Best FPS of this generation - SO FAR.

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Was just looking at my deck of games for something to chuck on, and realised that I have a lot of FPS games. Perhaps that just speaks of my narrow-minded purchasing choices, but I'd prefer (LOL) to think that it's just because the first-person shooter genre has been the defining one of this generation, almost all of the biggest games since '05 have been FPS games of one sort or another.

Now, we will all have our own ideas on what makes a great FPS. Some of us will even have differing ideas on exactly what an FPS is (BioShock vs COD for example). I would personally say that it obviously must play from a first-person perspective, and the lion's share of the gameplay should consist of killing people/creatures with guns/explosions. Stick to those two points and you're golden.

I was going to list all the ones that I've played, but that's a long list. Even the ones I own is a long list! Now, your favourite is your favourite. Just give your reasons and you're all good. My criteria for the best thus far is going to be a mix of the following..

- Strength of the single-player component.
Length, storyline (if any), overall fun-factor/appeal.

- Strength of any multiplayer component that is present.
Balance. Amount of differing game modes and maps. Strength of the community who play the game (whom you play with when you go online), and do any of them still play it? Was there any good DLC? Did it fracture the community, or is it easy to get a game on the DLC maps etc?

- Quality of gameplay.
Bit of a grey area this one. Just the overall 'feel' of playing the game. COD is smooth and quick. Battlefield is slower and more methodical. Etc. Does it execute it's chosen gameplay-style well?

- Overall value (at the original price).
How much game did you get for your £39.99? Did it feel like there was a lot of content to be getting on with, or at launch were you already counting down the days until the first DLC?

There's been so many. I've liked a lot of them, and loved a fair few of them. Here's the ones I loved..

BioShock
COD: World at War
Condemned
Crysis 2
FarCry 2
Halo Reach
Killzone 3
Left 4 Dead
Prey

My favourite?

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

For me, this is the complete package. Awesome single-player that, whilst scripted, offered a certain level of freedom purely in the way you went about any given task - due wholly to the ability to actually destroy the environment.

Don't feel like trying to pick off a holed-up baddy in a building through the window? Blow a hole in the wall, jump through and stab the cunt in the neck! Or destroy all the load-bearing points of the building with C4 and watch it come crashing down, killing anyone inside it.

Purely through choice, you understand. Never at any point during the campaign are you told to do this, or even how to do it. It's just there if you want it.

That's just a couple of scenarios. The opportunities for such improvisation are huge, and present throughout the campaign. Other than that, it is at least as good as others in providing a thrill-ride. It is basically still just a shooting gallery when you boil it down, and the storyline is never going to beat something like BioShock.

However, I do believe that what we have here is the best single-player component of any "war game". The storyline is some standard fluff about Russians, but the way in which it tells this story is very enjoyable, and there's a slight impression that this game knows it's silly in lots of ways.

Better yet - we actually have some likeable characters! In a war game! Yep. The guys that make up your squad (dubbed 'Bad Company') are awesome, and have so much character. Seriously, the amount of dialogue that you probably won't ever hear is pretty big.

If you stand around not going where you're supposed to go, they go off on random tangents, having the funniest conversations which last for minutes at a time. The funniest one I heard was between Haggard and Sweetwater where they initially discuss, and then begin arguing over what the best scene is in Predator.

Sweetwater likes the scene where Billy cuts himself on the bridge and has a showdown with the alien. Haggard calls him a fag and, without going well into it, they themselves get into a stupidly in-depth argument about it. There's so much idle banter between the squad, and I found all of it pretty funny.

If you couple this sense of personality with the huge, sprawling environments you get to traverse and destroy.. awesome sauce. For my money, it's easily the most atmospheric 'war game' single-player. One moment you're blowing up bridges, next moment you're manning the gun on a jeep as Haggard desperately tries to run you guys out of trouble, with enemy vehicles doing some real slap-stick comedy.

Then other times you're in dense jungles and/or beautiful mountain ranges, with sunlight piercing through the canopy. Though I've yet to really mention it, it's also a beautiful game to look at. There are moments where it rivals the original Crysis, and for a console game that's pretty cool.

