History Main / NoSidepathsNoExplorationNoFreedom

26th May '16 7:50:11 AM Dravencour
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22nd May '16 6:08:31 PM nombretomado
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* The first Xbox-PS3 Ninja Gaiden, while mostly linear, still allows for a bit of exploration and you can return in previously visited areas for hidden items or challenges. Its sequel however, plays this trope totally straight: don't think, just go forward and slaughter everything that crosses your path! [[PointOfNoReturn Points Of No Return]] are frequent not only between but also inside the chapters, and exploration elements are kept to the very minimum. Even the puzzles are never more complicated than opening a door with a key that you can find effortlessly. The first half of the last but one chapter consists literally in going through a straight line corridor; the PS3 port Sigma 2 takes it UpToEleven: not only are the already petty puzzles outright removed, but the doors [[AWizardDidIt open by themselves]], so combat is the only thing you have to do.

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* The first Xbox-PS3 Xbox-[=PS3=] Ninja Gaiden, while mostly linear, still allows for a bit of exploration and you can return in previously visited areas for hidden items or challenges. Its sequel however, plays this trope totally straight: don't think, just go forward and slaughter everything that crosses your path! [[PointOfNoReturn Points Of No Return]] are frequent not only between but also inside the chapters, and exploration elements are kept to the very minimum. Even the puzzles are never more complicated than opening a door with a key that you can find effortlessly. The first half of the last but one chapter consists literally in going through a straight line corridor; the PS3 [=PS3=] port Sigma 2 takes it UpToEleven: not only are the already petty puzzles outright removed, but the doors [[AWizardDidIt open by themselves]], so combat is the only thing you have to do.
13th May '16 8:03:21 PM MyFinalEdits
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->''"What's that? You still have the illusion of freedom? Nope! Go take a long walk down a straight hallway for forty hours!"''
-->-- '''Aeris''', ''Webcomic/VGCats'' #[[http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=293 281]] (as a reference to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'')


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** The bulk of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' is this. There are occasional minor branches, but it's usually for treasure. Out of the 13 chapters, Chapter 11 (Gran Pulse) is the only one that does not follow this rule, but ironically, it's more of a QuicksandBox. Shopping is done at save points, and while there are towns, they're no more interactive or open than any other area. WordOfGod states that the linearity was a story-writing decision and had nothing to do with fanbase opinion or development issues, but fans tend to think it had more to do with complaints over ''XII'' being [[QuicksandBox "too open."]]
13th May '16 6:58:22 PM MissesJinx
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->''"What's that? You still have the illusion of freedom? Nope! Go take a long walk down a straight hallway for forty hours!"''
-->-- '''Aeris''', ''Webcomic/VGCats'' #[[http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=293 281]] (as a reference to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'')



** The bulk of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' is this. There are occasional minor branches, but it's usually for treasure. Out of the 13 chapters, Chapter 11 (Gran Pulse) is the only one that does not follow this rule, but ironically, it's more of a QuicksandBox. Shopping is done at save points, and while there are towns, they're no more interactive or open than any other area. WordOfGod states that the linearity was a story-writing decision and had nothing to do with fanbase opinion or development issues, but fans tend to think it had more to do with complaints over ''XII'' being [[QuicksandBox "too open."]]
15th Apr '16 2:17:37 PM Soldancer
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This is becoming [[http://h-2.abload.de/img/thumbs_hornoxe_com_picnamg.jpg much more common these days]], what with the enormous graphical detail of modern level design limiting the number of paths that can be [[CopyAndPasteEnvironments made at the required quality]]. Also, [[StoryToGameplayRatio story]] is much easier to place in a game that is linear as opposed to one that involves heavy exploration. A popular method for enforcing this type of level architecture these days is by the use of {{Locked Door}}s, which adds a bit of verisimilitude by suggesting that, yes, other areas do normally exist in this location, but due to game constraints you won't be going in there; this can still be jarring if you're armed with powerful explosives or weapons ''designed'' for breaching doors and still can't get by a flimsy door, and more so if you destroy some such doors during the game but can't do anything to others.

