The second analog in the PlayStation Vita, for many, was a correction to one of the biggest flaws of the PlayStation Portable. And specially, it would open the doors for one of the biggest, most popular genres in this generation of games: the first person shooter. Unfortunately, all attempts on making a FPS on the Vita that would fill this need, for several reasons, have failed.
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified
(how many subtitles a game need? Next we will have Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified: Carl's Duty) was a rushed effort, with an alleged 5 months development. All other attempts till now to make an Vita FPS have met mixed to negative reception. It is not something inherent to the platform, I believe, but with developers not putting much thought in it. Therefore, I put some, and here is my ideas to make an FPS in the portable system that would be interesting.
How Vita FPSes feels like now.
First, everything starts as a normal FPS. You are fighting in WWIII, with one of two superpowers that split the world's domination till that moment. You are fighting your way, following orders like any soldier, in what is basically a tutorial mode. Then, in the middle of a firefight, you hear intense talk in the comm system and look up. Several dozens of missiles past through the sky in direction of the major city in your background. Than a series of lightning like flashes happens and all communication dies. Panic start to take care of the battlefield, while everyone is trying to make the communication system works. But it is too late.
Every city in the world and every tactical military location was hit by a new weapon that decimates all human life, leaving only the soldiers in the middle of nowhere alive. Because WWIII have being so long and the cost in human lives was so high, the only survivors are all the young, inexperienced soldiers in the remote battlefields around the planet.
With the world as they know it in ruins, some soldiers decide to return to their homes to find other survivors. Others try to restore the chain of command and keep the war going. Your soldier, together with an enemy soldier and a friend of the military training days, decided that there is nothing to keep fighting for and that the journey back home is too dangerous and pointless. So, your group of three establishes a camp on the outskirts of some rural areas near the city and start scavenging for supplies.
It is here that I wish to put an unique series of game mechanics. First, the quantity of supplies you acquire establish how good your character will be. Lack of food will make your character have half the amount of health he would normally have. Lack of medical supplies would make your health regeneration take twice as long. Lack of ammo... well, let's keep that all ammunition you have would be the ammunition you find around.
Going to the cities, battlefields and other places would be basic mission you and your partners would do. Of course, the amount of each kind of supply you can take with you is limited, forcing you to choose what you need most at the moment. Choosing ammunition can cost you health if you left no space in your bag for food, for example. In you incursions, you also will met people of all kinds. Maybe insane people, soldiers still fighting a war that doesn't matter anymore and people trying to still your supplies. But also, people that you can recruit to your camp and that can add something to your overall status.
Recruiting a mechanic means that you may have someone to fix that jeep and you will be able to carry more supplies in each excursion. A medic can make you medical supplies last longer and give you health and regen bonus. A computer tech can make communications work again and enable the use of drones in the battle. A cook or farmer can make the food last longer and maybe rise its own. other soldiers can be used to scout areas for supplies, protect the camp from bandits and alternate with your partners.
Of course, I would add some hard to make choices. For example, should you storm a house and take all food from a family that is shooting at you trying to survive? Should you take with you to your camp some children that will only reduce your supplies? Also, the people in your camp would have discussion you would need to solve.
I would make it as organic as possible. Just go away of the house to let the family leave or go ahead and shoot them. Go to the side of the character you agree with or between both to get a middle ground answer.
I would also add a certain deep of strategy games here. Who should go with you in the next mission? Should you send some scouts around or keep them around the camp? The mechanic should fix the jeep, allowing you to take more supplies back with each mission or help fix the generators and make food last longer with an refrigerator? All could be done with the touchscreen before each mission.
You could also use the touchscreen to plan strategies during the mission. While you and your two partners act in real time, you could put some extra soldiers to give you cover or to block some exits so you could have a better chance at the firefight.
I would make the mission goes as episodes, each with different challenges and enemies. In one episode is a group of soldiers trying to achieve the same ammo depot you are, in other episode is a crazy guy with a tank destroying places where supplies can be found. In other, a group of religious fanatics trying to take your camp down and its supplies. Also, I would either make missions short, 10 minutes tops, or make them a mission with 3 or 4 segments, where you could take a break between each, so making it easier to play on the go.
As for multiplayer, I would use some of the same mechanics. Every mode would reward the players with supply rewards, that would give them more ammo at the start of a round, more health, fast regen and such. Only the winning team would receive rewards, making being a team player crucial to be in the top boards. Matches would be short, 5-7 minutes each, so you could play a match or two in the bus.
Of course, this is just some ideas I had. A talented developer could make this awesome. Shame I am not one. So, that sit for my idea of a Vita FPS. If you have a Vita or want one, and is a fan of FPSes, how would be your perfect game?
This is my bet about the first good Vita FPS.