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Mail Bag

Tuesday, June 2, 1998

Date: Monday, June 01, 1998 2:07 PM
From: Eric Rose
Subject: Ouch I'm in the mailbag!

I'll have to be careful what I write from now on!   I didn't realize you'd publish my letter.

I like Unreal, which didn't come through in my letter.  I've been playing it through, and it is very engrossing.  I like it!   But it's a real bummer for network play.  But the original Quake was also a bummer for network play, and look what happened to it!  So I'm hoping a patch or two will make unreal work (unrealworld?!).  In the mean time, I'm gonna get through the single player (hopefully without cheating).   And I'm gonna play Rocket Arena until my fingers fall off.

Date: Monday, June 01, 1998 10:57 AM
From: Matt Sefton
Subject: Mailbag...

In response to Eric Rose's post to your mailbag today:

"As a single player game, it's very cool.   The story is almost as engrossing as Jedi Knight or Mysteries of the Sith.    But it's NOT a multi-player game worth playing, and it certainly doesn't deserve the unbelievable hype that it is still getting."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I wasn't aware that Blue's News was a Multiplayer-only news site. Even if the multiplayer aspect of Unreal turns out to be disappointing, why should that stop you posting news of such a great single player game? I would estimate that single-player use of ALL games, not just Unreal, far outweighs multiplayer, not that it's a contest!

Touched a nerve, that's all :)

Date: Monday, June 01, 1998 1:39 PM
From: Jason Wallace
Subject: First person shooters in general

People bitched that Doom had no story.  They also complained that Quake was exactly the same as Doom.  Quake2 pops into existence and gets a similar response.  Now we have Unreal, and I just saw sCary complaining that there wasn't enough scripted events, it was just "more Quake". People, what else do you expect?  It's a First Person SHOOTER!  I'll repeat that -- SHOOTER!   All you do is "run around, shoot stuff, flip a switch or two, then go to the next level".  That's it!  If you want to play an adventure game, don't play any shooters, plain and simple!

Some people just don't know what to expect with shooters do they?  The genre has been around since Wolf3D, and the only thing that changes from one game to the next is technology.  Gameplay is exactly the same.   Now that I think of it, name me a genre that alters its gameplay from one game to the next?  None of them do, that's what makes them separate "genres".   Examples -- Flight sims: you fly around.  Sports games: you play professional sports.  RPGs: You keep personal stats that allow you to interact with the environment differently (ala. D&D).  Adventure games:  You play through a linear story.  Arcade games: you play simple mind games with no plot (FPS without the FP part).

I have noticed that some games are trying to incorporate aspects of RPGs and Adventure games into their shooter, but they still want to make it predominately a shooter.  Examples -- Daikatana will have two other players with you while you're running around shooting stuff.  Half-Life will have coke machines and cool water effects ... while you shoot stuff.  Sin will have a mean-looking bitch on the cover, and guess what, you'll probably get to shoot at her!   Prey will have portals that you can climb through so you don't have to go very far to shoot more people!  This merging of genres is a novel/original idea, but it's starting to confuse and anger people.  Maybe people don't know the definition of a "shooter"?  Maybe they don't want to play two different games at once?   (The die-hard FPS players don't want all this plot getting in the way, while all the die-hard adventure/RPG players don't want all this monotonous shooting.)  Maybe Shooters really are starting to get unoriginal and boring?  I really can't say... but I can say that no single game will make everyone happy.

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