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It's time for shooters to grow up

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OPINION: The next generation needs to pull the trigger on its clichés, argues Michael Gapper

There's going to come a time, very soon, where the guy you shoot in a videogame will be a mo-capped, HD, 60-frames-per-second proto-human who strides boldly across the uncanny valley and walks straight into the hot end of your shotgun. We're about to inflict a whole world of violence on the most realistic characters ever rendered.... read more

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It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby StonecoldMC » 06 Jul 2012, 10:44

Sign me up!
"Nintendo want to make money by supplying fun, Sony want to make money by supplying Art, MS want to make money."

INTERNET, APRIL 2014
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It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby robertboekee » 06 Jul 2012, 10:53

Can't we have both? I mean sure I'd like to play a game that has real consequences when I splatter someone's brains over the pavement, but I also like mindless fragging where I don't care if little Jimmy gets his innards cast across the arena!

What I'm trying to get at is that I don't understand why people keep trying to put games in a box! It's been happening for years it was WW2 games, then Vietnam, then modern day and apparently it will be near future with real consequences next.... why can't the game companies all do something different, I'd love to play a WW2 game with current graphics for example, then a futuristic high consequence shooter, then mindlessly fire rocket launchers and flak cannons at pumped up roid heads!

My request for the next gen is variety, and lots of it!
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby Codename21 » 06 Jul 2012, 11:05

I think this sort of risk-reward-consequence will come with increased fidelity to gaming. Hopefully with more power in the hardware running this sort of stuff, more can be dedicated to AI to make the NPCs react more realistically. It's certainly true as gamers, we're all used to the 1-button press, no consequence insta-kill, but some moves towards making you hesitate have crept into games in the last few years.

One example is L.A. Noire (- for all it's faults) certainly made me hesitate when deciding who to send down for a crime. There was one Homicide case where a Husband (and father) looks good for the murder, but your bosses are pushing you to "pin" the crime on the other, secondary suspect because he's got priors as a paedophile, - but however much of a low life suspect number 2 is there doesn't seem to be much evidence that points to him being responsible for the death, even after I'd dragged both of them through the interrogation process.

When it came down to deciding who I actually fancied for the crime, it was one of the most difficult decisions I've made in a video game of late, and I certainly hesitated when picking between the suspects - I think this reaction came from the quality of the acting, and the visual representation of the suspects in this game - I've blogged about it here if anyone is interested in further reading;

http://codename21blog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/game-update-lanoire-did-i-just-send.html

I'd be interested if anyone else has any other examples of when NPCs have been "humanised" to such a degree they've felt guilty about pulling the trigger...
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby Stan_Goodspeed » 06 Jul 2012, 11:07

Unfortunately the MP servers are populated (not exclusively, but still) with kids or adults who refuse to grow up. Will the tea-bagging crowd accept grown-up narrative and game modes? Will the publishers stop half-baking campaign modes in favor of said multiplayer? I'd like to, but I'm pessimistic.

If the likes of Dishonored or Bioshock Infinite end up being as clever as they look, and if they manage to sell well then maybe there's hope.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby Codename21 » 06 Jul 2012, 11:10

The original Bioshock with the Little Sisters was meant to make you hesitate, but then it wussed out (or decided instead to not court controversy as shown in the original trailer) by not showing you the consequences of taking out the little girl to gain the precious Adam - instead the hesitation came from having to fight the Big Daddy.

While the original game was brilliant I feel it failed on one of the key points it was trying to achieve by not showing the consequences of your actions when killing a Little Sister - if they had it would have had a much bigger impact on you and your play-style in-game
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby WHERESMYMONKEY » 06 Jul 2012, 11:28

Wait. You've just writen an article about shooters needing to grow up and for some reason you missed out talking about Spec ops the line.

The game is a proper attempt at making an actually grown up shooter there where point s where i literally couldn't pull the trigger and got killed because the alternative made me feel uneasy.

At one point i put down the controller and had to take a break because of how drained and shocked. I felt repulsed by my own actions and what had happened because of them.

