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FPS = Fixed-path shooter ?

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Anonymous
April 14, 2005 7:38:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
designs rather than open worlds?

The thought struck me lately while playing through Doom 3 and Timesplitters
3. Both of these games employ the fixed-path world type, where it is
impossible to go the wrong way due to locked doors, fire, fallen trees or
whatever. But their predecessors didn't.

Doom and Quake both offered up exploration in addition to shooting, and you
could complete their levels without visiting every room, get lost,
etc--everything you can do when you're allowed to go anywhere. The
Timesplitters series is supposed to be the successor to Goldeneye, which
offered open-world, objective-based gameplay. Those objectives sometimes
required criss-crossing the level. Timesplitters has objectives, but you're
not required to think much to accomplish them, simply because you'll do them
almost automatically as you're herded through the level.

Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Turok: Evolution and other games are all guilty of this
as well, even though in some cases their predecessors weren't. Even
Resident Evil 4, offered up as more shooter-like, dropped the open world
design of its franchise in favor of a fixed-path, although there was some
exploration (buildings or small side rooms, picking up items) along the way.

Have we become so stupid, or so lazy, that we can't be bothered to look
around or find our way? Do we just want to shoot and not think? Metroid
Prime 2 took a lot of criticism for "backtracking"--but it has an open world
design, not a corridor design like the rest of these games. Should it have
been another game that forces you to go in a single direction? Is that what
we want?

I hope not--and the best-selling games of this generation (GTA series)
celebrate freedom. But in the shooter genre, the opposite is happening.
And even some Adventure games, a genre based on exploration, have had
fixed-path entries lately, like Sphinx, Zelda 4 Swords, and Prince of
Persia.

I think that this is the wrong direction to go for the FPS genre (no pun
intended).
Does anyone else think that these games would have been better for the
addition of a little free movement and exploration? That "herding" the
player by giving him objectives and incentives is better than limiting his
movement?
Didn't Doom 3 feel like a walk down a single hallway, whereas the original
Doom felt like working your way from the front to the back of Hell?
Is this the reason that Timesplitters has never lived up to its Goldeneye
legacy?

I'd like to hear some opinions. It'd be a fresh change from PSP flame
threads (PS2 group), Xbox 360 launch announcements (Xbox group), and
crickets chirping (GC group).

More about : fps fixed path shooter

April 14, 2005 7:38:07 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

Leon Dexter wrote:
> Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
> designs rather than open worlds?

I wonder how much of this has to do with playing up to critics and
players who complain of "repetition" in level design. I haven't seen it
too much with FPS, but you see it with platformers quite often. It's
almost like you killed a baby if you make them go back through a level
they already completed.

- Jordan
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 12:08:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Leon Dexter" <leondexterNOSPAM@earthlink.net> wrote

>
> I'd like to hear some opinions. It'd be a fresh change from PSP flame
> threads (PS2 group), Xbox 360 launch announcements (Xbox group), and
> crickets chirping (GC group).
>
>

The closest thing I have found to what you're requesting is the game
Mercenaries. It's a free-roaming shooter game, but it's third-person. (And
it has cool explosion graphics!) The only thing I haven't liked about that
game is that it is one player.

Relz
Related resources
April 14, 2005 2:13:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

Relz wrote:
> "Leon Dexter" <leondexterNOSPAM@earthlink.net> wrote
>
>
>>I'd like to hear some opinions. It'd be a fresh change from PSP flame
>>threads (PS2 group), Xbox 360 launch announcements (Xbox group), and
>>crickets chirping (GC group).
>>
>>
>
>
> The closest thing I have found to what you're requesting is the game
> Mercenaries. It's a free-roaming shooter game, but it's third-person. (And
> it has cool explosion graphics!) The only thing I haven't liked about that
> game is that it is one player.
>
> Relz
>
>

I traded it in on Doom3 and haven't looked back.
For some reason I didn't like Mercs.

