As The Saying Goes: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place - VolcanicSilver@hotmail.com Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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As The Saying Goes: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I've put a big effort into writing, and I thought I should try to write another blog up soon. Oddly enough, I’m writing this culmination of thoughts and letters somewhere that’s not exactly a rock or a hard place. I’m actually up in the air, in the scientific marvel that is an airplane. Turns out it’s just as good of a time as ever to write stuff! Spring break is near its end, and I’ve been spending a lot of time rocking out, working on AP classes, and gaming –specifically Mass Effect 3, but that will be another thing at a later time.

 

                Now moving onto the real topic at hand, I’m experiencing a weird sort of predicament. I know a lot of you have probably gone through it, and if you haven’t –consider yourself lucky. It’s starting to become a problem, and it annoys me but I love it at the same time. The industry is flooded with them. Developers can’t stop making them. My friends keep inviting me to play with them. And the problem is….

 

You guessed it: I’m tired of shooters.

 

Furthermore,

 

Shooters have bored me to death. Please, don’t let me respawn.

 

First of all, why don’t we go into my complaint; let’s delve into the supposed claim that shooters have tired me to constant boredom…

 

 

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare

 

 

                Oversaturation:

 

We’ve all known this for quite a while now. The market is filled to the brim with shooters. Last year, we had Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War, and Deus Ex to name the big ones. In the short 3 months of 2012, we’ve already had Syndicate, The Darkness II, and Mass Effect 3 (though arguably not a true-blue ‘shooter’) have released. If you want more, we got Bulletstorm, F.E.A.R. 3, Rage, Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Conduit 2, Crysis 2, Duke Nukem Forever, Brink, and Homefront. I’m sure there were probably more that I’m forgetting about, but those are the ones that come to mind in the last 12 months alone. I find it pretty safe to say at this point, that there too many shooters to play.

 

 

                Lack of Variety

 

Okay, maybe I’m making a blind claim here, but the as-stated issue of oversaturation leads to the feeling that there is a huge lack of uniqueness to any given release. Perhaps the improvement is slow, and makes it through each year’s process of incremental updates to the shooter formula. But when one shooter releases, and then another releases the month after, it feels very similar- perhaps with a new coat of paint.

 

 

                Kill, Recharge, Move- Rinse and Repeat

 

One thing I’m sure many have noticed with shooters -and military shooters especially- is that the game is played the exact same way every time. Between each release of a new game that features guns, you are bound to shoot dark-colored terrorists who pop out of cover despite a human’s common instinct for survival; You get shot, so you hide behind cover for a few seconds to let your health recharge, even though that would normally require superhuman ability; You move to the next area, filled with enemies who are equipped with obscene amounts of expensive equipment, even though by now it would seem that you’ve killed their entire military. Basically, the gameplay structure is becoming stagnant.

 

 

                There’s a Bomb, and a Psychotic Terrorist- Take Him Down

 

The title basically sums it up. There’s an electronic or nuclear bomb that is threatening to destroy humanity as we know it. There’s a terrorist leader who doesn’t care about his own death, a religious race of aliens who don’t know they will be destroyed, or cut-n-paste enemies who are just hell-bent on the world’s destruction.  Sure, probably interesting in the first hour or so, but after playing 20 games with the same plotline, it’s getting way too predictable.

 

 

So, those are my biggest gripes in a nutshell. Honestly, I don’t want to play them anymore. They’re stereotypical, take themselves too seriously, and all play out in the same manner. To take point with that, I’ve tried not to buy anymore shooters besides maybe one that really looks to be the biggest outlier of the pack for the year. For me, that was Battlefield 3 last year, and I haven’t played it since that first month of its launch. Already, I had gotten bored. But, there are a few things that keep me coming back…

 

 

Friends

 

Yup, my accursed friends. Often the deciding factor in whether you want to buy and play something, friends most likely have preferences of what they like to play the most, same as you and I. However, it just so happens that most of my friends always want to do multiplayer in a shooter, be it Call of Duty, Battlefield, or something else.  While I’m getting better at saying “No, I’m playing something I’m more interested in”, I still give in and play a couple rounds with them. Shooters are much more fun when you’re playing with people you know, because of the social interaction. That’s the biggest reason that keeps me coming back.

 

Even though I don't mind shooting my friends in the face every once in a while...

 

Cool Games

 

Now, hold on here. I’m saying that there are cool games that pique my interest every once in a while. I avoid the stereotypical military game, but a lot of the time a color palette swap, fancy items, or fiction fanboyism is enough to pull me over the edge to purchase another shooter. I still play all the other industry repeats, but here are the ones coming out in 2012 that have me excited to be in the perspective of another person holding a gun, yet again.

 

 

                HALO 4

 

That’s right, you read it correctly. I am a HUGE fanboy of Halo and its fiction, so when there is a new release announced, a squeal like the little girl that I am and run out to pre-order it as soon as I find the chance. The new engine, 343 Industries, and overall excitement is enough to make me push over and buy this as soon as it releases- and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

 

                Borderlands 2

 

Yup, I’m excited about this one, too. The inclusion of dubstep, the revival of Claptrap, and the thought of more questing goodness is enticing in its own right- but this time I’m going to have my buddies along for the ride. When I jumped on the Borderlands bandwagon early last year, I played through the entire game by myself. After borrowing the DLC from a friend, I managed to get my character to level 57 before quitting. Three of my bros and I went back recently to play through it in anticipation of the sequel, and I’ve seen just how enjoyable the co-op and gunplay can really be.

 

                Bioshock Infinite

 

The only other shooter I’ve seen this year that I’m legitimately excited for. After playing Bioshock and Bioshock 2 in reverse order, I’ve found an unwavering love for the creativity of the franchise, and it looks to me like Ken Levine and Irrational Games are going to really pull off something new with this. The hook travel looks cool, the pull of Columbia’s mystery is amazing, and the character dynamic between the main person and Elizabeth looks like it’ll be something that hasn’t really been pulled off in the genre before. Color me happy for it to come out.

 

 

As you may have noticed, I’m really only interested in the colorful, creative entries to the predictable genre. I’m trusting the companies behind these games to make something that will hold my interest, and really differentiate themselves from other bland experiences.

 

So while the everyday shooter has bored me to the point of unsatisfaction, they still manage to pull me in, despite everything that I stated. Honestly, something needs to be done to change around the formula sooner or later, or people will find even more of a reason to move on to the increasingly popular genre of RPG’s and action games… But I guess that’s okay with me, anyway. Were it not for my friends and the hope for something legitimately unique, I would have quit long ago. Right now though, it's tough. I don't want to play, but at the same time I keep coming back. I don't know what to do, so I would guess that I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. So I guess I’ll end with this:

 

 

Shooters have bored me to death. Wake me up when you’ve rocked my world again.

 

 

~ GoldvsSilver

 

 

 

 

Also, I found this video quite entertaining...

 

 

Have a good weekend everybody!

 

 

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