Third-person Shooter
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Third-person Shooter

Third-person shooter (TPS) is a subgenre of 3D shooter games in which the player character is visible on-screen, and the gameplay consists primarily of shooting.

Definition

An illustration of a protagonist whom a player controls and a tracking camera just behind, slightly above, and slightly facing down towards that character.

A third-person shooter is a game structured around shooting,[1] and in which the player can see the avatar on-screen in a third-person view.[1][2]

Design

A 3D game type that has grown to prominence in recent years, especially on consoles. It combines the shooting elements of the first-person shooter with the jumping and climbing puzzles of a 3D platformer and a simple melee fighting system from a brawler. Third-person shooter games almost always incorporate an aim-assist feature, since aiming from a third-person camera is difficult. Most also have a first-person view, which allows precise shooting and looking around at environment features that are otherwise hidden from the default camera. In most cases, the player must stand still to use first-person view, but newer titles allow the player to play like a FPS; indeed, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath requires the player to shoot from first person, only allowing melee attacks in the chase camera views.

Relationship to first-person shooters

These games are closely related to first-person shooters,[3] which also tie the perspective of the player to an avatar,[4] but the two genres are distinct.[5] While the first-person perspective allows players to aim and shoot without their avatar blocking their view,[4] the third-person shooter shows the protagonist from an "over the shoulder shot" or "behind the back" perspective.[3][6] Thus, the third-person perspective allows the game designer to create a more strongly characterized avatar[4] and directs the player's attention as in watching a film. In contrast, a first-person perspective provides the player with greater immersion into the game universe.[7]

This difference in perspective also affects gameplay. Third-person shooters allow players to see the area surrounding the avatar more clearly.[4] This viewpoint facilitates more interaction between the character and their surrounding environment, such as the use of tactical cover in Gears of War,[8] or navigating tight quarters.[9] As such, the third-person perspective is better for interacting with objects in the game world, such as jumping on platforms, engaging in close combat, or driving a vehicle. However, the third-person perspective can interfere with tasks that require fine aiming.[10]

Third-person shooters sometimes compensate for their distinct perspective by designing larger, more spacious environments than first-person shooters.[11]

The boundaries between third-person and first-person shooters are not always clear. For example, many third-person shooters allow the player to use a first-person viewpoint for challenges that require precise aiming.[4] The first-person shooter Halo: Combat Evolved was actually designed as a third-person shooter, but added a first-person perspective to improve the interface for aiming and shooting.[12] The game switches to a third-person viewpoint when the avatar is piloting a vehicle,[4] and this combination of first-person for aiming and third-person for driving has since been used in other games.[13]Metroid Prime is another first-person shooter that switches to a third-person perspective when rolling around the environment using the morph ball.[14]Alexander R. Galloway writes that the "real-time, over-the-shoulder tracking shots of Gus Van Sant's Elephant evoke third-person shooter games like Max Payne, a close cousin of the FPS".[15]

History

Star Fox: Assault features third-person combat with several types of firearms. Total kills are visible on the top right of the screen, as are enemies on a radar screen on the bottom right.

2D third-person shooters have existed since the earliest days of video games,[16] dating back to Spacewar! (1962)[16]; third-person perspective shooting is also featured in its clones clones, Galaxy Game (1971) and Computer Space (1971).[17]Arcade shooters with a 3D third-person perspective include Nintendo's Radar Scope (1979),[18]Atari's Tempest (1981),[19]Nihon Bussan's Tube Panic (1983),[20]Sega's Space Harrier (1985),[21]Atari's Xybots (1987),[22] and Square's 3-D WorldRunner (1987).[23] and JJ (1987)[24] Third-person shooters for home computers include Dan Gorlin's Airheart (1986)[25] and Paul Norman's Beyond Forbidden Forest (1986).[26]

Konami's run & gun shooter Contra (1987) featured several third-person shooter levels where the player trudges through indoor enemy bases.[27] Konami's Devastators (1988)[28] is a third-person shooter[29] where, rather than moving forward automatically, the player walks forward by holding the Up direction, as the background slowly scales toward the screen. Devastators also featured various obstacles that could be used to take cover from enemy fire,[28] as well as two-player cooperative gameplay.[30] A similar shooter released that same year was Cabal (1988),[31] which inspired many of its own "Cabal clones," such as NAM-1975 (1990) and Wild Guns (1994).[32] Kurt Kalata of Hardcore Gaming 101 cites Sega's Last Survivor (1988), released for arcades and then ported to the FM Towns and FM Towns Marty, featuring eight-player deathmatch. He notes that it has a perspective and split-screen similar to Xybots, but with entirely different gameplay and controls.[33] In 1993, Namco released a two-player competitive 3D third-person shooter vehicle combat game, Cyber Sled.[34]Fade to Black (1995) was also a fully 3D third-person shooter.[35]

