Toby may like shooters, but he can't play them all the time.
By Toby McCasker on March 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Dynamics, I think, are really important. Black, white, grey. Grey is a boring colour but it’s where you want to be (Grey is my favourite colour actually. —Ed). It’s a good ideal: Everything’s cool and I feel alright. I like music a lot, for instance. I like metal. Metaaal. But I can’t stand metal that is just loud and roargh all the time. Too much black, let’s say. Something more like Opeth is where it’s at.
Likewise I dig the softer stuff, but not if it’s a relentless coma of overt sensitivity ala City & Color. Bit much white, let’s say. Yeah you can tell Dallas I said that. Bor-ing. Give it an edge, like everything Steven Wilson has ever done. Is this too musical? Wee-hait, getting there.
I love shooters. Shooters are gaming’s metaaaaaaaal (sorry). But they are loud, and they roargh all the time. Some don’t. Deus Ex: Human Rev, for instance, but it’s a bad example and not at all indicative of the genre at large. For the most part, you’re killing everyone and exploding their homes. This is pleasing to me, but it’s a very one-dimensional (or focused, if I worked in PR) experience. I’ve found over the years that it needs a counterweight, so it might be the best Indian Jones catacomb trap it can be.
When I start sitting there going, “Gawd I hate shooters now,” that’s terrible. But it just means my shooter yin is too high. My murderise pH level is unbalanced.
The alkaline solution is RPGs. The RPG yang. There is no more diametrically opposed a genre to the FPS than the RPG, a fact even acknowledged, in-genre, by the fact most shooters include an RPG that is used to clear a path and continue onward. I am absolutely stretching for symbolism that is just handy coincidence, and thank you for noticing.
The FPS is fast and understandably shoots first. It asks no questions later because lol, questions, that’s for BioWare girls. The RPG is slow and might fire a weapon, maybe, but only when its allotted position in the turn order swings ‘round. The psychopath and the gentleman. The cigarette and the pipe. The cheap hooch and the cognac. Complimentary opposites, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Too much of either will turn you into a monster forever. Wear that headset and play Call of Duty (pick any of ‘em, they’re all the same) online. Do the same on WoW.
For every hundred hours of unenviable K/D ratio, there is a hundred hours of misshapen stat-maxing (my wizard must be strong and the master of unlocking). A balanced diet is key. Look how normal I am. Some nights you want pie. What flavour is it? Pie flavour. For the past few months it’s been Far Cry 3 this, Far Cry 3 that. A lot of similarly dressed FPS archetypes are dead because of me. Now it is Persona 3: FES. Yes, on the PS2. The original Atlus grind. A lot of similarly psychosexual JRPG archetypes are dead because of me.
Hey, you gotta have at least one thing in common.