Watch this short video's awesome transitions through FPS history

The first-person shooter has been one of the dominant video game genres for around three decades, and in that time has produced some of the most pioneering, thrilling, and explosive big-budget titles we've ever seen. Virtually shooting stuff has always felt great, and over the passage of time and technology it's only got better.

The above video is no sort of complete history of the FPS, but rather youtuber 4096's personal choice of highlights. What makes this special, however, is not necessarily the games themselves but the transitions between the clips. This is a great piece of work, and some of them are almost educational: the switch from Wolfenstein 3D to Doom shows how much camera sway added to the genre; the gorgeous linkage of Mirror's Edge and Portal showing how perspective itself began to be newly 'embodied' at that time. Each transition also picks just the right SFX, from the Combine radio bleep to the simple slam of a car door in Modern Warfare.

Most of these games are so well-known there's little point in listing them, but the video opens with some true pioneers: Maze War (1973) segues into 3D Monster Maze (1981), which goes into Wayout (1982). The genre really kicked off in the early 90s, thanks largely it has to be said to the programming genius of John Carmack. Wolfenstein 3D (1992) starts the rundown of greatest hits we all know and love. 

Though everyone will have their favourite game that's not included, it's nice to see shout-outs to experiences at the opposite end of the spectrum, like Far Cry 2 and Killing Floor. And if nothing else, this is some reminder of just how fresh Mirror's Edge still looks to this day.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."