such, the differences come from the layout and goals of the games. GT and Forza are simulators, Burnout is a crash 'em up, Midnight Club and NFS are arcade racers. There's quite a bit of diversity amongst them.

But, bring a story, a truly deep, involved narrative and the whole playbook needs to be rewritten. But then, how do you go about writing a story for a racing game? NFS: The Run is a promising start, but it's more about the spectacle. And there really is no precedent for it in film, either, with most race related films focussing on the spectacle also. Giving an identifiable main character is a start, but not taking them outside of the vehicle, except in specifically crafted interactive scenes. How do you bring up the idea of crash victims? By having another racer die towards the end and have the characters decide to continue racing or realise the dangers and hang it up. This could be an interactive scene in which the player has to convince the other characters. Going on would alter the gameplay somehow, perhaps make the handling more realistic to display the foolhardiness of the decision. As for the pollution aspect... Yeah, you got me there.

You bring up another great point about strategy games, but I have an immediate counter: Valkyria Chronicles. Giving each of the units a name, face and office helped to make the player sympathise with the characters, particularly as you are with them. I lost two characters in my attempts to push back the Empirical invasion, and I felt both of those losses keenly, having developed what I felt to be quite the rapport with them as they were among my most frequently used characters. The narrative experience in that game, I'm not ashamed to say, had me crying once and having my eyes mist over a second, again because of the connection with the characters, who I always used in battle. They may be carefully balanced to grant the best gameplay experience, but it was masterfully done.

RPGs. They've expanded. Simple as that. Yeah, there are still fantasy games where you come up with the goal of overcoming some great evil, but this is supplemented by the likes of Mass Effect and Fallout. Denying that much is silly. The stories still generally fall into the same basic format of saving the world/redeeming your character, but what else really fits a game of such epic scope as RPGs naturally are? Besides, based on the setting, the way in which it is done can change. Mass Effect is about rallying the galaxy, while Fallout is largely about going at it on your lonesome. FF has you utilising carefully managed strategy to overcome each battle. If anything, narrative quibbles aside, RPGs are among the most diverse genres going.

I feel that I've dealt with your listed complaints to the best of my ability, so back into the discussion. The quality tiers are very much in place, but I find a problem in your argument. You say that Bioshock is an exceptionally good FPS, but then:
"I do not expect anything but an action oriented story in an action title, and FPS/TPS is per definition action genres."

Bioshock doesn't have an action oriented story. This alone proves that your statement has flaws, which means that it is possible for an FPS to tackle a character drama while still retaining a standard of singular excellence in combining the narrative with the gameplay elements. Am I wrong? It ultimately does come to that marriage as to the quality of a title. If it is done well, then it is destined to be a supremely well-structured game, but if the disconnection is too large, then it makes sense for the Jenga tower to come toppling down thanks to a lack of vision.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 7:39:23 AM

Bioshock is uniqueness on a disk, a fantastic adventure, but don't you agree that the core of the game is still very much action? The backdrop and the environment, the atmosphere is what makes that particular game so utterly fantastic. And that can be done obviously. But still, you have to fight. Fight equals action. I'd still call BioShock very much an action game. It's just so incredibly well made.

Regarding racing you got a blindingly good argument with your comparison with racing movies.
But I'll not let you entirely off the hook cause you mention diversity within racing games, with simulators, crash'em'up and arcade. There is just as wide variety amongst shooters too, from realistic/strategic shooters, totally over the top supersoldiers, survival, stealth, not to mention all those hybrids that merges other genres into the gameplay. There is just as much diversity amongst shooters than racers. It's just they are both within the boundaries of each their genres.
... And I really do not want the racing games to start tackling the challenges of pollution, btw. Crash'n'burn, baby! :)

That said, I share your wish for more diversity amongst the shooters. The more diversity the better, always. And I do agree it is possible. It just require an incredible amount of creativity, budget, marketing and talent. They can't *all* be BioShocks. That's just not possible!