--

Andrew
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 2:41:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Leon Dexter" <leondexterNOSPAM@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:yAl7e.5907$yq6.1755@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
> designs rather than open worlds?
>
> The thought struck me lately while playing through Doom 3 and
> Timesplitters
> 3. Both of these games employ the fixed-path world type, where it is
> impossible to go the wrong way due to locked doors, fire, fallen trees or
> whatever. But their predecessors didn't.
>
> Doom and Quake both offered up exploration in addition to shooting, and
> you
> could complete their levels without visiting every room, get lost,
> etc--everything you can do when you're allowed to go anywhere. The
> Timesplitters series is supposed to be the successor to Goldeneye, which
> offered open-world, objective-based gameplay. Those objectives sometimes
> required criss-crossing the level. Timesplitters has objectives, but
> you're
> not required to think much to accomplish them, simply because you'll do
> them
> almost automatically as you're herded through the level.
>
> Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Turok: Evolution and other games are all guilty of
> this
> as well, even though in some cases their predecessors weren't. Even
> Resident Evil 4, offered up as more shooter-like, dropped the open world
> design of its franchise in favor of a fixed-path, although there was some
> exploration (buildings or small side rooms, picking up items) along the
> way.
>
> Have we become so stupid, or so lazy, that we can't be bothered to look
> around or find our way? Do we just want to shoot and not think? Metroid
> Prime 2 took a lot of criticism for "backtracking"--but it has an open
> world
> design, not a corridor design like the rest of these games. Should it
> have
> been another game that forces you to go in a single direction? Is that
> what
> we want?
>
> I hope not--and the best-selling games of this generation (GTA series)
> celebrate freedom. But in the shooter genre, the opposite is happening.
> And even some Adventure games, a genre based on exploration, have had
> fixed-path entries lately, like Sphinx, Zelda 4 Swords, and Prince of
> Persia.
>
> I think that this is the wrong direction to go for the FPS genre (no pun
> intended).
> Does anyone else think that these games would have been better for the
> addition of a little free movement and exploration? That "herding" the
> player by giving him objectives and incentives is better than limiting his
> movement?
> Didn't Doom 3 feel like a walk down a single hallway, whereas the original
> Doom felt like working your way from the front to the back of Hell?
> Is this the reason that Timesplitters has never lived up to its Goldeneye
> legacy?
>
> I'd like to hear some opinions. It'd be a fresh change from PSP flame
> threads (PS2 group), Xbox 360 launch announcements (Xbox group), and
> crickets chirping (GC group).

I agree with you. Except on the minor point that Sphinx and the mummy was
not linear (the first level or two seem to be, but it quickly opens up a
vast open world after that). But I much prefer level design like Doom where
you're wandering all over the place trying to figure out where to go, which
button to press, etc. Just moving from A to B to C and killing everything
with no thought it boring. One of the reasons I promptly returned Republic
Commando. Great graphics/sound, brain dead gameplay.

I think there can be good backtracking, and bad backtracking. Poor level
design that just makes you wander back and forth for no good reason is
boring too. But if its a well designed open level where everything makes
sense and is placed for a reason I don't mind if it requires me to revisit
the same area multiple times.

The reviews all liked TimeSplitter Future Perfect so I rented it, but so far
I'm seeing more of the same being led by the nose boredom... I want to
explore. To find my way. The real world is not a corridor.

- Cryo
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 5:44:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

On 13 Apr 2005 20:45:26 -0700, "Jordan" <lundj@earthlink.net> wrote:

>
>Leon Dexter wrote:
>> Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
>> designs rather than open worlds?
>
>I wonder how much of this has to do with playing up to critics and
>players who complain of "repetition" in level design. I haven't seen it
>too much with FPS, but you see it with platformers quite often. It's
>almost like you killed a baby if you make them go back through a level
>they already completed.

Gawd, I recall one of the MGS series (if not all of them), did a lot
of this. It's like a cheap way of adding hours of playtime.


That said, I'd been playing GTA:SA when I played HL2, and the latter
felt *so* much on rails compared to GTA. Graphically, HL2 is superb,
but GTA:SA is by far the better game.


andyt
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 7:01:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

Leon Dexter wrote:

> Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
> designs rather than open worlds?

I rather like having a more fixed path in straight forward FPS games. I
never liked the huge worlds like Outlaw had because I tend to get lost and
can never find that one corner where you need to go. Sadly, I don't have the
time to invest a lot of time in a game.

Metroid Prime 2's fault with backtracking was because you had to travel to
one side of the map to activate a switch that opened a door or portal on the
other side to get to the dark world. It became damn annoying to me and I
stopped playing the game.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 4:48:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

There's probably a number of reasons for this.

1. Backtracking is seen as a cheap and nasty way of extending gameplay.
2. If the level designers, spend X months building a certain number of
levels,
the cheapest way they guarantee that the player experiences all the
levels is to make them
linear. If they put three possible paths through a level, you would
complete the game in a third less time than if you were forced to go through
those three parts sequentially. So it is kind of a bang for your buck kind
of thing.
3. Open ended levels need more thought at both the specification, design and
implementation stages.

