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I'm here to kick some resonance cascade scenario ass and swallow pineapples... and I'm all out of pineapples... on Mars!
March 16th 2004, 16:38 CET by Marsh Davies

Gamespot, amongst many other fatuous and pointless websites, have commented on the glorious gib-splattering year of FPS gaming ahead. Indeed, the imminent releases (read: delays) of Unreal Tournament 2004, Half-Life 2, Doom 3 co-op and so on, do leave me tingling with soon-to-be-disappointed anticipation.

What better way to herald in the best games of 1864, or whenever they were originally scheduled for release, than to have a retrospective debate upon the top ten FPS games of yesteryear? - thus filling editorial space with ease whilst making the readership feel like their opinions matter.

And since PlanetCrap has been as dead as the Mega-Beaver recently, why not copy said fatuity and gross pointlessness?

Gamespot's list starred, in no preferencial order, Battlefield 1942, Doom, Rainbow Six, UT, Halo, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Duke Nukem 3D, Goldeneye and, of course, Quake.

However, for our own musings, I suggest that the FPS games be separated into multiplayer and singleplayer categories, with mods standing alone on their own merits (though modability might be a criteria in rating a game). Judgements would be better based on personal enjoyment (at the time) rather than impact or importance to the genre.

My personal list would be...

SP:
Half-Life
Unreal
Quake 2
Doom & Doom 2
Quake

MP:
Medal of Honour (objective based teamplay)
Half-Life (deathmatch)
Team Fortress (for Quake)
Quake 3 (deathmatch)
Unreal Tournament (capture the flag)

Failing this, prizes will* be awarded for coming up with a sentence that most concisely references as many FPS games as possible.

*not
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Home » Topic: I'm here to kick some resonance cascade scenario ass and swallow pineapples... and I'm all out of pineapples... on Mars!

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#20 by Bailey
2004-03-16 17:49:09
Charles

So get back in the corner with the rest of them.

Warren

You're confusing "left mouse button" with "scrollwheel".

Only as much as you deserve.
#21 by Duality
2004-03-16 17:51:03
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
___________
Single Player

o Deus Ex
o Unreal
o Half Life
o Jedi Knight
o Call of Duty
o Tron 2.0
o Halo
o Doom
o SiN
o Serious Sam
_________
Multiplayer

o Quake/Threewave CTF
o Tribes 2
o Tribes
o Unreal Tournament 2004
o Battlefield 1942/Desert Combat
o Soldier of Fortune 2
o Unreal Tournament
o Quake II/Rocket Arena
o Quake II/Loki's CTF
o Battlefield 1942

The single player games were pretty easy to list, and I love them all very much.  For multiplayer games, my enjoyment peters out after SoF2 considerably.  I never really got into UT mulitplayer over the Internet, mostly just LAN play.  I spent a good few years playing Quake II team games, simply because there was little else worth playing at the time, but I still have fond memories of that time.

Failing this, prizes will* be awarded for coming up with a sentence that most concisely references as many FPS games as possible.

All FPSs are pong with guns?
#22 by gaggle
2004-03-16 17:55:15
See this is why me making lists is a bad idea, System Shock 2 and Tron 2.0 was not part of my memory at the time of compilation, and now I wish I could go back in time and add them properly.

Ah well.
#23 by Marsh Davies
2004-03-16 17:59:42
www.verbalchilli.com
Further fish food:

What's intriguing about the lists so far is the division between singleplayer and multiplayer showing quite a marked difference in gaming eras. Deus Ex is the most recent game to have reached the top in most people's singleplayer categories (and that's a strange case of hybridity in an FPS anyway) but the multiplayer tends to show quite a few more recent games. Why do you guys think this is?

Is there more potential diversity in multiplayer? More longevity?

Also, another curiosity, is that I am more easily able to quantify and explain my preferences amongst the singleplayer games - Half-Life's depth and involvement, Unreal's alien, exotic atmosphere etc. - but largely unable to tell you why, for example, Quake 3 deathmatch is in my top 5 and UT deathmatch isn't. Is the enjoyment of multiplayer a more intangible experience?

#24 by Charles
2004-03-16 18:04:26
www.bluh.org
I'd hazard a guess that recent multiplayer is more along the top because recent technological advances have made the scale of fun in multiplayer much larger.

Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
#25 by Bailey
2004-03-16 18:05:12
I'd say MP is on the rise because broadband is becoming more widespread, and people are getting tired of the limitations of current AI. Sure, circle-strafing isn't exactly the height of human tactics and strategy, but I'd rather shoot someone I know in an online (demo) than shoot Bland Clone #958 in Single-Player Shooter Clone #736.

Only as much as you deserve.
#26 by Marsh Davies
2004-03-16 18:06:36
www.verbalchilli.com
Damn you Duality. You'll have to be the exception.

#27 by Marsh Davies
2004-03-16 18:09:16
www.verbalchilli.com
But widespread doesn't necessarily equal fun. It's not as though you guys would touch a public server with a necrotic monkey's cock.

#28 by Charles
2004-03-16 18:14:31
www.bluh.org
Anyway, I can quantify why I like BF1942 and Tribes so much:

Large areas, vehicles, classes, and a slower gaming experience adds up to a game in which you don't die instantly nonstop, and which allows you some choice in how you play.  You aren't always doing the same thing, and two games can be completely different experiences depending on what you choose to do during the game.  You can play defensively and keep your base and/or vehicles fixed up and setting traps.  You can play offensively and just go blow the shit out of the enemy's base.  You can play sneakily and just skirt around the edges of the map on foot, sniping people at a distance then moving somewhere else.  You can be a taxi driver and just ferry people back and forth between bases and combat areas.

I can also quantify why I prefer the original UT:  

It's a slower paced game experience compared to the quake games, and CTF was infinitely more enjoyable than the standard deathmatch that had been the main focus before that.  On top of that, you spawn with a weapon that is perfectly viable in combat.  On top of that, most of the weapons were balanced to the point where there wasn't really a rush to have a certain weapon, and you could manage to defend yourself and kill reliably with just about any weapon you happened to have.  I felt that UT was more dependant on my skill than my luck, whereas in the quake games, it always felt that unless you spawned close to a rocket launcher, you were just fucked.  A lot of other games share this kind of problem.

Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
#29 by Charles
2004-03-16 18:17:47
www.bluh.org
Oh, also, another thing that was really good about BF1942 and Tribes was that you didn't have to worry about finding weapons or whatnot, you could just spawn with them (BF1942), or spawn next to an inventory station (Tribes).

Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
#30 by Bailey
2004-03-16 18:18:58
Widespread means the people I know, whose company I can tolerate, have a higher probability of having access to broadband. In any other sense, widespread means I just have a higher chance of encountering a fuckwit on a pserve, yes.

Only as much as you deserve.
#31 by Darkseid-D
2004-03-16 18:36:28
rogerboal@hotmail.com
Single Player

Terra Nova
Half Life
Call of Duty
Doom 2
Quake
Serious Sam
Medal of Honor

Multiplayer

Quake 2 - LMCTF / Catch the Chicken / HeadHunters
Half Life - Counter Strike / TFC
Tribes
MPBT:3025
Ut2004: Demo
SOF2: Demo
Battlefield 1942 : Forgotten Hope

Do not go gently into that good night.
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
#32 by E-ph0nk
2004-03-16 18:58:51
http://www.electrophonk.be
#5
Charles,

Never played tribes, didn't have broadband back then...

*sigh*
#33 by McBain
2004-03-16 19:01:39
Tribes was love.

Fighting the war on weapons of mass destruction-related program activity.
#34 by Hugin
2004-03-16 19:02:14
lmccain@nber.org
I've been reminded in IRC about the later Mechwarrior games, which are less simmy and more FPS-y.  And SOF2 Demo.  With Crappers.  Not the full game.
#35 by dookieagain
2004-03-16 19:04:35
jfd13@pitt.edu
I'm going to have to go:
SP:
System Shock 2
Halo (only on legendary difficulty)
Doom II
Call of Duty

MP:
Quake II
UT
Planetside
Perfect Dark
Battlefield

Btw, I liked half life alright, but there was just too much in the way of stupid jumping puzzles and obtuse level design for me to really enjoy it.  Capping the marines was fun though.