Then of course there's the multiplayer. Takes a little getting used to (especially if you come from playing COD), but I can honestly say that this one of the only current-gen shooters which pretty much requires decent team work for success. Lone rangers will find that they die quickly and often, and poor teamwork will ultimately lead to failure. You might get a whole bunch of kills, but you'll still lose if you don't work together to capture the objectives.

Adding to this is the fact that the amazing destruction engine from the main game is present and correct in the multiplayer, and adds a massive tactical element to gameplay. There's a sniper that likes to hide in a bunch of trees? You could go into the woodland to try and find him, or you could destroy all the trees in his area from a distance, so that he can no longer hide there. You can still bring buildings down, etc.

Real bullets. Seriously, one of the biggest learning curves of this game is the fact that the guns actually shoot bullets. In pretty much any other game, your gun paints a hitscan on a pixel, and anything on that pixel is 'shot'. This technique has been employed since at least the original Wolfenstein. Hitscans travel at an infinite trajectory, at infinite speed. So regardless of distance, the 'bullet' will hit the target immediately, without having to account for gravity.

The Battlefield games have been working on this for a few years. I know 1943 had bullet travel. So, a bullet would take time to reach it's destination. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) Bad Company 2 is the first in the series to incorporate bullet-drop. So now, not only will your shot take a certain amount of time to reach the target (dependant on distance), but it is also affected by gravity.

So now, you have to lead your shot on moving targets (increasingly so the further away they are), but at range you must now also account for gravity. Getting a long-range headshot, watching the bullet arc half a kilometer, dropping fifteen yards along the way and landing in someone's face.. that feels badass! Doing that same thing but on a moving target = JOYGASM.

The game also represents pretty awesome value. If (and only if) you bought the game new, you're issued with a one-use 'VIP code' in the box. This gives you seven multiplayer map packs for free. If you bought the game pre-owned, this doesn't apply to you (and I therefore discourage buying this game pre-owned). In an age where DLC makes your game cost twice as much once you've bought it all, I like that.

Of the premium DLC, I have only good things to say. There's two items. 'Onslaught' is a co-op mode with one squad against the computer featuring four entirely new maps, and the more recent 'Vietnam', is a clone of the main multiplayer included with the game, but retooled as being set in Vietnam in 1969. It works in the exact same way (with the same modes), but now you're in Vietnam, there's thicker forestry and foliage, rice fields, villages, and awesome music.

There was months between the launch of the game and it's first premium DLC (Onslaught), so I can't imagine it felt in bad taste with regards to customers wallets. Both packs added more life and activity to a game that wasn't lacking in that department at all. I find it easy to get into a game in any of the multiplayer modes, parts, components, etc. Premium or not.

One last point about multiplayer - dedicated servers for all platforms. Doesn't matter what platform you play this game on, you won't be getting any "peer-to-peer" nonsense. I don't think that I've suffered any noticeable lag even once. For this, DICE should be commended.

In an era when developers are cutting costs by eliminating dedicated servers, and maximising profits by releasing nothing but premium DLC packs (usually announced on day one), DICE gives us a game with dedicated servers and a whole fucking mess of free downloadable maps, with a couple of premium bits if you fancy it.

All things considered, I think this game is the best FPS so far in this generation. The single-player campaign is a blast, provides comedy if you're the sort of person who doesn't just bee line it straight from A to B, genuinely looks almost as good as Crysis in places, has a massive and healthy multiplayer community, multiplayer requires real teamwork for overall success, and the package as a whole represents immense value when compared to the competition.

If you like FPS games, I heartily recommend it. But do pick it up new, and while you're at it, you may as well get the Ultimate Edition, which includes the Onslaught DLC and also gives free access to a full-blown DLC game.. Battlefield: 1943!

Bonus "Shittest Game" award goes to Duke Nukem Forever, for being the biggest letdown ever, and furthermore, for actually being even worse than the haters had been harping on about for years. To think I followed that game all this time, defending it, and what I get at the end of it all might as well have been a pie right in the face, courtesy of 3D Realms.

