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A Look At How Far PC Gaming Has Come

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the from-windows-3.11-all-the-way-to-windows-7 dept.

PC Games (Games) 427

Bit-tech is running a feature examining the progress PC games have made over the past couple decades. The article highlights aspects of modern games we often take for granted or nitpick, and compares them to earlier games in which such features were implemented poorly or not at all. Quoting: "Doom's legacy is still being felt today in fact and it's a fair bet that you can take any shooter off a shelf, from America’s Army to Zeno Clash, examine it, and list a dozen things that those games owe to Doom. Things like the wobble of the guns and the on-screen feedback that tells you which direction you are being shot from — these were things that id Software invented. On the other hand, from a story perspective, Doom was absolutely rubbish. You start in a room, no idea what’s going on and you are surrounded by demons. You have to read the manual and supporting media to get a grip on it all — something modern games would get heavily slated for doing. Yet the idea that plot was optional caught on and the same flaw was replicated in other games of the era, such as Quake and (to a lesser extent) Duke Nukem 3D. There were years and years where the lessons of early story-driven games were forgotten and all anyone really cared about was having as many sprites or polygons as possible."

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427 comments

Doom (5, Funny)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821127)

This guy goes all the way back to Doom. It's almost as if he was, you know, in his mid-twenties!

Re:Doom (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821183)

Yeah, it seems to basically be the argument that current games build on ideas, representations, and mechanics used in previous games. And a lot of the influence comes from, well influential games, of which Doom was one. I do tend to see Doom as pretty large too, but then I'm also in my mid-20s.

I do find the general idea of trying to trace where particular things originated interesting, though. I hadn't, until this article pointed it out, noticed that the gun-wobble was an id invention, though I suppose it makes sense.

Re:Doom (4, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821655)

It's not so much as a history of PC gaming, but a history of PC FPSes. It makes only a passing mention of other genres, like platforming (Braid, which, ironically, was released on consoles first) and based adventure games. It makes mention of hybrid FPS/RPG games like System Shock, Deus Ex and Bioshock, but no matter what genre the guy is talking about he always winds up back at an FPS.

Where are the RTSes, like Starcraft, Command and Conquer, Total Annihilation? Where are the God Games, Civ, Black and White, Evil Genius? Totally ignored. RPGs are mentioned in passing and the main focus was on MMO vs MUD rather than the likes of Diablo and Baldurs Gate.

as for Gun wobble, that may have been an ID invention, but I'd quite like to know who first put a gun in the players right hand, rather than in the middle bottom.

Re:Doom (4, Informative)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821777)

ultima underworld was released a year before, had gun wobble (well, sword) and moving made the screen wobble for each "step"

se even this research wasn't so much thorough. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpuTbxkaZ94 [youtube.com]

Re:Doom (4, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821789)

What about Myst? I'd say it was a pretty significant PC game in it's day.

Re:Doom (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821865)

...Total Annihilation?

Man, I loved that game. And it taught me how to spell "Annihilation", which is no small feat. So if I ever have to write something with the word "annihilation" in it, I'm ready.

You can't say computer games aren't educational.

Re:Doom (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821793)

>>>I do find the general idea of trying to trace where particular things originated int

Almost everything traces back to the original Atari console, early 8-bit computers, or 70s-era arcades. Just picking some random games off the top of my head:

Space Invaders - shooter
Space War or Star Raiders - first person shooter (ship)
Hostages - first person shooter (person)
Donkey Kong - platformer
Crystal Castles - 3D platformer
Pitfall 1 2 - Adventure
Haunted House - survival-horror
F15 Strike Eagle - simulation
M.U.L.E. - real time strategy
A D & D - stat-based RPG

Re:Doom (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821889)

Almost everything traces back to the original Atari console

Actually, everything traces back to a rock and a stick. Or in the case of the Inca, a head and a stick.

Re:Doom (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821525)

I dunno. You're absolutely right, and yet... I think DOOM! was probably the first time I perceived a PC as a proper gaming machine.

I mean, Wolfenstein was impressive, and in retrospect (I didn't play it much) a great game -- but it was very much a matter of "well, we've got this PC for business apps, I can make it play this game". At that time, if you had games in mind when you bought a computer, you got an Amiga. Or a console.

Prior to DOOM!, most decent PC games were available for Amiga / Atari ST, with better sound and graphics. Wolfenstein looked like a poor Amiga game.

DOOM! though, came out just as VGA was becoming mainstream, and sound cards were becoming available and affordable. Most PCs didn't have a sound card, and you'd add one as an afterthought, often to improve your DOOM! experience. It looked *amazing* in comparison to an Amiga game, and that was a first.

OTOH the article's author should still consider the 25 years of non-PC videogaming heritage leading up to DOOM!.

Re:Doom (4, Insightful)

cafard (666342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821685)

Prior to DOOM!, most decent PC games were available for Amiga / Atari ST, with better sound and graphics.

A few years before that, my Amiga/Atari buddies were already salivating when i could play Wing Commander II, Falcon 3.0 or Civilization.

I'll grant you that Doom put the final nail in the coffin, but the PC had already taken the edge for high-end quality games when it came out.

Re:Doom (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821927)

I don't know what you're talking about? I had Civilization and Wing Commander on my Amiga 500 (68000/7 megahertz) computer, and they looked just as good as the IBM PC version. More importantly I can still play the Amiga versions, whereas the PC versions crash both my Win98 and WinXP machines. (That's why I hate using PCs for gaming.)

And who says Amiga can't do Doom? Look at this image - http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/screenshots/full/doom_ii_03.png [lemonamiga.com] It took the IBM PC and Mac world about 10 years (1985-95) to catch-up to the Amiga in terms of sound, graphics, and preemptive multitasking ability. (Poor Mac didn't get preemptive-tasking until 2001!).

