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The Strife Commando

Why Are Arsenals In A Lot Of FPS Games So Standard?

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Posted (edited)

Back then we had stuff like the Flak Canon, Shock Rifle, Cerebral Bore, Laptop Gun, Injector, Farsight, etc. Why is it that now we just get standard pistols, shotguns, machine guns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles? Let's take Half-Life 2 for example. Taking place far into the future, you'd expect some crazy fun stuff. Instead it's just your standard load out of pistol, shotgun, SMG, Crossbow, assault rifle disguised as a alien gun, and a rocket launcher. Yes it has the gravity gun and bug bait but...well. Even if we do get a crazy weapon such as the BFG 9000, all the other guns in the game are basic stuff.

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I think the standardization comes from the necessity to appeal to broad audience which are used to hop between multiples games, specially in the free2play domain.

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Posted (edited)

There games that got out after Modern style of FPS but the ones that come to my mind at the moment are-

TitanFall 2 Shotgun Arsenal, Smart Pistol and how they work.

 

Plasma Launcher and Spartan Laser from Halo 3 and Halo Reach

 

Laser Snipers from Apex Legends.

 

Bordelands Games.

If you want to talk about only Boomer Shooters, Amid Evil celestial crawl and planetary launcher are beutifuly unique.

And Treasure Land 2 & Ultrakill got really unique weapons uses and combos.

 

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I mean DooM has a pump shotgun, a double barrelled shotgun, a chain-gun and a pistol.

There's just something so satisfying blowing the brains out of alien scum with powerful firearms. :3

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I like how Games set in the future sometimes have older weaponry, or games that are in medieval settings have futuristic guns. It sort of gives everybody something. Like if you want to play an old feeling game, play Quake, and if you want to play a game in a future Sci-Fi Setting, you can still play Quake (sorry that I use Quake as my example. ever since the new release, I can't get the game out of my head)

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Posted (edited)

Well, the very game that introduced the Cerebral Bore heavily features a standard FPS arsenal that you have to mostly rely on.

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Posted (edited)

"Standard" weapons can still be satisfying. A good developer can take a standard 9mm pistol and make it fun as hell. Just because a weapon has a creative design doesn't mean it is fun to use. Physics, feedback, and animation matter the most to me.

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I mean, there is only so much you can do, and weapon diversity, as in having crazy different stuff, is just not as important as having a fun and balanced arsenal. You might think stuff like Psionic Amplifiers are cool, others might be just turned off by it, so there is a risk factor of doing highly unorthodox designs, although being fun to use is the most important factor in the end. And there are quite a bit of games with some out of the box stuff, like Amid Evil's planet launcher thingy.

 

Plus down-playing the gravity gun's originality is absurdly contradictory to your point, the thing is an icon, even Doom 3 decided to copy it with RoE. Even if you don't personally like it, it is *the* thing from Half Life 2.

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31 minutes ago, Coopersville said:

Doom solved it early.

I think the weapons in DOOM are mostly satisfying, but besides the BFG, which is a little too creative in my opinion, the rest of the arsenal is pretty standard stuff.

 

Fist (weak, poorly animated, hairy arm)

Shotgun (pretty satisfying)

Pistol (shit)

Chaingun (least satisfying due to sfx)

Plasma rifle (awesome)

BFG ("here's a guide on how the hell it works!")

 

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-pitchfork

-flare gun

-evil dead 2 shotgun

-tommy gun

-NAPALM LAUNCHER!!!

-FRIKKIN DYNAMITE WITH TONS OF ATTACK OPTIONS!!!

-spray can (AKA IT BURNS IT BURNS!!!!!)

-Tesla cannon

-Some weird staff that shoots exploding fireballs that you can shoot with no ammo BUT feeds on your health

-VOODOO DOLL

 

Is, to me, the best weapon rollout ever. Blood rules.

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I think we hit a sort of backlash against extensive zany/imaginative arsenals in shooters after the market just got oversaturated with them and games just threw them in there for the sake of it, losing their novelty and partly because they would make easy back-of-the-box bullet points for marketers to leverage. This trend also coincides with the "less is more" mantra as game designers just grow and mature in general.


In more ways than one I think the development parallels that of special moves in fighting games. Early on in the post-SF2 years the genre seemed to be all about how many crazy moves and powers you could shove into your ensemble of fighters, but that was also a sentiment that mellowed over time.

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If we use HL1 as an example, I'm pretty sure I've only ever used the snarks in that one section with the HECU immediately after you get them, and I don't think I've ever once used the alien grunt arm, because it's just not a good weapon, which is probably the source of it all, players, whether they realise it or not, are going to want to use the most effective weapons, that's the point of a first person shooter, to kill things, so there's a good chance that in most games the weapon people will want to use the most is the ol' reliable, which depending on the setting, is probably a double barrelled shotgun, an MP40, or an AK-47. The only reason you're not going to use these weapons is if you want to actively handicap yourself, which few players do, but it's not entirely the players' fault, you try playing one of the X360/PS3 COD/MOH games without ever picking up an MP40, you're just asking to make your life miserable.

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Posted (edited)

I think they're just easier to balance. Everyone can pick up a pistol, shotgun, machine gun, automatic rifle, or rocket launcher, and pretty much instantly know what it does. When you start introducing new or creative weapons like in Blood or Unreal, people can easily get confused, and that's the last thing you want.

 

Creative weapons are fun, but you don't want to risk sales. I'm reminded of the Shock Rifle and the Eightball from Unreal, they were extremely useful weapons, but they took some time and skill to learn how to use them properly. Well, and the Voodoo Doll and Life Leech from Blood. They were all neat weapons, that were fun to use, but their purposes were never quite clear when you got them. So I can understand why developers decided to just go with the standard fair.

Edited by Jello

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I always found hilarious the nuke on Shadow Warrior.
And those one liners, hahahaah
Man, those were good games with joke sense of humor.

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Posted (edited)

Because it's hard enough to make a Shotgun effective and satisfying to use, let alone a firehose that sprays leeches or whatever.

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Posted (edited)

These aren’t generic weapons. Think for a moment, even in the future when weapons advance further than now we will still see the main basic weapons: 

 

- solid projectile weapons such as rifles and pistols, machine guns.

- multiple projectile weapons such as a shotgun 

- special purpose weapons such as explosives, flamethrowers, etc

 

Even if the innovations of the future change how we load these weapons, or even how they function, there will still be the basic types that use the basic projectile types. Video games are going to reflect this with any gun they design unless it is entirely fantasy in nature. 
 

We could eventually see weapons that fire with caseless ammo becoming the new normal. Video games will likely reflect this change when it happens, and yet there will still be pistols, rifles, shotguns, etc, just now following different design philosophy. 
 

so unless you’re making every weapon totally out of this world, you will always fall into the “generic weapon” camp, perhaps even without realizing it. 

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7 hours ago, Redneckerz said:

Nothing beats the Nuker when it comes to obliterating things.


Not as cool as the Laptop Gun. 

laptop.jpg

Perfect Dark had some seriously cool weapons. 

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11 minutes ago, Mr. Freeze said:


Not as cool as the Laptop Gun. 

laptop.jpg

Perfect Dark had some seriously cool weapons. 

Indeed it did. I always liked throwing the Dragon into multiplayer matches because of the secondary proximity mine function on it.

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5 hours ago, Mr. Freeze said:


Not as cool as the Laptop Gun. 

laptop.jpg

Perfect Dark had some seriously cool weapons. 

Invalid submission, when there is also this;
u4e-doll.GIF

or
u4e-bfg.GIF
or
u4e-airblast2.GIF

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Because wacky gimmick weapons may be fun to come up with but the fact of the matter is that overreliance on them sacrifices cohesion somewhat and they don't fit in every single setting. Games like Unreal, Turok, Prey 2006, and Painkiller make sense to have gimmick weapons because they are set in extremely hostile and alien otherworldly environments. Something like Hexen also has a lot of quirky and unusual weapons, but that is almost to be expected considering it's set in a fantasy world and you're using magic. Perfect Dark is inspired by spy fiction like James Bond, so some fancy spy gadgets like the Laptop gun are to be expected in a setting like that. These things work less so for a setting that's more grounded, like a standard WWII shooter or a game set in the modern day where you're an NYPD officer solving murders or something like that. Everything has a time and place, and your weapons should be thematically appropriate. The GES Biorifle or Electro-driver or Wraithverge or whatever aren't going to make much sense in a game like Farcry 5 or Condemned.

 

I also take issue with the implication of this being a strictly modern thing, as there were countless 90s and early 2000s FPS games that also adhered to a strictly standard weapon loadout with few if any exceptions. Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake 2, Marathon, Half-Life, Goldeneye, Medal of Honor, Quake 3, Duke Nukem 3D, Redneck Rampage, System Shock, the list goes on and on. Ultimately, all that matters is if the guns are fun. I don't really mind either way. Give me a severed alligator head that shoots razor-sharp jagged icicles of frozen sulfuric acid that's been dyed purple and blessed by a priest, or a Glock. Don't care. All that matters is which one feels better to use.

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My guess is that most modern games try to appeal with the "realism" in the weaponry.
With Less Sci-fi in the armament.

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I will say that I love when games give the standard “pistol, shotgun, machine gun, rocket launcher” lineup, but also throw 2 or 3 of their own signature weapons into the mix. It’s a good balance of accessible and memorable, that way.

 

Doom’s “specialty guns” are the SSG, Plasma and BFG, and they’re so fun to use and compliment the standard roster so well. It set a good precedent - Duke had the freeze cannon, shrink ray and pipe bombs as their “woah cool and new” weapons and they’re also very memorable.

 

Obviously not every game will work with the “standard loadout plus 2 or 3 cool special guns” approach, but I think it serves as a great conceptual baseline for the FPS weapon formula.

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Posted (edited)

I think the Spore Launcher from Half-Life: Opposing Force was the perfect way to deal with weird, but familiar weapons. For those that have played the game, you're familiar with it. For those who haven't, it's an alien lifeform that you attached to your wrist, and it throws up an alien spore, which acts like a grenade. And the idle petting animation was just so damn cute!

 

 

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why do they even bother adding something besides a good shotgun and a rocket lanucher? it's more than enough for True FPS Fan!

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On 8/22/2021 at 4:50 PM, Maggle said:

Give me a severed alligator head that shoots razor-sharp jagged icicles of frozen sulfuric acid that's been dyed purple and blessed by a priest

I would like the hear more

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