A Brief History Of The First-Person Shooter

A Brief History Of The First-Person Shooter
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First-person shooters may be the at the top of gaming’s food chain in 2011, but it wasn’t always this way. Join us, then, on a guided tour of the genre’s history, from dark, wireframe beginnings to Call of Duty.

This of course isn’t every first-person game of the last thirty years. If it was doing that, we’d be here all night. What it’s providing, though, is a nice summary of the important steps, whether they be shooters, adventure games or flight sims.

And yes, we know, they’re almost exclusively PC games. Given the seniority of the platform, there’s a poignancy to that. If you’ve got a complaint, take it up with the video’s creator!


  • Graphically, games are plateauing. The last few years have only had incremental improvements. Far Cry still looks decent today, just as UT2K3 still looks good 8 or 9 years on. And I doubt Crysis 2 will look THAT much better than Crysis 1.

    The biggest leaps forward were early in that video.

    • Any big title will always be limited by the lowest common denominator; the weakest console it has to run on. So apart from PC exclusives games are limited by the same hardware that they’ve been sitting on for the last 5 years. Even thought the game may be the PC version of something, the game was developed with a weaker system in mind. You’ll find with the next generation of home consoles the graphics will jump again, then plateau again.

  • Yeah, mention gimmicky corridor shooter Soldier of Fortune, but not Halo… I mean, really?

    I don’t care if you liked the game, or even played it, Halo was easily the most substantial milestone of the last decade, having some influence on practically every FPS made after it. PC or console… even if it didn’t do anything that hadn’t been vaguely done here and there, it still set the bar incredibly high and changed what people expected from an FPS.


    • Beside the lack of marathon, no halo, no Dark Forces, Unreal or UT was mentioned. and the worst thing is that marathon was the first FPS to give us mouse look/aim and the wasd configuration. Marathon was also the game that gave birth to the grenade jump and rocket jump respectivily.

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