Sunday, September 13, 2015

Computer Gaming 500 - The Best - The Shooter rEvolution

Computer Gaming 500 is an ongoing series about my computer gaming experiences totaling 500 titles.  Continuing the listing games that received the perfect 10; see intro for more info.

Similar to how every "best of" list has a Lucas Arts adventure game or two, so too must you have the industry gold standards of shooters.  To not give the following games a 10, would ignore the decades of entertainment and ideas that they founded.

Wolfenstein 3D  (1992)
Wolf3D introduced to gamers a cool new way to game (ala 1st person) wrapped in a familiar story that pits you against the classic go-to villain: Hitler.  But they didn't stop there.  What begins as a basic 1940s era Freedom vs Fascist story, later turns into a sci-fi high tech parallel universe as the game progresses.  A huge surprise for anyone that played only the shareware version and waited to play the other chapters.  The game also introduced to something else that was a bit taboo,  and encouraged users to tweak aspects of their game and create modifications (mods) of their game.    Even I felt inspired to create mod, which perhaps for the best,  has been lost to time due to death by upgrades.

Doom (1993)
While Wolfenstein was one of first to give us smooth FPS, it had still felt a bit like a pilot.  Doom managed to take the idea and make it into a complete package.  Adding immersion via survival horror alien Sci-fi environment, special effects via music, graphics & sound.  This was truly an interactive big production movie we had hoped for since the day the Atari 2600 was introduced.  As if this wasn't enough, they introduced 1st person PVP multiplayer and continued to encourage the mod community to give the game longevity.   No other game has shaped the gaming industry quite like Doom had, a title that will likely never be matched.

Battlefield 1942 (2002)
It took almost a decade later for the gaming industry to break out of the Doom clone molds that had been plaguing the 1st person genera throughout the late 90s.  Coincidentally, it was a game that would take us back to the 1940s.  Only this time, developers embraced the simplicity of the era and creating a sandbox where up to 54 players could battle it out over land, sea and air.  If it wasn't bolted down, you could use it.  Along with mixed classes to choose from, this game introduces mass gaming collaboration to a whole new level.  Once again mods led to a huge component of its success ushering us into the Vietnam, and Modern eras of warfare to name a few.

I can not stress how much mods have helped mold and shape the industry.  To finally give gamers the chance to be a rampaging Santa Clause, or to play as the "axis of evil" in the controversial current day Persian Gulf.  From taboo subjects to intellectual properties, there were no limits; because simply there were no consequences. Mods even gave us a taste of PvE coop, before developers opted to dish it out.  Mods opened up the industry to go after new and untouched ideas, because the risk had already been proven.  This would have not been easy, had developers not opened their games to modifications.

Doom Simpsons Mod
Battlefield 1942 Pirates

BF1942 MuRa mod
Doom Barney mod

BF1942 - Desert Combat

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