*CRASH!* Your transports lands hard on the Normandy coastline. You are all ready under heavy machine gun fire from somewhere up on the cliffs. The door opens...slowly. Your team spills out of the transport, your Commander barking orders as you witness your teammates get torn apart by the rattling turrets. Suddenly, up on the cliff's ledge, a hulking figure of what appears to be a soldier of some sort, fires a volley of rockets into the bunkered in team. In the thrill of watching the gibs scatter and crumple at his knees, the giant turns slowly to see another hulking figure fire a burst of fusion right between his eyes. The figure them plants his flag into the smoldering giant.
I guess you'd have to like fantasy scenarios and metaphoric jargon to understand this little story, but for any serious gamer it should be easy to see the represented games. Team Fortress 2 in the landing soldiers, Quake 3: Arena in the rocket weilding giant, and UnreaL Tornament planting the flag in his back. These three games are prooving themselves to be heralds to a new age in First Person Shooters. They are no longer the mindless *bam bam you're dead* type single player matches with dim-witted AI. These are big, ass-kicking, multiplayer games which will go where no other FPS has gone before, featuring challenging bots, loads of gameplay, and polygons by the bucketful.
So far the gaming public has seen and played both Quake 3: Arena and UnreaL Tornament. The both look amazing have tons of potential, but Quake 3 seems too much like Quake 2 in the gameplay area. Its pretty much a big free for all fragfest with little point or real objective, which is ok if you like that sort of thing. The problem is many gamers have evolved past the *kill, die, respawn, kill...* cycle and want a game with some objectives and more teamplay.
The one game that I am very excited about is Team Fortress 2, the second game from Valve, the makers of Half-Life, possibly the best FPS ever with game of the year awards to spare. This game seems to me to be the most varied of the three games, featuring multiple classes, single player missions, and vehicles (can't waits ta drives me some tanks!). The "Saving Private Ryan" based single player missions are sure to be well worth the purchase, while the multiplayer aspect is sure to be exciting and thought provoking. Teams will actually have to use strategies to win! thinking in a FPS! how about them apples!
In the end, I predict that those who crave the deathmatch will flock to Quake 3: Arena, the reigning king of deathmatch, while UT and TF2 will battle over the teamplay loving crowd. I can definitely see TF2 dominating with its varied gameplay and legions of fans who believe it will a be a step over Half-Life, and believe me, that's one hell of a step! I am not making any biased recommendations here, you can buy what you want. Now shut up and go do some fraggin!