Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Patrol1985

The most important aspect of an FPS game (a poll)

what's the most important aspect of an FPS game?  

57 members have voted

  1. 1. what's the most important aspect of an FPS game?

    • graphics
      1
    • sound and music
      3
    • plot
      4
    • level design
      29
    • gunplay
      20
    • enemies
      0
    • multiplayer capabilities
      0


Recommended Posts

I know that a good product usually means some sort of balance between the features posted above, but I'd like to ask you to choose the one which you find the most important.

For me it was a choice between gunplay and level design, but ultimately I choose level design. That's because I don't recall a game ever being ruined for me because of poor gunplay, but I remember titles which were absolutely atrocious due to level design (i.e. "Spear of Destiny" mission packs developed by FormGen).

So what's your choice?

Share this post


Link to post

I was torn between gunplay and level design. Both are super important, in my opinion, but there was one game that ultimately led to my decision - FEAR. Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving FEAR a pass for its atrocious level design - nothing but boring corridors with the occasional office room to spice things up. Seriously, it's funny, despite all the advanced graphics and whatnot, at some points it feels no more advanced than Wolfenstein 3D in terms of level design - bunch of corridors at 90-degree angles. However, I still enjoy the FEAR series, because despite that, the actual gunplay is pretty darn fun. The guns all feel pretty solid, and the bullet-time mechanic is a nice touch. Heck, it's even rewarding in the sense that once you get a better handle on the game, you can get good enough to clear out rooms without even relying on bullet-time, which just makes you feel even more like a badass. But yeah, call it an indulgence, love entering a room, activating bullet-time, then BOOM headshot, BOOM headshot, BOOM headshot, all perfectly lined up because I had the bullet-time to help line up all these sweet shots.

Share this post


Link to post

Besides general gameplay, I'm going to go with sound. The right sounds can really carve an item or characters role into the reality of the game. See: Spelunky.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm using "gunplay" to include player controls. I've found that with fun weapons that balance against the enemies and the ability to move freely and/or intuitively can make up for poor or dated graphics, silly sounds, dull or inappropriate music and even boring level design. It's why I don't like most weapon mods for Doom - they throw off the balance of power against the simplistic enemies.

I think a lot of the games I've played do this well, which is probably why I've enjoyed them even when I can see I'm just mowing down dumb hordes, progressing down grey or brown corridors or being led between cutscenes. I think appearance and sound of the weapons does help here, won't make or break it for me. It particularly helps when you need to keep switching weapons to adapt to situations, as that makes them all seem useful and makes me feel like I'm being more skilful :p For this reason, I've never been a fan of the stereotypical SSG map that seems to pop up in Doom II often.

Share this post


Link to post
Phml said:

No "movement" option? :(


Yeah I noticed it too after I posted the poll. I tried to edit it, but it's impossible. My bad :(

Share this post


Link to post
geekmarine said:

However, I still enjoy the FEAR series, because despite that, the actual gunplay is pretty darn fun. The guns all feel pretty solid, and the bullet-time mechanic is a nice touch.

Can't disagree on that. Even pistol sounded meaty, plus it is fast to use in slow motion (or so I did observe.)

Bulletstorm had pretty fun gunplay too, like guided sniper bullets or booting Bouncer's shots and doing fun stuff with it.

So gunplay on my part too. I could put point in level design, but the enemy design is showing its ugly head too. There has been too many normal soldiers, officers, heavy weapons dude, zombies with different types and so on. Resistance had excellent category of enemies, flying, swarming, normal shooting dudes along... Or enemies large as Cyberdemon is (Titan, requires you to shoot it until it dies.)

Share this post


Link to post

Gunplay because i want to be able to carry many weapons as Doom or Duke3D, not like Halo or COD which ruined most of the best game franchises with thier bullshit of 2 weapon limit, regen health, iron sights and short campaigns.

Share this post


Link to post

I'd really say level design. In any sort of game FPS or not with the exception of JRPGs. Its what you exist in and can play with even awful gameplay. Skyrim and Team Fortress 2 have excellent levels. Team Fortress 2 levels have multiple routes and every camper spot can be counteracted. Team Fortress 2 has excellent gunplay, but Skyrim has awful gameplay.

Painkiller had good weapons, but shitty levels consisting of enemy arenas.

Share this post


Link to post

The thing about enemy design is, while I greatly appreciate varied enemies, and of course mowing down nothing but waves of soldiers can can get dull, it's so easy to screw that one up in the name of adding variety. I've seen too many games where you'll be going along killing wave upon wave of standard soldiers, then to mix it up they throw in, say, a giant killer robot with like a bajillion hitpoints and twin rocket launchers. It's like, I get it, it's different, but honestly, if it's too different, that can be a bad thing - doesn't really fit with the tone of the rest of the game. It's not necessarily that different enemies themselves are bad, but one should be careful that introducing a new enemy doesn't lead to an insane ramp-up in difficulty. Again, I guess I have to point to FEAR as being a good example of the killer death-bot out of nowhere, and I kinda wanna say Return to Castle Wolfenstein, too, but it's been too long since I've played it - but I have a vague memory that there are points where enemies suddenly become much stronger for no real reason.