But I wish there was more diversity within ALL genres - even RPGs. I would not miss another rpg with magic, sword wielders, princesses and dragons for a long, long time as long as new rpgs still are coming in a steady stream. How about a new AAA rpg with a gothic theme, like "The Masquerade - Bloodlines" for instance? They don't all have to be either fantasy or sci-fi...


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 8:07:39 AM

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FullmetalX10
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 12:59:26 PM

Great read Lawless and Beamboom :D

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Lawless SXE
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:11:08 PM

Unfortunately, I don't see the same diversity in shooters, though perhaps that is simply because I don't pay a great deal of attention to them. While there are more slow-paced FPS and tactical team based properties, the majority that I see follow in the vein of CoD in being hyper-fast with a focus on the MP rather than the SP. But it ultimately always comes down to point and shoot, which isn't always the case with racers and racing, Burnout being the prime example and Driver can also be considered thanks to the shifting feature that employs a certain strategy.

As for Bioshock. Much of the game is action, but it has that slower pacing and the choice of tackling Big Daddies. You aren't forced to do it because they won't attack you if you don't attack them. The splicers don't swarm you as enemies in most other games, so although it is action, it isn't really as forced and this lends power to the narrative and credence to the idea of drama in a shooter. The presentational elements play a huge role, and are memorable, but not nearly as much so as "Would You Kindly." That, and the ramifications of it, are the true strengths of Bioshock.

As for diversity, definitely I mean, as good as pizza is, one couldn't it for every meal. Changing things up is rarely a bad thing as it leads to better ideas and implementations in the future.

Off to work. Maybe discuss more later.

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D1g1tal5torm
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 4:35:44 PM

Regarding the narrative element; could you imagine the boredom of playing a true to life modern warfare game?

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D1g1tal5torm
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 7:00:08 PM

Obviously someone know's diddly squat about real life war...

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 1:03:54 AM

D1g1tal5torm,
Where did that come from? At no point did either Beamboom or I say that we wanted a simulation of war. We all know that it is, for the most part, tedious and that most soldiers will see very little, if any, action. Of course it would be dull, but that isn't what I'm calling for.

Rather the concept of infusing a real soldier into a more moderated style of game. Rather than simply swarming you with enemies, have outliers, or small squads to partake in combat with. Create variation through level design and what it takes to succeed and make it through the level. Play up the intensity, sure, but keep it more grounded than much of what we see today. Why would I mention escalating the action to the level of Long Tan if I wanted true-to-life? That was a battle the likes of which is rarely seen, and that would form the active climax of the game, while the emotional one would work in conjunction. It's all about the balance.

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aaronisbla
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:51:21 AM
Reply

i thought the campaign in BF3 was just as good as the campaign in CoD4, and i really enjoyed CoD4's campaign

MW2's story line was crap compared to CoD4


Last edited by aaronisbla on 11/7/2011 1:53:06 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 2:43:46 AM
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When I look at the fps I've enjoyed the most so far this year I think it all boils down to pure hype backfire.
My top three this year is Crysis 2, Resistance 3 and FEAR 2 (didn't play it until this spring).

Crysis 2 is a very good game, period. But did the pre-release scandals play a role here? I believe it did. Had I expected it to be this good it probably would not have been so. Oh the irony.

Resistance 3 is a gem too. An excellent shooter, fun, entertaining. I wish it was a bit more focused on the story and less to just entertain but was it a fun, good campaign? Sure was. Oh man how much work and love they had put into that game. They almost tried TOO hard. It pains me that so many skipped this release.

But the prime example is FEAR2. Objectively speaking it's not *that* good, but I had no expectations whatsoever other than knowing it had a decent metarating (79) and I got it dirt cheap. Therefore, the qualities it does hold became that much more apparent to me. And seriously, while playing it really felt like I had discovered a gem noone else knew about. It is insane how much perception plays a role.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/7/2011 2:53:09 AM

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CrusaderForever
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 7:03:49 AM
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Who give s a sh*t about the FPS SP campaigns!! It's all about the MP IMHO. The only way you are going to get an outstanding FPS SP campaign is if there is no MP component. The SP campaign goes through some nice set pieces and a story progresses what more do you need. That's a good 5-6 romp and then it's on to the 100 hour MP component. This is just my opinion of course. Oh yeah, I thought KZ3's SP was amazing.

