# The Army of One!

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... maybe two. I really think it's time we started moving past the whole "one man army" thing in games. Don't you ever get tired of an absurdly powerful evil force that has taken the world and suppressed all its people.... and then some random guy comes along with 800x the health of a normal human and destorys them all ~_~ . I really think it's time we start coming up with better ways to do this if we ever hope to create realistic games. Now that physics have become a part of everyday games, I think this may be one possible way to solve it along with combinations of stealth and creative problem solving. Idk, I'm just getting a little tired of this --> "GENERAL! They've taken out our tanks, planes, and the entire infantry division is dead sir!" "My god... I didn't want to have to resort to this but... send in Bill."

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To a point, I agree. However, I think that the one-man-army is a common fantasy that people love to play out.

I think there have been a good number of more realistic games out there, particularly the rainbow six and ghost recon series. There are also plenty of games where the player does have to use his brains to solve various problems, albeit often very abstract ones (I'm looking at you, resident evil). Even action-centric games like Gears of War move towards that when you get into the higher difficulties, as the enemies seem to be nearly as powerful as you are.

Even in the games requiring stealth and tactics (such as Splinter Cell), the player is still, in a sense, an army of one. That is, they are still the hero.. the only person who is capable of saving the world from X. That, I think, is something we will never move away from.

Really, I think it will only get better as technology allows for the expansion of gameplay mechanics and AI. However, I think there will always be a market for army-of-one games.. because it's rather fun to go around and kill everything.

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I will say that, yes, the one man army thing is going to be around forever. However, see that there's a differance between spinter cell and serious sam. Spinter cell is actually possible in real life (to an extent) but serious sam wouldn't make it past the first level machine gun lol. I'm not implying that we move toward stealth games, just give the hero something that is a defining factor between him and the enemies. And NO, that doesn't mean an ultra-uber bullet proof hazard suit.

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Cept... Serious Sam is serious fun. Who cares if it's realistic if it's fun? =)

There are definitely a world of possibilities open as machines get faster and it's very worth-while trying to find new design paradigms. However, single-player "i pwn the world" games will be around for a while because people _really_ like playing them. Remember, they are games, not necessarily reality simulations.

Me running around as a half-cow, sword-weilding, magic caster isn't really very realistic either, but 9 million people think it's fun enough to pay \$/month

-me

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 Original post by TheKrust... just give the hero something that is a defining factor between him and the enemies. And NO, that doesn't mean an ultra-uber bullet proof hazard suit.

Why not? A state of the art body suit is a realistic way for the hero to take on the dark army.

I'm on the side of liking heroes. My favorite gameplay situations are those where the hero is not supposed to face the entire army, but the gameplay doesn't prevent it, and the player can push it beyound what was expected. Check out some of the missions on Operation Flashpoint for an example. The game didn't reward players for single-handedly wiping out the entire enemy army, but that was only because they didn't think anyone would do it. I still have tearily-fond memories of hiding in bushes waiting to ambush passing tanks with an RPG.

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I prefer squad-based games myself, where I feel like part of the action rather than the guy who instigates all of it. The thing I liked about the Call of Duty series is that you're almost always fighting with a team of guys (with one or two exceptions, which did spoil the game for me while they lasted) and being given specific orders, which you'd expect in a WWII shooter. Granted, my squad mates were almost completely ineffectual, and I do wish they'd done a better job at hitting the broad sides of barns, let alone German solders, but at least the feel was there.

Quake 4 I liked a little better because, even though the game did have its share of one-man-army portions, most of the time you had one, two, or even three marines helping you out, and they were really good. You could walk into a room full of enemies, walk back out, wait about ten seconds, and walk back in to find that the rest of your squad had cleaned house. I really like not having to do all the work myself, but I also like being given specific instructions that only I can do, even if the reason is simply because everyone else is busy.

I notice you're addressing mostly single-player games, where the one-man-army design philosophy reigns. Most team-based multi-player games divide functions and objectives fairly cleanly, so you do feel like part of a team because . . . well, you are, and the rest of your team is counting on you to do your job. This is why team-based competitive games have really taken off, while those of us who prefer modest coop campaigns are left to dry, despite being given the perfect example of what a coop game should be: Halo, plain and simple. The single- and multi-player campaigns were exactly the same thing and revolved around the one-man-army principle, but it worked, and no one bothered pointing out that there were two Master Chiefs in place of one. It was the best shooter I've ever played.

Designers have completely lost sight of the value of coop, even if it's slapped on, as was the case with System Shock 2, probably the best coop game ever made. It was released as a single-player game and they patched in the coop. If we can't have coop, at the very least I'd like some bots to take the heat off me and make it feel like I'm not masturbating through a keyboard and mouse. I miss the old days, when games involved more than one person. I'd better stop there.

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Left4Dead (released soon) addresses a lot of the issues of solo gameplay. You can find lots of information on it at www.left4dead411.com but basically you HAVE to work with your team or get wiped out, anyway I'd like to see a lot more co-op as opposed to adversarial games, they really help team bonding and stuff.