Re:Doom (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821527)

And didn't it all start with Wolfenstein 3D [wikipedia.org] back in 1992?

Of course there have been other FPS games too, but Wolfenstein 3D was a revolution at the time.

Re:Doom (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821807)

Wolfenstein 3D was the shot heard 'round the world. Doom was the revolution.

Re:Doom (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821969)

Shhh. You're not allowed to rewrite the accepted history with truth. Shame on you. ;-) Besides Tunnel Runner was one of the first first-person games - 1983 on an Atari - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_Runner [wikipedia.org]

And if you want to go waaaaay back there was the first-person Starship in 1977 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Ship [wikipedia.org]

doom didn't need a story noob! (5, Insightful)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821129)

I admit I am a carmack fanboi but damn that's how good doom was. It didn't need a story. It didn't need a manual even. Heck it didn't even need a mouse. There's also the important open source aspect of the game that gamers can create their own WADs which later turned into an integral part and the games themselves in Quake TF, and for the real CS:S and TF2. All because of doom.

Doom isn't a game, it's an attitude.

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (1, Insightful)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821165)

But, back then every game came with a manual - the trouble was every game was a flight simulator or war game. Doom was the game that helped PC gamers forget about the need to read war and peace, learn the key map and study the requirements.

(well apart from the requirements bit)

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822015)

Funny how a comment that's flat wrong gets modded "insightful". Not every IBM PC game was a sim. Ever heard of Lemmings? Or Populous? Or Shadow of the Beast? Or Wolfenstein? Or Hostages? There were tons of games before Doom that were simple enough to just pick-up and play them.

BTW I agree a good game doesn't need a story. Use your imagination.

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821359)

Exactly. Let's face it, DOOM! is basically first person Robotron. Which is Asteroids with walls.

Those games have no story to speak of, and they're fun to play.

The big problem with stories is, you usually have to interrupt the game in order to tell them.

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821545)

Robotron....no story to speak of

Hey, what you do mean no story?
http://www.gamasutra.com/db_area/images/feature/4099/0501.png [gamasutra.com]

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (3, Funny)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821557)

Hey, what you do mean no story?

No story to speak of. You just broke the rules! Ssh.

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821629)

No story to speak of. You just broke the rules! Ssh.

DELETE! DELETE! Oh crap...DAMN YOU SLASHDOT!!!!

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (3, Interesting)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821881)

Agreed, that's why when Half Life came it was so nice. Story in the game flow. I still remember the first time I loaded it up and didn't touch anything when the cable car was running through mesa, and knocked the mouse by accident, wow I started already?

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (2)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822007)

Agreed, that's why when Half Life came it was so nice. Story in the game flow.

It's nice, but it's still an interruption to gameplay. Even though you can move around, Half Life uses tricks such as locking you in a room until the in-game-cut-scene plays through.

It also allows you to make a mockery of proceedings, by leaping around like an idiot while an NPC does exposition with a straight face. An NPC that you can't shoot in the face...

The point being, that an ADD type like me finds themselves searching for the skip button at times like these. I don't want to be listening to a script - I want to be playing a game.

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822055)

Point well taken. The latest batman game does make me tired just like this.

Re:doom didn't need a story noob! (1)

wireloose (759042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821621)

Exactly. The author must be a role player by choice. Not every game needs a story line. He probably never played poker or rummy as a kid, either.

Duke = Citizen Kane (5, Funny)

Hasney (980180) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821135)

A lesser extent Duke Nukem? That game was writing gold. I shed a tear as the main protagonist (Duke) said it was time to "Kick ass and chew bubblegum.... But I'm all out of gum". It felt like it was a commentary on the human condition; "It is time to do 2 things, but I can only resonably do one of them right now"

Without Duke Nukems thick layer of metaphors and social commentary, Kojima would never have been inspired to make Metal Gear Solid.

Re:Duke = Citizen Kane (5, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821319)

That line is ripped from John Carpenter's They Live, and some others are taken from Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. Homage or plagiarism? You decide.

Re:Duke = Citizen Kane (1)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821467)

True, but I have to say that Duke's delivery (too lazy to look up voice actor's name) is far superior than Hot Rod's. "I am here [long pause] to chew bubblegum [long pause] and [long pause] kick [long pause] ass [long pause] and I'm [long pause] all [long pause] out[long pause] uh [long pause] bubblegum". It's so labored!

Re:Duke = Citizen Kane (5, Insightful)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821469)

I think it's fairly obvious that the numerous cultural references found in Duke Nukem 3D were intended to be homages instead of being passed off as original. These comprise one of the main reasons I was looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever - the gags, the easter eggs, the nods towards low culture. Without all that you miss the essence of Duke and have just another generic FPS.

Re:Duke = Citizen Kane (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821543)

WHHOOOOOSHHHH!!!!!!

Re:Duke = Citizen Kane (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822077)

>>>That line is ripped from John Carpenter's They Live, and some others are taken from Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. Homage or plagiarism?

Stormwatch is a product of our "copying is theft" government schools

Daikatana? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821473)

Duke = Citizen Kane
What's Daikatana then, Gigli?

Doom's gameplay (5, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821139)

Doom's gameplay is very fun, and there are only few modern games that are similar to it. The original Serious Sam games were similar. Games with good stories are good, but games like Doom are too. Does every game need to have a story? A movie or a fiction book without story, that is bad. But for a game it shouldn't be a negative criticism if it doesn't have one. Depending on the style and purpose of the game, just being fun is enough. Many modern games feel too heavy and slow paced to match the fun of fragging monsters seen in Doom.

Re:Doom's gameplay (1, Insightful)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821167)

this is so NOT true.. I swear there's a story in Wii Bowling!! wait..

Re:Doom's gameplay (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821261)

The bobble-headed love that dare not speak its name?