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This is becoming [[http://h-2.abload.de/img/thumbs_hornoxe_com_picnamg.jpg much more common these days]], what with the enormous graphical detail of modern level design limiting the number of paths that can be [[CopyAndPasteEnvironments made at the required quality]]. Also, [[StoryToGameplayRatio story]] is much easier to place in a game that is linear as opposed to one that involves heavy exploration. Also, if the game designers want to keep a tighter, more evenly-paced story, sometimes [[TropesAreNotBad this is the best design method]] to ensure that.

A popular method for enforcing this type of level architecture these days is by the use of {{Locked Door}}s, which adds a bit of verisimilitude by suggesting that, yes, other areas do normally exist in this location, but due to game constraints you won't be going in there; this can still be jarring if you're armed with powerful explosives or weapons ''designed'' for breaching doors and still can't get by a flimsy door, and more so if you destroy some such doors during the game but can't do anything to others.



See also BrokenBridge, TheLawOfConservationOfDetail, SpaceFillingPath, TheOneTrueSequence, RailShooter, MasterOfUnlocking, and QuicksandBox for when developers go too far in the other direction. VideoGamesAndFate can be a way to justify this in-universe.

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See also BrokenBridge, TheLawOfConservationOfDetail, SpaceFillingPath, TheOneTrueSequence, RailShooter, MasterOfUnlocking, and InsurmountableWaistHighFence. QuicksandBox for is when developers go too far in the other direction. VideoGamesAndFate can be a way to justify this in-universe.



* ''TheConduit'' is guilty of this in its single-player campaign. It's all the more noticeable because the first two-thirds of the game are set in locations with lots of corridors (office buildings, underground bunkers, etc.). The last few levels of the game offer significantly larger areas, but progression is still very linear.

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* ''TheConduit'' is guilty of has this in its single-player campaign. It's all the more noticeable because the first two-thirds of the game are set in locations with lots of corridors (office buildings, underground bunkers, etc.). The last few levels of the game offer significantly larger areas, but progression is still very linear.



* ''{{VideoGame/Bulletstorm}} is extremely linear. There are invisible walls everywhere, even on ledges that are only a few centimeters high. Environmental hazards that harm the enemy do not harm you at all. For example, you can knock enemies into bottomless pits, yet you can't fall into them because an invisible wall blocks you.

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* ''{{VideoGame/Bulletstorm}} ''{{VideoGame/Bulletstorm}}'' is extremely linear. There are invisible walls everywhere, even on ledges that are only a few centimeters high. Environmental hazards that harm the enemy do not harm you at all. For example, you can knock enemies into bottomless pits, yet [[LedgeGravity you can't fall into them because an invisible wall blocks you.you]].
28th Feb '16 11:14:35 AM MyFinalEdits
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* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. Unlike the other Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s, there's no real 'overworld' so to speak, you access areas through time portals in the present-day version of Peach's Castle, like a mix between ''VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' castle and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' overworld system. It makes for a very, ''very'' linear RPG.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'' plays this trope noticeably straighter than its predecessors (that were actually [=RPGs=], anyway), as part of its ill-received attempt to be closer to the main platform games. Instead of a large, connected overworld, the game consists of many small areas linked together with a world map, complete with {{Level Goal}}s. There are relatively few side areas, which are usually only there to give you rare stickers, or "things" that can be turned into rare stickers.
* ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'''s levels, while having many side rooms and the occasional DoorToBefore, are more or less linear in path.

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* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
**
''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. Unlike the other Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s, there's no real 'overworld' so to speak, you access areas through time portals in the present-day version of Peach's Castle, like a mix between ''VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' castle and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' overworld system. It makes for a very, ''very'' linear RPG.
* ** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'' plays does this trope noticeably straighter than its predecessors (that were actually [=RPGs=], anyway), as part of its ill-received attempt to be closer to the main platform games. Instead of a large, connected overworld, the game consists of many small areas linked together with a world map, complete with {{Level Goal}}s. There are relatively few side areas, which are usually only there to give you rare stickers, or "things" that can be turned into rare stickers.
* ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'''s ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'''s levels, while having many side rooms and the occasional DoorToBefore, are more or less linear in path.
28th Feb '16 5:37:11 AM Midna
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** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'' has very linear dungeons that feel claustrophobic as a result, although the world is a little less linear.

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** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'' has very linear dungeons that feel claustrophobic as a result, although the world is a little less linear. The DistantSequel ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' has more open dungeons, but you're literally railroaded through the overworld.
28th Feb '16 5:31:29 AM Midna
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* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. Unlike the other Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s, there's no real 'overworld' so to speak, you access areas through time portals in the future version of Peach's Castle, like a mix between ''VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' castle and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' overworld system. It makes for a very, ''very'' linear RPG.

to:

* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. Unlike the other Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s, there's no real 'overworld' so to speak, you access areas through time portals in the future present-day version of Peach's Castle, like a mix between ''VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' castle and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' overworld system. It makes for a very, ''very'' linear RPG.RPG.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'' plays this trope noticeably straighter than its predecessors (that were actually [=RPGs=], anyway), as part of its ill-received attempt to be closer to the main platform games. Instead of a large, connected overworld, the game consists of many small areas linked together with a world map, complete with {{Level Goal}}s. There are relatively few side areas, which are usually only there to give you rare stickers, or "things" that can be turned into rare stickers.
31st Jan '16 7:23:34 PM MyFinalEdits
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Technically, this trope is the polar opposite of the QuicksandBox; it describes level architecture which forces the player down a singular path. This trope is most common in [[FirstPersonShooter First-]] or {{Third Person Shooter}}s (except, usually, tactical shooters) and platform games, wherein the challenge is generally supposed to be the enemies and/or [[MalevolentArchitecture obstacles]], not in figuring out which way to go. It can also crop up in {{Role Playing Game}}s as a very visual form of {{Railroading}}. The trope is forgivable in 2D {{Platform Game}}s such as ''SuperMarioBros'', which allow only forward progression due entirely to the limitations of the geometry; not everything is a {{Metroidvania}}. It only applies in situations where, intuitively, you'd ''think'' there might be other areas of a place to explore, but these are [[TheLawOfConservationOfDetail not implemented because they are not plot-important]].

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Technically, this trope is the polar opposite of the QuicksandBox; it describes level architecture which forces the player down a singular path. This trope is most common in [[FirstPersonShooter First-]] or {{Third Person Shooter}}s (except, usually, tactical shooters) and platform games, wherein the challenge is generally supposed to be the enemies and/or [[MalevolentArchitecture obstacles]], not in figuring out which way to go. It can also crop up in {{Role Playing Game}}s as a very visual form of {{Railroading}}. The trope is forgivable in 2D {{Platform Game}}s such as ''SuperMarioBros'', ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', which allow only forward progression due entirely to the limitations of the geometry; not everything is a {{Metroidvania}}. It only applies in situations where, intuitively, you'd ''think'' there might be other areas of a place to explore, but these are [[TheLawOfConservationOfDetail not implemented because they are not plot-important]].



** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the first game in the series not to feature an OverworldNotToScale, had very tube-like pathways, even in places like forests, with strictly controlled camerawork, featured a disturbingly linear path through the vast bulk of the game's landmass. Even villages are corridor-like, and the game features a minimap that literally tells you which way down the one giant path to go to finish the game. The temples you have to stop at are also just rest stops along the predetermined path. There is, however, one notable wide-open field near the end of the game/long corridor... which turns out to have only one entrance and exit again.
*** The sequel, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', features the same areas as in the first game, but is broken into separate locations, along with the addition of several alternate side areas and a jump button make it a lot more fun to explore. Furthermore, you start the game with an airship and can explore any area at your leisure.
** The bulk of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' is this. There are occasional minor branches, but it's usually for treasure. Out of the 13 chapters, Chapter 11 (Gran Pulse) is the only one that does not follow this rule, but ironically, it's more of a QuicksandBox. Shopping is done at save points, and while there are towns, they're no more interactive or open than any other area.
*** WordOfGod states that the linearity was a story-writing decision and had nothing to do with fanbase opinion or development issues, but fans tend to think it had more to do with complaints over ''XII'' being [[QuicksandBox "too open."]]
*** And even if there were no WordOfGod, it should be pointed that ''XIII'' was in production well before ''XII'' hit the streets, let alone received ''any'' criticism.
*** Interestingly, WordOfGod ''also'' stated the linearity was partially inspired by FirstPersonShooter games.

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** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the first game in the series not to feature an OverworldNotToScale, had has very tube-like pathways, even in places like forests, with strictly controlled camerawork, featured features a disturbingly linear path through the vast bulk of the game's landmass. Even villages are corridor-like, and the game features a minimap that literally tells you which way down the one giant path to go to finish the game. The temples you have to stop at are also just rest stops along the predetermined path. There is, however, one notable wide-open field near the end of the game/long corridor... which turns out to have only one entrance and exit again.
*** The sequel, ** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', features the same areas as in the first game, but is broken into separate locations, along with the addition of several alternate side areas and a jump button make it a lot more fun to explore. Furthermore, you start the game with an airship and can explore any area at your leisure.
** The bulk of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' is this. There are occasional minor branches, but it's usually for treasure. Out of the 13 chapters, Chapter 11 (Gran Pulse) is the only one that does not follow this rule, but ironically, it's more of a QuicksandBox. Shopping is done at save points, and while there are towns, they're no more interactive or open than any other area.
***
area. WordOfGod states that the linearity was a story-writing decision and had nothing to do with fanbase opinion or development issues, but fans tend to think it had more to do with complaints over ''XII'' being [[QuicksandBox "too open."]]
*** And even if there were no WordOfGod, it should be pointed that ''XIII'' was in production well before ''XII'' hit the streets, let alone received ''any'' criticism.
*** Interestingly, WordOfGod ''also'' stated the linearity was partially inspired by FirstPersonShooter games.
"]]



* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' features a long, grey, linear corridor in one of the levels. However, that level and the following [[BaitAndSwitchBoss boss]] are both like that just to screw with the player.

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* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' features a long, grey, linear corridor in one of the levels. However, that level and the following [[BaitAndSwitchBoss boss]] "boss"]] are both like that just to screw with the player.



* The original ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', which prevented the player from being able to ''[[RatchetScrolling backtrack]]''. At most there were the three maze levels, each one a total GuideDangIt, where if you pass the point where the level registers that you took the wrong path (easy to do accidentally), you get forced along it even if you backtrack.
** WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd once pointed out in a review that 2D games can actually avert this to a point, mostly by giving the player multiple ways through an obstacle: the SMB screenshot he used as an example allowed the player to take a safer upper platform, or brave the enemies on the ground to be able to hit a ? block. The game he was reviewing (''Wayne's World'' for the NES) showed just how bad the absence of this was, giving the player nothing but flat ground to traverse with some token platforms visibly leading nowhere useful.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 its sequel]] were all noticeably more linear in design than ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', partly due to the fact that most stars have to be collected in a certain order. This is because there is only one star available per mission, while in ''Super Mario 64'' there can be multiple stars besides the one that comes first. Despite this, the games include some exploration-based levels like Delfino Plaza, Honeyhive Galaxy, and Sea Slide Galaxy. There are also secret stars that are optional and can only be gotten by sidetracking.

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* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
**
The original ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', which prevented prevents the player from being able to ''[[RatchetScrolling backtrack]]''. At most there were are the three maze levels, each one a total GuideDangIt, where if you pass the point where the level registers that you took the wrong path (easy to do accidentally), you get forced along it even if you backtrack.
** WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd once pointed out in a review that 2D games can actually avert this to a point, mostly by giving the player multiple ways through an obstacle: the SMB screenshot he used as an example allowed the player to take a safer upper platform, or brave the enemies on the ground to be able to hit a ? block. The game he was reviewing (''Wayne's World'' for the NES) showed just how bad the absence of this was, giving the player nothing but flat ground to traverse with some token platforms visibly leading nowhere useful.
**
''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 its sequel]] were are all noticeably more linear in design than ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', partly due to the fact that because most stars have to be collected in a certain order. This is because there is only one star available per mission, while in ''Super Mario 64'' there can be multiple stars besides the one that comes first. Despite this, the games include some exploration-based levels like Delfino Plaza, Honeyhive Galaxy, and Sea Slide Galaxy. There are also secret stars that are optional and can only be gotten by sidetracking.



* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Fusion'' is far, far less open-ended than the other games, very near to this level. Taken even further in ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' which which consists mostly of corridors with one entrance and one exit and leaves virtually no room for exploration at all except in the very end, after you have defeated the story mode.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Fusion'' ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' is far, far less open-ended than the other games, very near to this level. Taken even further in ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' which which consists mostly of corridors with one entrance and one exit and leaves virtually no room for exploration at all except in the very end, after you have defeated the story mode.



* ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}'', despite not being completely linear, is a notable example since it was one of the first 3D games that deliberately aimed to recreate the fast-paced, single-direction feel of 2D platformers from earlier times (in contrast with VideoGame/SuperMario64 and its [[FollowTheLeader multitude of clones]]).

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* ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}'', despite not being completely linear, is a notable example since it was one of the first 3D games that deliberately aimed to recreate the fast-paced, single-direction feel of 2D platformers from earlier times (in contrast with VideoGame/SuperMario64 ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' and its [[FollowTheLeader multitude of clones]]).



* ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine'' follows through with linearity on par with the original Super Mario Bros. There are just so many "sawteeth" (the 3D-equivalent of RatchetScrolling). Thankfully the levels are designed well enough that you will rarely actually feel constricted; you're still fighting on full-fledged battlefields, not in hallways.

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* ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine'' follows through with linearity on par with the original Super ''Super Mario Bros.Bros''. There are just so many "sawteeth" (the 3D-equivalent of RatchetScrolling). Thankfully the levels are designed well enough that you will rarely actually feel constricted; you're still fighting on full-fledged battlefields, not in hallways.



* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. Unlike the other Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s, there's no real 'overworld' so to speak, you access areas through time portals in the future version of Peach's Castle, like a mix between'' VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' castle and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' overworld system. It makes for a very, ''very'' linear RPG.

to:

* ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. Unlike the other Mario {{Role Playing Game}}s, there's no real 'overworld' so to speak, you access areas through time portals in the future version of Peach's Castle, like a mix between'' VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' between ''VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' castle and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' overworld system. It makes for a very, ''very'' linear RPG.
17th Jan '16 3:19:17 AM erforce
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*** WordOfGod states that the linearity was a story-writing decision and had nothing to do with fanbase opinion or development issues, but fans tend to think it had more to do with complaints over XII being [[QuicksandBox "too open."]]
*** And even if there were no WordOfGod, it should be pointed that XIII was in production well before XII hit the streets, let alone received ''any'' criticism.

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*** WordOfGod states that the linearity was a story-writing decision and had nothing to do with fanbase opinion or development issues, but fans tend to think it had more to do with complaints over XII ''XII'' being [[QuicksandBox "too open."]]
*** And even if there were no WordOfGod, it should be pointed that XIII ''XIII'' was in production well before XII ''XII'' hit the streets, let alone received ''any'' criticism.



* ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'' is so linear that there are times that your compass can point either ''forward'' or ''back'', and the game generally only allows you to backtrack to the last town you passed.

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* ''Franchise/{{Grandia}}''
**
''VideoGame/GrandiaII'' is so linear that there are times that your compass can point either ''forward'' or ''back'', and the game generally only allows you to backtrack to the last town you passed.



* The ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' FPS ''VideoGame/FireWarrior''.

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* %%* The ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' FPS ''VideoGame/FireWarrior''.



* Most levels of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3''. A few levels, such as Alpha Labs 4, have branching paths.

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* Most levels of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3''.''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}''. A few levels, such as Alpha Labs 4, have branching paths.
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