#36 by Lurker
2004-03-16 19:08:31
Single:
Sin
Deus Ex
Half-Life
Quake II
Doom

Multi:
NQCTF
QWTDM
Q3CPM
QWTF
Q3CTF
#37 by dookieagain
2004-03-16 19:08:46
jfd13@pitt.edu
Oh yeah two late additions as I thought a little more and looked over my CD rack.  Tron 2.0 for singleplayer, although it also has its share of pain in the ass jumping, and Savage: Battle for Newerth for multiplayer, because I like being a grunt in an RTS, speaking of such I had a lot of fun in Renegade multiplayer too.

#38 by dookieagain
2004-03-16 19:21:05
jfd13@pitt.edu
Two more things. One a game that I forgot but that deserves props for being the lone really good horror FPS is Undying.  And has anyone heard anything on the game Breakdown that's coming out today for the XBOX?  Looks pretty nifty, but alot of people haven't liked it so I am wary.  Still first person fighter could be a kick.

#39 by Trolly McTroll
2004-03-16 19:21:29
this unlikely assortment of animals risk their hides and match wits with a mysterious bounty hunter named Rico in a high stakes race to capture Slim and collect the reward money.


What the Funk?!


'Sup ShitNinja?

Yakety Yak, Kids Smoke Crack!
#40 by Creole Ned
2004-03-16 19:21:36
A few ommissions from my list for single player:

Doom 2
Jedi Knight

Tribes was a fantastic experience for the first six months. It was radically different than Quake/Quake 2 but by the time skiing heavies became a fixture, my interest waned. Tribes 2 was beset by many problems and failed to rekindle my initial excitement. For that six month bubble, though, Tribes was a great game, even in the unholy world of pubs.

Over the last year, my multiplayer games have been almost exclusively on private servers. I find it hard to tolerate the nonsense of pubs now, so large scale games like BF1942 are pretty much ignored.

For single player, my biggest problem is lack of immersion and tired, annoying conventions. To wit: Half-Life created a virtually seamless world, had NPC's you could directly interact with, gave you an identity and purpose and led you through a variety of credible environments (yes, I even include Xen, which I thought felt convincingly alien). While HL had its share of annoying puzzles (hello, teleporter chamber) and ended with a nonsensical final boss, the overall package was very engaging.

Compare this to Unreal 2 which I recently played through. It innovates in one area, graphics. The levels are incredibly lush, the amount of detail is significantly higher than any other single player shooter I've played. But to what end? Apart from a few "defend the base" missions, it's a bog standard FPS. You have an absurdly huge arsenal of weapons, you get mission briefings that are irrelevant since you just go in and blast everything, anyway. The NPC's are stereotypes or the product of male adolescent fantasies (like Aida, the math genius/space whore). You plod through level after leve, gunning away and the whole experience feels pointless. I was actually annoyed by the time the game ended.

Is it really that hard to create a single player game that really draws you in? It would seem so given how few have managed to grab me over the last decade.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#41 by Trolly McTroll
2004-03-16 19:22:14
When I was a kid, we called poop dookie.

Yakety Yak, Kids Smoke Crack!
#42 by Creole Ned
2004-03-16 19:26:07
Also regarding Unreal 2: an entire level filled with spiders. GRAARR. And including the best flamethrower ever didn't come close to making up for it.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#43 by Duality
2004-03-16 19:26:23
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
#23 Marsh Davies
Is the enjoyment of multiplayer a more intangible experience?

Possibly.  A lot of the reasons why I chose the games I did was based on overall enjoyment, which encompassed everything from how much I enjoyed the actual mechanics of the gameplay to the thrill of playing it to the people I was playing with.  I had completely forgotten Enemy Territory in my list and would gladly switch that out for Loki's CTF and place it higher on the list (just after SoF2).  A lot of this has to do with the fact that I've enjoyed pretty much every game I've played with the 'Crappers.

Threewave CTF and Tribes 2 are at the top of my list because those were the times I've worked best with the people I was teamed with.  I've been in about 5-6 clans/tribes in my life and those two stand out as the best times I've ever had gaming.

#37 dookieagain
Tron 2.0 for singleplayer, although it also has its share of pain in the ass jumping ...

Normally that would have pissed me off, but because there had been a lot of jumping about in the film, I really couldn't fault the design for being true to the setting.
#44 by Darkseid-D
2004-03-16 19:28:57
rogerboal@hotmail.com
Undying was good on the first run at it, but it dragged horribly towards the end, subsequent replays have all ended with 'ugh, can't be bothered' and uninstallation.