Re:Doom's gameplay (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821509)

I don't know about a movie without a plot... I'm not going to joke about films like Die Hard 4.0 or xXx etc... I wouldn't mind seeing a film about Lobo [wikipedia.org] , for instance.

Sometimes, entertainment doesn't need a purpose. It can just "be" entertaining!

Apparently, Guy Ritchie is going to direct a film featuring Lobo. Seems I have all of the good ideas just a little too late...

Re:Doom's gameplay (2, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821603)

I definitely agree that not all video games need to have a definite narrative -- but I would go one step further and question the need for movies and books to have one as such -- there are some excellent books and movies out there that don't have a definite narrative, at least in the classical sense of the word. Go read Naked Lunch and get back to me as to whether a book needs a "story" to be a great work of literature.

Re:Doom's gameplay (4, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821627)

Doom is like tetris. You learn the game mechanics and you play and play and never get bored.

If it had a story, once you go through it and learn how the story ends, that's it. you are not going back to play. This may be good for the publishers that can sell you a new game with a new story, but I contend that a game that is as enjoyable as Doom without a story is better.

Re:Doom's gameplay (3, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821671)

Does every game need to have a story? A movie or a fiction book without story, that is bad. But for a game it shouldn't be a negative criticism if it doesn't have one.

It's an old but true quote that story in video games is like story in pornography. It's expected to be there, but really only the flimsiest pretense of setting is necessary. Many early video games got on quite well with a handful of paragraphs in the manual.

I can recall playing Sonic 3 in 1994 and thinking it had a great "story" for a platformer, as in addition to the manual paragraphs, it used in game "cut scenes" to advance what shred of a plot there was. Interestingly, the game told its micro-tale without using a single word of text. The on-screen actions and emotions of the characters were like those from a silent film, without the captions.

Nevertheless, I did and still do consider the "story" in that game to be more than sufficient and moreover very suited to the type of game it was. I imagine it's similar for other games like Doom.

The watershed for storytelling in video games was probably Metal Gear Solid in 1998. After Hideo Kojima blew everyone away with his storytelling, developers started offering ever more elaborate and "cinematic" storylines in their games which ate up ever larger portions of the budget. The trouble came from two important flaws
1) Hideo Kojima never made a "cinematic" game. The resulting end product of MGS was a very different form of entertainment from a film. People focused too much on the cutscenes,(which were still quite different from raw film) and missed out on the wider package offered. It became usual to see ever more pompous and over produced cut scenes strapped on to games that never lived up to the "epic" tone set in them.
2) Most directors are not Hideo Kojima. This was probably the more pertinent point. Developers wanted to make epic (action)storylines in the mould of Metal Gear Solid, but simply lacked the writing ability to pull it off. Even Kojima himself managed to foul this up in MGS2. The end result is a pretentious and overbearing plot that gets in the way of the game and severely reduces enjoyment and playability.

I think a good example the benefits and pitfalls of story in games is given by the juxtaposition between Gears of War 1 and 2 on the Xbox. The first game has a minimalist story. Characters are barely introduced and have almost no development, detail on the setting is shamelessly scant, and where the plot is not entirely one dimensional, it contains gaping holes. Yet it works in the context of the game that Gears of War is, and I would argue works very well.

Gear of War 2 by contrast, suffers from an overblown and overproduced story that makes a mockery of the proceedings. Attempts to develop characters are almost comically absurd, the setting is wildly different tending towards the spectacular, the plot is incohesive and convoluted throughout and leaves loose ends everywhere. The end result, while eye candy laden, detracts significantly from the game. People just wanted to play as Marcus Fenix and shoot aliens; instead they ended up unsatisfied and confused. The developers desire to create an "epic" story instead created an epic farce. Smaller was definitely better in this case.

Obviously, the same rule does not hold across all video games. RPGs require a significant story. But even here, overproduction and poor writing can create an epic farce that taints the whole game. The prime example is Final Fantasy VIII; Your characters are all teenagers attending assassins' high school, and you fight the sorceress who was actually your matron in the orphanage where you grew up, who was actually being controlled by another sorceress, so she could rescue another sorceress and cause "time compression", and when that failed you simply allow the second sorceress to take over a party member who happened to be yet another sorceress so that they could go back in time to allow the third sorceress to cause "time compression" and I wish I was making this up. The game had spectacular FMV cutscenes amidst all this, but realistically, little could be done for its utter train wreck of a plot.

KISS is definitely a philosophy that applies to video game plots. Sure, make it eye candy, make spectacular events occur, make interesting characters. But remember not to let any of these get in the way of the game. People didn't turn on your game to hear a spiel. They turned it on to make their own spiel.

Re:Doom's gameplay (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821901)

The watershed for storytelling in video games was probably Metal Gear Solid in 1998. After Hideo Kojima blew everyone away with his storytelling, developers started offering ever more elaborate and "cinematic" storylines in their games which ate up ever larger portions of the budget.

I hate to sound like a pompous PC gamer, but that revolutionary Kojima "watershed" was a minor effort in storytelling compared to Wing Commander III for the PC, released in 1994, four years earlier... Remember, a game released on four CDs, with movie-length cutscences played by Mark-effin'-Hamill... (And in some respects, Dragon's Lair from 1983 or so is the spiritual predecessor to this sort of games...)

Re:Doom's gameplay (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822021)

movie-length cutscenes

You say that as if it's a good thing...

played by Mark-effin'-Hamill...

... that too.

Re:Doom's gameplay (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821907)

I disagree about Gears of War 1 & 2. I started with 2 and now I've gotten around to part 1. 2 IMO is much more fleshed out and the story goes hand-in-hand with the gameplay. I was very moved by the scene with Dom's wife and that got my mind even more into the world behind the game I was playing. The story in GoW 2 gives me a goal to work for, much in the same way that Capture the Flag in Team Fortress 2 gives me a goal and makes an otherwise shallow deathmatch fun (and there is no real pretense of a "story" in TF2).
Gears of War Part 1, on the other hand, feels a little more "twitchy" in the controls (due to its Unreal Engine 3 heritage) and the story is a little more shallow in the cutscenes. It feels more like going through the motions.

