The obligatory ‘rail’ level
The most annoying levels in shooters are the ones where you have to sit on a machinegun/cannon/kaboomer and shoot things. You can’t jump away because you’re superglued to the seat and the scripted events make your demise seem like Groundhog Day.
Sometimes you don’t need to reach the battlefield to die. The awesome servers are overseas and you try to join em. Several failed attempts and BAM you find a decent connection. You update to the latest patch, you download their modified map and you wait and wait and wait. The loading screen shows a little bar that is slowly creeping to completion. It’s almost there. And then you’re kicked for low ping. Damn.
Remember that first level where you can run through the ‘easy’, ‘medium’ or ‘hard’ slipgate? Quake teaches us to be patient in multiplayer because all three of those portals lead to the same place and if two players happen to collide … TELEFRAG! The pixelated gore explosion is as gross as that nerd-snorts-and-sneezes sound that closely follows. Also, refrain from firing your lightning gun under water because ZAAAAAP!
The back stab
Most modern murder simulators allow the acolyte to wield knives. Compared to the skilful one-hit kills in later killing trainers, knives are a joke in Counter-Strike because most people run around with one just for the speed advantage. If you do happen to get close enough to the enemy then you’ll be lucky to stab them once before they send you to the afterlife (where you wait patiently for respawn).
Who can be bothered saving hostages or completing team goals? It’s so tedious and boring. You’re on the bottom of the score board and you need to do something to spice up your gaming life. Going rogue results in death, so does tea-bagging corpses. What to do, what to do … Watch out for flashbang-stabby-stabby team killers. Yes Kyle, I’m referring to you.
The Cal complex
Snipers. Instagib. Bullshit. You know, those one-shot weapons that ‘unskilled’ people use to pwn y’all. Who cares if you sprayed your surroundings with a hundred bullets or hit the other dude/dudette first, when you’re up against a railgun or a sniper rifle they only need that one shot. And if they manage to pop your head then they’re just mocking you. Consider yourself lucky if you successfully evade Cal’s coiled trail of depleted uranium shells.
The overbaked potato
Pull the pin, wait a sec, throw your ‘nade and boom — you’re up a frag. At least, that’s the ideal scenario. Overcooking grenades can be frustrating, but it can also be satisfying. If you’ve played Black Ops or Modern Warfare it’s too easy to stand in the open, spray and pray, freak out, pull the pin, look for the bastard who tagged you, throw the grenade and — ouch. The online pace is so frantic that suicide bombing can be a wise option, for a n00b.
I can imagine clusters of information travelling through my computer, but instead of looking like ships and motorcycles they’re cyborgs and demons! I firmly believe that the Amiga that I play Space Crusade on can hear what I say because I recall that time when I was going to squish the dreadnought in the doorway and my commander lost door access the next turn. Every blue screen and every sync error I attribute to these AI bastards. The Grid is real, man.
The chocolate Payne
There’s a reason the dual pistols in Counter-Strike aren’t popular. They suck, but that doesn’t stop us from using them. Max Payne glorifies the diving-with-a-beretta-in-each-hand look so why not try and imitate his style in other games? Sure, you’re not wearing a leather jacket and the atmosphere isn’t quite noir enough but screw it, dual weapons are always cool, especially when you hurt someone in the process.
Everyone is losing interest fragging each other. Inevitably, people start mucking around. Situations like these dictate a temporary cease-fire. Look at that dude break dance. Well we say break dance but it’s just a soldier crouching and spinning really fast. That is so rad. Oh look, someone’s planking on that crate. Pfft, they’re just in the prone position, big deal. Whoa, is that a Horch and a Humvee each with a driver and a passenger holding a rocket launcher? They’re driving head-on down the main road. As soon as they pass each other the truce is over and rockets fire freely. Shiiiiiiiit.