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Game Genre Discussion : SP & MMO

Discussion in 'Games' started by Kreij, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    What are your thoughts on the current state of PC gaming in the three most prolific genres (RTS, FPS and RPG). We read a lot of articles and blogs by many industry people and other talking heads, but what is your opinion?

    Here are mine :

    RTS:
    RTS's have garnered a new respect and have achieved a new level of game play. Both the SP & MMOs are drawing not only the old die-hard RTS fanbase in, but also people new to the genre due to the developers realizing that while the game play needs to be complex enough to hold someone's interest, the UI must be designed to make that complexity playable. I think that his genre has made huge strides forward in the last year or so, and is moving ahead faster than either FPS or RPG.

    FPS:
    I think that the FPS developers are all fighting for the real estate on a gamers hard drive. The graphics are getting better, but the core game play is not evolving. Both SP & MMO are just rehashes of the same thing we have seen in the past few years with a few new bells and whistles added. Even Crysis, which is a beutifully rendered game, is just a conglomeration of past ideas and implementations taken to the next level. There needs to be real innovation in this genre that has not been tried before, to push it over the hump.

    RPG:
    I the last few years, RPG's have been pulling out of a stagnant period (some claimed they were dead) and starting to appeal to a broader audiance through the implementation of better interfaces and better interaction in the player vs NPC arena. SP games are slowly starting to get away from the hack n slash and more into story telling with an emphisis on the player. MMOs are lagging behind due to their nature, but I think that in the near future we will see more MMOs beginning to get away from the virtual grind and more into a player oriented content (story) mode that will be malable depending on the players style and decisions.

    So, what do you think?
     
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  2. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    RTS:
    I don't really like modern RTS's. I just can't put my finger on it, but it just doesn't work for me. I like the old gather-build-fight style of games, but the new games that has these elements in them aren't near as good as the old ones. Don't know why, but RTS isn't my thing anymore. It used to be, but not now. Starcraft 2 will change it, I presume. :)

    FPS:
    I think FPS as a genre standalone genre is pretty much deadish. It's fun and all, but it's not moving anywhere (except the graphics and some designs, but it's still the same). And, oddly, the best FPS-games out there are the ones that mixes other elements in them (mainly thinking about Deus Ex), so it feels like the future should be a mix of genres. Heavy action but plenty of other things to do.

    RPG:
    Now this is an area I've shunned for my entire life. Enter Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout and Planescape: Torment. So the statement that SP-games are "slowly getting away from the hack 'n slash", is totaly untrue. Sure, there is some time between the great RPG's, but the already existing ones are genius (Fallout 2 anyone?). I can't tell about the future though. Mass Effect is coming to PC and there's probably something Kotor coming out, so I think the future looks great.
     
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  3. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    RTS:
    I agree with Frick, I have yet to find a new one that I like. Nothing compares to Stracraft to me. I think that they have over complicated everything with too many units and ways to play, on top of that, the computer is nearly impossible to beat in any of them.


    FPS:
    I long for refreshment in this genre. Crysis is on the right path, which is allowing you to choose your own path. I am sick of the jazzy graphics, with the "on rails" attitude that has been chosen lately, hell even the original Doom had more options than any of the Call of Duty series.
    Kreji, you talk about core gameplay, they have moved away from core gameplay. I would actually love to see an old school Hexen style FPS, that requires going all over worlds looking for puzzle pieces and is driven by the story of getting to the ultimate bad guy.
    RPG:
    This is one of the best genres of any game, but sadly greed has taken over most of the RPG developers and they are all MMO's. I will NOT pay a fee for a game that I just bought, I would rather stop gaming all together than do this. I would love to see more single player RPG's, but I doubt that I will.
     
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  4. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    RTS - I haven't seen much over the last couple of years that had me itchin to play anything. I guess I was "broken" by some more ground-breaking RTS style games like Dungeon Keeper (both 1 and 2), and by Black & White (both 1 and 2), and the Homeworld series. Last real RTS I played was C&C: Tiberium Sun, and nothing has really caught my attention since. I am looking forward to Star Craft II, though, in the hopes that I'll find it interesting enough to play. I just find this genre kind of stagnant at the moment.

