It seems particularly fitting to revisit two of the most famous FPS games in the history of gaming, both of which had recent sequels launch to critical and sales success. Doom (2016) revisits the fast-paced, metal-music-fueled roots of its ancestor, the original DOOM, while Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (and its soon-to-release follow-up, New Blood,) forges off into entirely new, cinema-inspired directions.
DOOM and Wolfenstein were created by Id software, a video game company that not only managed to define a genre but also influenced countless other genres. These two first-person shooters were the most complete, polished, and innovative of their kind, changing the way that we saw video games forever. Using clever visual tricks, both DOOM and Wolfenstein created enrapturing environments full of thrilling confrontations with terrifying enemies. There are still games being made in DOOM’s engine to this day!
A New Millennium
The early 2000s pushed the boundaries of what the FPS genre truly was. With Halo: Combat Evolved launching on the original Xbox and the very first Call of Duty appearing on multiple platforms, the new millennium was an exciting time of frontiers and experiments. As many gamers will know, the Halo series and the Call of Duty series are still going strong to this day, with Call of Duty’s latest installment breaking sales records worldwide and Halo’s most recent release, “Guardians,” seeing critical reception for its multiplayer gameplay.
The early aughts brought a vibrant reimagining to many classic games. DOOM and Wolfenstein both saw new installments that brought them into the full-3D era while challenging the original styles of the games. These iterations would lay the groundwork for further development of the series stylistically and in the way of a story. Interestingly and despite having similar stylistic roots, Wolfenstein and DOOM totally diverged in the aughts, exploring fusions of FPS and other genres in different ways.
The 00’s most vital developments, though, were in multiplayer, leading to the establishment of some of the most iconic FPS games and game series ever made. Call of Duty, though it started as a relatively played-straight historical shooter, became a powerhouse on the multiplayer gaming scene, a characteristic which hasn’t changed despite multiple subsequent releases.
Strong Memories Inform a Golden Future
With such a vibrant history, the FPS genre seems guaranteed an incredible future. While it can be hard to imagine games that will outshine our old favorites, in truth, the brilliant minds behind the world’s most iconic FPS games are still innovating every day, learning from the successes and missteps of the past. For all of us who are waiting for the next exciting title, that’s fantastic news, and it means that even if an old series seems to have fallen silent, a new entry could be just around the corner!