Sunday, 7 November 2010

Staples Of Your Stereotypical FPS

While I was desperately trying to shake off my hangover yesterday, I got thinking about those little factors that every single FPS game seems to do nowadays. Yes, I am well aware that many FPS' subvert these somewhat, but we're going for stereotypes here! So here I present you with a comprehensive list of 20 staples of your typical FPS game, be it console or PC. Read it as a 'what not to do' if you prefer. Here we go:

1, When you look down, you will find you are just a floating pair of hands holding a gun. You have no body. It's even a TV Trope: First Person Ghost, it's called. Observe this artist's impression of Anne from Trespasser (also soullessly ripped from TVT).

2, Your health will magically regenerate on it's own, providing you avoid getting shot for a few seconds. Are you Wolverine? Quite possibly, as you can theoretically survive countless bullets as long as you take a few seconds out to let your wounds magically close.

3, A headshot will kill instantly. You may say this is "fair enough", but in reality, plenty of people survive getting shot in the head from any distance other than point blank range. They're more in danger of bleeding to death than dying from any brain injury. Yes, you're not likely to survive getting shot in the head, but it won't kill you instantly, unless it was a big enough impact with a big enough bullet, or enough shot to shred your brain. You'd probably be dead in a few minutes though.

4, Leading from point 3, a headshot may inexplicably cause an opponent's head to explode. This was lampshaded in Hot Fuzz, "Is it true that there is a place in a man's head where, if you shoot it, it will blow up?". JFK died this way, and guns of a large enough calibre can also do this. Sometimes. The truth is, though, that human heads are not made of explodium.

5, If you have allies, they will either need constant babysitting, charge off without you, or send you off on your own to fulfil some objective or other.

6, Every bullet anyone fires from any gun will apparently be a tracer. Now, if any attempt at realism was made, the barrel of said gun would wear out incredibly quickly, as tracers put extra wear on the barrel. Tracers actually appear every nth round, or at the end of a magazine, to tell the person firing to reload. Fair enough, though, if a crosshair is missing.

7, Bullet penetration does not exist. Thank god more and more games aren't doing this these days. It's the concept that a thin wooden wall can withstand an infinite hail of bullets, with not a single one erupting out the other side. Also used with body-armour on enemies, making you look for a 'weak-spot'.

8, You can dual-wield pistols and uzis. Sometimes even bigger weapons. A little tip from the annals of real life: you will probably not hit anything, and there's a reason people are trained to fire those small weapons with two hands. Yes, Jack Bauer does this, but he's fucking Jack Bauer. But even he traditionally uses one pistol with both hands.

9, It will either be modern against terrorists, or WW2 era against Nazis. This is disturbingly prevalent.

10, Steve Blum will voice either a character or multiple characters. I actually don't have any problem with this though, as Steve's got a voice made of awesome.

11, There will be a level in a sewer. I don't know why games feel the need to make us crawl around in shit. Note, however, these sewers will be enormous; usually big enough that three fully grown men could stand on each other's shoulders and still have plenty of room to move around in.

12, You can fire a rocket launcher in a confined space, even with your back to a wall. No you can't, thanks to backblast, which will just cook you.

13, Enemies will either flat-out not need to reload or will carry an infinite number of magazines. Unlike you.

14, A tranq dart fired to the head or heart will knock out an enemy instantly. It should actually take a minimum of 30 seconds. Even a baby wouldn't be knocked out instantly (probably. I've not actually tested that).

15, You have either bottomless pockets, or are restricted to two or three weapons at a time. But there is no realistic limit on how many magazines you can carry. Have you ever tried to carry 50 9mm clips?

16, You will not be able to climb or jump a waist-high fence, unless the game tells you that you can.

17, There are metal barrels, and they explode when shot.

18, Cars and other vehicles will explode with enough bullets.

19, You can't physically strike at people even if they're right in your face. This one's being averted with more and more games now, but it still happens and is very jarring when it does. Why can't you hit people who are literally in your own face?

20, Your guns will not fire bullets. They will fire hitscans; where the game basically just scans ahead and hits the first thing in your line of fire. This is averted when bullet physics exist, but that is depressingly seldom.

Oh, how I long for a remake of Sniper Elite...

Until next time!


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