How early 1990s FPS games helped shape modern gaming
FPS games have long been a staple of gaming. The 1990s graced gamers with all sorts of FPS games from quite a few developers. These days gamers associate most FPS games with well known franchises such as COD, Halo, or Battlefield. Gamers should be thankful, for it was FPS games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D that contributed to revolutionizing and pushing gaming.
Gamesradar had an interesting article on the history of FPS games and Wolfenstein 3D. This made me think of the book “Masters of Doom” which was all about John Romero and John Carmack and the creation of id Software and how they changed the world of gaming forever with games such as Doom and Quake. This makes me think of how games such as Wolfenstein 3D and Doom did so much for gaming. The games pioneered the idea of FPS games and having the ultimate, tough guy hero. These games help to craft and popularize the idea of maze like levels where players have to battle enemies while searching for keys and secrets. Modern gamers can thank Doom and Wolfenstein 3D as two of the games which popularized modding. One could even say the modding community grew into what it is today because of games like this. Without the fun mods of Doom gamers make have never gotten such great games as Counter Strike, Team Fortress, or my personal favorite Half-Life Mods, They Hunger.
FPS games did so much for the industry. This genre of games pushed things in directions games normally didn't go to. FPS games broke boundaries for content in games, from the violence, to the technical aspect, to the popularity, to the sales numbers. Doom helped popularize multiplayer which I wouldn't experience until Quake. The idea of shareware, something modern gamers don’t think about became popular with FPS such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. Shareware was a great idea and a great way to make money, much like the modern Kickstarter. Gamers would get a chunk of the episode for free and could order the rest by phone.This was a revolutionary concept which had little overhead and ended up making some companies a lot of money and this took off with games like Doom.
It also feels that although PC gaming was popular in the late 80s it lacked a voice. Games such as Doom gave PC gamers this voice. It was convenient that I could play sports games and Japanese RPGS on my SNES but look what the PC has. An ultra violent FPS game that wouldn’t ever appear on a Nintendo Console. This isn’t true, as Wolfenstein 3D and Doom both showed up on the SNES and were censored. Doom was released for a lot of consoles. SNES, 32X, Saturn, PSX, and a modified version was released for Nintendo 64.
FPS games did a lot for the industry and Masters of Doom is a great read for anyone who is interested in the 1990s and PC gaming should give it a read. Without games like Doom, some games such as Call of Duty Ghosts and Halo 4 might not exist. For gamers looking to replay Doom or Wolfenstein 3D, Amazon has the downloadable copies for very cheap. Modern gaming needs to thank some of the early pioneers of FPS gaming.