Half-Life also does this, not with death-bots, but with the crazy ninja assassins which are friggin' 10x more difficult to kill than anything else you had faced up to that point. Oh yeah, and RTCW has that, too. Point is, varying enemy design is good, but increase in difficulty should be a gradual curve, not an insane difficulty spike.

Share this post


Link to post

Level design and gameplay.

I think arena type shooters can be good too, but then the arenas need to be interesting. If every arena is just a different sized/textured box room, then it's boring. If the arenas have different shapes, and heights on the floors/ceilings and other obstacles, then it could be fun.

Share this post


Link to post

If I was going sarcastic, I'd say graphics. But since I'm not going sarcastic on this occasion, I'll say level design.

Share this post


Link to post

Gunplay, because all the other choices could apply to most any game. But gun play/combat is something that is most distinguishable for a FPS overall.

But for Doom mods in particular, I'd say level design. Though there are some very good gun mods out there that enhance the experience. Enemies I feel would go hand in hand with level design; it being an aspect of it.

Share this post


Link to post
geo said:

Skyrim has awful gameplay.


I liked Skyrim, but I think you are sort of right about this. The leveling system is just a grind after a while. less than half-way through the game, your character will be able to kill every single enemy with ease. Further, the combat is clunky, and weird. The hand-holding quest marker system is complete shit. I think Fallout 3 was a hell of a lot better. However, playing a heavily modded version of skyrim is a totally different experience that is worth while imo.

While I'm on Bethesda, I spoke with my colleague this morning, and he said that he played the Doom Beta. According to him, they still have a lot of work to do. He seemed pretty underwhelmed. He's an old school doom player and a programming professor, so I'm going to take his word for it.

Share this post


Link to post

Level design and gunplay, inseparably.

If you ask me, the most important aspect of a First Person Shooter is obviously gunplay. It's the aspect which distinguishes the genre, therefore for an FPS it's very appropriate to have as good gunplay as possible (unlike for logic or racing games, where this doesn't matter). In my view, gunplay determines the quality of an FPS, but I'd actually say the same about level design. Gunplay is the main point of a shooter game, but level design is important in keeping the game enjoyable and supplementing the shooting with another "challenge" - exploration and liberal flow. They're also important for an FPS that I want to enjoy. So I believe that a quality FPS primarily needs to focus on both design and gunplay aspects, and subsequently the others (enemies, audio etc.). Either a quality gunplay with spoiled design, or quality design with spoiled gunplay wouldn't impress me that well - but if both were done right, I'd more likely forgive flaws in those other aspects. Maybe not entirely, but you see my point. I believe that level design and gunplay are making the essence together.

Share this post


Link to post

Nothing is more important then level design. Gunplay at boring levels is pointless, it's like a big party with geek/boring people.

Share this post


Link to post

Pretty much the biggest sin a first-person game can commit is not putting any care and attention into the weapons. Third-person shooters have it easy; guns barely even need to have different animations, since the player is going to be paying more attention to the character holding the gun than the gun itself. But in an FPS game, you do not have the luxury of seeing yourself much of the time. That weapon on screen is the most you will generally see of yourself. That is the on-screen "character," the sole representation of "you." Sane FPS developers would figure out ways to make sure that the gun has as much personality as possible.

As much as I hate to admit it, the more recent Call of Duty games are on to something by allowing custom paint and accessories. Since players generally can't change their external appearance (since, in teamplay, characters needs to look like they belong to one team or the other), the game instead allows customized paint jobs and patterns, and in some cases custom reflex sights with unique reticule shapes and colors. (I saw one COD:BLOPS player with a flaming orange Stoner 63, sporting a holographic sight that displayed a pink smiley face in place of the usual red dot.)

Pretty much the biggest example of "gun as character", though, is Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. I freaking love how much care went into the reloading animations. The game is supposed to be over-the-top ridiculous, and the weapons exemplify this, in particular the shotgun, which our hero reloads by throwing shells into the air and catching them with the gun. (It even flip-cocks.)

Yet...I see lots and lots of FPS games, modern or otherwise, that offer pretty much nothing to differentiate the weapons from each other. Even the more imaginative games tend to have a really disproportionate amount of guns that are just machine guns, with varying amounts of damage, accuracy, and recoil (if the game even has recoil). Reloads are a typical "clip out, clip in" (or even worse, dipping off screen a bit and doing a "clicky-dance") and only rarely do they even think to add a chambering animation. There's lots of room to give each gun a unique "feel," and a lot of devs seem to just ignore all of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Kontra Kommando said:

I liked Skyrim, but I think you are sort of right about this. The leveling system is just a grind after a while. less than half-way through the game, your character will be able to kill every single enemy with ease. Further, the combat is clunky, and weird. The hand-holding quest marker system is complete shit. I think Fallout 3 was a hell of a lot better. However, playing a heavily modded version of skyrim is a totally different experience that is worth while imo.

