Game Changer #28 – “The Fall Lineup part 1” – First Person Shooters

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My name is Jared Whittaker, one of the hosts and Audio Chewbacca of the Super-Fly Podcast and PCW! Welcome to Game Changer, a weekly burning missive about all aspects of video gaming with a little bit of opinion thrown in for fun. Proceed with caution and tread lightly, gentle gamers. It’s going to be good time. Like the first time you saw Super Mario 3 good time.

It’s transitioning from summer to fall, and that leads into the holiday season. And that means a lot of new games are going to be coming out. So for this week’s Game Changer, I figured that I’d highlight a few games that will be hitting people pretty hard in the next few months. This week, I’m starting with the most common genre coming out this holiday: FPSs. While the first person shooter isn’t underrepresented this year at all, there are a lot of very high (and not so high) profile shooters coming out. From known franchises to first entries, shooter fans are going to have fun this year.

One of my personal favorite shooters of all time was Black. It was a great game that felt more real than most shooters that were out at the time. When you shot your guns, the gun would recoil, causing the gun to pull up as you fired. The air would fill up with smoke in a firefight. The environment was destructible and the guns were the most realistic that I’ve ever seen in a video game. Well years later, the core team has regrouped for the spiritual successor to Black, Bodycount. From the Behind the Scenes video, Bodycount will be continuing in the more realistic footsteps of Black. The story is going to be the same, Michael Bay-like, shoot all the bad guys until they’re dead because they’re bad guys type deal, but it’s looking like it’s going to be still be fun as hell. Plus, how could you not love shooting guys THROUGH A WALL!!! It’s the American dream. Bodycount will be destroying everything August 30th.

While it’s been a little while in development, Id’s Rage has been looking more and more impressive. Last year at E3, the demo looked a little like Doom Fallout 3. But in the past year, the game is looking more and more interesting the closer it gets to release. Rage retains the dark, gritty feel of the Id games like Doom and Quake, but has driving elements that will remind players of Motorstorm and Burnout Paradise. That alone makes Rage stand out a little more. A FPS that has a driving component that works? I’m more interested in the game just because of that. Look for the game to crash land right after a little known game comes out in November.

Since the launch of the PS3, Insomniac Games’ Resistance series has been a mainstay in the Sony tent. All the games in the series have been strong. But the upcoming Resistance 3 looks like it’s going to be a huge deal. Sporting a much more realistic graphical look, closer to the look of Killzone, and a somewhat dialed back yet refined multiplayer mode that are going to be stealing a lot of bandwidth, this game is going to make Sony a lot of money. The story of the remaining humans on Earth giving up the fight against the Chimera is a very interesting move. There are many different ways you could take this story, and they could lead to very fun and dark places. With the game just around the corner, Resistance 3 will get first blood on the holiday season. I’d bet that by the time Modern Warfare 3 is ready to destroy everyone’s lives, there will be DLC available for the game. Look for it September 6th.

The big FPS fight that’s going to go down this year is going to be between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. The game looked really polished and played very smoothly at C2E2 in March when I managed to play a demo. But the more we get to see of this game, the more it’s looking like it’s going to be a knockdown, drag out fight to the finish for FPS supremacy. Battlefield 3’s Gamescom trailer introduced us to more vehicles, like jeeps, four wheelers, helicopters and jets (!!!) for players to maim themselves in multiplayer modes. These additions are going to make this a mess of a good time. The gameplay looks chaotic! No doubt DICE and EA are really trying to lock down a good chunk of multiplayer game fans with the focus on the online aspect of BF3. BF3 is looking to take the grittier, more realistic road to MW3’s over the top, action movie approach. It’s going to be a very interesting couple of weeks when Battlefield 3 drops on October 25th, a week before……

The undisputed king of FPSs is coming back this November. The Call of Duty series has been breaking record for years and it looks like the latest installment, Modern Warfare 3, will break records all over again. The live demo at E3 this year was pretty standard, showing off a submarine attack and what looked like the beginning of a huge assault on New York, with big, movie style set pieces and everything. And couple that with the Spec Ops co-op mode video that dropped a few weeks ago, showing off a Gears of War-like Horde mode where waves of enemies attack you and your team until no one is left standing and this could be the biggest game of the year once again. The wild card could be the new partnership of what’s left of Infinity Ward, Raven Software and Sledgehammer Games. Can they recreate the magic that the Modern Warfare games had brought to the table before or will this be the crack in the armor that helps crown a new champion? Will the new Call of Duty Elite service play a part in getting new and old players captured back in the war zone that is Team Death Match? We’ll all see November 8th when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 makes millions of people call in sick mysteriously.

The holiday always boasts a wide array of games, but FPSs are always a pretty big chunk of the games people buy in the Fall months. It is very interesting and refreshing to see developers going the extra mile to get your gaming dollars. All the games mentioned above look polished, fun and full of features that are fresh and different. Sometimes, shooters get the bad rap of not being diverse enough and feeling very similar to other games that are currently out at the time. This year however, FPSs are showing that they still a few tricks up their sleeves.

What first person shooters are you looking forward to this holiday season? Are they on my list? Let us know.

Keep gaming…

Jared Whittaker plays a lot of games. Not as much as he’d like, but as much as time and money will allow. If you want to play some games with Jared, you can find him on Playstation 3; PSN tag: JFX. He is also on Steam and Battle.net as JFX316 and while he doesn’t have an Xbox 360, he has the coolest Gamertag in the world: Obiwan Jaborni. Feel free to add him as a friend or email him at JWhittaker@PanelsonPages.com. and on Twitter as JFX316

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Jared Whittaker is a contributing writer/columnist for PanelsOnPages.com. He acts as co-host and producer for the Super-Fly Podcast and PCW. He lives in Yellow Springs, OH and is generally awesome at most things.

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