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Are you tired of killing things?


TehStu
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I think it's fair to take a break from genres, even without taking into account the horrible shit that happens in America constantly with shitty gun culture.

 

I remember going to a gun range on a stag holiday, and even with playing shitloads of FPS, it creeped me out when firing pistols - it just struck me as a resoundingly simple device use to just end someone's life, even with typical trigger discipline. It just felt inhumane, in a way.

 

I didn't shy away from such games after that, but I definitely felt a disconnect from funny shootbang feel good nonsense that's in the industry compared to the real thing, even when just firing at a paper target.

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I think we had a Game of the Year thread once where a large number of the games were refreshingly non violent. I can't remember which year it was. Maybe 2019 or 2020?

 

I find these days I have absolutely no interest in military themed shooters where you kill random humans, and I'd rather play a game like Doom where you are fighting literal demons.

 

I guess Huntdown is an exception as there is lots of human killing, but that's so steeped in 80s genre trappings it's practically performance art.

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4 minutes ago, englishbob said:

I'm still not OK with killing animals in videogames - even in Elden Ring by accident

 

Didn't expect dog.

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2 minutes ago, Benny said:

I find these days I have absolutely no interest in military themed shooters, and I'd rather play a game like Doom where you are fighting literal demons.

 

CoD multiplayer is pretty much as fantastical as Doom these days. I was literally fighting Godzilla and King Kong last week.

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5 minutes ago, Benny said:

I find these days I have absolutely no interest in military themed shooters where you kill random humans, and I'd rather play a game like Doom where you are fighting literal demons.

See that's a good point, I've got no trouble (well, it's been a few months) playing plants v zombies.

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A lot of it I think comes down to realism and intent:

 

Doom Eternal wants you to feel good and empowered about being a literal avenging angel sent to rip and tear away all the pure evil in the world and send it back to Hell, but military shooters want you to feel good and empowered about shooting your friends with realistic depictions of firearms sold by and sometimes sponsored by real arms manufacturers that are used to kill actual people in real life.

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Even then, the difference between the audio/visual high of something like COD is all a positive feedback loop that has zero relation to an actual firearm. There's no power fantasy to be had when using a real gun on a range - in fact, the lack of it alone made it an incredibly unnerving sensation to fire off more than what was on offer.

 

I think the closest I've got to a military FPS these days is Generation Zero - which is primarily a game about rummaging bins in Sweden and shooting bipedal robots. But that's more down to my tastes evolving than anything else.

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At the risk of waking the dailymail, the glamorisation of weaponry in CoD, battlefield etc grosses me out, and is certainly disposable, but simultaneously does also scratch some lizard itch in my brain that 80s action films and John Wick etc does. And I find that scary.

 

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Depends. The Last of Us 2, as great as it is, started to rub me the wrong way with its realistic portrayal of gore, death and violence against human enemies. I no longer had fun, there's some absolutely vile stuff in there to the point where I rotated he camera away so I did not (have to) see a throat being cut open in great detail.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Benny said:

I find these days I have absolutely no interest in military themed shooters... 

Same. I rarely had any interest in those types of games but when EA started doing that whole "real stories by real soldiers on real black ops in real top secret scenarios" for their Warfighter nonsense sealed the deal for me. I'm not playing your product to LARP as an elite soldier.

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I don't think I'll ever play a realistic or military-based FPS campaign again. The last one I tried was the 2019 Modern Warfare and I switched it off after 45 minutes feeling utterly despondent.

 

I don't have a similar issue with multiplayer FPS games, but I think that's because I can separate the PvP aspect (which is the draw for me) from the aesthetic & themes. If those games were just abstract shapes launching smaller abstract shapes at each other, instead of realistic-looking characters firing painstakingly rendered guns, I'd still enjoy them just as much.

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29 minutes ago, hmm said:

 

CoD multiplayer is pretty much as fantastical as Doom these days. I was literally fighting Godzilla and King Kong last week.


Except any game featuring real guns means some of your money is going to gun manufacturers. 

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Much as I enjoyed the first Last of Us, I have very little desire to play the sequel with the realism and horror of what you're doing to other human beings being so obviously heightened.

 

I get that that is probably the whole point, but there is an element of the fact if it's still making a game out of it then it's trying to have its cake and eat it too. I suspect all the "weapons" are still designed to be tactile and provide positive feedback to use.

 

And if it's supposed to be a commentary on violence, then well done, you've made the player feel sick I guess?

 

It's not really possible for me to comment not having played it though, but unfortunately its very nature means I'm unlikely to desire to anyway.

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As a counterpoint though: if there is a game out there that is actively going out of its way to show the true horror of killing and doing its damnedest to remind players how horrible the things they are doing are, then I can't say I disagree with the attempt. There's so precious little self reflection in gaming as it is already that at least there's some attempts being made.

 

Only I don't really credit Naughty Dog with having writing talent even in the same universe as the Disco Elysium ones though for example.

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I have my 'cosy' games when I need that break. 

