First Person Shooter: The Definitive FPS Documentary Review

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| July 26, 2023

Do you like video games? Do you like FPS games? Do you enjoy learning about how games are made? Then you should watch First Person Shooter. This documentary goes into painstaking detail to tell the tale of how first-person games and some of the biggest components of gaming are commonplace now.

“I dropped out of college to make video games, and everybody thought I was absolutely fucking insane” Adrian Carmack | id Software

This film starts circa the 1970s, with the beginning covering the development of the first games to utilize technology that allowed players to experience a perspective from the player’s eyes in a game called Maze War. We have these brilliant folks to thank since they figured out how to make interactive digital spaces while working with the most modern technology during a work/study program at NASA. These pioneers also implemented the earliest forms of the internet and online multiplayer.

John Romero – Co-founder of id and co-creator of Doom

The documentary also covers the beginnings of id Software with in-depth interviews with the founders of id John Romero, John Carmack, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack. You get the history of how the group came together and started from humble beginnings, then developed some of the first 3D game environments that were used to make Wolfenstein 3D, the grandfather of First person shooter games. 

“Nintendo said, Don’t do 3D First Person Shooters, and we just kinda ignored that”

– Karl Hilton | Rare
Karl Hilton – Worked on Goldeneye at Rare

There are over 50 games covered in the roughly four-hour-long documentary, with interviews from other industry legends like Warren Spector, Scott Miller, Cliff Bleszinski, and Randy Pitchford. First-hand accounts from the folks at id and 3D Realms sharing secret easter eggs from their development days. All are expertly paired with gameplay, footage, and pictures that entertain and inform.

This shootamentary covers some of the all-time greats like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Unreal, Duke Nukem, Goldeneye, Halo, Half-Life, and many, many more.  The film also hits on how the shooter genre has evolved over the years and led to where we are now with massive mainstream games like Call of Duty, Destiny, Battlefield, Apex Legends, and the new Dooms. This culminates in the resurgence of new classic-style games like Dusk, Ion Fury, and Ultra Kill, which capture the spirit of the past and what made those games great. These games have all been released in the past few years and are available on PC via Steam. Some, like Ion Fury, have made their way to consoles. 

Watching this film filled me with nostalgia as I grew up playing Wolfenstein 3D and Doom via Shareware. I learned so much about how those games came to be and even more about games that I had missed or heard about but never played. After watching this, I am determined to play all the ones I missed and replay the ones I already played again. It’s a good time to be a video game fan and even better for First Person Shooter Fans!

First Person Shooter will get a digital release on August 31st, 2023, and physically available after September 30th, 2023. At the time of writing this, you can pre-purchase various editions of the film, including a PC big box-inspired edition, each coming with some awesome bonuses.

John Carmack – Co-founder of id and co-creator of Doom

“There is that quote from Miyamoto, a delayed game can be a good game, but a rushed game will forever be shitty or something like that. You know the quote”

– Dave Oshry | New Blood Interactive

First Person Shooter is easily the most in-depth and comprehensive film on gaming ever and is a must-watch for any fan. 

I give FPS a 10/10

If you want to learn more, check out our own Maria’s Rise of the Boomer Shooter.

Are you a fan of FPS games? How do you feel about the FPS Comeback? Let us know in the comments.

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Brandy Brown
2 months ago

I thought this documentary was brilliant. I’m not even a massive fan of FPS but it was so fascinating how these guys basically created the ability to play games with your friends. I don’t understand other sites saying this was too long. Not long enough in my book. TELL ME MORE! But then again, I am a documentary junkie and I LOVE the shows about how things are made. I learn things.

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