I have been playing shooters for a while now - around 12+ years or so I guess. Not that I would claim myself a pro here but when tasked I can deal a decent load of kills and when taking the game seriously I can kick some ass (well this is at CS, TF2 or perhaps at COD 2). I have also been giving a shot at the recent ones like Overwatch, Battlefield and such and for some reasons, never grew a fan of them like I did with the ones from good old days. I also started to wonder whether it was me who suddenly became a tad older and couldn't catch up with the new gen stuff. All the boys at the studio play these new titles and whenever I joined for a few sessions or even looked over their shoulders, it never gave me the sheer excitement I got out of playing a Counter Strike, TF2 or a COD (older versions mind you!) Well, trusting my gamer and part developer instincts still, I can safely bet that I can still enjoy those old games but none of the new ones. Trust me I only barely played Fortnight and it felt the game officially asked me to camp let alone the bare bone shooting. Of course one would argue, hey! its a new genre you see! Its Battle Royale dude! and what not. So I start to wonder what it is that I enjoy in the old-gen games that I miss in these new games. Well, for starter I am confident that the new ones are utterly complex and they do it deliberately and that's my issue right there. Hearing this you will give me, that it is because of the game's theme and back story. No offense but that doesn't cut for me!
Breaking this down further, the biggest issue I find is the right with the shooting feedback. When I shoot an enemy, I need to know if he is taking hit or going down- Its as simple as that! A great example is the older version of COD, 2 to be precise (which a lot of us still play at the studio btw). The shooting mechanics is still one of the best till date and it almost makes me look for that shooting feel whenever I try any new game for that matter. The weapons feel right and all of them portray that weight with the right amount of recoil. That game nailed all the weapons and it was always a joy picking up them and you could always get used to them with a little amount of learning curve. The sniping mechanics to me is still the best by far and I haven't had that feel in other games even in recent times. It wasn't any complicated and that was its strength. When you take an enemy out you get a clear feedback - you see a clear 'X' mark and that coupled with the sound cue, you can always be assured that the enemies are taking a hit at the least. No 'In your Face' Enemy Eliminted text popping up!
CS and TF2 accomplished this in their own ways. In TF2 for instance when you shoot an enemy you can always almost feel the impact on the flesh. One of those very smart ways of integrating rag doll into the characters. And TF2 especially weave the graphics so well with the gameplay that it all made sense when playing. No retro-fits whatsoever.
The next issue I have been constantly bogged about is how the modern games have too many things happening on the screen that I only get overwhelmed. This is majorly due to the fact the fantasy elements dominate the action. I then had to get convinced that may be this is what modern games had to offer- busy visuals! Downpour of eye candy! This isnt to say that I cant or dont want play fantasy based shooter but they simply cannot dial down the experience. A game like Overwatch has already rooted with the idea of Hero based shooter that borrows from Warcraft which in principle works but I struggle to cope up when played from a bottom up experience.
This isnt one of those TF2 vs Overwatch discussions either I am looking to stir up but I am only surprised why games are taking a complex direction while overlooking the core issues. Perhaps it could be me or the current gen of gamers rather are ok to overlook the fundamental shooting mechanics being compromised and instead want to have a larger than life experience.
To me games to that extent need not get any more hyper real. They need to have exaggerations where and when needed as otherwise it can give you that raw, undone feel. But they need to get the core nailed like how these old-gen (gem) games did so in the past. I think for the foreseeable future I am going to keep going back in time in search of the lost fun factors from the new-gen shooters and that sounds like a safe bet to me.