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A lot of old school FPS gamers see Half-Life not as the amazing step forward the mainstream does, but as a downgrade. The story and immersion is seen as a bad thing compared to the pure shooting and twitch aiming focus of Doom and Quake. We now see retro FPS games that share this thought process, like Dusk and Amid Evil.

So which kind of FPS gamer are you? Do you want a story and immersion focus along with your shooting, or do you just want to shoot stuff at a fast pace with maybe some light exploration and key hunting?
I think story based FPS do have a place and it is good that there's some variety in the genre, personally i think both can be entertaining depending on how you feel from day to day but i have to say that i play more older style fps overall.

I don't like either Half Life though and replay games like Doom, RtCW, Quake, Hexen, SOF, Heretic, Amid Evil, Dusk etc long before i consider to ever touch HL again.
Post edited September 28, 2020 by ChrisGamer300
Story and immersion definitely (Half-life, Bioshock, STALKER, System Shock 2).
Though Duke Nukem 3D is included for immersion reasons, though perhaps because of the times: it was the first FPS I played that competently managed to capture real world locations. It's the first time that a game made me feel like I was exploring a real world location, in stark contrast to the more abstract precursors Doom and Quake.
Definitely lean more toward the Quake side of things. The great stuff coming out for Doom and Duke speak for themselves gameplaywise.
Why not choose both? ;) It all depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Sometimes I just want to shoot shit without someone talking my ear off a la Dusk, Ion Fury, Doom, Duke 3D, Serious Sam, etc. Just cock that gun and pew pew!

Other times I love a good bit of world-building (while still being able to shoot shit) a la Metro, New Wolfenstein, Bioshock, STALKER, etc.
Post edited September 28, 2020 by Mr.Mumbles
I don’t mind either to be honest. Medal of Honor had a story and that was a good shooter. Half life was ok, the soldiers dropping grandee down the pipes was cool. What isn’t great is when they try to shoehorn one into the other like the recen serious Sam 4, does not need a story or npcs.
I notice a couple of the mentions above Rtcw and duke, both have stories to them, not hugely in depth, but then I would t consider HL to be a groundbreaking booker prize winner by any stretch of the imagination.
Oh, and i note doom eternal tried to push some story in (can’t remember if 2016 version did too), but pointless unless the story is now two plumbers met whilst glowing stunned demons stood around the place.
Post edited September 28, 2020 by nightcraw1er.488
Heretic/Hexen series has proven that tight FPS and good backstory and world building can coexist in a relatively stable balance.
So as i prefer the Doom/Quake "school" of FPS, those are my ideals.
Story and immersion, though I can have fun with both kinds, and really my favorite FPS games (Star Trek Voyager Elite Force, SWAT 4, TRON 2.0, Bulletstorm, Republic Commando) don't much resemble either of those two titles.
Post edited September 28, 2020 by Breja

No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to care about story in action games.

For example, although I've played through Fear and it's sequels several times, I still couldn't tell you what the plot is.

Any time a cut scene is on screen or I can't do anything meaningful (like the intro tram ride in Half-Life), I immediately zone out.
nightcraw1er.488: I notice a couple of the mentions above Rtcw and duke, both have stories to them, not hugely in depth, but then I would t consider HL to be a groundbreaking booker prize winner by any stretch of the imagination.
RtCW's story is light compared to modern stuff I guess, but it has cinematics, letters to find and read plus great immersion. I would definitely put it in the Half-Life camp.
System Shock 2, Thief, and DOOM. I never figured out what the appeal of Half-Life and its sequels was. Aside from Portal, Valve's offerings were pretty dull for me.
No One Lives Forever.
Deus Ex.

Brainless shooting isn't fun in the long run.
I think it's like picking between picking tea or coffee. Both choices are good. Quake changed the landscape with it's 3D visuals, Hal-Life with the unbroken gameplay narrative. Probably where you can draw the line in where the genre started to grow in different directions.

That being said...

Half-life has Gunman Chronicles so yeah, it wins. Not at all a fanboy though...kinda
I enjoy both but prefer DOOM/ Quake/ Duke3D style FPS. There's no complex scripting to break so the map design can be less linear, ideally giving more freedom of approach.

That said, I HATE procedurally generated maps! Level design is an art. Pay a human to do it.

Regarding story, id software style single page scenario backgrounds were always enough for me. Page 2 is where I take over and start blasting imps.
Post edited September 29, 2020 by Snickersnack