The Evolution of Simple Shoot Em Up Gaming

From simple shoot em up fun, to build them up and shoot em down, how this platform has changed

The shoot ’em up genre has changed over time.

It’s split out into so many different types of games. Today I want to talk about simple platform-based games. Even those have changed over time.

One thing stayed the same though. The popularity of these simple games. Today the world’s most popular game is Fortnite. It’s today’s platform shoot ’em up.

The early console-based games like Sea Harrier or desert strike were all simple rail-based games. A huge jump forward in graphics and gameplay from the arcade stuff we knew like space invaders.

At the time in the mid to late 80’s it was all quite tame stuff (although it seemed shocking at the time). Shooting people and things on a games console was new, and it was bloodless.

That all changed in 93 with the release of the first doom game. First released on MS-DOS for early PC’s. It was mercilessly copied onto floppy disks. Then in 94 it finally made it onto consoles.

The first shoot em up, that dealt in blood and guts. It was hugely popular and moved the genre on. It certainly helped pave the way for the first grand theft auto game which came out in 97, again at first on PC.

Like most genres in modern gaming. It was the release of the PlayStation in 95 that led to the next evolution. The graphics, speed, and processing power of the PlayStation. Took PC based gaming onto a console at an affordable price.

That led to two things happening:

– The gap between PC based and console-based gaming closed. Which pretty much killed off PC based casual gaming for a few years. (At the time a PC was mega expensive, and so were the games)

– Console games, in general, became a much more immersive experience.

What came out of that period were games like call of duty and medal of honor. They pushed the genre forward into new areas and a new depth of experience.

Today, of course, they are a sub-genre of shoot ’em up gaming. To compare what we have today to the early days you would have to look like to something like Fortnite.

That game for me pretty much mixes early platform gaming, early bloodless shoot em up, and today’s immersive world gaming.

Today things have changed and gaming has moved on. Today’s shoot em up is once again bloodless. But its also more immersive than ever.

Its no longer just shoot em up, it’s build them up and shoot em down!


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