Tomb Raider (1996) by Eidos Interactive (now Square Enix Europe) is claimed by some commentators as a third-person shooter,[2][3][36][37][38] and Jonathan S. Harbour of the University of Advancing Technology argues that it's "largely responsible for the popularity of this genre".[3] Other commentators have considered it influential on later third person shooters such as BloodRayne (2002),[36]The Contra Adventure (1998),[39] and Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.² (2000).[38] The game eschewed the popular first person perspective of games such as Doom, instead making use of "third person" viewpoints, wide 3D environments and a control system inspired by Prince of Persia.[6][40]

Syphon Filter (1999) by Eidetic (now SCE Bend Studio) combined the perspective of Tomb Raider with action elements of games such as GoldenEye 007 (1997) and Metal Gear Solid (1998).[41] Richard Rouse III wrote in GamaSutra that the game was the most popular third person shooter for the PlayStation.[42] While in Tomb Raider and Syphon Filter the protagonists automatically aimed at antagonists,[6][42] later games such as Oni (2001), Max Payne (2001) and SOCOM (2002) forced players to control aiming themselves by means of two control sticks or a keyboard and mouse.[42]Max Payne (2001) was acclaimed as a superlative third person shooter, inspired by Hong Kong action cinema.[43]Resident Evil 4 (2005) was influential in helping to redefine the third-person shooter genre,[44] with its use of "over the shoulder" offset camera angles, where the camera is placed directly over the right shoulder and therefore doesn't obscure the action.[45]

Red Dead Redemption (2010) features a cover system, a feature that has become one of the most important features of the genre.

An important gameplay mechanic that helped revolutionize third-person shooters in the past decade was the cover system. Koei's WinBack (1999)[46] has a cover system. Kill Switch (2003) features the cover system as its core game mechanic,[47] along with a blind fire mechanic.[48]Gears of War (2006) employed tactical elements such as taking cover,[49] influenced by Kill Switch,[50] using off-center viewpoints inspired by Resident Evil 4. The game also employed grittier themes than other titles and used a unique feature which rewarded the player for correctly reloading weapons.[51]Gears of War, as well as games such as Army of Two (2008), place a greater emphasis on two player cooperative play,[52] as does Resident Evil 5 (2009).[53][54] As of 2009, the third-person shooter genre has a large audience outside Japan, particularly in North America.[55]

