Well, if I'm completely honest with myself, I've always been in love with the shooter. Ever since GoldenEye showed up on the Nintendo 64, I have enjoyed dodging bullets while shooting at my friends. The fever really struck once Medal of Honor came out. And I mean the original PSOne game, not the hollow shell of a war game that the series has become.
When Medal of Honor: Allied Assault came out, I was in Heaven. I don't even want to know how many hours of my life I sank into that thing. Call of Duty came out to dethrone MoH:AA as the World War shooter king, and I was onboard with that too.
But by the time Call of Duty 3 had come out, I was beginning to realize the genre was just endlessly repeating itself. When I really thought about it, CoD 3 was just a poorly designed rehash of MoH:AA. I got cranky with the whole shooter genre. I even hated Counter-Strike: Source, for crying out loud. I never got too vocal about it, but I had a hard time coping with the ennui I was experiencing.
Sure, I enjoyed some shooters in the meantime. Half-Life 2 was surprisingly good, as was BioShock. But I always drew a line between the story-based single-player shooter and the team deathmatch-oriented shooter. For me, TDM was dead and it was time for the genre to move on.
I was quite upset when the Call of Duty franchise became the mega-hit monster that it did. I began judging those in the CoD and Halo crowds, complaining about "the cliché gamer." Why didn't people realize that the competitive shooter was a thing of the past, an ancient relic of a much better time in gaming?
But this year's E3 changed me. I let my defenses down and just allowed myself to have fun. And shooters are damn fun. I had almost forgotten about the fast-paced strafing in and out of cover, the excitement of getting a high kill/death ratio, or the satisfaction of looking over at the guy next to me and knowing I just ruined his day with a perfectly timed headshot. E3 was a dual-stick shooter paradise.
Time and time again, the shooter has proven that it deserves a place in my heart. Finally, I am willing to admit that it's a valid genre still bursting with solid entertainment potential. If those who love team deathmatch are nothing but a gaming cliché, then I must admit that I am a gaming cliché myself. I've even been playing Black Ops and loving every minute of it.
Sure, Call of Duty is going to continue repeating itself. In fact, Modern Warfare 3 is going to be the exact same game as Modern Warfare 1 and 2, just with a couple new features and some new maps. But you know what? It's going to be a hell of a lot of fun. And really, when it comes to gaming, isn't that what counts?
By Joshua Wirtanen
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*