An (perhaps biased) analysis of “mainstream” AAA shooter games

Every year or two, we would inevitably start hearing about announcements for the next Triple A shooter titles for console and PC. After a while, I began to wonder first person shooter (FPS) games are getting released a lot more frequently now? By now, many of us are no longer surprised when video game titles are replacing their predecessors at alarming frequencies.

The most glaring example in this case would be Activision’s Call of Duty. Despite having a new title added by its array of producers roughly every year, Call of Duty has a massive following. Same can be said about Halo and Battlefield, although on a less frequent scale. Personally, I am not most excited about shooter games, but phenomenon like this intrigues me.

Despite having varying mechanics, Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield series, which I ignorantly going to dub “Big Three of Modern FPS”, have some elements that are notably similar. These games all feature notably short “Story Mode” and linear storyline, with no room for side explorations.

These campaigns are still exciting to play as we follow through the tales of heroes who try to save the world, as many of the characters became memorable popular icon like “Master Chief” from Halo series. However, besides drawing an epic and yet brief storylines, the story mode usually to serve to describe the settings and get players accustomed to the game before “throwing them online”.

In comparison, “The Big Three” feature much more diverse and complete multiplayer modes, in which they also diverge in terms of gameplay and player support systems. Going into details would take forever, but it is safe to say each game has its own array of different objectives, modes, reward and ability systems that aim at stirring excitements in the heat of battles.

As players progress, they will be able to unlock increasingly diverse arsenal, abilities, or other perks. Overall, these games are built with intention of hosting showdowns of skills, reflexes, strategies, and other factors common to playing any other video games.

Is it me or is it that I really don’t understand people who can spend hours shooting each other over the same maps, usually with the same guns. Despite that, “The Big Three” has overwhelming community support, including many production groups that feature “Top Plays” videos and other gameplay compilations.

People often actively exchange ideas and brag about their accomplishments through a variety of forums. There’s even a huge spinoff, “Red vs. Blue”, that was made based on Halo and gathered massive fan approvals. Although having lower audience, Major League Gaming still featured Halo and occasionally other shooter games addition to traditionally competitive Counter Strike. While I still hold a different opinion, but perhaps that sounds similar? After all, who am I to complain when I spent countless hours on Summoner’s Rift myself?

It would be ignorant settle for clips of 14-years-olds screaming in voice chat and overlook the innovations these games bring throughout the years. Despite rapid development cycles, “The Big Three” still have fair amount of improvements and enjoyable novelties while introducing increasingly hilarious glitches.

Many gamers accuse these three series of taking away what make a shooter game truly enjoyable and focused on the simpler fun sides. However, the record-breaking sales of each new releases beg to differ. Sometimes, I wonder who are we to judge if video game companies made games that people enjoy, even if, in our opinions, they are far from perfect?