We all remember our first time, for anything substantial that happens after early childhood. I see this more and more often in the realm of games. We attribute the benefits of a genre to the first game that we play in that genre, and we attribute the gains of a technology to the first game that we play which uses it, and if it is our first game for either, we were generally unaware of the substantial gains already made in those areas by prior releases.
Typically these things happen in waves with adoption of other technology or hardware, demographic activities, infrastructure rollouts. So games which release in a timely manner around these events are poised to be received by a whole host of new customers who don’t know their genre or the technologies they use. Many of my favorite games saw the benefits of this, and I will be attempting to list a few examples of this below to illustrate my point. I will be focusing on the first person shooter genre, as it is my genre of choice. Continue reading →
Rise of the Triad is being re-made by Interceptor Entertainment using the Unreal Engine. That directly isn’t the point of this post however, but I will include a courtesy embed of their excellent eighteen minute multiplayer trailer:
The point of this post is to comment on the Rock Paper Shotgun newspost about it. I won’t link to it because it is terrible, but also because they open their posts up with long winded attempts at humor to justify a clickthrough for a single video embed or screenshot. What gets me about it in particular though is the commentary. The focus on calling it old school, as if this is an amazing thing. Yes it is old school, it is a remake of a now 18 year old (by Full Version dates) game, of course it is. It is “blindingly, blitzingly, brutally fast” or, you know, normal amounts of fast. The movement speed matches the sub-genre.
Marveling at the capacity of speed in a game aside, the rest of the post is filled with fluff that seems like it could only be steeped in ignorance as to the game and the genre. Comments on the level variety assume that it is a case of silly over the top logic as to why it isn’t one setting. Games typically draw their multiplayer content from a vertical slice of the single player, it saves resources, and it ties the two components together. You see a castle, a military complex, and an underground lava base in the trailer, because the world of ROTT involves a castle being used for advanced paramilitary functions and also involves a lair centered around lava. It is all part of the game world, it isn’t strictly variety for some senseless appeal to “old school” styles.
(Also, first person shooters, be they “old school” or not, do this. As I said earlier, it saves resources and it draws connections – Quake’s deathmatch maps make for an almost pure microcosm of the single player.)
What is with the “DUDESHOOT MANKILL” comment? Have they not heard of a first person shooter before? You shoot, and you shoot things with the intent of killing them. Often the enemies are other humans, typically male, the protagonist is often male (though ROTT has two female characters to play as), and in multiplayer it is common for players to all depict the protagonists, thus you have in most scenarios men attempting to shoot other men in a game. Is RPS unfamiliar with the genre? Or multiplayer?
I think what gets me is the post is rife with padding for what is simply “Here, look at this” content, and it manages to use “old school” and link to an interview, without ever clearly delineating that they know it is a remake, or are particularly familiar with first person shooters. Don’t even get me started on the people who compare its speed to Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament. I enjoy those games, but they are thick molasses next to the early and mid-90’s shooters.