    FPS - Stagnant, again. There hasn't been much to change this landscape in a long while. I liked the horror aspects that Doom3 and FEAR brought to the field - but not many others have embraced it, yet (looking forward to FEAR: Project Origin, though). I miss the stealth aspect that the Thief series was centered on, but it looks as if Thief 4 will never happen (sadly). Crysis was pretty, even on med settings, but not much really innovative there. I've been playing STALKER recently, and have found it to be quite entertaining . . . the focus on one's enviornment and equipment and actually having to do some thinking instead of just grabbing the biggest, baddest weapon and going ballz-nutz. The FPS genre needs a good :nutkick: Give us Thief 4!!!!

    RPG - meh. Granted, no story line is really the same, but FF7 was a pinnacle for me. I'm a bit tired of the focus on japanime RPG's, also. I miss the olden days of the original Ultima series, and the RPG's that focused more on challenging character development over semi-scripted storyline.
     
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  5. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting responses guys! and thanks, I like to hear other people's opinions.

    RTS: Have you played SupCom or SoaSE? SupCom is an old school "gather, build, fight" game and so is SoaSE. As for being hard to beat the computer, that is the point isn't it? I don't want some pansy AI that let's me walk all over it. If I can find a sure fire way of beating the computer every time, the game comes off the computer and heads for the shelf.

    FPS : I think we are all in agreement on this one. It's just gotten kind of stale. The addition of higher level physics is adding more options for the player to use, but it is not changing the overs game play. I don't know, I';ve just been kind of dissapointed with FPS lately. Maybe it's just me.

    RPG : What I meant by getting away from H&S is that the games do not focus entirely on H&S. Many of the new RPGs can be played without fighting at all (if you like that sort of thing). I think that they are moving to a "What is your play style" instead of a "This is the games play style".

    Just more of my opinions. ;) Feel free to trash me if you disagree.
     
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  6. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    I think with FPS, we really need to see a different approach to something . . . like . . .

    If you remember when Thief: The Dark Project was released back in '98, and it was absolutely ground breaking and different. You had to completely learn a new style of play as compared to what we were used to with Unreal, Quake, DukeNukem, etc. Weapons fired differently (gotta love bow-arch!), and our goals were different than finding the baddies and kicking their ass.

    Hexen/HexenII were great, I thought, in that you had a choice of what character you wanted to play, and there were puzzles and all that require trained skill to complete.

    A lot of FPS have gotten away from the 'trained skill' obstacles, y'know, having to jump a very precise distance, or make a very accurate shot, etc. Instead of trying to innovate, it seems developers have been focusing more on graphics and "bells & whistles" (like the suit in Crysis).



    I've seen a lot of features in 3rd person shooters that are quite entertaining, but I haven't been the biggest fan of 3rd person games . . . ever. Perhaps giving us an option to change from 3rd to 1st (like Thief: Deadly Shadows did) might help to broaden the genre, too.
     
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  7. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that for FPS's to break out their current mold, they are going to have to cross genres.
    Expecially in SP. People grow tired of the run & gun mentality.
    It's okay when you are playing with friends online, but it gets old real quick when you are playing alone. There is simply not enough to keep me interested for very long.

    For instance, Painkiller. It really is a fun game. Who doesn't like killing waves of baddies.
    The problem is that it does not satisfy me for longer than an hour or so. There has to be more to it than just killing stuff.

    HL2 is a great game. They introduced new play elements that kept us interested longer. But now we've seen it so they are going to have to come up with something to keep people playing.

    A good story is always a plus for a FPS, but they need to dig a little deeper and add more content that evokes some kind of emotion in the player. In my opinion, gamers really want to have an emotional attachment to the their character and that their in-game decisions are making a difference to the characters well being.

    A perfect example of this was the companion cube in Portal. It was a stupid cube that said nothing, did nothing (other than deflect harm) and was worth nothing. But the presentation of the cube as a "friend" was superb. It invoked a response of, "Give me my cube back".

    If developers could elicit these kinds of emotional responses to the NPCs or items in a game, people would be running to the stores to get their product.
     
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  8. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    I completely agree as well . . . it just seems to me that with FPS, they've been striving more after a special aspect instead of focusing on the real meat. Like, Crysis with the suit abilities - it's fun and great at first, but I felt like I was playing it more out of obligation less than half way through.

    Same went with FEAR - the slow-mo was perfected in this game, compared to early incarnations from other developers, and the AI was great, but it was just too repetitive.

    With PREY, the big kicker was the gravity reversal, but anyone who had played the ever loving crap out of Descent years prior wasn't impressed (Descent - awesome 360* FPS :rockout:).


    It took me a while to get around to playing STALKER, but it's drawn me in rather quickly - the whole ability to equip yourself with various stuff, and the non-linear method of play with a lot of open space to explore . . . it's a shame the game is so hard to get running for most people - I'm hoping that Clear Sky will be a lot more system friendly overall.


