Move your body

EDGE - - HYPE -

Ask any DJ what truly de­fines their craft and most will ex­plain that tech­ni­cal abil­ity and the qual­ity of the con­tents of your record bag mean lit­tle if you’re not play­ing the songs in the right or­der. The art, and the pur­pose, of play­ing loud mu­sic to a big room lies in keep­ing peo­ple mov­ing to it for an en­tire night. Sure, it’s about the tunes, but also, cru­cially, it’s about the jour­ney.

That’s some­thing FPS de­vel­op­ers seem to be cot­ton­ing onto. In this most com­pet­i­tive of gen­res, there’s only so much you can do with the act of aim­ing and shoot­ing. The FPS is ul­ti­mately a game of pulling a trig­ger un­til some­thing falls over, and noth­ing is go­ing to change that.

What can change, how­ever, is the jour­ney. As we close out the year that gave us Ti­tan­fall’s wall-run, Call Of Duty: Ad­vanced War­fare’s boost-dodge and Des­tiny’s glide, we find that de­vel­op­ers seem set to con­tinue ex­per­i­ment­ing in the fu­ture with the things the player can do when the shoot­ing stops. In Halo 5: Guardians, 343 In­dus­tries is bravely ex­pand­ing a 13-year-old moveset with un­lim­ited sprint­ing, a dou­ble jump and a dev­as­tat­ing ground pound. On p36, we dis­cover how the stu­dio is bal­anc­ing its ad­di­tions to avoid up­set­ting fans, but the very fact that such rad­i­cal change is deemed nec­es­sary says a lot for where the genre is head­ing.

Bliz­zard En­ter­tain­ment, mean­while, con­tin­ues its his­tory of plough­ing its own fur­row, though it’s once again telling that it en­ters the FPS space with a game de­fined as much by its move­ment as its weapon­set. In Over­watch (p40), jump packs, grap­pling hooks and tele­ports help dif­fer­en­ti­ate classes in far more mean­ing­ful ways than the tra­di­tional big-and-slow/light-and-squishy tem­plate. It’s an idea bor­rowed from the MOBA, ad­mit­tedly, but there’s no harm in a lit­tle gen­tle pil­fer­ing. After all, DJs make their names and their money play­ing other peo­ple’s records. It’s only fair that we ex­tend the same cour­tesy to de­vel­op­ers seek­ing to push things for­ward.

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