I'm not saying I agree with all of these points, I'm just trying to come up
with reasons to answer your question.

I think also it depends on the game. I recently finished Star Wars: Republic
Commando - a very linear FPS. I really didn't mind that it was linear, it
was done well and I enjoyed it. The linear aspects fit well within the story
of the game, because you were directed to achive certain missions.

On the other hand, Far Cry - in particular the outdoor levels was much more
open ended which was also good.

I enjoyed both games (both FPSs)- but Republic Commando was good for a quick
game of mindless shooting, with some minimal strategy. Far Cry - although
not completely open ended, you had to put in a little more thought into how
you approached the open levels.

Mike
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 12:17:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Hank the Rapper" <xflopgoon@REMOVEyahoo.com> writes:
> Metroid Prime 2's fault with backtracking was because you had to travel to
> one side of the map to activate a switch that opened a door or portal on the
> other side to get to the dark world. It became damn annoying to me and I
> stopped playing the game.

I don't remember any secret switches being more than one room away, albeit in
the dark version of the room.

On the other hand, farting around to find various keys could become tedious.

--
Cheers, The Rhythm is around me,
The Rhythm has control.
Ray Blaak The Rhythm is inside me,
rAYblaaK@STRIPCAPStelus.net The Rhythm has my soul.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 4:05:34 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Jordan" <lundj@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1113450326.768183.3780@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
> Leon Dexter wrote:
> > Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
> > designs rather than open worlds?
>
> I wonder how much of this has to do with playing up to critics and
> players who complain of "repetition" in level design. I haven't seen it
> too much with FPS, but you see it with platformers quite often. It's
> almost like you killed a baby if you make them go back through a level
> they already completed.

Could be. I would hope that the solution to that would be more open worlds,
not more restrictive ones, though. Look at GTA. You go back to the exact
same areas not just once or twice, but dozens of times. But no one
complains about "backtracking" because the game isn't described in terms of
"levels".
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 4:07:39 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Relz" <relz77@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
news:425e6b35@acct.mcgacct.local...

> The closest thing I have found to what you're requesting is the game
> Mercenaries. It's a free-roaming shooter game, but it's third-person.
(And
> it has cool explosion graphics!) The only thing I haven't liked about
that
> game is that it is one player.

Thanks for reminding me--I played a demo of that and thought it was worth
getting, but never noticed when it came out. Slipped under the radar, I
guess. Must've still been hooked on RE4 (which has a "mercenaries" mode,
how about that?)
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 4:13:42 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Mike P." <no.spam@thanks.com> wrote in message
news:425e82c0$0$5597$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...
> There's probably a number of reasons for this.
>
> 1. Backtracking is seen as a cheap and nasty way of extending gameplay.

But "backtracking" is only "backtracking" if you have linear levels. Ie.
backtracking in Halo truly is backtracking, but in GTA it isn't, despite the
fact that you go back to your house time and time again.


> 2. If the level designers, spend X months building a certain number of
> levels,
> the cheapest way they guarantee that the player experiences all the
> levels is to make them
> linear. If they put three possible paths through a level, you would
> complete the game in a third less time than if you were forced to go
through
> those three parts sequentially. So it is kind of a bang for your buck kind
> of thing.

That's true, but again, open-world type gameplay can resolve that. Multiple
functions or goal within an area can ensure you play and experience the
whole thing, but without resorting to corridor-type design. Look at Super
Mario 64. There were 8 missions in each level, and very little of that was
duplication of effort.


> 3. Open ended levels need more thought at both the specification, design
and
> implementation stages.

This one is the most likely, I think. Not much to say about that, except I
wish it wasn't becoming more widespread.


> I'm not saying I agree with all of these points, I'm just trying to come
up
> with reasons to answer your question.
>


> I think also it depends on the game. I recently finished Star Wars:
Republic
> Commando - a very linear FPS. I really didn't mind that it was linear, it
> was done well and I enjoyed it. The linear aspects fit well within the
story
> of the game, because you were directed to achive certain missions.
>
> On the other hand, Far Cry - in particular the outdoor levels was much
more
> open ended which was also good.
>
> I enjoyed both games (both FPSs)- but Republic Commando was good for a
quick
> game of mindless shooting, with some minimal strategy. Far Cry - although
> not completely open ended, you had to put in a little more thought into
how
> you approached the open levels.