Re:Doom's gameplay (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821749)

While there is a good reason to want/need fun gameplay, I feel that what is missing from many games is the feeling of purpose that a storyline will bring. I do NOT suggest from this that long cut-scenes or pauses in the game are needed to bring this about, but instead suggest that the idea of "if it moves, shoot it", or just random acts of violence in games for no purpose without there being other types of games that get a lot of publicity is what is KILLING gaming.

I have been playing computer games since well before Wolfenstein 3D(which came out before Doom and Quake for those who don't know). The old gold-box D&D games starting with Pool of Radiance, Wizardry, Bards Tale, and other classic fantasy RPGs had a strength to them that makes some modern games seem pathetic by comparison, just because you felt like you had some purpose to what you were doing.

I don't mind violence in games, but I find that the biggest games that are released really focus so much on player vs. player that the whole point of WHY you are fighting is lost. Why not set it up so that you have multiple sides in a player vs. player environment, but make it so there really is a point to WHY you are fighting. A way to make this work would be to have storyline chains, similar to the original Wing Commander, where you have a war going on, but the missions the players are going on are based on how each side is doing in the war. Make it so a war will go on for a full 30 days, and teams fighting on both sides can tip the balance. People have the option to come in fully supporting the losing side, just to help keep the balance, or you will have people supporting the clearly stronger side, or weaker side. If a mission is won or lost, contributions of different types will earn credit, so that support roles have a purpose as well(people playing a medic in a war game for example), or technical support roles where you have to run out to fix things for others.

And that is the biggest weakness, that the big games that come out are based on the idea of players wanting to play the soldier/warrior, and the idea that not everyone WANTS to be fighting on the front lines has been lost on many developers. Even the RPG scene is more about action/adventure these days, rather than about roleplaying and giving the player options on how he/she wants to play. Being able to COMMAND troops for example(earning rank, command status, or even moving from being on the front lines to the command tent where you set the strategy have others out there doing the fighting) is something that most games don't provide.

Re:Doom's gameplay (1)

lhoguin (1422973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821965)

I can't agree more. Let's take an example with Half Life 2. I don't mind the story, it's pretty cool especially if you have done the first, and I enjoyed my first play of it. And I really love the gameplay.

I started it again a few months later and immediately got stuck in hours of story elements right at the start. It became so boring I stopped playing. Waiting while various characters are talking just isn't fun. I already know the story, why should I have to go through it again? Now if I could just SKIP the story parts I would enjoy playing the game over and over. But I'm instead forced to watch pointless story events scattered throughout the game.

Doom3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821151)

And ID software is credited for the first fully dynamic Black-On-Black rendering, overlayed with dynamic even blacker shadows, and then compensating with a shotgun that was so inaccurate that actually seeing things didn't matter anyway.

Re:Doom3 (2, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821197)

Tweak the gamma -- If the game is too dark for you and cranking up the brightness slider doesn't suffice, you might try playing with the gamma setting from the console.
Pull down a console with ctrl-alt-~. Then type "r_gamma 1.2" and see what you think. The game's default is "r_gamma 1", and I've found something between 1.2 and 1.4 works for me.

Re:Doom3 (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821495)

Yes, because dynamic range compression in audio isn't enough, we need it in computer games too!

Re:Doom3 (2, Funny)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821519)

You're right about Doom3, except for being the first, the first with true black-on-black rendering was Gears of War. Nothing like Black guys with black guns wearing black clothes shooting black aliens in a black city that's so covered by black smoke that all you can see is pure pitch black to set the "atmosphere" going.

Re:Doom3 (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821915)

Hey bro that's not Gears of War! That's Ring of Death! ok I shut up now...

Re:Doom3 (2, Interesting)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821997)

Except for muzzle flash, that will lens flared and bloomed so much that it comes out as a near blinding white strobing blob in the middle of the screeen. There used to be a time when games had only 16 colours to work with and they used every last one of them, we now have 2^24 colours but only ever used white, black and brown and then call it the future of gaming.

Crazy DRM and Phone home games (4, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821203)

For the last 5 years the evolution in mainstream PC gaming has been all around fancy new graphics.

The only new original gaming style that poped-up was MMORPGs (not really new, but it did became mass-market in the meanwhile).

[This point was really hammered down for me when "Supreme Commander", highly hailed as innovative, came out and it turns out it's an almost 1-to-1 copy of the old "Total Annihilation" from 10 years ago only with better graphics]

The other grand "evolutions" have been the not releasing of demos anymore, the crazy DRM + phone home features, the rise of the "major game publisher" and the death of the small independent software house.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (1)

dwarfenhoschi (1494927) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821297)

Well they said with Supreme Commander that is _was_ a descendent from TA...and I still think it _is_ innovative in comparision with other games from the genre....too bad they are throwing it all away in the second part.

btw just posting to get rid of a misclicked moderation...didnt want it to be all useless though ^^

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (2, Informative)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821337)

"Supreme Commander", highly hailed as innovative, came out and it turns out it's an almost 1-to-1 copy of the old "Total Annihilation"

Both games are by Chris Taylor. SC is the spiritual successor to TA. So it is similar because the gameplay in the original worked, and you don't fix what is not broken.

The other grand "evolutions" have been the not releasing of demos anymore, the crazy DRM + phone home features, the rise of the "major game publisher" and the death of the small independent software house.

