My Dream Game
So gaming and FPS in general are in a bit of state to say the least. Whether you blame it on the "pandemic", corporate bs from Devs or just to me what appears to be a sheer lack of talent and care (in view of the state of recent releases), our hobby and passion is looking a little sickly just lately. At least for my tastes.
Personally, I like Tactical Shooters with a solid grounding in realism, at least as far as gaming allows, without overtly awkward mechanics crowbarred in to 'simulate' something that really can't be represented in game and with no thought to the limitations of the game world itself.
As part of sifting through the current swamp of games I have tried pretty much every FPS of note (and even TPS) to find my fix.
BF2042 has without doubt some of the laziest, most dated weapon handling/recoil and design mechanics I have seen in over a decade. A complete lack of inventory for a start, just not many weapons full stop. Luckily, despite the paupers armoury each and every one is represented in such a lazy, ignorant manner that most sweat shop mobile game devs would go weak at the knees. Honestly as a long, long time FPS player I have never come across a game that feels so sloppily put together and so clearly designed for consoles and frankly mobiles before. The guns and movement just feel weird, like the people designing not only didn't play it, but they got zero feedback on it at all. I'm not claiming the BF series was the pinnacle of weapons handling far from it, but BF2042 feels like a free to play game designed in the 80's.
INS:Sandstorm. I know this is going to alienate some people and I apologise, it's just an opinion but frankly the whole dead zone aiming and frankly weird and counter intuitive recoil is NOT the pinnacle of weapons handling as many suggest, far from it. Where's the reset of gravity (same with BF and Ready or Not), are our arms/shoulders some form of ratchet system? It's a decent game, it's fun. Gunplay is ok, that's it.
Somewhat ironically COD MW2 has some of the best weapon manipulation, handling and recoil mechanics of recent times. Leaving aside the nonsense movement and representation of certain platforms, ie 'sniper rifles' etc, they have done a really good job on the technical side and knocked it out of the park as regards details and animations.
Currently the only games that feel good to me shooting wise are Ground Branch, COD MW (aside from the lack of recoil on full auto) and on some levels Ghost Recon Wildlands (in that it emphasises single shot when you are trying to be stealthy because the impact of wild rounds on surfaces can alert enemies.
So what does the wild, ranting preamble mean in term of 'my dream game'? Well let me lay out the features of said holy grail.
Weapons handling - lets get real, make single shot great again lol. Seriously nobody full auto's all over the place, we all know that. Here's the thing. It is actually less interesting to play that way, it breaks weapon balance completely, it removes a great deal of skil from the game itself etc. Frankly it's less pleasing to play that way, almost aesthetically. No? What would you rather watch John Wick or Rambo. It feels mindless. It limits gameplay. It ensures the only differentiator between weapon platforms is rate of fire, damage and range. Weapon platforms are far more nuanced than that, so much plays in to the appropriateness of weapons for their environment and intended use. Ergonomics, weight, length, calibre, penetration, rate of fire, capacity etc. A whole area of decision making removed from the player or corrupted / twisted to fit another broken mechanic. Using a relatively realistic set of parameters based on real life scaled to the playing space (area/range) is the best solution, period. It works, it's intuitive, anyone with a basic knowledge of the subject can join the game and make reasonably informed choices.
So, make guns behave reasonably realistically. Emphasise making appropriate platform choices and working with your team mates so that your load out makes sense. No more CQB snipers etc.
Ideally I would like to see some form of ready room/base, a lobby in a sense, where you can load in mod and test weapons, sort through loadouts and gear etc chat in game while others load in. From there you would launch the game/mission.
An open world/even semi open world Ghost Recon type game with a realistic environment and objectives would be great. Possibly an overarching narrative that drives a literal campaign whether it's fighting an Insurgency/Counter Insurgency or destabilising Drug Cartels etc. Ideally something that allows for more realistic scenarios and locations that can be tackled in numerous ways. The presence of civilians and other non-combatants i.e. potential shoot/no shoot situations. Opportunities for stealth, vehicle interdictions, surveillance to gather intel for larger targets etc.
Hell you could even build in the dreaded progression in a meaningful and logical way by simply representing it as funding or support. The greater your success, the more additional funding you get or you get access to a wider range of support and surveillance platforms.
Anyhoo I've typed enough for now (and then some), loads more features I would add, but this is a start.
@Wicks I hear you. Especially on the Insurgency Sandstorm front. After reading this, and ISS is still my go-to early am shooter, the weapons are rather ridiculous on their recoil. I guess that somewhere along the line trying to balance what is (in my world) predominantly player vs AI there is a need to make a player recenter their aim after a shot - but that that the balance of how that is done is for PV-AI considerations before anything.
I've been watching more since I read this post on how many attachments I add to the end of my rifle and it doesn't seem to affect the muzzle drop after the recoil. I could be wrong, but I can see that the drop is not factored in like it should be.
For the idea of an ideal game, I'm fully on board. Yet, I'm so obviously in the ArmA camp you gotta take what I say with that bias.
The BI weapons for A3 can very much suffer from what you are talking about. The MX series of BluFor rifles really is truly on that realm. I've been running with the Prommet (a Contact DLC weapon) and I have to confess, I have not considered the recoil but just love the dang sound and the ability to have an under slung shottyt, as my secondary with pellets. I don't need to pull the pistol, I have a spray and pray that is the best thing when the enemy is hidden in "that bush somewhere".
But back on point, what is that game going to be. I hope it is A4. I also have hopes for Ground Branch and Ready Or Not. Still, A4 is my hold out. The Reforger limited access I think might have bit BS in the BUTT.
