Mark this day in history my friends, May 20th, 2007 â€“ the day I gave up on the First Person Shooter. Take another historic day, April 8th, 1994. I sat alone in the spare bedroom of my house â€“ at my first computer â€“ playing a new game. Doom.
I popped my new copy of Soundgardenâ€™s Superunknown into the Toshiba auto-reversing tape deck and tore through several episodes of what was to become a classic. I canâ€™t tell you how many hours I spent that night playing, or how many times the cassette flippedâ€¦
Today, driving home from the mall after picking up a new outfit at JC Penny, I changed stations on my Sirius head unit to Lithium 24 and the next song that played was Soundgardenâ€™s Let Me Drown off the Superunknown album.
I wasnâ€™t driving my Volkswagen anymore, I wasnâ€™t in New Jersey â€“ my mind was on Mars, tearing my way through an overrun base full of demons, imps, and other-worldly creatures from Hell.
Iâ€™ve easily played 2 dozen first person shooters since Doom. While I have a few favorites like Rise of The Triad, Red Faction, or Unreal Tournament â€“ all theyâ€™ve been is an improvement on an improvement of an idea. 13 years later companies are still firing off rounds like a 13 year old knee-deep in the dead.
Whatâ€™s new? Nothing is. Every idea is recycled, improved, and regurgitated upon a generation that is not getting any younger. For every single idea 12 variations show up all hoping to distract the player from the fact they just spent another $60 on a 13 year old idea.
After spending the past 5 months trying to find a new first person shooter which is worth my time, my money, and my effort â€“ Iâ€™ve come to the conclusion that it doesnâ€™t exist. My Gamefly queue is clear of FPSâ€™s, and Iâ€™m slowly coming to the same conclusion about sandbox type games like Grand Theft Auto.
While Iâ€™ve seen a few really good improvements ie Crackdown and Saints Row â€“ I have to ask – how far can we go before the games become so realistic that Life becomes the escape from virtual reality?
In the end I suppose it is all personal preference. I just played Doom on my Xbox 360, within minutes there was something I hadnâ€™t seen from a First Person Shooter in the past 5 yearsâ€¦ the reflection of a smile on my face in the television screen before me.