DRM has been a problem but demos are still released for software. Crysis, Bioshock, Portal etc had a demo. The death of small independent software house is just ignoring the huge indy game scene.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821735)

> So it is similar because the gameplay in the original worked, and you don't fix what is not broken.

The point is not that no new games are being written, but that there is less innovation, other than in how realistic the graphics, physics, sound is. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Innovation is still taking place in the world of music (ie `contemporary classical`) but by far the majority of new releases are of yet more recordings of the warhorses (beethoven, mozart, bach etc etc). Nothing wrong with that - if people want to hear it, then fine, but there have been occasional `golden ages` where progress was fast and lasting, and in some cases popular, and the rest of the time it's the great unwashed buying more of the same, or watching yet another cowboy film, or yet another trancy dance track. Not everyone wants to listen to Stockhausen or Aphex Twin, or watch an art-house film etc and not everyone cares if the FPS genre has essentially not changed since Wolfenstein.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (4, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821411)

MMORPGS came from MUDS in the 1980's which came from tabletop RPG which came from Sci-Fi writers like Paul Anderson's 'psychodrama' stories from the 1950's. The idea being that grown ups act like they are something they are not and interact with each other through roleplaying. That would be an interesting article to read, not some 20 some year old who can't bother to at least Google a bit further back than his comfort zone.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821421)

It's kind of like Idiocracy.

Take this brand new game, Bayonetta [joystiq.com] . It looked like a pretty bad-assed title; I recently found out that they added a "one handed gameplay mode". You can watch a video of it over there.

There aren't many games that allow you to play one-handed. You might be able to get by with one hand on certain RPGs -- leaving the other hand free to grab some popcorn during those really long cutscenes -- but, for the most part, it just doesn't work. Of all the upcoming games we wouldn't expect to play one-handed, Bayonetta sits right at the top of the list. As an action game from Hideki Kamiya, the mind behind Devil May Cry, we can't even imagine trying to play it without two hands sweatily clamped around the controller.

Or how about the Nintendo trend of games "playing themselves"?: New Super Mario Bros. Wii, future titles will play themselves [joystiq.com]

Are games too hard for you, Johnny? Don't worry -- Shiggy's got your back. Starting with upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii, future Nintendo Wii titles will be shipping with the ability to, well, play themselves. In an interview with USA Today, the man who birthed Mario confirmed the existence of "demo play" for the next Mario game and "future games, too" -- essentially an option to allow the game to play itself when the player encounters an area too difficult for them to handle.

Or take a look at the trends in console sales. VGChartz [vgchartz.com] . The new world gaming order is here, and it only cares about the casual gamer.

The casual gamer has money, and he'll gladly take part in microtransactions to buff his character out. [destructoid.com]

A YouTube video has surfaced displaying the megaton of content that will be offered when the game hits retail in a few days. Most of it only affects Franchise Mode. You can download advanced trainers, staff, and scouts as well as a plethora of game-breakers such as temporary boosts to player and coaching statistics.

So, yes. New graphics are in, new gameplay is out. Small studios can die, nickel and dime-ing is in. Damn it. Where'd all the gamers go.

Oh, that's right. I'll let VGcatz sum it up for me: Nerd Rage [vgcats.com]

End Transmission.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821423)

"[This point was really hammered down for me when "Supreme Commander", highly hailed as innovative, came out and it turns out it's an almost 1-to-1 copy of the old "Total Annihilation" from 10 years ago only with better graphics]"

And that's exactly as I and thousands of other fans wanted it. Most remakes are crap. SupCom isn't.

(actually, a 1:1 copy of the old with better graphics would better describe TA: Spring [springrts.com] )

It did add a vital gameplay mechanic in the zoomable tactical display*. Starcraft II is going to hurt so much when I won't be able to do that.

*I'm sure other games did it before... Rome: Total War?

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821551)

No game that I've seen has had the level of zoomability that Supreme Commander did with the top level being simply abstract symbols. Of course the problem became that it was so much easier to manage things on a macro level that by the end of my time playing I never went any closer because what good is a display with two giant spiders when I can watch the entire battlefield?

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821781)

lol n00b, SupCom supports two screens that you can independently zoom to different positions. I usually have one as a giant map overview and use the other for the close in work. However the two screen configuration only works with a single card with dual heads, not multiple card setups.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821515)

the death of the small independent software house.

...and its resurrection as "indi"-scene.

P.S.: Stop playing Massively Marketed Repetitive Pubescent Grinding and try some interesting games.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821695)

For the last 5 years the evolution in mainstream PC gaming has been all around fancy new graphics.

Even starting with Wolfenstein, the evolution in mainstream PC gaming was ALWAYS around fancy new graphics.

Re:Crazy DRM and Phone home games (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822043)

SupCom a 1:1 copy of TA? Have you played these games? Back in the day I was a rabid TA fanboy (this included trolling StarCraft forums, because they were the boorish enemy). I played TA regularly for years, messed with the thousands of 3rd party units, worked for TA community sites, and like most harbored the hope that some day Chris Taylor would make some kind of sequel. Naturally when SupCom was announced, I followed the development religiously, and it goes without saying that when it finally came out I really, really wanted to like it.

However the games were actually too different in style. SupCom had a lot of positive improvements, most significantly the strategic zoom, but also the formations, speed matching and coordination, path modification, etc. But IMO the super units, while fun, did kind of intrinsically unbalance the gameplay. In TA, turtling/porcing was a very valid play style, but just try doing it in SC. Without 3rd party units it isn't as easy and definitely not as fun. The lack of good 3rd party stuff for SC compared to TA also really surprised me.

Maybe I'm just a weaksauce n00b, but I also find SC to be too big and too fast. The resource curve seems a little too steep, and eventually I'm just not able to utilize it efficiently. SC is built for really dynamic and dramatic conflicts on a scale that makes TA look like a backyard snowball fight.

