I stumbled across this today: Doomed to Invent Our Mistakes
The most interesting thing about it, to me, is that the comments by readers are spectacularly bad, short-sighted, and petty. It makes me glad I've never been noticed by those kinds of armchair experts.
The basic idea of Saltsman's essay is that modern shooters have focused on a few specific bits of gameplay to the point where they leave off the parts that are fun. In particular, Saltsman dislikes pixel-precise aiming, hiding, reload minigames, and strafing. He prefers those kinds of things to be looser and more forgiving so that we can focus on the parts of the game that are fun.
I largely agree. As games have gone ever more hardcore, we see them becoming very skill-based, but the skills in question do not sit well with me. I'm not a big fan of the reaction-speed skills that most modern FPS games focus on. I don't think all games should ignore those skills, but I would like to see some that focus on other things.
Because I prefer tactical, strategic, and exploration challenges. And I don't play FPS games much any more because they don't bother thinking in those terms any more. You can argue that, say, Gears of War or Halo have strategic or tactical elements, but the truth is that they take back seat to the ability to aim at a tiny, rapidly moving block of pixels while simultaneously strafing at high speeds. Even if you are a tactical god, you're not going to win if you don't have teenager-on-Mountain-Dew reflexes.
I never did, even when I was a teenager on Mountain Dew. But I could hold my own in the FPS games that existed back then, because they had a much larger tactical component. You could think your way through Quake deathmatches.
Anyhow, I agree with Saltsman, and I think that majority of the replies are by people who are so self-absorbed that they react violently to anyone who doesn't have the exact same preferences as they do. Obviously, many FPS fans are going to like FPS games the way they are... that's why they're FPS fans. But some of us stopped being FPS fans for the same reason.