What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro"?

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Casualfan
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What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro"?

Post by Casualfan »

I've really been getting into the retro-styled "boomer shooters" that have been coming out lately. You know, the ones like Ion Fury, Dusk, Prodeus, Hrot, or Project Warlock that base their styles and gameplay off old retro FPS games. But this got me thinking: Is there a cutoff point for when something can be considered "retro"? Like, Shadow Warrior, Quake II, and Half-Life all came out within a year of each other they're all vastly different, but they're all generally considered to be classic retro shooters.

So my questions for y'all are: Where do you think the cutoff point is for games to no longer be considered in the "retro" era. And bases on this, what was the last FPS game released that can be considered retro?

Just hoping to spark some fun discussion! :p
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Kinsie »

The PS360 era is now typically considered retro, on account of it starting some 16 years ago. That slight tingling you feel is your bones crumbling into dust in the wind.
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nova++
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by nova++ »

The term "boomer shooter" has never sat well with me. Like, my dad is 112% boomer and I cannot even remotely visualize him playing doom 🤔
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Gollgagh »

nova++ wrote:The term "boomer shooter" has never sat well with me. Like, my dad is 112% boomer and I cannot even remotely visualize him playing doom 🤔
I've taken to calling them Doom Clones again for the same reason.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Rachael »

As long as Doom/Quake clones continue coming out there will never be an end to "retro". And that is the way it should be.

2005-2017 saw a radical departure from this style of game as a strive was made for more realism, more beautiful graphics, higher polygon counts, better shaders, etc. But now people are starting to recognize the actual art style of these classic shooters and not just because they are "retro" or that they look nice through rose tinted goggles, or even for the fact that they're nostalgic. If those were exclusively the reasons, we would not be welcoming children into this community as we routinely do even to this day.

These games are no different than painting with acrylic on a canvas. Sure you could use a Wacum tablet and a fancy paint program, but the old medium is still available and people are still discovering what they can do with it - the same with those classic games. And actually it's not exclusively shooters seeing this kind of revival - I've been seeing retro style platformers make a comeback too. And RPG games. Some might argue the computer paintings (and following this analogy, modern shooters) look better - and perhaps they might even be in the majority in thinking so. But that all the more just leaves a niche to fill.

I think a lot of it to be quite honest is the extra freedom that "retro" style games afford you. Moddability first and foremost. Instead of having to grind for loot boxes (or even worse, shell out cash) to make your character look nice, you can just modify the game files yourself and do whatever the hell you want. That really is kind of nice, and it's a lot nicer than being at the mercy of greedy publishers slow-dripping paywalled (or grind-walled) content on you slowly.



P.S.:

Considering the nature of this thread I felt it was prudent to put forth a little bit of a warning.

I just want people to keep in mind that everyone has their own opinion about this kind of stuff - some of those opinions can be very strong and passionately held. If that is the case please be careful coming into this thread - because we won't be tolerating fighting. A little back-and-forth is okay, but the moment the arguments start looking less than productive we will take action.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Graf Zahl »

I think the cutoff point is subject to personal preference.
For me things changed around 2004/2005 with Doom 3 and increasingly linear gameplay and an art style I didn't find interesting anymore becoming more widespread. That whole "realism" thing that took over back then took out all the things I liked about the older games. I still enjoy plaing the Q3 engine games but there's very little that came afterward.

Of course the whole DRM thing that HL2 introduced didn't help either because it killed off my main means of checking out new games - I rented them for a weekend in a video store.So after Quake 4 it became increasingly more difficult to rent games - but ultimately all the ones I did rent didn't appeal much to me anymore because IMO the gameplay declined ever more.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Scripten »

"Retro" games, much like "classic rock", are on a sliding time scale, I would say. Just like how everything up to the mid-nineties, early 2000's is now "classic" rock, so too are game design ethos's (ethoi? ethoses?) going. After something like twenty years, game genres which have effectively died out or evolved into unrecognizability are going to be brought back for those who are nostalgic for them.

Eventually, there's going to be enough variance between 1980's "retro" games (Shovel Knight, etc.) and mid/late aughts and beyond "retro", that we're going to probably need to start splitting those classifications into stuff like "oldies" or "classical" or something. And like has been said elsewhere, good, I'm glad. A lot of people rail against genre as limiting, but it's really helpful, in a sea of titles, to be able to hunt down games which scratch a particular itch.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by leileilol »

I'd say some time before UDK. It's the line that drew low-scale modding away to "just make a game its literally free", middleware excuses for less platforms high (no linux UT3 due to speedtree for one example), and more 'complex' game engines being tied hard to company intranets as an excuse to never bothering with an SDK/editor release (That might undercut corporate DLC plans)

There were early signs of this with Microsoft's initial objections of Timesplitters 2/Future Perfect's level editor, and seeing as Microsoft is what pushes the influence to mandatory DLC and such...