I was happy to get into A3 as a Supporter Edition for almost twice the price because they offered the future DLC in the package. I think a lot of us won't go and didn't go for Reforger because it was a limited Alpha dressed as a production product with limited access.
I can understand why they would think that business model makes sense. I just hope they have had enough players and takers to give them the RL test bed they need to create a truly great product out of it. I suspect they are stuck in a no-win situation and have limited funds and a product that is not nearly ready for prime time.
Maybe they will see their way back to a full DLC offering and let's get A3 to A4 before the insane scope of the game dooms it to financial ruin. Just my worry anywho. I'm sure their accountants and managers will hate me now. it's just what I worry about for this title.
My dream game is basically what would replicate the feel of Project Reality as it was for BF2. Folks have expounded on this in many communities so I won't attempt details. But some of what I like to see is a game that has NO crafting or grinding. The full arsenal of weaponry is at your disposal and its all about how you use it. Game will reward leadership and support just as strongly, or possibly even stronger, than how many kills one gets or their k/d ratios. Game will foster a community with its requirements of teamwork and communication. I can't nit pick at the details as I'm not equipped. We'll know it when we all see it. I haven't in years. When it happens, once again you'll plan days off work to play it, and you'll put in 6-8 hours a day every day. It will be PC-Crack. I miss that addiction and have said it to you all many times. I miss the pull of a game that actually messes up my RL by me wanting to play it all the time.
Sorry about not being more thoughtful. Time is limited as I'm at work but wanted to reply and support this.
Unkl, Warlab thanks for the replies, you made some fantastic points. I particularly want to springboard off what Warlab mentioned in terms of game design.
One issue I see coming up time and again, it's almost the eternal conundrum apparently, is that in a hypothetical game, if guns are very accurate (on single shot) then it becomes just another twitch shooter. Furthermore it is necessary to restrict the accuracy of weapons and introduce exaggerated recoil/fatigue/muzzle sway/random deviation etc to allow teamplay to flourish.
I utterly disagree on this fundamental premise.
Working together is a skill, not everyone has it. For some people maybe they have always played games solo, were never part of a community, are a bit shy and reluctant to use a mic or bark orders etc. Never mind the absolute need for an entire squad and team infrastructure to be present for this to take effect. Nevertheless teamwork can be learnt, taught, developed and improved.
Moving tactically is a skill, not everyone has it innately. Nevertheless it can be learnt, taught, developed and improved.
Shooting well is a skill, not everyone has it innately. Nevertheless it can be learnt, taught, developed and improved. In addition shooting well in any given game isn't the same, by a long chalk, certainly not in more realistic shooters.
What someone has never, EVER, explained to me is why you shouldn't be required to work on all of the above to be successful in X game. Why in the hell should you expect, nay demand, to be a successful participant in a game with multiple facets and skillsets if you can't be bothered to work on the areas you need to work on. Why is one skillset 'teamwork' (bearing in mind the ludicrous apparent definition of it) elevated above all others to such a point that base reality (i.e. bullets going where your barrel is pointed subverted.
However I do believe I understand why games like Squad for example choose to very carefully define 'TEAMWORK' and how it applies to their game. In essence with the myriad things going on in squad (for example) a great deal of emphasis is put on indirect fire, blob tactics and basically having more people in one place at a specific moment ( i.e. despawn tactics, numbers game type stuff). Nowhere is there any emphasis on execution.
As long as you have more people turn up in a given spot, eventually you will out revive, proximity shut down, or simply choke out the enemy. Bravo. What excellence. You are essentially the tactical equivalent of a virulent staph infection. You wanna know why this is popular? It's the everyone's a winner baby formula (as long as you are in a specific group). However what it ignores, unsurprisingly and it's very reflective of modern attitudes in general, is that not everyone that plays the game is in a clan/community or is a Dev occasionally dipping their toe in the water who on joining the server is overwhelmed by sycophantic fans (who generally play the game a lot and are proficient). So they roll a bunch of random players (as a great deal of their agency has been removed from them in terms of realistic lethality due to 'teamwork concerns') because they may or may not lack teamwork or the familiarity of knowing each other.
Firstly what a myopic way to design a video game, how self indulgent and bereft of self awareness. Seriously.
Secondly, why on earth is the actual bulk of the game, moving tactically, making sound decisions, understanding your weapons platforms and their capabilities, understanding terrain, shooting and moving in a team in different environments not the pinnacle of what you are trying to achieve as a player or drive as a Developer.
Thirdly, I have, in multiple titles now, played against these squads and they are generally poor. The core understanding of teamwork is warped. The first part of teamwork is making sure you do your job 100%, that allows everyone around you to focus on their job, to trust you, making them more effective. Once you gain experience you are able to do your job fully and still have capability to help others. That's how it works. What we have now is a bunch of people failing at the very basics of their own job and spending the time that abdication of responsibility provides chiming in on how others need to do theirs.
I don't consider 2-3 squads (essentially half a team) having a roleplay picnic in contested terrain teamwork. I don't consider Squad Leaders taking no interest in what kits people take teamwork. I mean Jesus Christ, the guy asked, he's actually trying to get you to think what platforms you need for your task, he's trying and your response is to not care as long as enough of you are alive at given times for the virus that is my squad to propagate regardless of the horrendous losses we continue to take due to our utter tactical incompetence.
You know what is teamwork to me. People knowing their job. People taking pride in that specific role, thinking, practicing it. Squad members communicating in general and working on those comms so that everyone can be effective.
Games used to be about facing challenges, learning, developing and getting good at something. For many getting good wasn't enough, you had to keep getting better, doing it faster, better comms, better accuracy, less casualties, teaching new people etc. I miss that.