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Quote:
 Original post by TheKrust... maybe two.I really think it's time we started moving past the whole "one man army" thing in games. Don't you ever get tired of an absurdly powerful evil force that has taken the world and suppressed all its people.... and then some random guy comes along with 800x the health of a normal human and destorys them all ~_~ .
My major objection with FPS games summarized in a single paragraph. I hate the idea of one men armies, it's so ridiculous. Take the Gundam shows for example. Why spend fifty trillion dollars on "minion" bots when you can spend all that money on a single bot that can actually do something? And in the case of human vs human games, where's the fun in knowing that you are just given ungodly power? Might as well enter the invulnerability cheat - its the same thing, except one is considered "unfair."
Quote:
 Original post by TheKrustI really think it's time we start coming up with better ways to do this if we ever hope to create realistic games. Now that physics have become a part of everyday games, I think this may be one possible way to solve it along with combinations of stealth and creative problem solving.

The trouble is, a lot of people play games just to feel strong. They don't want to work to earn it, they don't care that it's just given to them, they want to run into a room and kill everyone because it makes them feel big and bad. It's the mentality of a lot of gamers today (and long before today, but it's just so prevalent now). These kinds of people don't want to problem solve, don't want to see themselves get killed by a highly trained security guard, no, if they die it has to be against some "unbeatable" opponent so it doesn't injure their ego. I'd love a game where complete realism was involved, and guards were not only smart but also enough to kill me one on one.
Quote:
 Original post by TheKrustIdk, I'm just getting a little tired of this -->"GENERAL! They've taken out our tanks, planes, and the entire infantry division is dead sir!""My god... I didn't want to have to resort to this but... send in Bill."
Lol. Exactly. Then you get the question of "why did we just sit there letting him burn through billions of dollars, collecting better guns and stats all the way, when we could have just sent bill in the first place and splattered him???"

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I think Halflife (1) did this better and differently, for example in games where your character is a 1 man commando crack squad it can see quite strange and unbalanced gameplay. What HL tried to do was make your character the lamest guy possible, a scientist who wears glasses, then gradually give him the power of becoming a one man army. The transition to one man army works a lot better than it being implemented at the start.

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 Original post by animalmothaI think Halflife (1) did this better and differently, for example in games where your character is a 1 man commando crack squad it can see quite strange and unbalanced gameplay. What HL tried to do was make your character the lamest guy possible, a scientist who wears glasses, then gradually give him the power of becoming a one man army. The transition to one man army works a lot better than it being implemented at the start.

"why did we just sit there letting him burn through billions of dollars, collecting better guns and stats all the way, when we could have just sent bill in the first place and splattered him???"

This stresses the suspension of disbelief just as much as the initial one man army scenario. Essentially, if you ever become a one man army, belief goes out the window. I would much rather play a game where skill was infinitely more important than the player's personal power. Certainly powering up serves as a motivator, one which keeps people playing a game, but power ups should be minor at best - skill should always be the number one requirement for advancement.

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I can't find it, but The Onion had an article some years ago with a headline along the lines of "Secret Base Destroyed! Alien Commanders Regret Scattering Space Marine Armor Upgrades Throughout Complex"

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Hmm but isn't the concept of one man army the reason why some games sell so well? I mean, it fulfills the player's fantasies of being godlike and saving the world and such.

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 Original post by ZouflainThis stresses the suspension of disbelief just as much as the initial one man army scenario. Essentially, if you ever become a one man army, belief goes out the window. I would much rather play a game where skill was infinitely more important than the player's personal power. Certainly powering up serves as a motivator, one which keeps people playing a game, but power ups should be minor at best - skill should always be the number one requirement for advancement.

I agree. I think the best combination is where combat relies on player skill, and avatar power simply presents useful weapons to be used with that player skill. Gaining power gives the player more tools to use, but that's all.

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Zelda games do well in that respect. Especialy the most recent iteration, Twilight Princess, has most "level up" gameplay taking the form of new moves. The HP increase of heart containers increases your longevity, and you get sword upgrades, but even in the end-game Hero of Light configuration, you do a lot of dodging and blocking and sniping to get through. That freaking cave of ordeals has some tough fights in it no matter how badass Link gets.

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 Original post by ZouflainTake the Gundam shows for example. Why spend fifty trillion dollars on "minion" bots when you can spend all that money on a single bot that can actually do something?

Dude.

I gotta stop ya there. The original Gundam(0079) series was not like that, it actually featured the Gundam realistically getting it's ass kicked pretty much alls the time.

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 Original post by Prinz EugnThe original Gundam(0079) series was not like that, it actually featured the Gundam realistically getting it's ass kicked pretty much alls the time.
I was refering to the newer ones. Yes, you're right, 0080 (I think that was the one), 0081 and the ones in that time-line were much better in that respect, but they were never as popular as the flashy Gundam series like Gundam Wing (which I could never follow because of the One-Man-Beats-All syndrome it seemed to have acquired).

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Original post by Zouflain
Quote:
 Original post by Prinz EugnThe original Gundam(0079) series was not like that, it actually featured the Gundam realistically getting it's ass kicked pretty much alls the time.
I was refering to the newer ones. Yes, you're right, 0080 (I think that was the one), 0081 and the ones in that time-line were much better in that respect, but they were never as popular as the flashy Gundam series like Gundam Wing (which I could never follow because of the One-Man-Beats-All syndrome it seemed to have acquired).

the universal century gundam series are very popular in asia
half of gundam wings success was just that it was first the first attempt to bring a anime targeted at mature audiences to north american tv

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