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Third Person Shooter

Entry updated 2 April 2015. Tagged: Game, Theme.

Term used to describe a form of Videogame which, like the First Person Shooter, focuses on physically demanding, fast paced, often violent gameplay displayed in three dimensions. Unlike that form, however, in a Third Person Shooter the player character is seen in an external (third person) view. This perspective may make the experience of playing the game less intense than in an FPS, but is necessary when the player needs a clear view of their character's actions, as with the martial arts moves used in Oni (2001). The form has primarily developed on games consoles rather than personal computers. A possible early example is the sf-related UK game Tomb Raider (1996 Core Design, DOS, PS1, Saturn; 2002 WinPhone; 2003 Phone) designed by Toby Gard, in which the aristocratic English archaeologist Lara Croft – later to become a noted Videogame sex symbol – must jump, shoot and puzzle her way through a range of locations to uncover the secrets of a superscientific Atlantis. Later games of this kind include the enthusiastically melodramatic pulp noir thriller Max Payne (2001 Remedy Entertainment [RE], Win, XBox; 2002 Mac, PS2) designed by Petri Järvilehto, Sami Järvi, created in Finland, the French Canadian Technothriller Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2002 Ubisoft, XBox; 2003 GC, PS2, Win; 2004 Mac) designed by Nathan Wolff, the psychological thriller Alan Wake (2010 RE, XB360; 2012 Win) designed by Mikael Kasurinen and the Japanese Resident Evil 5 (2009) (see Resident Evil). One recent development is the growing popularity of Third Person Shooters which force the player to make extensive use of cover to avoid enemy fire, a mechanic which works rather better in third person than in first person view; an excellent example is the US developed Military SF game Gears of War (2006). [NT]

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