Tribes, I played to death online via a 56k connection, mostly to US servers, very forgiving netcode in that game.

C&C Renegade was dreadful in single player, but the multiplayer had a certain charm to it, certain fun enough to keep 20 odd people playing overnight at a lan.

Dark Forces 2 : Jedi Knight was a great single player game, but the cheats ruined multiplayer, Jedi Knight 2: Outcast was so, so, multiplayer was alright, but singleplayer, the most fun I had was downloading the 'Duel' map and facing wave after wave of jedi.  JK:Academy was meh in singleplayer but the new moves made multiplayer fun for a while, very cinematic and the 2 on 1 mode was a challenge, but ultimately, the games engine hampered it too damn much.

Do not go gently into that good night.
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
#45 by CheesyPoof
2004-03-16 19:42:16
Is it really that hard to create a single player game that really draws you in?

I'm going to say yes.  When you think of it, there are very few SP FPS games that draw you into its world.  That that I can think of offhand include Deux Ex, Thief, HL, and Doom.  I may have left a few out, but they have been few and far between.  It is eaiser to create a good MP game than it is a good SP one.  Just look at ET, canned because of the SP, but the MP got a free release.
#46 by dookieagain
2004-03-16 19:43:24
jfd13@pitt.edu
Yeah Undying didn't really stand up to multiple playthroughs, but no FPS I can think of really has for me, once in a while I'll run the human SP part of the AvP games, which is a great atmospheric romp.  And System Shock and the Deus Ex games are good for a chance to see how else to complete an objective, but most of my FPS impressions are based on one playthrough type experiences, also usually on the "normal" difficulty.  Halo is a rare exception because the Legendary difficult is a wholey different and much more fun experience than the single player on normal.

#47 by bago
2004-03-16 19:59:55
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
Halo on legendary was a lot of fun, but always kind of depressing because any marines you came with would always get slaughtered.

The monkey poured coffee in my MOOTZ!
#48 by DEATH KILLER INTERNATIONAL (INTERGALACTIC DIVISION
2004-03-16 20:23:24
deathkillerint@hotmail.com
Creole Ned

Multi:
Medal of Honor (Team DM)
Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
Tribes
UT/UT2003


I'm surprised "cock" didn't make your list of first-person shooters.

Intergalactic Turnip Festival Destroyer
#49 by Jibble
2004-03-16 20:30:43
ATTENTION PLANETCRAP!

Thanks to the resounding failure of Hip Hop Day, I've decided that a new, better day will be instated this Friday.  That's right, it's "Jibble's-Getting-Married-and-You-Don't-Have-To-Wade-Knee-Deep-Through-Posts-All-Day-for-Two-Weeks Day" or "Planetcrap Freedom Day" for short.

March 19th, everything changes*.

*Offer expires April, 2004.  Coupons may not be redeemed at a later date.

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
#50 by BobJustBob
2004-03-16 20:35:18
I predict that Jibble leaves her at the altar and is engaged to a different woman within six months.

Dood.
#51 by Jibble
2004-03-16 20:37:06
#50 BobJustBob
I predict that Jibble leaves her at the altar and is engaged to a different woman within six months.

I predict that at the time of my third engagement, you will still be living with your parents.

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
#52 by Ergo
2004-03-16 20:41:36
ZING!

MY FATE KEEPS INTERFERING WITH MY DESTINY. THAT IS KARMA.
DVDs
#53 by Jibble
2004-03-16 20:43:17
Please don't encourage either of us, or this may never end.

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
#54 by Jibble
2004-03-16 20:43:42
(until Friday)

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
#55 by Post-It
2004-03-16 20:46:54
keithlee@speakeasy.net
SP:

HL
DX
Halo
Tron 2.0
...

MP:
UT
SoF2
ET

Comment Signature
#56 by BobJustBob
2004-03-16 20:49:51
Alternatively, I predict that you'll get divorced within six years.

I make that prediction for every couple. It's a safe bet.

Dood.
#57 by Shadarr
2004-03-16 20:53:17
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I fully support and endorse Jibble AFK Day.
#58 by Matt Perkins
2004-03-16 20:54:06
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
........BORING!

"Good, good. Now, and here is where I'm going with this - I'll be fucked if I can remember how to farm."
- LP
#59 by Ergo
2004-03-16 20:55:26
#56 BobJustBob
Alternatively, I predict that you'll get divorced within six years.