Yeah. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any linear games. I would like a
bit of disguise on it. Take RE4 for example, it was very linear--you had no
choice whatsoever about where to go. They did disguise it to some degree
with multiple buildings to go in, stuff like that. And I enjoyed the hell
out of it.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 4:16:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Cryofax" <ThrowPoopt@YourFace.com> wrote in message
news:tOydnZjqnIqlAMPfRVn-

> I agree with you. Except on the minor point that Sphinx and the mummy was
> not linear (the first level or two seem to be, but it quickly opens up a
> vast open world after that).

I didn't get that far, then. I didn't like that game one bit, not just
because of the linearity, and I stopped playing pretty fast.

But I much prefer level design like Doom where
> you're wandering all over the place trying to figure out where to go,
which
> button to press, etc. Just moving from A to B to C and killing everything
> with no thought it boring. One of the reasons I promptly returned Republic
> Commando. Great graphics/sound, brain dead gameplay.
>
> I think there can be good backtracking, and bad backtracking. Poor level
> design that just makes you wander back and forth for no good reason is
> boring too. But if its a well designed open level where everything makes
> sense and is placed for a reason I don't mind if it requires me to revisit
> the same area multiple times.

I agree. I guess if the developer isn't talented enough to manage open
world, goal-oriented gameplay (like Bungie) but can still make a good game,
they should stick with what they're capable of doing. But I much prefer the
more ambitious and satisfying design.


> The reviews all liked TimeSplitter Future Perfect so I rented it, but so
far
> I'm seeing more of the same being led by the nose boredom... I want to
> explore. To find my way. The real world is not a corridor.

Can I put that last line in my sig? j/k
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 4:18:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Hank the Rapper" <xflopgoon@REMOVEyahoo.com> wrote in message

> I rather like having a more fixed path in straight forward FPS games. I
> never liked the huge worlds like Outlaw had because I tend to get lost and
> can never find that one corner where you need to go. Sadly, I don't have
the
> time to invest a lot of time in a game.
>
> Metroid Prime 2's fault with backtracking was because you had to travel to
> one side of the map to activate a switch that opened a door or portal on
the
> other side to get to the dark world. It became damn annoying to me and I
> stopped playing the game.

Metroid's "hint system" is a fair compromise, don't you think, between
corridor-based gameplay and completely open worlds to wander and get lost
in? On the other hand, I turned that hint system off because I wanted to do
what I liked and find my own way. Maybe the hint system is what made you
feel like you had to "backtrack" all the way across the map? I never felt
like that--I felt like I was enabled when I got an item that I knew could
get me into new places.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:52:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

Leon Dexter wrote:

> Metroid's "hint system" is a fair compromise, don't you think, between
> corridor-based gameplay and completely open worlds to wander and get
> lost in? On the other hand, I turned that hint system off because I
> wanted to do what I liked and find my own way. Maybe the hint system
> is what made you feel like you had to "backtrack" all the way across
> the map? I never felt like that--I felt like I was enabled when I
> got an item that I knew could get me into new places.

I don't enjoy open worlds to explore. It is just my preference. I have yet
to be able to get into a GTA game either. It took me three times until I
could finally enjoy Metroid Prime on some level, but I have no desire to
ever play it again. I found the light and dark worlds in the sequel more
bothersome than enjoyable. More specifically I hated the dark world. But
that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 8:21:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 00:05:34 GMT, "Leon Dexter"
<leondexterNOSPAM@earthlink.net> wrote:

>"Jordan" <lundj@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>news:1113450326.768183.3780@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>>
>> Leon Dexter wrote:
>> > Has anyone else noticed the trend among FPS games to have single-path
>> > designs rather than open worlds?
>>
>> I wonder how much of this has to do with playing up to critics and
>> players who complain of "repetition" in level design. I haven't seen it
>> too much with FPS, but you see it with platformers quite often. It's
>> almost like you killed a baby if you make them go back through a level
>> they already completed.
>
>Could be. I would hope that the solution to that would be more open worlds,
>not more restrictive ones, though. Look at GTA. You go back to the exact
>same areas not just once or twice, but dozens of times. But no one
>complains about "backtracking" because the game isn't described in terms of
>"levels".

Yeah, I like the fact that in GTA, when you do a mission, it's in a
'real' place, involving buildings that you've driven past loads of
times and not particularly noticed and that you can visit after the
mission. It helps to really involve you in the game, to create the
immersion.


andyt
!