Last edited by CrusaderForever on 11/7/2011 7:04:23 AM

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slugga_status
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 9:17:35 AM
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I can't agree more..People need to just can it. Shooter campaigns are long enough..If it isn't long enough for you then up the difficulty. Some games are good at story telling while some are descent or horrible. Yet it's up to us the gamers who should do their research to know if it's a game you'd like.

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dillonthebunny
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 10:45:45 AM

I'm beyond comprehension at this point at this reply.. I have written a few things, but its best that I just say nothing apart from: slugga, I feel that you are very misguided.

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slugga_status
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:33:41 PM

Misguided about what? What are you talking about?

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Alienange
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 1:26:42 PM
Reply

A nice article and I agree for the most part.

There is CLEARLY something about CoD that gamers adore, right? So when a gamer loves a certain game, he tends to compare all others to it, does he not?

Let's take EVERY jrpg in existence. What's wrong with them? They're not FF. Am I wrong? Every jrpg(and many wrpgs) gets handed over to the gaming judges to be placed on the scales of FF to see if it is "good."

This behavior has been in existence for a long time. Where does it come from? From passion for gaming. When a game touches us and creates a passion in us, we can't help but criticize the "wannabes," can we?

I don't believe there's anything wrong with ragging on poor campaigns, lousy controls or thoughtless level designs. It's simply an expression of our passion. And our passion is exactly what these developers are trying to tap into. So let them hear it.

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Lairfan
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 6:38:59 PM

The problem is, you can't compare every game in a genre to a single game in that genre that everyone liked. Yeah, I know reviewers do this a crap ton, but IMO its a practice that should have ended a long time ago.

Yeah, the game they're comparing it to may be the best at that time, but if you keep comparing everything else that comes after to it, you'll start to be comparing them to your nostalgia and not realizing what they're doing better than that old game you love.

The only way I see these kinds of comparisons as being useful is where graphics are concerned, and maybe with gameplay if its incredibly similar to another game. Otherwise, I don't agree with what you just wrote.

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tlpn99
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 2:32:24 PM
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I enjoyed the BF3 campaign. I thought it was better than the COD ones. Ok there were some glitches in the single player side of it but once you get past these the game and story is pretty decent.

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Darwin1967
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 4:12:55 PM
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Agreed. We should also point out that its the makers of shooters that place themselves in the crosshairs and open themselves wide open for the criticism. BF3 for instance threw down the gauntlet against MW3. Naturally, you're going to get haters who trash talk....and then it becomes 'really' hard to discern what is true honest feedback/criticism vs. this sucks cos I'm a cod franchise lover who hates BF3. Players are some of the BEST resources you will ever get in game development, but all too often our voices are never heard through all the senseless chatter that companies create.

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D1g1tal5torm
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 4:29:10 PM
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I'm playing BF3 SP at the mo, and I feel a bit cheated. I'm getting so many deaths due to having to follow my team mates and then getting shot through them.

It is detracting from the enjoyment of the game and is not something I can avoid.

Usually, cover is a core element of any fps but it's being made redundant in this game.

Why do I have to put up with this 'glitch'

AAAAAAAAaaaarrrgggghhh!!!!

Last edited by D1g1tal5torm on 11/7/2011 4:30:26 PM

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rounan
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 7:59:13 PM
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79transam
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 10:29:12 PM
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Medal of Honor had the best campaign I've played in a fps

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thatpumpingguy
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 11:04:25 AM
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Brink is also mp only. Or is it just an after-thought? Rage was a good game, if the story was weak well it is set-up to be a trilogy so... Was the Matrix 1 a great story movie?

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Roneel
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 4:12:08 PM
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i loved the Killzone 2 campaign :p

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DeathOfChaos
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:59:51 PM
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Probably because the vast majority of FPS fans don't care about story and think that because there are times when they have to indulge in something remotely story engaging, they get bored and whine about how 3-5min. is spent learning about why things are happening rather than blindly shooting people during online multiplayer...

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