Long a favorite of gamers, the first person shooter has supplied some of gaming’s finest moments, the original DOOM, it’s sequel DOOM 2, Duke Nukem 3D, (we’ll pretend Duke Nukem Forever real never was released), and Half Life for example. DOOM was even made into a pretty good movie, but it was based on the third game and only had a short first person sequence.
FPS however is a full length recreation of one of these games in movie format. It begins with same old, very old, school eight bit animation that sets up the story. This part is actually pretty amusing with the US President sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger and advising people to “Get to the choppah!”. It also introduces our lead character, referred to in the credits simply as “The Player” and his quest to rescue his pregnant wife who is a nurse at the clinic which is the center of the outbreak.
True to form we rarely see more than his hands and the weapon he’s using. We do hear him as he makes his way through the building, finding weapons and ammo in odd places, back tracking to find keys, hunting for an antidote to the plague just like in a real game. There’s even “Level Complete” scenes and a display that pops up occasionally telling us how much ammo he has left. It really is like watching somebody playing a shooter.
And sadly, just like watching somebody play one it gets old very fast. There’s very little action of the kind that will keep the average viewer entertained. There’s also so suspense either. There is a bit of fun to be had identifying the sources of various one liners and situations in the film, but that isn’t going to keep your attention for the length of the film. And after you get through it all and reach the ending even that is a disappointment. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be touching and profound or mocking and ironic, but either way it failed and left me rolling my eyes.
For an obviously low budget film it is fairly well shot, assuming the obvious green screening of the character’s hands and weapons was intention, to look like early video games. The rest of the sound and photography is very good.
This would have made a good short, maybe fifteen or so minutes, indeed, there are a couple of good first person shorts on YouTube if you’re interested in looking. But feature length is just to long without the kind of budget that would have allowed for swarms of enemies, a variety of monsters, etc. FPS is a failure, and like a bad game, has no replay value.