FPS Gaming Continually Redefined by Games Like Planetside 2, DayZ

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FPS gaming has been continually redefined over the years thanks to games like Doom, Quake, Battlefield, and yes even Call of Duty. But now, a new breed of shooters has began to shape the entire genre of FPS gaming into a new direction. While FPS games have peaked and slumped over time, the new modern FPS represents an entirely different function than its predecessors. Instead of singleplayer-focused gameplay or an arena-like multiplayer system that encompasses a small number of players, FPS gaming has developed into a whole new animal.

Players of FPS genre games in modern times are often looking for something ‘bigger’. Bigger maps, bigger player count, bigger weapon selection, bigger vehicle selection — a massive warfare game that actually is somewhat similar to the scale of real war. Granted, it’s currently impossible to support hundreds of thousands or even millions of players at once. So for now we have the next best thing, hundreds or thousands of players on the map at a single time.

FPS Gaming ‘Standard’ Gets Bigger and Bigger

Battlefield 3 has 64 players, but Planetside 2′s slogan ‘Bigger is Always Better’ exemplifies its massive combat that includes over 2,000 players on a single map. At 666 players per faction duking it out in a persistent world, the bar is now much higher. And subsequently, the FPS gaming genre takes another lead forward. Now the bar is set at 2,000 players on the map at once. The 64 player count, which was a massive feat years ago, is now a small figure.

Persistent worlds are another factor. Battlefield 3′s matches end after a certain numeric value has been reached. Kills, flag captures, resources, whatever. After something hits the cap, the current game is over. With Planetside 2, the world is entirely persistent. Captured bases stay captured until another faction takes control.

This new model will set a new standard within the industry. Plus, it’s getting even more massive. In a blog post by Sony Online Entertainment (the creators of Planetside 2) Preisdent John Smedley, he goes on to say that in the future the game may actually forgo any type of instancing between massive continents and allow the dividing oceans to be traversed by players. This means one massively large map (separated by water) with what would amount to around 8,000 or so players all at one time. Players who will be shooting tank shells, do air raids, and blowing stuff up.

So how does DayZ tie into this?

DayZ may not have thousands on the map at one time (though some servers allow over 100 players), but it goes far beyond what virtually any game has ever done in terms of both its highly unique atmosphere and its highly unique realism. Throwing 50 players into a map bearing Russian language signs with no weapon and a ton of rabid zombies is something that any major publisher would scoff at. After all, how would the general FPS gaming community respond to the harsh difficulty?

As it turns out, it’s exactly what over one million gamers were looking for. And it is these kind of risks that will not be taken by major publishers such as EA, but will go on to define a new realm of FPS gaming. Take The War Z, a new MMOFPS that is basically the same premise as DayZ but with a budget. What will come from The War Z or the new DayZ standalone? Probably a dozen more inspired games. Games that may actually be developed by major publishers after seeing the success of DayZ.

FPS gaming is being redefined by titles that continue to push the limits. Oftentimes, it’s from independent publishers who take risks. In the case of Planetside 2, SOE is taking the lead. Call of Duty may have to watch out for games like these who continue to push such boundaries, otherwise players may begin to long for something larger and more immersive than its sub-one-hundred battle maps.


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