Call of Duty popularised it, Battlefield widened the massive scale of it, but the first-person shooter genre has seen a rough few years. The latest titles have received largely mixed-to-negative reception, though we believe them to be rather good. The most mainstream FPS games have seen a decline in sales and critical reception in recent years, but within another aspect of this genre lies perhaps its future: Movement.
Movement shooters have become more popular lately with the presence of brand new games like Ultrakill and more mainstream ones like Titanfall 2 and Doom Eternal. But first, what the hell are movement shooters anyways?
What is a “Movement shooter”
Movement shooters live up to their name, being FPS titles that put a heavy emphasis on raw speed instead of the slow, methodical and careful shooting seen in more “realistic” titles like Rainbow Six Siege and Insurgency: Sandstorm. These titles are largely focused on speed and multitasking chaos.
All three of the aforementioned titles feature a grapple hook to help enhance the speed and flow of the combat, proving to be wonderful additions. Multitasking is a really big factor in these titles, as usually, you will be juggling a lot of enemies, and standing in one place for a second is a death sentence. Weapon switching is quick, reloads are usually irrelevant and the combat has a lot of variety to it with this part of the genre.
The Decline of Mainstream
Before you say it, yes, Titanfall and Doom Eternal are mainstream, but there are also a lot of insanely more popular mainstream titles lately that have been faltering. Battlefield and Rainbow Six games that have been released within the last year all faced criticism for either a lack of innovation or their inability to innovate as much despite what they had. Whatever the critical reception, sales went down and the products weren’t too well-regarded by the masses.
Taking the Lead
One big criticism of a lot of modern shooters is their repetitive nature, but when Doom Eternal released, it served as one of the biggest and best titles of the year. It emphasised fast-paced combat and multitasking of resources while putting a focus on speed and brutality. When Titanfall 2 released, it was a bit of a commercial letdown, but eventually
found its footing with a devoted fanbase. Ultrakill is still in early access but has made history as one of the most universally praised games of all time on Steam.
A lot of the most acclaimed FPS titles lately are Movement Shooters. These three titles have their own devoted fanbases, with many wanting more of the intense action these games brought to the table. Movement Shooters have been increasing in number lately
The Potential of Speed
Bioshock Infinite is a game from 2013, a year with Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 that managed to stand out thanks to its amazing story. But even without its story, Infinite is an amazing example of movement and speed helping to enhance the gameplay of a shooter with the presence of the Sky-Line system.
This is one of the first games that gave me a great sense of speed in a shooter. Before every other game I just mentioned, I fell instantly for the grappling mechanic in Infinite. Speed and momentum in FPS titles is something that is unforgettable when it works well, like the grappling hook in games like Dying Light 2.
The quick speed and momentum of these games enhance their quality, and players love being in control of situations instead of just having to duck in cover for 90% of the time. One big criticism of Doom Eternal’s infamous Marauders is that they slowed down the pace of combat, though I believe this to be untrue. These kinds of games are best when they give you a lot but at a rate at which you know how to maximise all the resources you have.
The speedy multitasking and intense speed at which you have to deal with enemies is what makes these types of shooters so popular, and when mastered, the gameplay is nearly unmatched. Zipping around the combat areas is more than a welcome shift from the “duck and cover” strategy of a lot of other shooters, and it is very easy to see this form of combat being put at the centre of future FPS titles that put their own unique spins on it.