Failed Player Satisfaction (F.P.S.)

I recently purchased the game Homefront for X-Box 360. I don’t often play First Person Shooters and Homefront is a perfect example of why that is! First off, let me say that I enjoyed the game! The story was engaging, the graphics were awesome and I appreciated the variety of weapons… although I might have liked some degree of control over what scope I got to use. But where Homefront failed, and indeed most do, is that it was too short! I have no doubt that the online experience is enjoyable… but only for those who enjoy playing online. And let’s be honest… if I hadn’t waited as long as I did, the price of the game is ridiculous if you consider that I finished it in a few hours.

Games are expensive! I don’t know whether it’s because of inflation… or because the developers are passing on the cost of making it in the first place (which I don’t necessarily have a problem with)… or because someone is trying to be greedy. The free market has allowed for individual copies of games to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of Seventy Dollars (U.S.). Sometimes the game is well worth the expense. I have never complained about buying an Assassin’s Creed title… or any of the Mass Effect trilogy. At least, not because of the price! But that’s mostly because I enjoyed the experience so much… for SO long (My first playthrough of ME1 took the better part of 60 hours). Playing through any First Person Shooter, on the default difficulty, takes maybe four or five hours. Not since the invention of the “Saved Game” file has five hours been a long time to play a game.

It’s not that it’s a linear game play mechanic either. I know that not every game can be an open-world/sandbox type. But, it does raise an interesting question. If they can fit all that data on a disc… why then can’t I have a longer F.P.S. game? I’ve killed countless pirates, slavers, templars, mobsters and innocent pedestrians in my gaming life. Are you telling me that because I can’t look down and see feet, and quite often don’t have hands either, that only “x” number of baddies can be programmed into the game? Or is it because of all the cut scenes I have to sit through… EVERY time I play the game? I enjoy explosions making bodies fly, blood splattering on the wall behind a target after a well executed headshot and enemies crumpling to the ground because you shot their legs out from under them as much as the next guy. But, surely you’re not going to tell me that the physics engine is taking up that much space.

In all honesty, never once have I thought to myself, “you know what would make this game better? Twelve year old kids not only killing me repeatedly but, also being insulted in the most vulgar language I’ve heard outside of Georgia!” As I’ve said, I don’t think that playing online is without its merits. But I (of “Me, Myself and” fame) don’t want to play a game with strangers… nor do I want to spend MORE money on the X-Box Live subscription. And, if I want to play with my real live friends, I’d prefer them to be in the room so that I can laugh at them when I’m winning. (Fourth and long…throw it to Sidney!) [Inside jokes are fun for me…]Is it not enough that I bought the console and have shelled out for the game? Can I not enjoy this in the privacy of my own home?… ALONE!? If the focus of your game is the online multi-player component… why bother having a single player campaign in the first place? Leave out the story and call it a training session, because that’s about all it really is!

First Person Shooters are a fine distraction from that MLB:2K11 season that I’m still only half-way through. A welcome vacation from my racing career in Forza Motorsport 2. Even a sweet reprieve from recruiting for my next season of NCAA Football 2008 Dynasty Mode. But if you expect me to pay ridiculous amounts of money for an afternoon of fun… I think I’d rather spend it at a strip club!

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