Destiny 2 – endlessly entertaining (pic: Bungie)
Readers discuss the best first and third person shooters, with classics including Rainbow Six Siege and Battlefield 3.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Paulie, who asked which shooters are your favourite and why? Do you prefer first or third person views and do you primarily play them single or multiplayer?
We had lots of different answers, but most people agreed that first person shooters in particular don’t age well, and so there were relatively few nominations for anything older than last gen.
Shooter of the forever
It is fascinating how much first person shooters have fallen out of fashion lately. Not necessarily in terms of the biggest games, like Call Of Duty, but just as being THE thing to copy and chase after. That seems perfectly healthy to me though and hopefully means that when developers do make new games now, they do so with a purpose other than just chasing a trend.
For me, the best of the best though is Destiny 2. It’s a game that gets a lot of criticism for its repetition and bad storytelling but for me it’s always been a near perfect experience. The fact that it has the best gunplay in any shooter is, I feel, indisputable and Bungie are the absolute masters of making the action feel satisfying and immersive.
But they’re also amazing when it comes to level and mission design, making a finite number of maps and settings feel like something that you could play forever. That may be impossible but I’ve been playing since the game first came out and have no intension of stopping anytime soon. Too me that is the sign of how great Destiny 2 is.
Stick with it
It’s not a game I see mentioned much on the Inbox but my favourite first person shooter is Rainbow Six Siege. On the fact of it, it seems really niche given that it’s multiplayer only and you have to treat it almost like a beat ‘em-up in terms of learning every little detail of every map and operator. And I love it!
I’d say it’s not for everyone but it’s extremely popular and even after all these years there are no plans for a sequel, which I think says a lot. It’s also THE best example of a game that wasn’t that great at launch, and didn’t have a lot of content, with Ubisoft sticking with it and being rewarded for it.
I do enjoy story-based games as well, like Doom and Wolfenstein, but Siege is definitely my favourite of all-time and above all of them.
I’ll throw some less obvious examples out there and say that my favourites probably include Wolfenstein: The New Order, DayZ, and Metro Exodus.
Wolfenstein is, for me, the best ever mix of story and action in a first person shooter, much better than Bioshock and with some fun stealth mechanics and a really great story that doesn’t shirk away from the subject matter.
DayZ is not exactly a niche game but it’s not one you hear about nowadays and yet I still play and enjoy it. It’s had a big influence on other games but for me it’s still the best of the roguelike survival games.
Finally, Metro Exodus is also great and the only place I’ve really heard it appreciated is here on GameCentral. I don’t know if the Russian setting puts people off or something but I love it and a I really enjoy the mix of open world and more linear levels.
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Return of the king
Like any long-running franchise Battlefield has had its ups and down but it’s definitely going through a down phase at the moment, with the disappointing Battlefield 1 and 5. I remember back when Battlefield 3 was around though and that was amazing. The perfectly balanced multiplayer shooter with sandbox gameplay and huge levels.
I don’t know why they even bother with the story campaign anymore given how it’s never worked out well (prioritising it over battle royale in Battlefield 5 is just crazy) and I honest can’t remember if Battlefield 3 even had one. I certainly hope Battlefield 6 doesn’t, as I’m hoping that, by focusing on what it does best, this can see it reclaim the throne as the best first person shooter ever.
I’m going to go a little leftfield and say that The Last Of Us is my favourite shooter of all time. A highly acclaimed game but usually not for it’s action, which a lot of people seem to dismiss and merely being adequate.
I think it’s much better than that and for proof I would point towards the multiplayer mode which worked fantastically well and is the real reason I’m nominating it. The mechanics are solid, as you’d expect, but I’ve never player an online shooter that was this tense before. It really is just like playing the single-player but with other people.
Rumours seem to suggest that Naughty Dog are doing a modern version based on The Last Of Us Part 2 and I hope that’s true because it absolutely deserves to be a separate game, as I’m sure many ignored it in the original.
Return to form
It’s not been easy to be a Halo fan these last few years. Or at least I haven’t really liked Halo 4 or 5, but the original games are still my all-time favourites. I’m torn over which is the best but I think it’s got to be Halo 3 that has the best mix of single-player story and multiplayer.
I hope that Halo Infinite can get that mix right because it has been a long time since Halo has felt relevant and that pains me to admit it.
The correct view
I generally find the most immersive way of experiencing gaming is through a first person perspective, hence why Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and the most recent Resident Evil just feel so good. Looking up close to the object and seeing it from a realistic visual point of view is a lot more satisfying then being a couple of metres away from behind your character and your character getting in the way. Angling your character from a third person position with your camera viewer to look at some detail can be tricky.
I remember in The Witcher 3, I just wish I could get closer to some pictures or some kind of interesting furniture to appreciate it a lot more. What I find helps with the third person camera angles in regards to positioning yourself for a better or closer look at a character or object, is to move the camera to a wall or some unmovable background scenery, which then forces the camera to be up close and personal, as it stops the view from pulling away from the target. Still not perfect though!
If first person is better for immersion then third persons beats everything else regarding the controlling of the character. Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, and Mass Effect games need to have the whole character and it would be near wasted and very difficult to do in first person.
Metal Gear can pull off both perspectives, being able to seamlessly switch from third and first person. There are other titles that can do this also, like Deus Ex to a degree, but nothing like the best action-orientated third person games, which specialise in multiple move sets to combo with.
Could a Dark Souls type of game pull off a first person due to a much simpler range of attack and defence actions? Very possibly. I can see developers possibly jumping on this idea (probably already have) and making the game seem very unique.
I don’t have a favourite gaming viewing perspective really, but for the true Soulsborne and Elder Scrolls experience it must be the point of view that they were originally intended for and, for me personally, I could not imagine playing them any other way.
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The small print
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