Written By Cal Brock
First-person shooters are famous for plopping players into far-fetched worlds and sensational roles, but researchers at Ohio State University have proved through an academic study that people who regularly play FPSs have a higher degree of accuracy and deadliness in real-life scenarios than non-gamers.
Indeed, today’s FPSs have evolved from the Wolfenstein 3D days of fixed plane, walk n’ shoot mechanics to more intricate and realistic control orientations that allow movement across multiple axes for more precise aim and application of deadly force. Also, more and more they have begun to incorporate realistic interactions with environment adding elements of stealth, camouflage, and survival to the genre.
Even though not every plot line is realistic, the skills honed playing FPSs translate perfectly for big game hunters. The following 4 games are prime examples of FPSs hunters can use to train during the off season.
Fallout: New Vegas (Hardcore Mode)
While Fallout 3 set up the post-apocalyptic nuclear waste landscape seen in Fallout: New Vegas, the sequel added a “hardcore” mode which is probably the most detailed survival scenario in gaming. In this mode medical treatment isn’t immediate, your character heals overtime; therefore, risk assessment and picking your battles wisely plays a crucial role in the game instead of the gung-ho Rambo strategy on which most FPSs operate. On top of dealing with all you encounter in the wasteland, your character needs adequate nutrition and hydration and stick to a rigid sleep cycle or else suffer debilitating status effects or even immediate death. All of these features are what makes this mode insanely difficult, but prepare the gamer for real-life wilderness survival.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
The entire Metal Gear franchise has revolved around military espionage. Players have always had to implement stealth and dealing with what happens when your cover is blown. But Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater takes things to a more realistic level. Even with radar technology and night-vision googles to locate the things around you, players must also rely on their senses and knowledge of the terrain to detect threats. The sound of a twig snapping behind you could be an enemy preparing to ambush, or it might just be a deer (if you’re on a hunt, the latter is definitely preferred). Snake Eater does a great job of simulating real-world espionage and encourages players to hone their senses in order to advance.
Big Buck Hunter HD
This game is favorite with both hunters and hipsters alike. The arcade machines are staples in the bar scene from the dive bar down the road to Williamsburg. The shotgun controller must be hoisted and aimed while the player watches the environment and carefully take out randomly appearing bucks. Reaction time and discretion is the key to winning BBH HD, if a player shoots a doe instead of a buck they lose a life. Also, like in real-world situations, hunters have to be on alert in case an animal decides to fight back or if they encounter a dangerous animal while they’re hunting. This game helps improve both the player’s aim and their ability to think fast.
Resident Evil Franchise
Resident Evil games have always been on the cutting edge of horror survival simulation. Resident Evil 4 was the first of the core plotlines to be played in the first-person perspective. Adding to the terror of the encroaching zombie horde, players must be vigilant with their weapons and ammo rations. Like in the field, the player must match which type of ammunition is appropriate to use against a target. If you decide to spray all your shotgun slugs fighting off a lethargic zombie, you are liable to have your head ripped off when a Hunter jumps you in a mansion corridor.