Classic FPS games are a dying breed

We're about to see the end of an era, an evolution so subtle that not many will notice its passing. Classic FPS games will be sorely missed.

By Anirudh Regidi Published Date
27 - Feb - 2014
| Last Updated
28 - May - 2014
Classic FPS games are a dying breed

We’ve seen a lot of change in the gaming scene over the years, the most notable being the death of the PC as the platform of choice for gamers. It’s hard to find any game these days that’s made specifically with the PC in mind and with that change in mentality, I think we’re slowly seeing the death (or maybe evolution) of a genre that has been the highlight of any PC gamer’s life, namely, the FPS.

Why do I say that? Well, the answer is very simple. As gaming platforms have evolved, so have the controllers that we’ve used. The standard keyboard mouse combo is passé, it’s hard to find a game now that doesn’t come with controller support and even harder to find one that’s not been designed with consoles in mind as the primary platform. What this means is that the skill required to play the classic FPS game that we’re familiar with has to be watered down to accommodate the limitations of the controller that we now have to use. Imagine playing Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament with just an Xbox 360 controller! Those games would be unplayable and would be a far cry from the frenetic experiences that they are today.

Games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty are still best played on PC, as are most FPS games, but because of their console-centric design, we’ve seen them dumbed down a bit with larger hit-boxes, auto-aim, easier, more predictable A.I., a prevalence of quick-time-events and simpler level design, not to mention an inordinate amount of hand holding. At the same time, however, we’ve also seen a plethora of games that have understood the advantages, and limitations, of these very same controllers and have shown us how to make a great game; we’re talking about games like Dark Souls, Knack, and even GTA V for that matter. Games that take advantage of the control scheme, the analogue nature of the joysticks and triggers.
All this points to the fact that we’ve already seen the death of the FPS we know and love. Most FPS games that exist now are just interactive movies that take you for a not too terrible roller-coaster ride through the extravagant explosions and special effects that the developers cooked up for you. There are still a few rare and dedicated developers who still show PC FPS games the love and dedication that they deserve (Bohemia Interactive and Valve to name a few) and I’m grateful to them for keeping the true spirit of FPS alive. Valve in particular has been championing the cause of the PC, and if the reviews of the Steam controller are anything to go by (we’re yet to get our hands on one), they just might have hit the sweet spot as far as control schemes go.
The classic FPS is a dying genre no doubt, there will soon be a generation of gamer that will never have experienced the true precision of a keyboard and mouse combo, it may not even know what a mouse is and it will never have experienced the joys of the classic FPS. Till that time however, know that you may be the last of an endangered species, the last to experience the golden years of FPS. 
We’re about to see the end of an era, an evolution so subtle that not many will notice its passing. It’s a more exciting future no doubt (the Oculus Rift will be a true game-changer), but the classic FPS will be sorely missed.