Bioshock

It's the perfect example of a game that doesn't need online multiplayer and a co-op campaign and all the other trappings of the modern day shooter to succeed.

The gameplay wasn't exactly perfect like most modern shooters today are, honed by years of endless sequels. But it was good enough to get the player through the gorgeous environments of Rapture, which was brought alive by the charisma of Andrew Ryan.

In short its one of the few games I've ever played where I've been able to endure somewhat lackluster gameplay and still be amazed. That really speaks to how compelling a setting Rapture is, and how interesting a character Andrew Ryan was.

Yeah, I nearly chose BioShock. Immense game. On balance I felt that, while amazing, you only really play it once and then remember it forever. I haven't touched that game since I finished it years ago, whilst I still play Bad Company 2.

I actually haven't play Bad Company 2, but I've heard nothing but awesome things. Just started looking into it because of your post -- its on Steam right now with the Vietnam expansion for $10. Any reason I should buy it on console (for $36) over the cheaper PC version?

Absolutely not. So long as your PC is capable, you're doing nothing but gaining things by playing it on PC. Better graphics, player cap online is higher (32 on PC versus 24 on console). For ten bucks (£6.25 for me!), that's a steal.

Edit: The 'Onslaught' expansion is only available on consoles. Considering the price differential, I say still get it from Steam.

( Edited 11.07.2011 05:57 by Martin_ )

If I was pushed for one FPS (The GREATEST of this generation) it would have to be COD 4.

It defines this generations FPS's in one game.

Super Mario Galaxy 'cause you can shoot star bits in a first-person view.

Smilie

I'm going to have to echo near enough exactly what Martin said. Battlefield Bad Company 2 is certainly (so far- BF3?) one of the best FPS'. The mechanics are brilliant, the story is excellent and its one of the games that I generally enjoy playing with other people, especially friends. I was talking to my mate about this yesterday (whilst playing BFBC2 no less) because I realised that its one of the only games that benefit from constant interaction. I was playing forward Recon (up close) (I would say sniper class, but its so much more than that) with a SV98 4xscope doing some damage and providing some back up and spot assists for my mate, he was going to arm the objective and without thinking I said "Dude in the building to your left, two guys, take the medic out first" he got the double kill on them, proceeded to arm the charge whilst I dropped mortars on it a second later to prevent diffusing and sniping from around 20 metres away (forward recon/acting [useful] spawn point). And I thought that there aren't that many games that actually give you the time to relay info accurately - its perfect in that regard. Vietnam is brilliant too, and arguably better in some areas due to the removal of scopes and a slight rebalance of the weapons.

I love battlefield, I got it alongside my xbox and over the course of the year I've played for nearly 6 days. Its not a scratch on my CoD playtime I guess, but I enjoy playing BF more with my mates than I do CoD. Whats more, it took me a while to get used to the mechanics and forget the fake physics that every other shooter has implemented and that's what I love about it and learning to pick up/switch classes to suit needs. I've started to get back into it over the past couple of months too, been playing nearly every day since.

I could say a lot more about it, but just read Martins_ above Smilie I'll also leave my Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam montage (again) here as well as one of my favourite BF players montage. Enjoy.

Mine:


 

Player (Threatty- Beastly)


 

Also Jacob, get it on PC, the controls are much nicer, on console the aiming is a little sticky/can be difficult to find a decent sensitivity. Plus more players on servers and various server mods and rules Smilie If you do get it on console though you can play with me and Saunders Smilie

Of course, if he got it on console he would get it on PS3 so he could play with me. Eggsbawks is for queers! (oh wait, I have an Xbox.. daaaaaamn!) Smilie

Unfortunately, I don't play FPS games religiously so I don't know if I can have a solid opinion. I don't play COD or BF. The only FPS games that I've really played a lot over the years are Golden Eye, TimeSplitters 2 and Disruptor. TS2 is one of my fave games ever. I love the Metroid Prime series, but it's not what you'd call a true FPS.

But I've played a couple of FPS games this gen after trying them out due to rave reviews. Those are Bioshock and The Orange Box. I've yet to complete Bioshock, but I can say I'm enjoying it. It's on hold atm, but it's pretty unique. I also loved Portal in TOB, and am waiting for the sequel's price to drop now. Half Life 2 and its Episodes were really damn fun as well. So I'm glad I listened to the reviews and managed to get these games cheap.

