Rise in Popularity: 1992–1995
Wolfenstein 3D (created by id Software and released in 1992) was an instant success and has been credited with inventing the first-person shooter genre proper. It built on the ray casting technology pioneered in earlier games to create a revolutionary template for shooter game design, which first-person shooters are still based upon today. Despite its violent themes, Wolfenstein largely escaped the controversy generated by the later Doom, although it was banned in Germany due to the use of Nazi iconography; and the Nintendo version replaced the enemy attack dogs with giant rats. Apogee Software, the publisher of Wolfenstein 3D, followed up its success with Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold in 1993. The game was initially well received but sales rapidly declined in the wake of the success of id's Doom, released a week later.
Doom, released as shareware in 1993, refined Wolfenstein 3D's template by adding improved textures, variations in height (such as stairs the player's character could climb) and effects such as flickering lights and patches of total darkness, creating a more believable 3D environment than Wolfenstein 3D's more monotonous and simplistic levels. Doom allowed competitive matches between multiple players, termed "deathmatches", and the game was responsible for the word's subsequent entry into the video gaming lexicon. The game became so popular that its multiplayer features began to cause problems for companies whose networks were used to play the game. Doom has been considered the most important first-person shooter ever made: it was highly influential not only on subsequent shooter games but on video gaming in general, and has been available on almost every video gaming system since. Multiplayer gaming, which is now integral to the first-person shooter genre, was first achieved successfully on a large scale with Doom. While its combination of gory violence, dark humor and hellish imagery garnered acclaim from critics, these attributes also generated criticism from religious groups, with other commentators labelling the game a "murder simulator." There was further controversy when it emerged that the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre were fans of the game; the families of several victims later unsuccessfully attempted to sue numerous video game companies - among them id Software - which the families claimed inspired the massacre.
On the Macintosh, Bungie's 1994 release of Marathon, and its subsequent sequels, set the standard for first-person shooters on that platform. Marathon pioneered or was an early adopter of several new features such as vertical aiming and freelook, dual-wielded and dual-function weapons, versatile multiplayer modes (such as King of the Hill, Kill the Man with the Ball, and cooperative play), friendly NPCs, and a strong emphasis on storytelling in addition to the action. Star Wars: Dark Forces was released in 1995 after LucasArts decided Star Wars would make appropriate material for a game in the style of Doom. However, Star Wars: Dark Forces added several technical features that Doom lacked, such as the ability to crouch or look up and down, Apogee's Duke Nukem 3D, released in 1996, was "the last of the great, sprite-based shooters" winning acclaim for its humor based around stylised machismo as well as its gameplay. However, some found the game's (and later the whole series') treatment of women to be derogatory and tasteless.
Famous quotes containing the words rise in and/or rise:
“I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blow
Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow;
And then I must scrub and bake and sweep
Till the stars are beginning to blink and peep;
And the young lie long and dream in their bed....”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“A man perfects himself by working. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal the man himself first ceases to be a jungle, and foul unwholesome desert thereby.... The man is now a man.”
—Thomas Carlyle (17951881)