Vanquish (2010) by PlatinumGames featured a gameplay style reminiscent of bullet hell shooters, with bullets and missiles coming from all directions.[56]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Nate Garrelts, The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto: critical essays (McFarland, 2006), 159.
  2. ^ a b Anne-Marie Schleiner, "Does Lara Croft Wear Fake Polygons? Gender and Gender-Role Subversion in Computer Adventure Games" Leonardo Journal, Vol. 34, No. 3 (2001): 222.
  3. ^ a b c d Jonathan S. Harbour, Microsoft Visual Basic game programming with DirectX 2002
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rollings, Andrew; Ernest Adams (2006). Fundamentals of Game Design. Prentice Hall. 
  5. ^ Geddes, Ryan, Beyond Gears of War 2, IGN, Sept 30, 2008, Accessed Apr 2, 2009
  6. ^ a b c Blache, Fabian & Fielder, Lauren, History of Tomb Raider, GameSpot, Accessed Apr 1, 2009
  7. ^ Hutcheon, Linda, A Theory of Adaptation (CRC Press, 2006), pp. 55-56
  8. ^ Levi Buchanan (2006-11-10). "'Gears of War' is next-gen at its best". MSNBC. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ Ryan Donald (2002-08-27). "SOCOM: US Navy Seals (PlayStation 2)". CNET. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ François Dominic Laramée (2002). Game Design Perspectives. Charles River Media. ISBN 9781584500902. 
  11. ^ Määttä, Aki, GDC 2002: Realistic Level Design in Max Payne, GamaSutra, May 8, 2002, Accessed Apr 6, 2009
  12. ^ "Halo Move to First-Person Shooter Confirmed". Inside Mac Games. 2001-03-15. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ Sal Accardo (2004-09-24). "Star Wars: Battlefront (PC)". GameSpy. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ Louis Bedigian (2002-11-23). "Metroid Prime Review". GameZone. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ Alexander R. Galloway. Gaming: essays on algorithmic culture (U of Minnesota Press, 2006), 60.
  16. ^ a b Jones, Steven E. (2008). The Meaning of Video Games: Gaming and Textual Strategies. Routledge. p. 83-84. ISBN 9781135902186. Clearly this early third-person shooter [Spacewar] paved the way for the FPS proper. The rockets are drawn on the screen against a 2-D backdrop of stars. 
  17. ^ Voorhees, Gerald A.; Call, Joshua; Whitlock, Katie (2015). Guns, Grenades, and Grunts: First-Person Shooter Games. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781441191441. Some of the earliest video games, such as the mainframe game Spacewar! (1962) and commercial games based on it like Galaxy Game (1971) and Computer Space (1971) also involved shooting . . . [T]hese games featured shooting from a third-person perspective. 
  18. ^ Stanton, Rich (2015). A Brief History Of Video Games: From Atari to Xbox One. Little, Brown Book Group, Hachette Book Group. p. 114. ISBN 9781472118813. Radar Scope owed much to the popularity of Space Invaders and Galaxian, but nevertheless felt original thanks to its 3D third-person perspective. 
  19. ^ Therrien, Carl (Dec 2015). "Inspecting Video Game Historiography Through Critical Lens: Etymology of the First-Person Shooter Genre". Game Studies. 15 (2). Retrieved 2017. [Tempest] corresponds to a third-person shooter, by contemporary standards. 
  20. ^ Tube Panic at AllGame
  21. ^ Top 10 Sega Franchises That Deserve Platinum Treatment, GameZone
  22. ^ Xybots at AllGame
  23. ^ 3-D WorldRunner at AllGame
  24. ^ JJ: Tobidase Daisakusen Part II at AllGame
  25. ^ Airheart at AllGame
  26. ^ Beyond Forbidden Forest at AllGame
  27. ^ Game of The Week: Contra, GameSpy
  28. ^ a b Kurt Kalata, Konami Run 'n Guns, Hardcore Gaming 101
  29. ^ Devastators at AllGame
  30. ^ Devastators at the Killer List of Videogames
  31. ^ http://hg101.kontek.net/cabal/cabal.htm
  32. ^ "Wild Guns". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2012. 
  33. ^ http://hg101.kontek.net/lastsurvivor/lastsurvivor.htm
  34. ^ Cyber Sled at AllGame
  35. ^ Dominguez, James. "Deadlight, an unsatisfying flashback". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012. Even Flashback's own sequel, Fade to Black, was a fully 3D third-person shooter. 
  36. ^ a b Peter Cohen, "Bring out the big guns.(The Game Room)", MacWorld, Sept 1 2003
  37. ^ Dickey, Christopher ; Scanlan, Marc ; Lee, B. J. "Let the Games Begin.(World Cyber Games 2001)", Newsweek International, Dec 24 2001
  38. ^ a b "REVIEWS: PC". Computer and Video Games. August 13, 2001. Retrieved 2009. 
  39. ^ Bobba Fatt, The Contra Adventure, GamePro, Jan 09, 2004, Accessed Aug 4, 2009
  40. ^ Poole, Steven (2000). Trigger Happy. New York: Arcade Publishing. p. 30. ISBN 1-55970-539-6. 
  41. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff, Syphon Filter Review, GameSpot, Feb 12, 1999, Accessed Apr 1, 2009
  42. ^ a b c Rouse, Richard, Postmortem: The Game Design of Surreal's The Suffering, GamaSutra, June 9, 2004, Accessed Apr 1, 2009
  43. ^ Kasavin, Greg, Max Payne Review, GameSpot, Dec 11, 2001, Accessed Apr 2, 2009
  44. ^ Daniel Kaszor (December 30, 2009). "Decade in Review: The most influential video games since Y2K". The National Post. Retrieved . 
  45. ^ Dobson, Jason, Post-GDC: Cliff Bleszinski Says Iteration Won Gears of War, Gamasutra, Mar 12, 2007, Accessed Apr 2, 2009
  46. ^ Brian Ashcraft, How Cover Shaped Gaming's Last Decade, Kotaku
  47. ^ Why Vanquish will make Gears Of War obsolete, Play
  48. ^ Kill.Switch & Gladius Go Gold, Voodoo Extreme, IGN
  49. ^ Marc Saltzman, "Microsoft turns out gorgeous, gory shooter with 'Gears of War'," USA Today (11/30/2006).
  50. ^ "GameSpot - GDC 07: Cliffy B disassembles Gears, mentions sequel". Retrieved . 
  51. ^ Adams, Ernest, The Designer's Notebook: Ten Years Of Great Games, GamaSutra, Nov 26, 2007, Accessed Apr 6, 2009
  52. ^ Ocampo, Jason, Lock and Load: Upcoming Military Shooters of 2007, GameSpot, Aug 4, 2007, Accessed Apr 1, 2009
  53. ^ Faylor, Chris & Breckon, Nick, Resident Evil 5 to Sport 2P Co-op, Cover System (May 22, 2008), Shacknews, Retrieved on May 22, 2008.
  54. ^ IGN: TGS 2008: Resident Evil 5 Goes Split Screen
  55. ^ Nutt, Christian, That Tecmo Flavor: Kikuchi And Shibata On Surprising The Audience, GamaSutra, Jan 8, 2009, Accessed Apr 1, 2009
  56. ^ Vanquish an intense sci-fi shooter, Toronto Sun

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