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Lack of Story Development in Shooters

In the world of FPS games, great multiplayer is a must. If a game doesn't compare to Battlefield or Call of Duty, many will simply ignore it. But with multiplayer being so important, the emphasis on great singleplayer had dropped significantly. To the point where I'd have trouble pointing out a good story in an FPS game. Of course, I only mean in recent games. Consider Half-Life 2, the FPS to rule them all. It's a game released in 2004 that innovated the FPS genre. Now look at Call of Duty or Battlefield, they've sure innovated the multiplayer aspect, but the singleplayer just isn't up to par.

The main character is usually some person who doesn't talk, or if he does talk, he's got about as much to say as a potato. And if he does talk more than a potato, it’s usually not worth listening to. In my free time, when I'm peeling potatoes, I often think of better stories than what FPS games have in ten minutes. At least, I think I do, I'd just prefer something that I could enjoy. Take Gordon Freeman from Half-Life 2, he’s a character that is incapable of speech. Now, while I enjoyed the game’s story, it could have been better if he could voice his own opinions. The only thing that separates Half-Life 2 from FPS stories today is that Half-Life 2 has a story beyond the main character. We care about Alyx Vance and Eli because they go through character arches. When you think about it, Gordon Freeman is a puppet that is told what to do, he doesn’t make his own decisions because he can’t speak his mind. Why not take from good military movies? Military movies are the closest a movie will get to a FPS. You can always adapt what works in a few good movies, change it to be unique, and voila. By the way, keyword is unique. Every game should innovate at least one aspect of gaming, whether it be story, gameplay, atmosphere, or anything else. As long as it brings something new to the table of gaming geeks like myself.

I would argue that it would be better to have a convoluted mess of an FPS story than one lacking of any story at all. Because, potentially, the story could be a gold mine of hidden story goodness. I'm going to assume that of the many who purchased Battlefield 3, few played its campaign. I didn't, and I was a fan of the Bad Company storyline. That is an example of a decent FPS story, the Bad Company games. They had mediocre characters that grew on you because they grew on each other. Comedy can really help a game, and I think it works especially well in FPS games. What is the solution, you hopefully ask? Infuse some comedy, love, and scares into the typical explosive FPS game and see what you come up with.

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Derekvinyard132107d ago

dosent it piss you off just thinking how much worse the stories are going to get to? the thing is multiplayer is in such high demand, homefront is a good example of this blog.

SeekDev2107d ago

It does indeed. I really had high hopes with Battlefield 3's story because I thought they could improve on what they had with the Bad Company storyline, but they threw it all out the window like they didn't care.

I think Borderlands kinda counts here to, after all it is an RPG/FPS. But they literally made no attempt at creating a storyline. It's especially bad because it's an RPG. RPG's are supposed to have good, long, and well thought out stories, at least in my opinion.

Derekvinyard132107d ago

its weird that the multiplayer in BF3 was so good and the story was so painfully average, it really felt unbalanced. agree with borderlands that just felt weird. was crysis 2 any good tho? i heard the story was alright, have you played it?

SeekDev2107d ago

No, I haven't played it yet. My little brother has it for PS3, but I'd rather wait and get it for a few bucks on PC on Steam. One of my friends, who thinks quite like me, told me he found Crysis 2 to have a good story. So it's worth a shot.

coolbeans2107d ago

While I'm still inclined to agree with you (I'm about to lvl 20), I found this article on it fairly interesting:


Amazingmrbrock2107d ago (Edited 2107d ago )

Homefront had so much potential too. After I heard about it I was thinking about tense situations protecting civilians from bad guys. There was like two minutes of that in the beginning, but then it ended up just being a game about a guy who's in a bunch of things that fall over. Then it ended up being the shortest rebellion ever.

FinaLXiii2107d ago (Edited 2107d ago )

Games like Far Cry 3, Bioshock Infinite,Metro Last Light, Aliens Colonial Marines and Rainbow Six Patriots seem to good examples on improving story development comparing to previous titles.

Im my opinion shooters seem to be getting better storylines every year if dont count the usual modern military shooter.

SeekDev2107d ago

Bioshock, the original, had a mindblowing story. Truly one of the best for shooters. However, Far Cry 3 and some others aren't even out yet, so it's hard to say. I'd agree on Bioshock Infinite because Ken Levine, who worked on Bioshock, is working on it too. And he's my idol.

I played Metro 2033 a few months ago and its story caught me by surprise. It was definitely better than the average shooters story, but it still lacked in terms of connecting with the main character. Given how much I liked M2033, I have high hopes for Last Light.

Treian2107d ago

Halo falls onto this list...

Kingdom Come2107d ago

Halo's story becomes greater when the gamer is willing to invest time into the novels of which greatly expand the universe.

Treian2107d ago

Someone shouldn't have to go out their way to understand the story. FF13..cough cough...

StreetsofRage2106d ago

Halo's story is one of the best around. Judging from your avatar, you have no idea what it is.

Treian2106d ago

Oh please. Grow up. Judging is childish. I played Halo 3 fully and it was ok, nothing special.

Kingdom Come2105d ago

Wait, so you only played Halo 3? And you're criticising it's story? It's story of which you missed 2/3's of? Typical anti-Xbox gamer...

coolbeans2106d ago

...if you have no idea how to grade story development in a shooter.

coolbeans2107d ago

You praise HL2 as the FPS to rule them all (I guessing you think in the story department as well) yet don't give Freeman the same criticism as X military shooter guy: "The main character is usually some person who doesn't talk, or if he does talk, he's got about as much to say as a potato."

PhantomTommy2107d ago

But would you really compare Freeman to x military shooter guy? Freeman never felt like an empty vessel to me. It never felt like he needed to speak.

coolbeans2106d ago

I'm not trying to slam HL's story structure or anything like that. I'm just pointing out a part of the blog that made me raise my eyebrow. My post was meant more for SeekDev to edit that portion of his blog to possibly explain what differences he finds between mute "The Freeman" and mute X military shooter guy.

Hufandpuf2107d ago

"Lack of Story Development in Military Shooters"

is what this blog should be called. There are some really cool FPS games with great stories.

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