Reply To: Level design

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I have mostly played recent AAA FPS so I can tell what this kind of picture mocks. Typically with licenses like Battlefield & Call of Duty the single player campaigns have mostly turned into 2H-long, action-packed experiences you can play in a single sitting, featuring bigger and bigger technical achievements and spectacular effects to give an action-movie feel… While at the same time feeling completely hollow with little difficulty involved.

The reason is simple though: these SP campaigns are mostly an intro to the actual game, i.e. its multiplayer mode.

Most of the popular FPS games now focus on multiplayer, leaving less and less IPs to focus on Doom-like, level-based campaigns. A lot of alternate approaches to FPS have emerged, from mostly online games (e.g. CS/TF2 on PC, CoD/SW Battlefront on consoles) to huge open-worlds (Farcry & countless survival games), not mentioning some aliens (e.g. Alien: Isolation – pun intended, Portal, etc.).

That leaves us to compare Doom with things like the Halo & Half Life series. These games are probably more linear compared to Doom but not that much compared to, say, the original Unreal (1998). Alien: Isolation on the opposite does involve a lot of going back and forth unlocking parts of the same level, in order to make the hide-and-seek mechanic with the alien work.

I agree that there’s a problem with hand-holding in a lot of games these days, but I wouldn’t say FPS are the main victims of this trend. Level-design wise the FPS world has just diversified, offering a lot of different options depending on the experience you’re looking for.