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The FPS: A Stagnant Genre?

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

Ah, it's been a long time since our nameless marine sent hell packing and inadvertently gave birth to one of the most beloved genres of gaming: the FPS. And yet 20 years later, we're still launching the same ol' lead into the same ol' baddies. Has the FPS run its course?

I think it's unfair to consider the FPS an obsolete genre desperately riding on the coattails of old classics. Yes, it's true that an FPS just means shooting things from a first person perspective, but this bare bones analysis can be applied to ALL genres of gaming.

The racing genre is obsolete because they all involve getting from point A to point B faster than the other guy.

The sports genre is obsolete because it's the same sports, same rules with different players who still perform basically the same.

Every RPG is basically about getting stronger by performing different tasks to finally rid the land of the ultimate evil.

See my point? The pioneer of any game type simply unearths a core concept and every game after that only seeks to build around it. Just because the core hasn't changed doesn't mean that the overall product hasn't.

Yes, Halo 3 allows you to look down the sight of a gun to kill baddies JUST LIKE Doom or Half Life, but would anyone really claim that its tight and varied multiplayer mode as well as creative and beloved weaponry can be dismissed due to its core concept being identical to a game almost two decades ago? 

I hope that most of you will answer no.

And while Bioshock and Fallout 3 have crossed so many wires with the RPG genre that I would say they're a 50-50 split, their core gameplay is still rooted in shooting and I (an overly critical hard to please twat who eats babies with skim milk every morning) truly believe they are a step forward.

I'll concede that the line between re-hashing and progress is a thin one, but we must remember that marginal progress is still progress. Yes, the difference between Call of Duty 1, 2, and 3 may be negligible but if one steps back far enough to compare Call of Duty 1 to Call of Duty 4, they can see that true progress has been made . . . albeit slowly.

It's true, the hallowed ground of the FPS has been  well traversed for twenty years. But that hasn't stopped the flora and fauna from slowly evolving and recently strong winds have brought seeds from the land of RPGs which have taken root and shaped the landscape nicely.

And for those who didn't get that obscure analogy: the FPS still has magic left in it


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