Virtual Reality Has Ruined Blockbuster FPS for A Lot of People
It might seem as though someone was singing to deaf ears on this medium but it is quite difficult to get excited for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. This indifference is not entirely your fault or that of Call of Duty. The Call of Duty games – and every other FPS with a single-player with a big-budget campaign – need to put into consideration how their degree of immersion will compare in the wake of VR headsets. In other words: having played through plenty of VR demos, it is very hard to get giddy for FPS anymore.
In the real sense, one of the biggest advantages of the first-person perspective is the erroneous mental representation that everything’s happening to you. Despite the fact that you’re fully aware that you’re playing as a character, there’s a natural difference between danger coming towards your face – your perspective – rather, than ordinary image representing participant viewed from third-person.
A lot of shooters love to restrict your control so they can perfectly present a fearful, climactic and emotional scene without having to worry about you staring at the ground or facing the opposite direction during a particularly key set-piece.
You’ve no fear experienced your fair share of them, given how frequently they pop up in everything from Call of Duty and Battlefield to Half-Life 2 and BioShock. Some merely restrict your movement so that there’s no way to flee the scene; others completely strip you of any agency and force the camera to move in whatever way best serves the action. There’s nothing integrally bad about this brand of in-game storytelling; rather it’s a way to ensuring that the player pay more attention on a critical event that could determine the way you experience the rest of that particular world.
The problem here is that VR experiences often uses this same format, and by virtue of the fact that you’re wearing an all-encompassing headset instead of sitting away from a screen, they’re much, much better at plunging you in the action. Enemies, explosions, better than any physical object you can think of – they don’t just seem to be in your face on a TV, they’re in your face actually.
As much people enter into the VR pool, it’ll be more interesting to see if first-person shooters will make any adjustments to up the immersion ante. Mind you, it might take some years before the mass market get used to VR, but the fact remain that their dissatisfaction with ordinary games and less patronage will force developers to step things up. But it feels like there’s a sea change in the making here. It’s not just Call of Duty – every ‘normal’ FPS will probably need to try a lot harder to win over and sell those single-player moments that make you feel as if you’re standing in the middle of a warzone, or that an NPC is actually talking to (or attacking) you. Once you get a taste of VR, you’ll forget about all the FPS moments that used to amaze you.