So while I don't play enough true FPS games, I can say that I've been really impressed with Bioshock and Half Life 2.

Would you kindly finish BioShock, Az? It's one of the greatest ever single-player FPS games, with a fantastic storyline.

haha I will do my best to find the time and get it done.

Do, it honestly probably is the greatest ever storyline in an FPS. If not, then it's way, way up there with the very best. What plasmids and stuff have you been rocking? How have you been playing it?

Now, would you kindly cease playing any other games until you've got BioShock squared away? What part are you at?

You'll probably hate me for it, but I've been doing it on easy mode for the fact that I've got such a huge backlog of games atm, so I wanna get through as many as I can as quickly as I can.

I've just got to Hephaestus. I haven't been buying any plasmids like the bees or others because I've been able to get through without using them much anyway. Thinking about it, if I played on normal I might have more reason to buy those plasmids. Maybe not. I could just buy them anyway just for the hell of it and fuck around with them though. I've been having a simple time just going through battering everyone with the wrench, taking over the Big Daddies, and then shitting on them with electric shotguns. And I've also been saving every Little Sister.

Easy mode won't change the glorious storyline, but I fear your gameplay experience is rather shallow because of it. I played on hard, and had to use the plasmids. Guns weren't enough. You're basically missing out on half the gameplay if you're not using plasmids and hacking stuff.

There's an awesome plasmid that makes Big Daddies fight for you for a while (makes you smell like a little sister). They fucking pwn any splicers that even look at you in the wrong way. That got me out of a few scrapes, let me tell you!

I would say start again on normal, but if you've just reached Hephaestus, you've just begun the second half of the game. Still, it seems weird that you got that far just battering everyone with the wrench. Easy mode sucks, bro!

I think you can change the difficulty up mid-game. I started on normal and switched to easy at some point. I've tried purposely using more guns though, just to mix it up, but you're right, I would need to be on normal or higher to get a better experience.

Yeah, I use that one plasmid that lets Big Daddies fight for you too. When I said taking over Big Daddies, that's what I meant, just wrote it out wrong. It's very handy to make them fight, lose some health, then finish them off when the splicers are gone. I try to hack a lot too. I fucking hate when alarms go off and you have turrets flying after you for ages. That's fucking annoying. I'll think about switching back to normal when I go back to it next though.

The bees are a great laugh. Highly recommended.

Singleplayer:

-Stalker SoC & CoP (CS was a step below)
-Bioshock
-Minerva's Den (Bioshock 2 DLC)
-Cryostasis
-Metro 2033

Multiplayer:

-Shadowrun

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

Another reason why Battlefield is awesome!


 

Am I allowed to say Perfect Dark? Because technically it's been re-released on XBLA - haven't played the remake though.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Nope, lol. You're site boss though, so you can say whatever you like.

I'm going to bring this topic back to say I don't think Halo Reach gets enough love. I don't know if its because everyone is obsessed with CoD, but it seems like all the hype for Halo died with ODST (which is fair enough, that game sucked). BUT Reach is worthy of much more attention.

The armor abilities present so many tactical opportunities, and the level design in the campaign really allows you to exploit those opportunities. Its the first Halo campaign where I actually feel like I have more options than just "run walk down this corridor and kill everything. Cuz you're the chief".

And in typical Bungie fashion, when you take that stuff online they've managed to keep a pretty balanced system in place. The game feels fair, and the matchmaking is superb. All-in-all, it just feels like one of the most polished and well executed games I've ever played. You can tell Bungie is confident in what they're doing, and that this is the culmination of their expertise.

The only knock I have against the game is that it ships with only about 4 good multiplayer maps and the rest are just mediocre. Those four maps are outstanding, but the rest of the package could have been better. The DLC has helped this to some degree, but its hard to get the game mode you want on a new map since people don't always have all the required content.

If you look, I listed Halo Reach as a game I loved. Cracking game, and I don't give a fuck if it has 'Halo' written on it.

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