I'll never refer any of these as 'boomer shooters'. The more realistic use of that bad label would be any of those textureless tank and aircraft simulators from the mid80s to late90s.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by 7Soul »

I'd separate them this way:

A retro FPS is where the gameplay is dictated by its mechanics. You have a certain number of weapons, monsters and spaces. Gameplay variation comes from different combinations of these factors. Problem-solving and navigation skills are important

A modern FPS is where gameplay is setpiece based. All weapons are pretty much the same (it's all bullets, maybe an RPG for the occasional vehicle), enemies are all dealt with the same way (again, save for the occasional vehicle) and the spaces are all flat and linear, you just follow the objective marker. Gameplay comes from strategically advancing and taking cover, moving from setpiece to setpiece

There is overlap though, like with half-life 2. It's largely a retro FPS but with lots of setpieces sprinkled in

And of course like others pointed out, by definition the word "retro" changes with time. I like the term boomer shooters, even though the games are from the 90s
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Caligari87 »

cracks knuckles Time for pedantry.

The term "retro" means "something designed to imitate an older style". For some easy to comprehend examples: Dusk is a retro game, Quake is not. Ion Fury is a retro game, Duke Nukem is not. For some more fuzzy ones: Celeste is a retro game, Mario is not. Doom Eternal is arguably a retro game in many respects, but classic Doom is not. Hell, Ground Branch could conceivably be called a retro game hearkening back to the glory days of 1996 polygon tactical shooter Rainbow Six which itself is not a retro game.

This is an important distinction because it allows us to differentiate between a particular style of gaming, and trends which reference that style. The difficulty is that you can't put just a time cutoff on this kind of thing either. Obviously Rainbow Six isn't a "boomer shooter" despite being essentially contemporary with Quake II. You have to consider mechanics, art style, genre, in addition to timeline.

To be honest I also don't like the distinction between "classic FPS" and "modern FPS" either. It's far too broad, arbitrary and I'd say even derogatory. The evolution of gaming is organic and fuzzy, and our own biases heavily influence a sad good-ole-days tendency to gatekeep some platonic ideal of gaming. Which usually, if we're being honest, boils down to "gaming was good when I got into it, but now it's bad because it changed from what I remember."

8-)
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Graf Zahl »

Caligari87 wrote:Which usually, if we're being honest, boils down to "gaming was good when I got into it, but now it's bad because it changed from what I remember."
If that was true I'd still play 80's games on a C64 emulator. :P

Gaming was good when it was still an honest business, not that toxic shark pond of today, thanks to the ever exploding budgets. I witnessed a lot of this from the developer's side as well. 20 years ago a small startup with a good idea still had a chance to produce something nice on a limited budget - but since these went up you need outside money to finance your game - and now you got to deal with people you really do not want to deal with. I witnessed 3 employers going down on this because in the end it was the money guys calling the shots, not the creative people making the games.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Gez »

Since this is an extremely subjective question, I'll give my extremely subjective answer: UT '99 and Quake 3 Arena are the last shooters that I had some interest in back when they were new. Everything after those I just found extremely unappealing so I just stopped paying attention to the genre, focusing instead on RPGs and strategy games.
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Rachael »

Graf Zahl wrote:Gaming was good when it was still an honest business, not that toxic shark pond of today
Pretty much this. Once "big money" entered the gaming market, it was all over for the "good" games.

Big money (i.e. Rich People) shunned games in the 90's because gamers were seen as deviants, and gaming in general was regarded as satanic and unusual. People thought gamers were loners who rejected society and were likely to cause mass shootings. (i.e. Columbine) Gamers were outcasts - especially in particular people who did pen and paper RPG's like Dungeons and Dragons.

But then when the game companies in the 90's started becoming successful (id Software, Blizzard, EA, Activision, Valve, 3D Realms, and a few others in particular), their own budgets started exploding as well. And with that money came lots of hubris - and also the predatory Wall Street goons that have entered the game market today who see gaming as nothing more than an investment to expand their portfolio and float their bottom line.

Once Wall Street entered big gaming - that's when the toxic culture started permeating once beloved game studios - leaving them a mere shell of what they once were, effectively turning them into nothing more than cash cows to produce interactive media. Blizzard is probably the best, perhaps even most unfortunate, example of this. (Arguably EA was always toxic to begin with. lol)
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by Gez »

Rachael wrote:(Arguably EA was always toxic to begin with. lol)
That was certainly what the people at Origin thought!
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Re: What was the last FPS game that can be considered "retro

Post by wildweasel »

apropos of nothing whatsoever:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare turns 15 years old this year.

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