When did first person shooters become linear?

and a combination of regenerating health and medkits.

Wait what, are you talking about Wolfenstein: The New Order? Is there a source that confirms health regen? Aw man, not again. There goes my hope for this one. Time to replay RTCW and cry.

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Harmata said:

Wait what, are you talking about Wolfenstein: The New Order? Is there a source that confirms health regen? Aw man, not again. There goes my hope for this one. Time to replay RTCW and cry.

From what I've heard, your health regens tot he next highest multiple of 20 but stops there. I'm not sure how the can be smoothly executed, though. Makes me wonder if medikits are going to be 20-value only.

Haven't played many FPS games in recent years. I've heard good stuff about Blood Dragon (Far Cry 3 DLC) and the trailer was pretty awesome, but linearity is hardly the topic being discussed when it comes to that. I personally don't think a game needs nonlinearity to be done well, though it is my preference. BioShock was hardly nonlinear, but I enjoyed the hell out of it for other reasons.

People buy games, and the large companies model themselves off that success. It's just good business.

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Bioshock has solid level design, satisfying gunplay, strong art direction and genuinely interesting layouts. It's got enough going for it to get away with linear tendencies.

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While I'd love to blame bad, maze-like design in some older games, I think the drive towards linearity can mostly be blamed on level design based around scripted set pieces. So Half-Life I guess - it's all Valve's fault, send them your hatemail.

That said, I still prefer entirely linear levels over directionless design. Good nonlinear is a lot harder to pull off than good linear. I really prefer design like Doom E1 (and a lot of other Doom maps) where it's a linear flow from beginning to end with clear goals, but plenty of side areas that aren't required.

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DoomUK said:

Obligatory.

On the other hand, there's a growing trend of bloated and aimless sandbox FPSes, which, unlike Far Cry [1] or Crysis [1], involve lots of walking/driving around for the sake of walking/driving around.

I'm not sure which I enjoy less.


I wouldn't call the 1st Far Cry or Crysis sandbox, more semi sndbox. Sandbox is what I would use for Far Cry 2 and 3, where the map is the same in every part of the game, start right through to finish. Far Cry 1 and Crysis 1 has just huge levels which are sandboxes themselves, but once you progress to a certain point, you enter a new sandbox and the previous one is no longer accessable. I like that way myself as it's open and full of suspense, worrying about a guard takeing a leak to catch your scouting mission for the main assult, yet the game always progresses with new areas, and no random collection padders the proper full sandbox versions do.

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Snakes said:

From what I've heard, your health regens tot he next highest multiple of 20 but stops there. I'm not sure how the can be smoothly executed, though. Makes me wonder if medikits are going to be 20-value only.


It worked pretty well in the original Resistance in multiples of 25. Although it could have been abused, it would have been far too tedious to have been worth it, even more so than in a game like COD. It personally made me look for ways to move fluidly though an environment weaving in and out of different cover locations.

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flubbernugget said:

It worked pretty well in the original Resistance in multiples of 25. Although it could have been abused, it would have been far too tedious to have been worth it, even more so than in a game like COD. It personally made me look for ways to move fluidly though an environment weaving in and out of different cover locations.

Yeah, it was a great health system, and I'd really like to see it catch on. It makes taking minor damage less bothersome, as long as it isn't sustained for long enough to lose a whole health bubble. At the same time, it doesn't dull the sinking feeling you get after you just got whaled on by a heavy, and now you have to watch yourself until you find some more health. Even if your health will rarely drop to 1% for long.

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schwerpunk said:

Yeah, it was a great health system, and I'd really like to see it catch on. It makes taking minor damage less bothersome, as long as it isn't sustained for long enough to lose a whole health bubble. At the same time, it doesn't dull the sinking feeling you get after you just got whaled on by a heavy, and now you have to watch yourself until you find some more health. Even if your health will rarely drop to 1% for long.


I agree. I really hate it when I have 99 health, stumble upon a medpack and then get blasted with a shotgun-guy to 76% health. As much as I dislike regenerating health, this hybrid system is very elegant and makes medpacks more valuable.

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DooM_RO said:

I agree. I really hate it when I have 99 health, stumble upon a medpack and then get blasted with a shotgun-guy to 76% health. As much as I dislike regenerating health, this hybrid system is very elegant and makes medpacks more valuable.


Yea, it might work well, but used to find it amusing to be running around on 1% health. I used to do this on HL on the hardest setting. Be a shame to never have that experience again. Doom was a bit like this too, I used to run around with low health, doom guys face completely messed up....I just continued on. Its very surprising how far you can get before you take 1 too many bullets. I think it just makes you play better :)

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