    I think what we need to see more of with FPS, aside from crossing genres, is to allow more freedom - get rid of the hallway gunfights, get rid of the scripting; allow the player more room to poke about, allow them more than 1 way to approach every situation, give us some intriguing environments and game worlds that are both rich enough to draw us in and believable enough for us to enjoy it and keep our attention; we don't have to keep pumping out FPS based on "the real world" so-to-speak. Make it so our actions in game affect how the story unfolds, too. Crysis was a good step in the right direction . . .
     
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  9. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    You have just explained to me what I have been wondering for a long time.
    When I would play shooters, I would get a BFG (or whatever equivelant was in the specific game) and I would end up using the pistol. Why?

    Because it was more fun. The BFG would lay waste to baddies in a much more efficient fashion, but as you said, I wasn't using it out of fun, but some sort of feeling of obligation.
    "You fought for it, now you have to use it even if it's not as fun."

    The gravity gun in HL2 was cool. Very cool. Nothing quite like sawing zombies in half with a saw blade. But after awhile I would always just stash it and go back to something else. It had its place and uses, but a trusty pistol always seemed to be more of a challenge.

    Descent was awesome. Until you got used to the controls it was an exercise in vertigo. You actually had to avert your eyes from the screen if you lost control and things were spinning wildly. I've never seen anything like it since. There are full 360 3D space shooters, but not like that one.

    I have STALKER, but it won't run worth a crap on my rig at 2560x1600 so I am stashing it for the time being until I can upgrade my hardware.

    I think more freedom in FPSs started with FarCry. While the plot and game was linear, you could at least wander in various deirctions to attain you goal. I think that we will see more of this (and better) in the future.

    The freedom in RPGs (ala Oblivion) has been outstanding. I know that most of the quests and the like are scripted, but the ability to just wander off is what an RPG is all about. I am really looking forward to Bethsoft's upcoming stuff. The games based on the Oblivion engine are going to be great, but their next engine is going to set a new standard for these things. I have much faith in Bestsofts ability to deliver.
     
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  10. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    yeah, I've been getting a little frustrated with it, too - seeing as how I managed to play though Crysis with everything on med/high at 1024x768 . . . I can max out STALKER at 1280x800 and average 35-60 FPS, 22-40 if I run at 1440x900 . . . but even at low res my GPUs overheat and lock up, causing me to have to reboot :banghead:



    What I loved about Thief was actually having to think about how you're going to approach your enemies . . . having to take the time and pay attention to their patrol routes, etc.

    That, and most of your weapons were meant for interacting with your environment - but you could still have fun with them, too. Water arrows would annoy the crap out of the guards, and was good for a laugh. Moss arrows would cover their face in Deadly Shadows, distracting them. You could use you plain arrows to hit an object as a diversion, because the AI would go to check out the noise, instead of tracking down where the arrow came from - unlike other FPS where you try to use stealth, they go immediately for where the shot came from, even if you just throw an object . . .

    But, the game world sticks out the most for me. The whole steampunk image, the history of all the factions was well developed and their interactions were entirelly believable; The Hammers, for example, being modeled around the Catholic Church of years ago . . . but there was a lot of information to The City's history that was never told as well - all those holes drug your imagination in.

    And, my favorite, the game engine was so quirky, that it was entertaining in itself.


    Come to think of it, Looking Glass Studios made a massive impact on the gaming industry . . . they are sorely missed :respect: :respect:
     
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  11. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Aye at Thief, everyone. Too bad the major innovations in FPS came out pre-2k.

    And some thoughts on MMORPS's:
    I think it will be very difficult to do a mmo-game that's TRUE RPG and not just slashing monsters, grinding and so on. This is because people are very different. Some people love to grief while others love to solo while others love to PVP and others just sit around and roleplay all day long telling tales and such. I think there are games out there that are quite close to "tr00" RPG, but it's none of the big ones because true RPG works best in small groups IMO.

    Also, people look at RPG's in different ways. SOme consider roleplaying a way to create a character and see it expand, some see it as storytelling and so on, so well.. I think the only way to unite thousands of players in a "real" RPG would be through propaganda and warfare, and I don't want that to happen, even if it is just a game.

    BTW, I'm the solo guy. Exploring alone is my cup of tea. ;)

    EDIT: And @ Kreij: Good luck if you want to play every game @ stock res with a 30' monitor. :p
     
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