Look how far gaming hasn't gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821209)

This is a pet peeve of mine, but one thing that barely changed in 20 years is AI. I have played many many RTS and FPS games during the last 20 years and while they're getting nicer graphics and effects, the AI is still the same. As a matter of fact, recent FPS games have dumber AIs than half-life's marines. Nowadays I only play online games because of this.

Re:Look how far gaming hasn't gone (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821751)

Have you ever played FEAR 1? Games are certainly capable of featuring great AI, the problem is just that most devs don't bother to fully develop it.

Apples vs Oranges... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821211)

He says : "Doom (story in it) was absolutely rubbish"

Story in most games is incidental and most game stories are bad, a game with great gameplay can save a bad story, but a game with a good story can't save a bad game.

"There were years and years where the lessons of early story-driven games were forgotten and all anyone really cared about was having as many sprites or polygons as possible."

People care about how fun a game is ultimately, although I agree there are graphics whore games, but gameplay still is the core of any game. Good graphics cannot ultimately save the crappyness of a game. For instance Assasin's creed looked great but got boring and monotonous insanely fast.

same as life (2, Funny)

Atreide (16473) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821219)

> You start in a room, no idea what's going on [...] You have to read the manual and supporting media to get a grip on it all

looks like my own life

born in room
no idea what's going on
need to read holy book (manual) to get a grip on it all
ans life seems laking sense if I don't follow the book

at least a game is WYSIWYG
which is not the case with life

Re:same as life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821387)

maybe take the game back to the store if its too much for you.

sounds like you're not getting the best out of it if you need to follow other people's ideas so slavishly.

Re:same as life (2, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821841)

need to read holy book (manual) to get a grip on it all

That'll learn ya to RTFM!

Re:same as life (2, Insightful)

sharkey (16670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821937)

You start in a room, no idea what's going on [...] You have to read the manual and supporting media to get a grip on it all

Damn straight! What kind of game would start with such a vague premise?

Welcome to Zork.
West of House.
You are in an open field west of a big white house
with a boarded front door.

Totally disagree (5, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821251)

"There were years and years where the lessons of early story-driven games were forgotten and all anyone really cared about was having as many sprites or polygons as possible."

Nonsense. Doom wasn't supposed to be story-driven game, it was an action game. You grabbed your minigun, charged into a room you'd never seen before and blasted away. You even had a chance of surviving. There are no story lessons from Doom because there weren't supposed to me.

It's exactly the lack of immediate mindless action that's put me off gaming for a long time after. I want gaming, not cinematic experiences. If you prefer cinema that's fine and there's room for both, but for me all the plot-driven stuff is a turn-off. I still want to grab a minigun and charge into a room blasting widly in a totally unrealistic fashion as strange creatures fall in front of me. Shortly before being overwhelmed by ridiculous odds, of course.

When I do play acrade games, I tend to head MAMEwards. Plot-driven stuff just doesn't do it for me at all - if it does for you then that's fine and I'm certainly not criticising it, I'm just saying there's more than one type of gamer and Doom appealed to me in a way that almost none of the other FPS stuff has. That's precisely because it has little story or plot.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Totally disagree (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821371)

Nonsense. Doom wasn't supposed to be story-driven game, it was an action game.

Doom1 wasn't the problem. That game came out when adventure games where still alive and well and simply did its own thing, nothing wrong with that. The trouble with storytelling in games only started when games like Half Life and friends tried to reinvent storytelling for the FPS, while completly ignoring what was learned in adventure games over the years. The trouble with the Half Life kind of story telling is that its narrative is completly uninteractive, you run through a series of nicely textured corridors and are pushed from one scripted event to the next, which looks all fine and good, except that you have no way to actually interact with the people in the world other then shooting them. Why isn't there a talk-button? Even a game like Bioshock, praised for its "story", completly falls flat in that area, even worse it uses it for a cheap story-twist gimmick at the end.

Games like DeusEx have shown that you actually can combine a FPS with a good interactive narrative, but after DeusEx there just hasn't been all that much new in that area and most games follow the Half Life kind of dragging the player through the narrative by force.

Re:Totally disagree (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821447)

"blasting widly in a totally unrealistic fashion as strange creatures fall in front of me. Shortly before being overwhelmed by ridiculous odds, of course."

So you saw the ending of Starship Troopers 2?

"plot was optional" (1)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821279)

> Yet the idea that plot was optional caught on and the same flaw
> was replicated in other games of the era, such as Quake and
> (to a lesser extent) Duke Nukem 3D.

The article appears to only think of games from ca. 1993 on, but I will expand this and include 8 bit home computers in my comments:

Old home computer games invariably had no or a paper thin plot that was described in a manual. Different from Doom? Not at all. Perhaps all early PC games had long introductions or manuals, but not most home computer games. So even if early PC games had good plots, leaving those home computer games out of the comparison is nonsensical as they all influenced each other.

You didn't need to read the manual/instructions in most cases either even for games that had a solid plot. You just dive into it and figure out what's going on later... I did that in 1985 and it still works now. Mostly. For more complex games, e.g. Elite in 1984, reading the manual was both interesting and made the playing more fun. For most games it was moot.

FTA:

> Duke Nukem 3D is a notable turning point from a stylistic point of view,
> introducing the idea of a vocal player character with a pre-defined personality in an FPS
> - but it's one which has also been outdated since then.

Outdated? No way. Duke 3d is still fun to play, just as Doom is. And both are still a lot of fun in a network. You don't need bleeding edge graphics to enjoy the fun of multiplayer gaming nor to enjoy Duke's commentary...

