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Is the FPS dominance stamping out creativity?

As most people know (assuming you've been gaming for the past 4/5 years), the FPS genre has really taken off in the past few years thanks to the initial success of Call of Duty: 4 Modern Warfare back in 2007. Following the game's success, we have seen a yearly release from the series, numerous successful - and unsuccessful clones as well as various spinoffs from big-name competitors. So, due to the FPS genre taking the world of gaming by storm, has the creativity and bravery of developers decreased?

To begin with, the PS2 had one of the most varied video-game libraries I have seen. Ever. Whether it be sports titles, shooting games, racing games or role-playing games; the PS2 had it all in abundance. In comparison to today's console generation, a difference can be seen in the type of titles available - and yes, after looking at what the PS2 had available, the variety of games seen in this generation has declined. So much so that the majority of games released for the current-gen consoles are FPS, racing or sports games. Whilst this may not be too much of a problem on PS3 (in comparison to XBOX), it certainly is still there however; games such as Journey, The Unfinished Swan and When Vikings Attack redeem the PS3 for the barrage of FPS games the market has endured throughout the past 5 years.

This is where the problem develops, if companies realize they can play it safe by making an FPS game (in order to appeal to the masses), then that's probably what they'll do. This is particularly applicable to the state of the Halo franchise; a trilogy has ended with a new one promised to arrive. This portrays the market perfectly - why not move on from a 10+ year old franchise onto something new? In addition, the Call of Duty franchise has enjoyed dominance of the charts, every Christmas for the past 5 years. With hits such as Halo and Call of Duty dominating the charts, surely some developers will be put off another genre and jump into FPS due to lack of confidence? Alternatively, this may put them off their original ideas thus; causing them to twist the formula of the game in order to make it contain action of some sort.

This problem particularly effects smaller developers during the Christmas period; with the hype of larger FPS games at their peak, the hype of smaller, usually more creative games gets crushed like an ant as mass-advertising drowns out the sound of lesser-known releases. This of course means that creative, unique games suffer from poor sales which may put other game developers off making something similar in the years to follow. Nearing the end of a generation, the effect of this is clear to see. In comparison to the PS2, there are arguably only a handful of creative games worthy of recognition. Maybe if the juggernaut of a series: Call of Duty hadn't reigned the charts of this gaming generation, we may have seen a little bit more variety in what developers had to offer over the past 5/6 years.

For example, it becomes clear when once big-name competitors have suffered the transition from last generation to this generation by losing their creativity. Both the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series have been decimated from what they once were and have been reborn as action/shooting games. Comparing the modern versions of the said titles, it becomes clear why this change has been applied to the once great series; to appeal to more people in order to gain more sales. This is yet again a perfect example of creativity removed in order to please the fans of FPS/generic action games. This may prompt the saying "if it ain't broken then don't fix it!" In my opinion, this is extremely frustrating; if your game had creativity and something that made it unique, then why remove it in order to please people interested in a completely different genre? Yet again, Silent Hill can be brought into this argument. Releasing on the 2nd of November 2012, Silent Hill: Book of Memories launched however; it completely changed the traditional formula of Silent Hill by changing the genre. Yes, that's right - they changed it. Rather than naming the game something different, they took a prestigious brand name (Silent Hill) and slapped it on a generic action game as if it doesn't even matter. Now, their motive becomes clear - doesn't it? They changed what should be a psychological horror game (the creative element that made Silent Hill... Silent Hill!) into an action game. Oh dear. If acclaimed series are scrapping their creativity for a simplistic approach upon what they once were then something is clearly wrong.

On the other hand, it can be said the FPS onslaught has pushed developers to actually be more creative when it comes to making their games. Whilst it may be harder to be recognised (due to said reasons), really unique games stand out on the internet as the word gets spread and articles appear on sites such as N4G. This is all positive publicity however; these games still won't get the recognition they deserve because not everyone follows gaming news such as myself or (presumably) you. This therefore acts as a limitation, stopping the game from having the full attention it deserves.

In conclusion, I really see a change in the creativity of games from last generation to this generation. As a punishment, we have been introduced to more action/shooter games and less games that define gaming as a unique experience - creative games.

Thankyou for reading.

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hennessey861996d ago

Dishonoured has proved that you can still be inventive with the fps genre

cpayne931996d ago

The game is in first person but it's not really a shooter.

dedicatedtogamers1993d ago

"Shooters" have been around for forever. The problem is that NOW more FPSs are finding their way onto consoles for the first time. Yeah, there were shooters in the past like Goldeneye, Halo, Medal of Honor, etc, but they weren't nearly as popular as shooters nowadays (mostly due to the advent of online multiplayer).

When every new FPS requires a team of 100s of people and tens of millions of dollars, it is understandable why publishers aren't willing to take risks.

HonestDragon1995d ago

I agree with you. FPS, racing, and sports games have dominated the market for too long and stifle creativity. Why try something new when you can play it safe? I say don't do it. The industry needs new ideas and concepts.

Unfortunately, the PS2 era has the most variety and even the generation before that console, developers took chances with their ideas and did well. Developers need to look at the potential of ideas they have and not reduce them to try to appease everyone. Sometimes you have to find your own way, but you can't do it by following someone else's footsteps.

Cam9771995d ago (Edited 1995d ago )

Exactly, the economy may be partly to blame but because of the risks, developers decide to play it safe by making a shooting game. Unfortunately, too many developers have "played it safe" therefore; the market has been flooded with shooting games - this therefore may persuade other developers to go and make a shooting game because they know it gives them a chance. Where is the creativity in that?

caseh1994d ago (Edited 1994d ago )

'In comparison to the PS2, there are arguably only a handful of creative games worthy of recognition.'

There are far more than a handful of creative games this generation and you will probably find that there are not that many FPS games. Outside of the CoD series and Battlefield where is this flood of FPS titles you have mentioned?

I own about 80 games on my PS3, there are three FPS games in that collection: Battlefield 3, Modern Warefare and MAG...thats it.

Don't confuse creativity with appeal either, theres a reason why there are many franchises around that have spanned several console generations and thats because they are built on a formula that works. Why reinvent the wheel? If Streets of Rage 4 or Shenmue III were announced tomorrow, i'd be all over them like a rash as would many, many fans of those franchises.

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for new and creative approaches to games but FPS games are not the pinnicle of this gen of consoles and PC gamers moreso than consoles gamers are fully aware of this fact. They can be straffed (see what I done there, eh eh :) quite easily and there are plenty of gems about that mean you never have to play another FPS...and on that note, i'm off to play Tokyo Jungle *ahem*.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1994d ago

console gamers are stamping out creativity. Not the devs. They make what people will buy that is all.

ShaunCameron1994d ago (Edited 1994d ago )

I say this rabid push for "realism" and "mature" gaming experiences that began around the PS1/N64 era and further intensified during the PS2/XB/GC era via GTA's newfound success is what's stamping out creativity. Well, the industry wanted to prove that gaming was no longer for kids. The FPS genre is just a culmination of the previous 2 generations' excesses coupled with skyrocketing development costs that has effectively discouraged developers from doing anything creative out of fear that "creative" game might bankrupt them. In all fairness, the hardcore gamer always wanted this. A hobby that is "mature". So now he's getting exactly what he asked for. But little did he anticipate the rather hefty price to pay.

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