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What the First FPS Game REALLY Was (Not DOOM or Wolfenstein)

ID Software’s iconic first-person shooter franchises DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Quake are often credited with creating the genre, but did they?

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  • When the first FPS game was released
  • The first FPS really like DOOM

Since Fall out a bioshock and RPG to action game, the first-person shooter genre has defined a wide range of video games. id Software, the developer behind like CONDEMN, EarthquakeY wolfenstein, he is regularly credited with creating the FPS, and those games are seen as the granddaddies of the genre. But which came first? And are these the first first person shooters?


CONDEMN it is often considered to be the father of the FPS. After all, throughout the 1990s, first-person shooters were known as “CONDEMN Clones” rather than entries within a larger genre. However, while CONDEMN It may have popularized the genre, it wasn’t the original first-person shooter.

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Related: Is EA’s New Star Wars FPS Battlefront 3 Game?


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What year was Doom released?

Promotional art for the original DOOM game featuring the DOOM marine facing off against a horde of undead monsters.

CONDEMN released in 1993, a year after the seminal Wolfenstein 3D. Earthquake it followed both titles in 1996 and innovated on the FPS genre, moving shooters away from sprite-based graphics and introducing fully rendered 3D worlds and fast-paced shooting. So, regarding the top three id franchises, wolfenstein came first, then CONDEMNand later Earthquake. But while wolfenstein It set ID Software up for stardom, it wasn’t even ID’s first FPS.

When the first FPS game was released

A screenshot from the first FPS Maze War game, which is just green line art on a black background indicating the hallways.

Technically, the first FPS was a student project called war of the labyrinthcreated in the early 1970s. According to Polygon, war of the labyrinth It was developed by high school students during a NASA work-study program and later expanded upon when they went off to college, and pioneered many of the features that have become synonymous with first-person shooters.

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In war of the labyrinth, players navigate with a disembodied eye through a series of mazes while fighting various enemies. However, despite its innovation, war of the labyrinth it never made it to consumers, so it was more of a proof of concept than the making of a product. As reported by pc gamerthe first successfully marketed FPS was an arcade game called battle zoneDeveloped by Atari and released in 1980. battle zone he put players in a tank and tasked them with dodging missiles and destroying enemy tanks.

id Software built on these technical innovations and released its first FPS game in April 1991. Called hover tank 3D modelemulated the first FPS from id Software battlezeoneThe player-controlled tank, but differentiated itself by requiring players to not only fight enemies, but also save civilians and navigate a maze. Later that year, id released 3D catacombswhich laid the foundation for future company titles.

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The first FPS really like DOOM

An image of 3D Catacombs, where the player extends their hand towards the advancing monsters.

Unlike battle zone Y hover tank 3D model, 3D catacombs starred a human character with fully animated hands. The game is a dark fantasy first-person shooter in which players navigate dungeons, cast spells, and fight monsters, just like many of the games id Software created in the following years (and decades).

Almost 40 years since the first first person shooter war of the labyrinth introduced the concept to the world, FPS games have taken the gaming market by storm. More than just a genre, the FPS gives players an intimate perspective and puts them in the real place of their avatar; as a result, it has influenced almost every major type of video game. id Software consolidated the FPS with its excellent wolfenstein, CONDEMNY Earthquake franchises, but even they stood on the shoulders of other giants.

More: High on Life Review: An Interdimensional Wire FPS

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Source: Polygon, PC Gamer

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