They still have far to go (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821287)

Conspicuous from its absence from the article is multiplayer. So let me throw something out:

Even for as far as PC gaming has come, it still hasn't moved into one niche that consoles currently dominate. This niche is when you have friends over, and they're suddenly in the mood to play a video game. So you want a game that 1. is easy to learn and 2. doesn't need more PCs than you have available (because having to go back home to dismantle their PCs would kill the moment). Console "party" games fill this niche, such as Mario Party series and its imitators. With the rise of HDTVs that allow easy PC connections to the VGA or HDMI input, why hasn't someone outdone Mario Party on PC?

Re:They still have far to go (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821465)

Funny how head-to-head (2+ people playing on 1 PC) gaming is evolving... One of the first "console" games, that thing with 4 Pong-like games and two paddles that you hooked up to the TV, already had multiplayer. PC games (and by PC I mean anything from the C64 to Windows-bases computers) quickly followed suit, bringing games with split-screen head to head action or coop modes.

Modern consoles put an end to that. They're just the thing for when you have some friends over; you don't want to play games sitting in the den crowded around a keyboard and a tiny crt, better to get to the living room sofa to play games together on a big screen TV. Head-to-head games have naturally moved from the PC to the console.

Sadly, the latest consoles are all Internet-capable as well... and it seems there are fewer and fewer proper head-to-head games. The Wii might be an exception, not sure about the Xbox 360 though...and the selection for the Playstation 3 is piss-poor. There are some head-to-head titles, but they are the exception rather than the rule as it used to be.

Shame it's dying (2, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821311)

And, of course, PC gaming is dying...

The reason is quite simple : consoles games sell a lot more copies. Game publishers have no choice but to make a game for console with maybe a PC port. Especially for AAA titles that need huge teams of artists and programmers to develop the graphics and game engine.

Why do console games sell more copies? One big reason is reduced piracy due to vastly better DRM with a console. The OTHER reason is much bigger : consoles are vastly cheaper to purchase than a gaming PC. Just $300, and any game works immediately without hassle. The majority of the gamers in the world don't have the patience or knowledge to screw around with the many, many incompatibilities and bugs associated with PC hardware and software.

This wasn't always the case, PC gaming was huge in the 1990s. However, consoles have 'caught up' to the point that while any given generation of consoles quickly falls behind PCs, the graphics can render to an HDTV which at least approaches the quality of a good PC monitor. Also, current consoles fully support online gaming about as well as PCs ever did.

The only edge PCs still have is the keyboard and mouse as a controller.

Yes, PC graphics cards are better than current consoles, but that only applies to a small fraction of the available PCs.

Of course, console's new reign of domination is only going to last until cloud gaming takes off, which should be over the next few years.

Re:Shame it's dying (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821367)

And, of course, PC gaming is dying...

Would you care to show some figures to go along with your wild assertions?

Re:Shame it's dying (3, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821449)

A quick google turned up this [pcvsconsole.com] :

US PC Game Software Sales
1998 - $1.8 billion
1999 - $1.9 billion
2000 - $1.78 billion (84.9 million units)
2001 - $1.75 billion (83.6 million units)
2002 - $1.4 billion (61.5 million units)
2003 - $1.2 billion (52.8 million units)
2004 - $1.1 billion (47 million units)
2005 - $953 million (38 million units)
2006 - $970 million

Re:Shame it's dying (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821597)

From that link:

"The stats are based on retail sales. Online game subscriptions and digital distribution are not included. And that online gaming market is increasing rapidly, especially with PC gamers."

Just look at here:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/07/20/develop-09-is-digital-distribution-the-pc-saviour/

Re:Shame it's dying (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29822051)

Mod parent up.

Re:Shame it's dying (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821707)

Do those figures include monthly payments that some MMOs require?

Not that I disagree PC gaming is on the downward slope, all you have to do is walk into any video game store where there is one tiny rack in the middle of the store with a few PC games, but the place is wall-to-wall console stuff.

Re:Shame it's dying (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821593)

apart from world of warcraft, i think its pretty damm clear that pc gaming is dying.

for me the reason why is that lame gameplay and lame game design is sounding the death knell. the bigger the industry gets the less room there is for creativity. even if the games were decent the drm has pissed me off enough that i'll not buy another pc game.

also, companies are content to push people onto the consoles, which are easier to develop for (despite direct x) and make a lot more money.

having said that console sales are not great either.

the only really promising area for me is flash browser games. their growth is extraordinary - especially over the last year or two.
imo the main reason is that they're home-grown and have the kind of innovation and intelligence that used to fuel games such as Doom & GTA.

as they appear on more and more devices and the back-end becomes a bit more sophisticated then the possibilities open up.

Re:Shame it's dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821501)

Sorry but i can't agree, my pc costs less than a ps3 yet i can run all the latest games in ultra high graphics without sacraficing my framerate. The trick is to buy decent parts and build it yourself, the pc i had before this one gave me 5 years good gaming (altho the last 2 years meant running games on average graphics setting as opposed to high).

The old pc gaming is dying article/comment comes along every couple of years and never has any frame of reference, it was dying in 2001 but still lives on?

  Also, current consoles fully support online gaming about as well as PCs ever did.

Wrong, just plain wrong, clan servers and community gaming works better on pcs and always has. Maybe in the future consoles will allow dedicated servers but until then consoles will always come second in online gaming.

Re:Shame it's dying (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821585)

Sorry but i can't agree, my pc costs less than a ps3

Where can I buy that sub-$300 gaming PC?

Re:Shame it's dying (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821775)

Sorry but i can't agree, my pc costs less than a ps3 yet i can run all the latest games in ultra high graphics without sacraficing my framerate. The trick is to buy decent parts and build it yourself

What did you build it out of? I breach £300 with just a motherboard and processor.

ya.. they've come a looong ways.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821409)

... all the way up to $60+ for a farkin' game.. and that doesn't include pay-to-play games or the expansion-pack model (e.g. the sims) that can cost upwards of $200 or more by the time you've satisfied your kid (until the next version comes out).

play operation flashpoint 2 (1)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821429)

and you will realise it's actually gone backwards.