I make that prediction for every couple. It's a safe bet.

For me, it'll be six years this August. Barring something catastrophic, I'll make it. What do I win?

MY FATE KEEPS INTERFERING WITH MY DESTINY. THAT IS KARMA.
DVDs
#60 by CheesyPoof
2004-03-16 20:56:29
Is it 3 days or 2 days until PC Freedom day?  Am I supposed to count today, or just Wed/Thur?
#61 by Caryn
2004-03-16 20:59:32
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
It'll be 9 years for my husband and I this July.

HA!

"See, Canadians believe Jesus walked on water. We just figure it was winter when he did." - Squeaky
#62 by gaggle
2004-03-16 21:05:42
What's so different about Halo on legendary mode? I started a game with it, but it seemed exactly the same, just the enemies were a lot tougher. Which seemed to translate directly into longer firefights. Which I didn't see translate into fun. Did I miss something when I tried it? How is it a different experience?

Anyway, I think multiplayer games are inherently harder to explain why they're fun. There's no story to like or dislike, no plot, no characters, etc. Singleplayer games have control over the playing experience, and it can suck if the developers wield their powers poorly. But with multiplayer games your first match can be on a poor server, with lousy teammates, and you accidentally run up against the most fierce clan out there. Not so much in the ways of funny. And since everyone has their own unique experiences, you get all of these fractured opinions. Case in point: in Battlefield, I've never emptied a clip into thin air right infront of an enemy, so when people bring that up as an issue I simply can't relate. On the other hand, everyone went through Xen in Half-Life, saw the same levels and faced the same monters, so there's a much more stable platform to discuss and compare from.


Re: creating singleplayer content. Yeah I think it's a whole lot more difficult to make. Developer has to worry about story arcs, providing fresh content all the time, dialog, AI, memorable events, and, well, the whole thing is just quite damn content heavy and complicated. Not to mention complicated to test, as each part of the game is essentially unique and requires undivided attention and love. Any modern game, SP or MP, is a beast to complete, but I think there are many more things that needs to click just right to make a singleplayer game successful. And of course singleplayer games gets to compete with the same narrative toolset that movies have been using for a century. So everyone knows beforehand how well a story can be told.. at least with multiplayer games you're not borderline competing with techinques others have long since developed.


And now I'll go fetch myself some of that free candy someone placed out in the hallway.
#63 by "yourmotherTao"
2004-03-16 21:09:34
mamamia@yahoo.com
SP:
-StarTrek Elite force
-Undying
-Half-life+ SP mods

MP:
-TFC
-UT2004Demo
-UT99
#64 by Bailey
2004-03-16 21:12:29
And now I'll go fetch myself some of that free candy someone placed out in the hallway.

Beware of overhanging nets or boxes propped up by sticks with strings tied to them.

Only as much as you deserve.
#65 by Jibble
2004-03-16 21:20:07
#60 CheesyPoof
Is it 3 days or 2 days until PC Freedom day?  Am I supposed to count today, or just Wed/Thur?

You can count as many days as you want.  It's on Friday, regardless.

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
#66 by bago
2004-03-16 21:26:41
manga_Rando@hotmail.com

it seemed exactly the same, just the enemies were a lot tougher. Which seemed to translate directly into longer firefights. Which I didn't see translate into fun.


The enemies don't get more hit points or shielding, they just get their AI turned up to ten. This forces you to play like a complete badass, tagging guys with grenades while in mid air, making every shot count, and weaving through the incoming fire like a monkey on steroids. It's really great when you finally clear a room.

The monkey poured coffee in my MOOTZ!
#67 by Post-It
2004-03-16 21:27:11
keithlee@speakeasy.net
Well, good luck and all that, I'll be celebrating on Saturday for you as the 20th is my birthday. I'll get drunk for you.

That being said, I'm not quite comfortable turning 26. I will officially be closer to 30 than 20 which makes me fell odd. Not that 30 is old or anything, just well, it kinda snuck up on me.

Comment Signature
#68 by Hugin
2004-03-16 21:28:26
lmccain@nber.org
30 is old.  Trust me.
#69 by Jibble
2004-03-16 21:33:43
#68 Hugin
30 is old.  Trust me.

According to my constant reassurance to my future wife, 30 is not old.

"No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating." - Harold Rosenberg
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