Sure its the exception and not the rule at the moment. But its a huge step in the right direction.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby bamozzy » 06 Jul 2012, 11:32

I can see an argument for both

On the one hand it is nice to be able to Shoot and kill hundreds of digitally created humanoids in a video game after a frustrating day at work etc - A place to let off that steam and aggression in a way that does not impact on 'real' people.

On the other hand some may see that and translate it to the real world as there is very little real consequence for their actions. Even if they put in a Real Type consequence in the game, you can still turn it off, restart etc and the consequence has no significance. Although I am sure the majority of gamers would not be like this.

There is definitely a place for Mindless killing in video games but I also think we need a more mature approach with consequences and such. A thinking mans shooter! either way the more variety and options the better.

The only downside to this is likely to come from the media - no doubt they will attribute any negative incident to video games. It seems we live in a blame culture and so any game that has any sort of violence, sex or criminal activity will be blamed for real events. The funny thing is if you took the number of games sold they would see that the majority of players DO NOT commit these crimes because they play these games
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby stealth » 06 Jul 2012, 11:36

This article proves how bad developers are, they cant do anything original

realism is the most boring style
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby Ali_ » 06 Jul 2012, 12:20

I'd offer up Spec Ops: The LIne as an example of the way to go. It's not perfect, but the plot is brilliantly realised and superbly adapted from the source.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby superfruit » 06 Jul 2012, 12:24

We have mindless music, mindless films and mindless TV. Why not mindless games?

Not every film is 2001 or Bladerunner, you've got about 50 pieces of mediocre crap for every decent film. Don't see why everyone expect games to be adult and mature experiences all the time just because the graphics become more realistic.
I don't see why the medium can't be seen as something that can take in a wide range of genres and themes just like film. Nobody says films or music needs to grow up just because popular music is garbage.

Technology drives gaming more than story lines. Gaming peaked around about the time of Silent Hill 2 IMO.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby KK-Headcharge78 » 06 Jul 2012, 12:49

I think marrying morality with shooters, or games in general, is a very fragile combination. As much as the archetypal shooter swaps morality readily for 'blowing s**t up' on a regular basis we must rememeber that war itself does not have morality as it's fundamental driving factor (aside perhaps for the desired outcome) The author here appears to be advocating a 'need' for morality in a space where it's inclusion may be tenuous at best, in addition fusing morals and fun may be tricky to pull off. I would personally cite Spec Ops are a primary reason against this idea as it is confused and average at best, and a 'nice idea' does not and will not placate a poor game. Shooters which don't have war or large scale conflict may have a better chance but I don't at this point see any real difference Watch Dogs and what GTA had been doing for years where the actions of the player have a knock on effect to their enviroment and relationships.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby Jingee » 06 Jul 2012, 13:03

Is ARMA II not grown up? You could argue that there is some transition into more adult shooters, currently.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby corkscru74 » 06 Jul 2012, 13:31

robertboekee wrote:What I'm trying to get at is that I don't understand why people keep trying to put games in a box!

Because if you don't the CD gets all scratched! :lol:

On topic: When I first started playing GTA IV, the realism of the the environment and the character animation made me very reluctant to mow down even a single pedestrian. Then I got a phone call "Hey cousin, would you like to come bowling?". Needless to say I murdered several hundred innocents that day :twisted:
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby illage2 » 06 Jul 2012, 13:36

"Ubisoft's answer is to give every character in Watch Dogs' virtual Chicago their own life story, a job and a salary, and realistic reactions to situations. You can go ahead and Van Damage anyone you like, but before you blow someone away you'll know they're a foster parent, or a city worker, or that they were once declined a loan. When you combine convincing stories with convincing humans, will you still want to hold a gun to a man's head and pull the trigger?"

So I can break someone's legs for not paying off their loans f**k YEAH! *Is getting this game*

However as for making a game more realistic, we play games to escape the real life for a few hours. Understandbly there has to be some reaslism in games but to make a game true to real life (With consequesnses etc) then it's not a game.
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Re: It's time for shooters to grow up

Postby illage2 » 06 Jul 2012, 13:46

Oh and also if games need to grow up tell me why everyone was going mad over the attempted Rape scene in the Tomb Raider?
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