I really do understand where John Gibson is coming from. As President of Tripwire Interactive, which formed out of creating Red Orchestra, an early mod that won Epic’s “Make Something Unreal” contest from a few years back, Gibson has a unique perspective on where first-person shooters were and are now. He’s also not happy that Call of Duty‘s come and set gamers’ expectations so low with gameplay that exchanges skill-building for instant rewards.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Gibson explains the feedback he got when testing a new multiplayer mode for Red Orchestra 2:
It’s the gameplay mechanics that they become used to. The way that players instantly accelerate when they move, they don’t build up speed. “The weapons really don’t have a lot of power” [in RO2]. They’re all very weak. The way they handle… They’re like: “I hate Red Orchestra, I can’t play it.” Well, why? “Because the guy doesn’t move like he does in Call of Duty. Call of Duty has greatmovement.” Why is it great? “Because it just is, I just like the way it works.” So you don’t like the momentum system in Red Orchestra? “Yeah, it sucks, it’s clunky, it’s terrible.” Well, why? “It’s just because I’m used to this.”
I make it sound like there was a combative conversation, probably because I get a little emotional when I think about it. But it was really a calm discussion of, “What don’t you like?” and “It doesn’t feel like Call of Duty.” Almost every element boiled down to “it doesn’t feel like Call of Duty.” And really, watching some of these guys play… one of the things that Call of Duty does, and it’s smart business, to a degree, is they compress the skill gap. And the way you compress the skill gap as a designer is you add a whole bunch of randomness. A whole bunch of weaponry that doesn’t require any skill to get kills. Random spawns, massive cone fire on your weapons. Lots of devices that can get kills with zero skill at all, and you know, it’s kind of smart to compress your skill gap to a degree. You don’t want the elite players to destroy the new players so bad that new players can never get into the game and enjoy it. I’m looking at you, Dota. [laughs] Sorry.
…and he’s right. It’s not a new complaint though, this spans all the way back to Quake and Unreal versus Halo, which was a much slower-paced game for a console. Halo was a pretty formative title in many ways, so it makes sense that as time progressed, console shooters got faster and in their appeal to a wider audience, rewards needed to be dropped far more often and kills needed to come much faster. Honestly, that’s something that appealed to me as someone who has little skill whatsoever. When even the last-place guy gets a trophy, it makes you feel like you’ve contributed to something, even if it wasn’t any more meaningful than those Quake III matches where dudes were cutting you down with railguns blasts as soon as you spawned.
You can read much more at the link below, definitely recommend it.
Source: PC Gamer