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Military Shooters– if you aren’t familiar with this ever popular sub-genre of the First Person Shooter, you may as well have been living under a rock for the past five or six years. These high profile games: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor and the like, have been dominating games sales since their conception.
The genre's die-hard fans have always been more than willing to line up out the door of their local GameStop every year on release night, and cough up $60 for each sequel without a second thought.
As popular as these games are with the media and a large section of casual gamers, the patience of other niches of the gaming community has been wearing ever more thin.
These gamers in question have begun to grow tired of, and are simply annoyed by what they see as an endless onslaught of generic copies with a mindless “run here, shoot this, run here, blow that up” system of gameplay (subjected to opinion, of course).
Lately, the amount of anti-Military Shooter enthusiasts has been expanding more and more rapidly. The fact that an anti-Military Shooter campaign may come off as an elitist rant is completely understandable, after all, simply complaining about these titles will get us nowhere.
In this case, allow me to explain in detail, exactly why so many gamers are just plain sick and tired of Military Shooters.
1. A high level of repetitiveness:
To some, the Military Shooter genre may in fact hold the record for the most repetitiveness in a genre of video games, not just between sequels of the same series, but between almost every installment to the genre itself.
It seems as though developers almost always rush to put out a sequel the same time every year, and each one features little to no changes or advancements to the etched-in-stone formula.
The fact that the die-hard fans of the genre will, without a doubt, maintain their loyalty for every addition to their favorite series is enough to keep this never ending cycle in tact. Even titles from other opposing franchises look almost identical to one another in the eyes of those who are generally unfamiliar with the genre, and are practically impossible to tell apart at a first glance.
2. An overly simplistic system:
It’s no secret that Military Shooters are targeted towards a casual audience. It’s likely that because of this, the controls and gameplay mechanics are often so overly simplistic, and admittedly involve not much other than running and shooting.
The tutorial modes in each of these games literally take almost less than a minute to complete, being that there is not much to learn.
That in itself serves as an example of how Military Shooters cater to casual gamers who are unwilling to put forth the time and effort to hone their abilities with any other type of gaming experience.
Gamers who enjoy a far more diverse collection of titles are most often turned away from Military Shooters by what appears to be the lack of a true challenge, and/or a lack of variety in the gameplay department.
If you haven’t already noticed, the main focus of Military Shooters is put on the multiplayer portion of the game, seeing as though millions of customers are probably buying the titles intending to spend most of their time in the online multiplayer section of the game.
Pretty much every single one of these modern Military Shooters are severely lacking in a solid single player campaign mode.
No, not every single player campaign mode in the gerne is completely lacking, but all in all, they pale in comparison to the single player modes of other major releases in other genres of video games.
For starters, the mentioned section of these games is often far too short, most frequently clocking in at a skimpy 4 to 5 hours, which also pales in comparison to most other major releases, which are usually around 6 to 12 hours long.
The actual content of the main campaign is almost always harshly linear. Players are pretty much treated like idiots and are subjected to unrelenting scripted events which drive and dominate the entire story experience.
Lately, gamers have been begging for more freedom and non-linearity in the games they play, but Military Shooters give no such option and practically hold the player’s hand from start to finish.
4. A lack of substance:
Every great, memorable video game has a intriguing and compelling story, Military Shooters usually do not.
This may in fact go hand-in-hand with the previous point of a lackluster campaign mode.
While the stories of these games do in fact do their job to drive the campaign onward, they rarely do anything to earn any honorable mention (with a few acceptions, of course).
Most of the time, the story in a Military Shooter consists of the usual, cliche war movie inspired storyline and rarely do much to innovate and set themselves apart from the endless amount of competing counterparts.
Depth is perhaps the one major factor that is absent from the storylines of every major Military Shooter release.
On another note, one cannot ignore the drastically inaccurate and irrelevant image of war that these games create for their players. With a large amount of the genre’s fan base being in their early to mid teens or younger, we have to consider that fact that many of them are being given the wrong impression of what life is like in the military.
Obviously, most of us are perfectly capable of separating fiction from reality, but there is a reason that certain games are rated M for Mature, after all.
5. The Military Shooter community:
"The fanboys, the meatheads, the obnoxious little kids".
Alright, alright…enough poking fun, allow me to explain my grievance.
Actually, I may not have to. Think about how many times you had looked forward to enjoying a couple of hours of online multiplayer in your favorite Military Shooter, only to have your fun ruined by someone relentlessly spouting out pervasive curses and uncalled for insults.
The usual inhabitants of the online lobbies include (but are not limited to): the rude, over confident loudmouth with the lucky kill streak, the rotten cheating hacker, the potty-mouthed kid who is undeniably too young to even own the game in the first place, as well as other various forms of the casual gamer.
Let’s not forget the cheap, near-cheating tactics utilized and abused by what appears to be the majority of players: camping in one spot, spamming the sniper rifle, hogging the chopper, as well as many others. It’s nearly impossible to jump into a game without falling victim to one or all of these sucker-punch methods of winning. It's a fact that tactics such as these exist in other competitve genres as well, but their high rate of usage matches — or maybe even succeeds — the level of frustration given to us as a result.
Let me ask you this: Which gives you a greater sense of accomplishment in a video game? Taking a quick and easy route to the winner's bracket using under-handed but effective tactics, or putting forth hours of practice and effort into earning a genuine victory?
To set the record straight, it's understood that not all Military Shooter players are of this nature, but there are enough of them to reinforce the stereotype.
A Final Word:
To be fair, those who genuinely enjoy Military Shooters certainly have the right to, and one person's opinion should not influence your own. The issue is that it pains gamers who possess more diverse interests to have to put up with the dominance displayed by this one particular genre.
The games flaunt flashy visuals and audio to grab the attention of the casual gamer, but most of the time, they boil down to nothing more than what many of us see as a heap of repetitiveness with an overly simplistic structure.
Will the never ending barrage of Military Shooters ever die out? They may one day, but certainly not any time in the near future.