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I Suck At Games: FPS - Destructoid


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D Sane
4:56 PM on 08.03.2009

Maybe itís because I never owned an Xbox and therefore missed out on the Halo craze, but I am absolutely terrible at FPS games. When I was younger, I played older ones like Doom and Goldeneye and enjoyed them thoroughly, but I missed the next step. Newer FPS games never really clicked for me the way older ones did because I wasnít playing them nonstop like the rest of the FPS crowd. Maybe my skills have dulled with time, but I just canít seem to keep up with a younger generation of gamers (and Iím only 25). Iím missing out on an entire social avenue of gaming (through online gaming or local matches) simply because I suck at FPS games. Hereís why:


Aiming has always been a huge issue for me. The ability to run in one direction while shooting in another at a moving target never really worked out for me. Iíll pick up the sticks every now and then to try my hand at a newer game like Call of Duty or Halo 3 and ultimately get my ass handed to me by a 12 year old, mostly because I canít aim right. Maybe itís because my right thumb isnít as skilled at operating a control stick as my left one is due to its years of training on an N64. Maybe itís because Iím left handed and my left thumb is just naturally more agile than my right. Whatever the reason, I am terrible at aiming using a controller stick. Now, give me a light gun and itís a completely different story.

First Person vs. Third Person

For some reason, 3rd person perspective makes a lot more sense to me. I feel like I have a greater understanding of my surroundings and I wonít get attacked from behind as easily. Even non-shooter games that utilize 1st person perspective throw me off. For example: Mirrorís Edge. I tried to get into that game because the free running idea interested me. But I couldnít see where my feet were due to the 1st person perspective and I never landed jumps correctly.

Conversely, Iím really good at games like Metal Gear Solid or GTA4, which let you switch between 3rd person and 1st person when each different perspective is necessary (moving around vs. looking through a gun scope). Maybe not the best player ever due to my aiming issues, but just the fact that I can literally know where I am standing helps out a ton in terms of my feeling of immersion in the game. I know that the idea is that Iím supposed to be more immersed in a 1st person game, but I never feel like I am actually part of the game the way Iím supposed to. I look forward to a day where all shooter games give you the option of 1st or 3rd person perspective at the push of a button.


Unlike single player story driven games or teamwork-oriented games, FPSes tend to be geared towards Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch competitive online gaming. Itís literally kill or be killed in these games and when you already arenít good at a game genre, the fact that other players are actively killing you in order to improve their own scores only serves to create an environment in which you donít want to participate. For all the frags a great FPS player has, there are that many lesser players who have fallen under his gun. This fact can be appealing to the good player and very disheartening to a crappy player like myself.

Lazy Developers

This last one is more of a gripe about FPSes than a reason why I suck at them, but I just find it to be a lazy development technique to not have the person youíre playing as represented on screen. The fact that youíre in the eyes of the character means that they developers didnít have to spend as much time on character design, motion capture, pixel animation, etc. as a 3rd person gameís developer might have had to spend.
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