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"By 2025, a Korea now fortified by the absorption of Japan conducts a successful, coordinated strike on US soil and two short years later, has occupied the stricken nation. A little far fetched perhaps, but entertaining, oddly plausible..."
I disagree. North Korea would have to execute on all of the Communist wet dream 5 year plans ever enunciated, simultaneously for the next 14 years, to have a hope of conquering Japan & South Korea by 2025 even without USA support for South Korea and Japan. Then there is the problem of integrating the conquered nations' economies into North Korea's economy. To conquer the USA in that time frame is an opium pipe dream. "...oddly plausible..." - I do not think so... rather more something cooked up in a marketing meeting at the game publisher's head office.
"Thus begins the shooting"
It is good that the shooting starts, because that is what FPS games are all about.
I started FPSs with Doom 2, and have mostly played id and Valve titles but also Crysis, and the FEAR franchise, also Deus Ex (original game) and Deus Ex: Invisible War, also L4D & L4D2. I've played some others but none of them were really memorable enough that I can remember their names.
FPS games do not need a story line or a plot. They just need fun weapons and interesting monsters and good inter-player interaction in online multi-player games.
id games and Valve games before L4D(2) were brilliant when played deathmatch or CTF, but only good for one or two plays against the computer because the monsters were too stupid. Until L4D I never really dealt with challenging computer controlled monsters.
Deus Ex et co., though IIRC it had no multiplayer facility, did have a large ethical choice component which kept the game interesting.
Crysis was a tough fight against the computer, quite well done except for the silly boss fights - but the North Korean angle was stupid: NK can no more project force to an island in the southern hemisphere than it can project force to Tokyo.
Game companies should leave politics out of FPS games, it contributes very little. They should work harder on better fights, smarter computer controlled enemies, better or new multi-player interaction models. They should also not get too worried about the guns: id's BFG9K and rocket launcher and rail gun were totally unrealistic but they were enormously *fun*.
I think L4D/L4D2, whether or not you actually like the games, showed one useful way forward: challenging monsters and an inter-player interaction model that supports players behaving in any manner they like: spanning style from cooperative/supportive, to run the map and damn the hindmost, to outright grief play.
When I play an FPS I want to kill stuff, ideally I want to kill everything, I do not want to deal with the dev's or the marketer's idea of how I should play. I like to back track just to make sure I have not missed anything that still needs to be killed! Playing online, the L4D model is very good because very occasionally I meet another player who needs to be kill and L4D lets me try to do that. The most fun I ever had in Quake 2 CTF was on a server I ran that had friendly fire enabled: we had to be just a little selective during our rocket orgies.