What FPS should I play?

I need a new PC game. I’ve been playing Warcraft for years and it just can’t be my go-to game anymore. I’m sick of RPGs in general. I want a game that I can get started in within a day. I want a game I can play for 15 minutes or two hours.

I think I might like to start playing an FPS. I haven’t played an FPS since Halo, way back when I owned an XBox. I wonder if someone can give me a general feel for the games that are popular right now. Also, how does the online component of shooters work? Would I have to find my own server or pay subscription fees?

I’ve heard about CoD: black ops, Modern Warfare 2, Team Fortress 2 and Counter Strike. I only know a bit about Call of Duty and Counter Strike, but I know nothing about multiplayer mode for any of them.

I really want something that can be played online, but I don’t really wanna pay steep subscription fees. Graphics are no obstacle.

What kind of FPS did you prefer before?

They’re all the same, as far as I’m concerned. But, the only FPS I’ve really played has been Halo.

Do any of them do multiplayer better?

I can speak to the console.

No. Halo is pretty much the gold standard. With other titles, the control schemes are pretty good and responsive, but the lobbies are usually for shit and the connections can be hit or miss.

You don’t have to pay any subscription fees to play multiplayer FPS games online. Most games have a built in server browser so you can pick from what works best for you in terms of latency, map rotation, rules, etc.

The last two call of duty games (modern warfare 2 and black ops) are ass. Black ops is slightly less ass from what I understand. Recommend against either at the hefty $60 price point.

If you want one of those types of games, COD4: Modern Warfare is still the best of them, still played by lots of people, and you can pick it up for under $20 if you look around.

We have an active TF2 SDMB community where we can help you learn and get into the game. We have 2-3 big games a week with 15+ SDMBers usually.

Counter-strike is still wildly popular (between 1.6 and css, there are probably over half a million players per day).

Battlefield Bad Company 2 is a good alternative to the COD series and you can get it for $20.

Not to hijack, but these two statements together confuse me. If you’ve only really played one, do you have a real basis for thinking they’re all the same? I mean, I get that you get to have an opinion, but does it strike you as particularly well-founded? Just wondering.

On topic: If you want to avoid the building-a-character-over-time feeling completely, that may be hard with modern FPS games. Most of them have some kind of achievement system with in-game consequences - Modern Warfare 2 unlocks weapons as you play, Team Fortress 2 unlocks a variety of things, some of them with game effects, and Borderlands (which is a really enjoyable game) has definite character progression and storyline.

If you enjoy the feeling of progression but not the feeling of grinding, then the “RPG-light” elements of modern FPS games will probably appeal to you.

Oh, and for pure FPS fun with no subscription, check out www.quakelive.com. It’s retro-tastic fun.

Homefront is a new game coming out next Tuesday.

nah, I wasn’t being 100% serious. To me, FPS is a very very static genre. Halo doesn’t seem all that different from Quake II or Duke Nukem. Compared with RPGs or strategy games that I believe change radically from generation to generation. But, I’ve been biased in favor of RPGs for years, so what do I know anyway?

So, the ‘flavor’ of FPS (bullets vs. lasers, as far as I’m concerned) doesn’t matter so much as which has the best multiplayer experience?

Also, I can’t say that I want a feeling of progression in my shooters. If I get better, I want it to be because I got better- not my weapons. Unlockable achievements that are just for laughs are fine by me.

I see that TF2 and Counter Strike are awfully cheap. CoD is laughably expensive.

What’s the definition of “cheap” and “laughably expensive” to you?

I’d call $10 cheap, $20 reasonable, $40 high and $60 laughably expensive

If you ever want to eschew playing online and just play a really good FPS type game by yourself, I’d also seriously look at the Bioshock games and the Left For Dead series (which you can also play online, but to me the single player is more fun).

Also, the original Crysis game, since you mention graphics as no obstacle. That game might make you change your opinion!

Bioshock is beautifully rendered and creepy as hell, the Left For Dead games are a honking good time and gory zombie killing fest and Crysis is a graphics masterpiece (and a lot of fun to play, too).

All three of these games range from fairly recent to a few years old, but all are still very modern looking and run great on a PC…and none of them should be over around $30 at this point.

With TF2, the unlockables aren’t really straight upgrades. They’re more about changing the play style of a class. A new gun won’t make a mediocre player good, but does allow different strategies. And if you do decide to go with TF2, I recommend getting the Orange Box. Along with TF2, it comes with Portal and Half Life 2. Both are great single player games.

Are you more interested in multiplayer, or in a single-player story with missions, challenges, plot, etc.?

The Left 4 Dead series define the pick up and play subgenre, with a great multiplayer component and a rewarding learning curve. It’s also one of the most fun series released in the last decade. You can buy 1 or 2, tech-wise they’re pretty similiar, but Valve have spent a lot of time recently porting the content from 1 to 2, so unless the price points are wildly different I’d go with 2.

I decided to play both TF2 and Counter Strike. For no reason at all, I downloaded Counter Strike this evening. I’ll play TF2 when that gets old.

I’ve played a couple games so far, and DAMN this shit is hard. My kill ratio is like 1/15 or something abysmal. I haven’t been bad enough to get called out on it, which is something.

Like SenorBeef said upthread, there’s a group of us that play TF2 regularly throughout the week and we’re all very helpful in getting people up the speed on the game.