Why Are Shooter Games So Serious?

Sep 17, 2012 12:35 PM EDT

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  • Rise of the Traid
  • Shooter games such as "Rise of the Traid" have become very realistic. Gone are the days of goofy and funny shooter games.
    (Riseofthetraid.net)

Shooting games are a favorite with most gamers. Shooting games are unfortunately serious and dark. The audience for "serious" shooter games is huge. All enemies, be it terrorists, aliens, invaders and villains, are taken very seriously and gamers kill them with a vengeance that is very real and somewhat disturbing. Most shooting games have a gritty tone. 

"What happened to the satirical, playful and comical tone of games like Overstrike? Where did all the humor and color of shooter games go?" asks Kotaku. 

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Kotaku points out that perhaps these playful games were given up due to a fear of lack of performance. Overstrike is no longer available and has turned itself from a cartoonish aesthetic to becoming more grounded and realistic. Now called Fuse, it has more violence and newer weapons. 

Games like Rise of Triad reboot and Bulletstorm are those odd games that did not take themselves seriously. Bulletstorm asks you to kill with skillshots and the new Rise of Triad with bodies-exploding-everywhere mayhem and destruction, the coin collecting and metal music is fun. 

According to Kotaku, the Wolfenstein 3D era were not serious, they embraced, "the gratuitous violence and endemic sociopathy that has always characterized the genre," said Dylan Holmes, game academic. 

The shooter games became serious, tactical and realistic in the mid-nineties, due to games like Tom Clancy. It would seem that both versions of shooter games - the comic and serious - could co-exist in the present scenario, but the need of gamers for "serious realistic shooter" games is tremendous, but more importantly, lucrative. 

We have become attached to things "authentic" and "realistic."  Reality TV has become popular, a movie or book that says "based on a true story" becomes a hit. So is it any wonder why games want shooting games too to be "real." 

"The reason we choose serious games was we wanted to show our "maturity and complexion," Kotaku said.

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