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Mini Rant: Ability Shooters


Longtime CSGO player here. Pretty much a longtime FPS player. Been around from CS:S, to TF2, R6S, and so on. My gaming foundations are pretty much solely in shooters, so I would personally say my aim and general game sense is pretty good! I can pretty much rely on my aim because I think that's the beauty of FPS games: my aim is my best weapon.

Then Overwatch came out in 2016. I remember it clearly, I was a senior in high school talking with my friends about the new & exciting ability shooter. Looked pretty promising! I loved Overwatch, was obsessed and grinded out competitive with my buddies. I thought that pairing abilities with raw aim was a neat, fresh idea! It forced me to think out of the box sometimes and work with teammates to do great plays that would win us objectives/games. I slowly fell out of love with Overwatch (it happens) and went back to CS.

It wasn't untill Valorant's beta and release where I began to notice an issue that went from being minuscule to being one of the reasons why I can't enjoy some of the modern, contemporary FPS games out there: (Some) hero abilities make up for aim (or lack of). Some characters have kits that work pretty much to get them kills, and that isn't a bad thing! It's an ability shooter, it's the name of the game. It's just that the kit designs of some characters really takes me out of the experience and sometimes just outright ruins it.

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For example: Brigette is infamous for having ruined Overwatch for tons of people. Her existence was to kill the current meta at the time but that ended up turning the game pretty much on its head and since then it has struggled to find its footing.

Another example: Raze from Valorant feels like she has little to no place in meeting the vision for the game. She's pretty much a pubstomper at low elo, virtually useless at high elo, her kit is buggy and can one-shot. She was nerfed pretty hard in the beta. Valorant also has pretty bad sound for a 5v5 competitive shooter and the gunplay/hit-reg feels RNG.

Then I go back to CSGO. With CSGO it truly does feel like there is ALWAYS something that I can do to try and give my team the advantage in a round. My issue with ability shooters is that it's design inherently takes away control from you. A game like CSGO, no matter how frustrating it may make me, at least always makes me feel like I'm in control.

Just wanted to a space to rant because I see my friends moving away to Valorant and other games and while I try to join them (and I can pull my own weight usually), it's just a number of issues that stack up which ruin the overall experience. I can win the game and still feel empty. I win a game in CSGO and I feel like I truly earned that win.

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Thanks for reading.


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