More on FPS Games

Galloway talks about first-person shooter games extensively in his second chapter, the effects that it has and what it offers that’s different from other games. It seems that the most popular shooter games, and indeed some of the most recognized titles of any game come from this genre of first-person shooter. Games like Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, and Counter-Strike are all examples of these games. So we can talk about how being in a first-person scenario can increase levels of immersion and incite certain feelings and emotions, but what about other shooter games? What about the third-person shooter?

Games like Gears of War or Rainbow Six: Vegas come to mind as popular multiplayer shooters with a third-person perspective. One particular game I’ve always wondered why it is in third-person rather than first person however, is actually Dead Space. You’d think that a horror game would want to promote as much immersion into the game as possible, to really instill a fear in the player, so why wouldn’t it be a first-person game?Personally, I like Dead Space as third-person because of the unique gameplay that the game offers.



It manages to grow immersion through other means such as doing away with the immersion-breaking icons of a HUD. Instead, you can see your health on the bars on the back of your character’s suit. Additional gameplay features like shooting off enemy’s limbs to kill them makes the game quite unique. With many jump-scares throughout the game, the HUD-less third-person actually draws you more into the game as if you were watching a horror movie, but not just watching it, you’re also playing in it. Overall I’d say that there are useful ways to incorporate either perspective of game, it just takes the right developers to do so.



8 thoughts on “More on FPS Games”

  1. I prefer the first player shooter, especially in the game, “F.E.A.R.” I think it increases that suspenseful eeriness theme and, well, fear. Since you can not see the character in front of you, you are able to spend more time focusing on your surroundings. It builds your imagination in what might come into your line of view, and also, you are able to create the image of the character in your own head. This thought came to mind once Galloway discussed the point of view for the audience, “The collection of visible evidence is often crucial in films, and the POV shot is commonly used to present to the audience evidence necessary to the film’s narrative,” (Galloway 42). This was an interesting chapter to read and take into perspective when thinking of games, such as thinking of the third person shooter and how it changes the overall feeling of the game.

  2. The mega giants of the FPS market are CoD and BF I suppose. They get a new game every single year to the point where its almost overbearing. I use to really like FPS games, I never really played them for the multiplayer, but for the campaign. Today I’m more into having a game that mixes both first and third, like Skyrim/Fallout/Deus Ex HR. I was a huge fan of the original Dead Space, I think by keeping it third person was a solid choice. The game was an homage to the old school survival horror (Resident Evil) and by using third person perspective it allowed you to really get a sense of Isaac’s (Dead Space protagonist) situation. The game would feel to claustrophobic in first person and would end up be calling a Doom clone. I think Dead Space, specifically the first one, did so well with the atmosphere, and seeing Isaac physically move around in this environment shooting and stomping out Necropmorphs was awesome. FEAR is a good example of a horror FPS. FEAR was centered around a mix of good jump scares, creepy areas, good action, and bullet time. It was like Paranormal Activity crashed into Call of Duty. FEAR works well with first person perspective, your character is a super solider, the weapon is all you need to see.

  3. Battlefield has only done that rapid-fire release tactic with their past two titles, whereas CoD has been going at it for years now, not to mention 3-4 DLC packs with each game. I’ve liked them far more for the multiplayer modes, being that the story is usually some less-than-engaging about stopping some overused terrorist group… Russians, Middle Easterners, and (always horribly uncivilized) Africans always play the part now, where as when the game fist came out, it was Nazis. No fighting the Japanese (till World at War) or the Italians. Again and again, time after time. With the frequent releases of the games, it becomes overkill.

    Like I mentioned in my post regarding FPS games the other day, getting first person executed in CoD (Once in MW1, -twice- in MW2) got old quickly. It took me from wondering if I’d survive to how many times I’d have to watch myself get killed while the story progressed.

    In Dead Space, I honestly think it was far more cringe inducing to play it in 3rd person. The first time Issac got massacred by one of those monsters, I almost couldn’t watch. I played a bit of the first one and finished 2, and alas, I played on too high a difficulty to start, and thus saw every gruesome execution the game had to offer.