 

Tetris, Princess Farmer. Mini Motorways, Baba is You, Flight SIM, Circuit Superstars, El Hijo, Mixolumia,Pinball. To name a few from the top of my head. 

 

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I haven't actively sought out a game with killing in it for years. Some games I play do have killing in but never as a core mechanic (e.g. colony builders that have raids for example). I have no problem with the concept of playing games that are in first person and use weapons as long as the purpose isn't directly against humans.

 

Thankfully there are now loads and loads of amazing games available that completely avoid direct conflict, let alone direct combat.

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27 minutes ago, Sarlaccfood said:


Except any game featuring real guns means some of your money is going to gun manufacturers. 

I'd never realised this till your post.

 

As much as I have no issue shooting people in video games, I don't like the idea of funding gun manufacturers.

I don't particularly play COD type FPSs (PS3/early PS4 was the last time I really played these) so I hopefully haven't sent any money their way for a long time.

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I think that it would be cool to see the central mechanics of shooter genres applied in a more abstract concept. Just because you're moving a camera around to centre it on a thing and press a controller button, the goal doesn't have to revolve around murder. (inb4 Splatoon mentions.) I'd play a game where you threw coloured rocks at animatronic piñata in first person if the gameplay was satisfying enough.

 

I used to think that I wasn't shocked by OTT violence and gore, but I feel like sometimes it gets a bit... cringey? Like, edgy stuff that I would love as a teenager can feel tryhard now that I'm an adult...

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The size of Elden Ring made me think about this recently. I'm going round this huge open world and every time I see something alive my only choice in terms of interacting with it (barring the occasional NPC) is whether or not to try and kill it. I know this all sounds a bit 'what if we could talk to the monsters', but it does seem strange in one of today's most cutting-edge games that all it allows us to do with its populace is hit them with weapons and spells. I mean, maybe you could form alliances...

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Nah, I'm really in to Ready Or Not at the moment. It's gnarly as hell but genuinely intense and dare I say it fun to play. Superb soundtrack too.

 

Great game!

 

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19 minutes ago, Qazimod said:

I think that it would be cool to see the central mechanics of shooter genres applied in a more abstract concept. Just because you're moving a camera around to centre it on a thing and press a controller button, the goal doesn't have to revolve around murder. (inb4 Splatoon mentions) I'd play a game where you threw coloured rocks at animatronic piñata in first person if the gameplay was satisfying enough.

 

I used to think that I wasn't shocked by OTT violence and gore, but I feel like sometimes it gets a bit... cringey? Like, edgy stuff that I would love as a teenager can feel tryhard now that I'm an adult...

 

Yeah. As much as I'm enjoying the mechanics of the new Sniper Elite, the x-ray kill cams are the worst part about it and just feel off. It feels like I'm watching an Action Man model in a Mortal Kombat Fatality.

 

I have wondered how differently the landscape of gaming might've played out if so many of the original games (Space Invaders onwards) hadn't been focussed on killing stuff. It is weird how mass genocide is just taken for granted as something that happens in games and we go along with it year after year.

 

There must be a way of transferring the satisfaction of a headshot onto another activity as @Qazimodsaid. And definitely agree with @BadgerFarmerthat the interaction with Elden Ring's world was shallow and unsatisfying, it clearly felt wrong to be slaughtering so many characters with no penalty or consequence. Not asking for a pacifist achievement but at least acknowledge your lack of willingness to barbarise every living thing you encounter.

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The thing with Elden Ring and all other Souls games is that it works in context, because you're creeping through a shattered, apocalyptic world, where deadly creatures are all that's left. It's heavily inspired by things like Berserk and stuff like that so it feels more ethereal. Also, I find generally the sword and board combat of Souls games actually seems remarkably fair from a killing perspective, because you know the enemies can kill you just as easily as you can kill them.

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ACTUALLY, I just remembered that a few years ago I got fed up of gritty, violent, realistic games. Not because of the violence or anything, just because it felt like that’s all there was and I was exhausted by it and really needed what Sega fans would call ‘blue sky gaming’. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had bought me a wii u for Father’s Day that year and it turned into one of my favourite consoles, despite all its flaws, because it gave me the break and readjustment I needed to fall in love with gaming again. That’s why the wii u will always have a special place in my heart. 

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I've gone on about this before, but I'd still love to see a FromSoft "dark fantasy action RPG" without combat. You could still have mechanical traps, or implement "questline" deaths (e.g. give the dude the information to go and kill the other dude), and it would still have the same awesome world-building, but it would be more about navigating the world and solving things without conflict. Or maybe (if they really wanted to be bold) a game where things can still kill you but you can't do a thing to them - so you go underground to circumvent an encounter, or do something in another location that sets an event in motion to remove that encounter entirely (this kind of happened with me in Elden Ring when a certain duo encounter vanished from the arena where I first found it, because I'd done stuff elsewhere...) I know that combat is at the heart of their games and the fans get very precious about this stuff, but it wouldn't have to replace an existing design philosophy (they could go back to making combat-oriented games afterwards), and it might open the door to a new audience (besides, if any developer is capable of taking on a tweaked approach to their own format, it's From.)

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