While I'm on Bethesda, I spoke with my colleague this morning, and he said that he played the Doom Beta. According to him, they still have a lot of work to do. He seemed pretty underwhelmed. He's an old school doom player and a programming professor, so I'm going to take his word for it.


Skyrim is still miles ahead of Oblivion and Morrowind. Dual wielding is a step up, having an active shout / power button is an advancement, but the sad part is their advancement brings them up to 2002's standards. The animations are terrible, even if the killing animations look great. Its fun watching NPCs trying to pathfind, they'll run forward, stop, turn, then run forward again. Despite its meh combat / gameplay, people still play it and it sure isn't for the quests. Go here, go there. Its about the journey. The level design. If it wasn't as good as it is, people wouldn't play it.

Which Doom beta?

Share this post


Link to post

I figured Gunplay, but Gun/Gameplay does often go hand in hand with good level design. However, I though Chasm: The Rift and even Quake had some shitty level design. But, I also thought the guns felt solid and were fun to use. Killing enemies was fun in those games. Excellent cause and effect in Quake when anything can gib, and Chasm's dismemberment feature was also good feedback when shooting enemies. Bonus points since shooting off certain limbs would change that enemies' dynamics/tactics.

Share this post


Link to post
Kontra Kommando said:

I liked Skyrim, but I think you are sort of right about this. The leveling system is just a grind after a while. less than half-way through the game, your character will be able to kill every single enemy with ease. Further, the combat is clunky, and weird. The hand-holding quest marker system is complete shit. I think Fallout 3 was a hell of a lot better. However, playing a heavily modded version of skyrim is a totally different experience that is worth while imo.

What ever happened to those extremely complexed and in depth RPGs we used to have, I miss those days playing Daggerfall and getting banished from a city only to climb the wall and get back in.

Share this post


Link to post
Captain Red said:

I voted graphics. Who what's to fight me?


Let me just break this virtual bottle! Dude I voted gunplay and you just brought graphics to a gun fight my friend! Nah man I just thought it would be funny to say, I voted level design.

Share this post


Link to post

Graphics has got to be the dumbest possible choice you could pick. No matter how fancy the graphics are, give it a couple of years and something will come along with even fancier graphics. And you're sure as hell not going to come back to a game 10 or 20 years later because its graphics were awesome at the time it was released. I mean sure, Doom's graphics kicked ass in 1993, and helped make it popular at the time, but no one playing Doom today is doing so because its graphics kicked so much ass in 1993. And I mean, you might still admire its art style, I sure do, the sprites and textures still look good, it's not like you're gonna be sitting there like, "Holy shit! Non-orthogonal walls! Varying sector heights! Transparent textures! I just can't get over this engine's advanced features!"

Share this post


Link to post

3d Engine - Without a good 3d engine everything is for nothing. Note: Unreal3 is not a good 3d engine (for FPS).

Share this post


Link to post
GoatLord said:

Why wasn't "responsive controls" an option?


Because there aren't many games that fail in that department. 99% of games have responsive controls, because if they don't they disappear into obscurity quicker than one can say "DOOM".

Responsive controls shouldn't be considered a game's strong point. They should be a freakin' NECESSITY.

Share this post


Link to post
Patrol1985 said:

Because there aren't many games that fail in that department. 99% of games have responsive controls, because if they don't they disappear into obscurity quicker than one can say "DOOM".

Responsive controls shouldn't be considered a game's strong point. They should be a freakin' NECESSITY.

Um, that's not entirely accurate. It's not super-common, but unresponsive controls is a problem that appears in a lot of PC ports of console games. It's basically a side effect of the games not being designed with mouse/keyboard in mind in the first place. It's kinda hard to describe, you need to feel it for yourself, but it's like you don't have exactly the pinpoint precision you feel you should - either the game feels slightly sluggish to turn when you move the mouse, or it doesn't stop on a dime when you stop moving the mouse. It's not super obvious, but you can kinda feel it.

Share this post


Link to post
geekmarine said:

Um, that's not entirely accurate. It's not super-common, but unresponsive controls is a problem that appears in a lot of PC ports of console games. It's basically a side effect of the games not being designed with mouse/keyboard in mind in the first place. It's kinda hard to describe, you need to feel it for yourself, but it's like you don't have exactly the pinpoint precision you feel you should - either the game feels slightly sluggish to turn when you move the mouse, or it doesn't stop on a dime when you stop moving the mouse. It's not super obvious, but you can kinda feel it.


I played Quake online semi-seriously for over 10 years so I consider myself very sensitive when it comes to mouse lag, mouse acceleration etc.

I haven't noticed any modern games having problems with responsiveness, but then again I haven't played that many of them. I know for sure that RAGE had great responsiveness and it was a console port.

Could you give examples of games with poor responsiveness?

Bear in mind I always play with raw mouse input (if available) and vsync turned off. Otherwise the results may truly be far from what I expect from a game.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×