    That being said, there’s a tough part near the end where you have to drill into Issac’s eye to continue the mission. Naturally, it’s quite hard to watch the first time. From an FPS perspective, I could see that as being scary, but there’s something extra horrific in the third person that makes your stomach do things it isn’t supposed to if you botch the drill. Just suffice it to say there is a lot of blood. Whereas, in first person… you’d probably see the drill come down and be dead pretty quick. Part of the horror is seeing this poor guy get hurt from the outside.

    It’s much like writing is. In my creative fiction classes, I’ve found that someone in the first person telling you “ow, I just got my leg shot off” (obviously more seriously than that) takes something away from the effect of the actual damage. Where as in the third person, there’s a sort of objective look that you see that person through that increases the effect. It’s hard to explain… but it’s sort of like the third person observer, in most cases, can better empathize with the terrible pain coming from a clinically detached 3rd person narrator than from the 1st person narrator telling you exactly what the pain feels like.

    All in all, there are all sorts of different places where one style is more effective than another. For Dead Space, 3rd person seems to be the right and only way to play. But with Call of Duty, Battlefield, or any others, playing in 3rd person probably just wouldn’t feel right.

  4. I think it’s simple in that the depth of character is dependent upon first or third person. In games like CoD, you’re just another unnamed soldier doing what needs to be done. And since war games mostly revolve around team cohesion you don’t need to stand out, which makes first person a more obvious choice. Games like Dead Space or even the newest Tomb Raider, we follow a character and are intimately involved in their experiences, which makes the third person all the more entertaining. In Tomb Raider, when you make a fatal mistake, the game makes a point of showing you just how Lara dies. Whether it’s being impaled by a rod or falling to her death, it makes sure to evoke an emotion from you so that playing Tomb Raider is more than just reloading the save, it’s trying to keep her alive.

    1. Well Call of Duty does have a Campaign where you play a character and there is a plot. The difference in Dead Space and Call of Duty is that Dead Space is singleplayer only. My point in this post was how the game is played and how its different from first person games and the effects that it achieves. There are third-person multiplayer games like Rainbow Six: Vegas which is more along the lines of what you’re talking about, being an unnamed soldier on a mission. It’s pretty hard to have a solid character development in a multiplayer setting like Call of Duty has. But I agree with you on the third-person games being more sympathetic to the character you are playing.

  5. I think you bring up an interesting topic about immersion and point of view. It’s easy to say one is more connected with a first person game versus a third person game. But, I agree with you on the fact that it’s not the point of view alone that makes or breaks a game. All of the other perspective tools play a factor in the ‘feel’ of the game. Whether that be, dialogue, sound, graphic, or story driven it’s all the little things that really make a game great.

    On the other hand, I think that a first person game further launches you into the game from the start of it then a third person game. As a result I think that a first person game could be a little more lax than a third, due to the aggressiveness of the the player’s point of view.

  6. On the topic of FPS and immersion,

    How much immersion do you think games should really have? With new technology like Oculus Rift and the Virtuix Omni, you can literally step into the game and run around. The combination of these two technologies gives the best immersive first person view. One has to wonder though, where should we draw the line when it comes to games? Should it always be a controller in your hand or do you actually want to run and dive away from grenades?

    IMO, there has to be at least a good line between immersion games and regular games. If a game is too immersive, theres a point where it doesn’t become fun anymore. I would hate having to constantly run (lazy) just to progress in an FPS. Don’t get me wrong though, this technology is great and has a ton of potential to make gamers exercise, at least better than the wii fit.

    1. I agree that there is a line to be drawn with how games are played in terms of immersion, and virtual reality technology specifically is advancing quickly, but not quite there yet. There are many different genres of games, and each one has a different approach to the game, and therefore plays differently than other games. First-person games might end up working well with virtual reality, but there will always be games like top-down strategy games or third-person games that won’t work well with VR technology. That’s not to say that the games can’t be immersive, and I stand by my original thoughts in this post that you don’t need to be first-person or wearing an Occulus Rift sort of device to feel like you’re a part of the action. Good game design can already do that for you, even on a monitor in front of you.

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