Gamers play their favorite games for different reasons. This post is the 3rd in a trilogy. In the first two posts on First Person Shooters (FPS) I gave some specific examples for why gamers love FPS:
And now, Part 3: We love the fancy freakin’ graphics
If you’ve watched the videos I included in the previous articles you’ve seen some of the best heroes and plots the FPS genre has to offer. If you haven’t, go back and watch!
But to be fair, their graphics were over a decade old. Modern graphics are pretty amazing.
Graphics today intensify combat situations down to the most minute details. They’ve added instant replay in some games, or slow motion to the game play, so you can sit back and enjoy.
- dust flying up from bullet holes as rounds pepper a wall
- the rustle of leaves
- the way a fire burns
- light reflecting off of water
These cinematic details help immerse the player by seamlessly flowing from in-game videos to game play.
They wow the player with beauty and details as minute as leaves swaying in a slight breeze and footprints in soft dirt. Graphics today take you closer to action than even a movie can, because you are literally part of the action.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 does combat graphics as good as anyone. They’re so good they actually use the in-game graphics for the video portions. I’ve done a review of Black Ops 3 and you can read that here. While I don’t encourage people to play it, there are good reasons this game has sold millions of copies.
Similary, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a bit older but shows off the intense cinematic these games can produce.
Immersive graphics are shown at their best in Ryse: Son of Rome.
This game technically is not an FPS, it’s an action/roleplaying game, but it’s an excellent example of how graphics can create an immersive experience. Ryse has probably one of the most impressive use of tying in-game movies, called cut-scenes, into actual game play seamlessly. In this video you watch as your Roman character arrives for an invasion and then the gamer takes over as soon as the first enemy approaches. It’s hard to tell when the video stops and the game begins. WARNING: THIS GAME CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE.
Environmental Graphics, meaning the wall textures, sunshine, water, grass, anything around your character, is a big part of a quality FPS.
I don’t know about you, watching these makes me want to run through a wall! Just a wee bit of adrenaline going.
And we wonder why gamers don’t sleep well at night. If your child has a gaming device of any kind in their room (cell phones and tablets included) there are numerous reasons to remove those to a public place and to limit access at night. The simple amount of stimulus pumped into ones brain from a video game doesn’t go well with restful sleep.
We love First Person Shooters because…
When we are just looking for a good time, FPS often fit the bill because:
What about FPS and the gospel?
Jesus calls us to love:
- our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39)
- our enemies (Matthew 5:44)
- the Lord our God with all we are (Luke 10:27)
We can’t do this of our own strength, but Jesus calls us to follow him so he can change our hearts to love others. We must repent of our trust in our own strength and trust in His. Anytime we put something over this call we’re out of place.
Anytime we pursue a game, or anything for that matter, in order to make us happy instead of God alone, that video game is no longer healthy.
Yes, FPS can be amazing, jaw-dropping, epic experiences that take us to another world and let us compete in a way we’ll never be able to in real life. Yet we need to let God direct our hearts so we aren’t giving up what is most important, wholeness and the ability to love, in order to get a cheap high from succeeding in an artificial world.
Additional Resources: A few game reviews
I’ve got a growing number of FPS game reviews reviews to help continue meaningful conversations about these games and the gospel. A couple that I’ve got so far are: