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Third-Person Shooter

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"Absence makes the heart grow fonder; maybe the distaste I developed for cover-based shooting was rooted more in its overexposure than its inherent godawfulness. Now that it's the generic sandbox that feels like the overexposed thing, it'd be nice to kill baddies without having to climb to the top of a radio mast first and peep through their changing room windows with high-power binoculars."
Zero Punctuation on Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

A 3D game type that has grown to prominence in recent years, especially on consoles. It is a shooter with either a free-rotating camera or Always Over the Shoulder perspective. These games often combine the shooting elements of a First-Person Shooter or Light Gun shooter, with the jumping and climbing puzzles of a 3D platformer or a simple melee fighting system from a brawler.

Third-Person Shooter games with a free-rotating camera often incorporate an aim-assist feature, since aiming from a free-rotating camera is difficult. Many also have an optional first-person view, which allows for precise shots and looking around at environment features that are otherwise hidden from the default camera. In many cases, the player must stand still to use first person view, but some titles allow the player to play like a FPS; indeed, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath requires the player to shoot from first-person, only allowing melee attacks in the chase camera view.


Modern third-person shooters have since adopted an Always Over the Shoulder perspective, influenced by Resident Evil 4. This style allows looking around and precise aiming, comparable to first-person shooters and light-gun shooters. This has eliminated the need for an aim-assist feature or optional first-person view mode.

The ability to Take Cover!, and a reliance on it for victory, makes a game a member of the "cover shooter" sub-genre.

Melee attacks are more important in a third-person game, if only because close up fighting is easier in that perspective type, as are jumping and dodging. Add too much and it turns into a Beat 'em Up or Hack and Slash game.

This genre is especially prone to incorporating sequences of other gameplay types, such as driving and puzzle minigames.

The Stealth-Based Game is a third person shooter with sneaking around in the dark elements and a stealth kill system (not to say that some FPS examples don't exist.)



Over-the-shoulder locked or free floating camera

High/fixed camera (Top Down, 3/4, Isometric, etc)

Primarily another genre, but with a significant TPS mode

Alternative Title(s): TPS, Third Person Shooters


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