Re:play operation flashpoint 2 (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821579)

Operation Flashpoint 2 is OpF in name only. Codemasters has the right to the title, but none of the original developers from Bohemia were involved with Flashpoint 2. The real successor to OpF is Armed Assault and the recent Armed Assault II - which has definitely gone forwards in my opinion.

Only starts at Doom? (2, Informative)

fialar (1545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821435)

What about California Games? Leisure Suit Larry? Wasteland?
Yes, there were graphical games in the 80s. They were CGA, EGA,
and even VGA, but they existed.

This article sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821711)

I agree this article ignores the vast history of video games, but comparing Leisure Suit Larry and Halo 3 would have been retarded. (Maybe some day they will make a FPS where the purpose is to go around fucking people. A full immersion pornography game with puzzles and chuckles.)

I would have liked to see the author take Doom and Killzone 2 or Halo 3 and trace the relevant developments between them. These are considered to be the premiere FPS titles of their time, and have practically zero plot. With that scope, the author may have been able to put together something worthwhile.

Compared to what? (2)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821445)

On the other hand, from a story perspective, Doom was absolutely rubbish. You start in a room, no idea what's going on and you are surrounded by demons.

You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

There were years and years where the lessons of early story-driven games were forgotten and all anyone really cared about was having as many sprites or polygons as possible.

Huh, right story driven.

Who needs a story line? (5, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821461)

PONG didn't have a story line either, and what's good enough for PONG is good enough for me!

An earlier article... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821497)

Chess's legacy is still being felt today in fact and it's a fair bet that you can take any board game off a shelf, from Cluedo to Monopoly, examine it, and list a dozen things that those games owe to Chess. Things like the wobble of the pieces on the flimsy base board and the cheap plastic moulding in the box that doesn't quite hold the pieces right -- these were things that Chess invented. On the other hand, from a story perspective, Chess was absolutely rubbish. You start at your end of the board, no idea what's going on and you are surrounded by pawns. You have to read the manual and maybe the Wikipedia page to get a grip on it all -- something modern board games would get heavily slated for doing. Yet the idea that plot was optional caught on and the same flaw was replicated in other games of the era, such as Chequers and (to a lesser extent) Backgammon. There were years and years where the lessons of early story-driven games were forgotten and all anyone really cared about was having as many kinds of pieces capable of making as many totally arbitrary different kinds of moves as possible.

Growing up on Wizardry, Empire, Starflight (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821537)

and even later the Wing Commander series I am actually disappointed with many of today's games. Haven't found a space game that makes me feel like the explorer that Starflight did and Wing Commander was simply amazing in both story and game play.

What do we have now? Dozens of games with either space marines or commandos? Yawn.

Sadly (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821541)

Sadly, iD hasn't seemed to have progressed one iota.

They conceptualized an entire genre of gaming, yet they can't seem to get out of the basic 'you walk down the hallway and *poof* the lights go out and a monster jumps at you' box.

Sure, every game is technologically magnificent but you'd think for their millions and millions of dollars, they could afford someone who could breathe a little life into the games.

Where's Rage, by the way? It could just be selective memory, but it seems like it's been a loooong time since D3, and I don't even see Rage on the hypemeter.

Re:Sadly (2, Interesting)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821657)

Having grown up with id, I remember being quite startled to find out that in Half Life Valve had managed to make an atmospheric, and at times downright scary, game without just making all the corners dark. Even Q3 Arena was mostly dark, and that wasn't supposed to incite fear. Maybe they've all got really bright monitors at id...

Hold on there, Tex (5, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29821563)

On the other hand, from a story perspective, Doom was absolutely rubbish. You start in a room, no idea whats going on and you are surrounded by demons. You have to read the manual and supporting media to get a grip on it all something modern games would get heavily slated for doing.

OK, he lost me there. The entire idea of DOOM was that it was an incredibly technically advanced shoot-em-up. Being able to run around in the levels and shoot realistic-acting guns was great. All that you really had to know was to shoot the demons - the player has no other way to interact with the world other than shooting. Who needs a plot? That always baffled me about the old Japanese Nintendo games...they always had these incredibly convoluted unncessary plots that I read the first few lines of and then forgot it and went on to saving the kingdom or whatever. And I was a manual-reading completist.

When, exactly, did computer game snobs decide it was cool to call DOOM 'rubbish'? What happened to computer game snobs being polygon and FPS guys? What makes this guy look down his nose at something that he doesn't understand and apparently has no desire to understand?

Not far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821631)

We still have linear storylines damnit (and NO, those stupid choices you get in games are gimmicks and add nothing to the story). We need real AI now that can interact with the player.

Yep! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821647)

"You have to read the manual and supporting media to get a grip on it all — something modern games would get heavily slated for doing."

There in lies the problem! Like almost anything in this instant world, if you can't understand it in less than 0.3 secs, most people will simply turn off and find something they can get a handle on quicker. Very sad statement on our times.

I have got into retro gaming lately, if you're gonna a play a rehashed idea, might as well play the original arcade and 8-bit versions!

Good Old Marathon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29821683)

The first FPS that had a good story, and consequently great co-op play, was the Marathon Trilogy--the first of which was released about the same time as Doom II. It also had an amazing level and physics editor, as well as water, flight, tracking missiles, beautiful graphics (so long as you didn't get too close to anything), power-ups, interesting baddies with great sounds and even some good AI, and a real 3d environment--elevators and all--radar, great gore, etc. There really was no other game comparable to it, especially for creative, intelligent types who enjoyed FPS--unlike any other FPS at the time, you could play it tactically. Strangely, the one thing it did lack was the ability to jump. By the time it was ported Windows, there wasn't much interest. And then Microsoft bought Bungie...
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