Happy(?) April Fools, I guess. Should have done something special for PV but I'm not really in that kind of mood. Not that things have been bad, per say, but there's still a lot of stuff going on that really annoys me. But I don't really want to talk more about that today either. So, let's get back to favorite video games.
First Person Shooter is a popular genre these days, but it's honestly never been one I've been especially into. One reason is that I'm rarely all that into competitive gaming (outside of a bit of Smash and Pokémon) and when I was growing up the FPS genre tended to lack any sort of decent stories, so it held little appeal for me. Over the years though, there has been the occasional FPS that got my attention.
The Metroid Prime trilogy successfully married the Metroidvania exploration elements of the 2D Metroid games with the action and gunplay of a FPS. There's a lot more exploration, platforming, and puzzle solving than a normal FPS (to the point where I could argue that they're more of a combo genre than a pure FPS) but they're fantastic games regardless and appeal to a lot of people who aren't really traditional FPS fans, like myself. While the entire trilogy is good, the first game is my favorite due to its focus on a single expansive planet to explore.
Portal is another game that isn't necessarily a true FPS (see a trend here?), it's more of a first person puzzle game where you use a gun of sorts. Anyway, the puzzles are clever and unique thanks to the portal gun mechanic and the humor takes everything to the next level. While the original Portal is a classic, Portal 2 is bigger and better with more diverse environments, more crazy characters, and additional puzzle mechanics.
The Bioshock series is unusual in the FPS space due to its focus on story and world building over combat (though there is plenty of that too) and single player over multiplayer. Both Bioshock and Infinite feature fantastically creative settings and thought provoking storylines. Of the two though, I strongly prefer Infinite for a number of reasons, especially the much more developed main characters and smoother combat. It also doesn't dip into full-on horror like the first Bioshock does at times, which is a plus for me (though perhaps not for everyone).
As previously discussed, I don't do a ton of multiplayer games. I've also never been a fan of monthly subscription fees, which were the norm for MMOs for quite a long time. Even today, with more and more of them going free to play, a lot of the best still use subscriptions. As such, while I've toyed around with various MMOs over the years, there's actually only one I ever spent a significant amount of time on. Hard to say if I'd truly call it a favorite, but it's worth listing here. I'll also note that Final Fantasy XIV interests me quite a bit so I may give it a shot sooner or later.
I initially picked up Guild Wars because of the ways it shook up the traditional MMO model. For example, the lack of a monthly fee (or any serious micro-transactions, for that matter) and focus on strategy and build instead of grinding. It was a fun and refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately, I never really had a dedicated group of people to play with, but the game still kept me engaged enough that I played for hundreds of hours across multiple characters and campaigns. Even now, I'm still occasionally tempted to load it up again to finish that last campaign.