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Third-person shooter

Third-person shooter

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Encyclopedia
Third-person shooter is a genre of 3D
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

 action
Action game
Action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes diverse subgenres such as fighting games, shooter games, and platform games, which are widely considered the most important action games, though some...

 games in which the player character
Player character
A player character or playable character is a character in a video game or role playing game who is controlled or controllable by a player, and is typically a protagonist of the story told in the course of the game. A player character is a persona of the player who controls it. Player characters...

 is visible on-screen, and the gameplay
Gameplay
Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game, and in particular with video games. Gameplay is the pattern defined through the game rules, connection between player and the game, challenges and overcoming them, plot and player's connection with it...

 consists primarily of shooting.

Definition


A third person shooter is a game structured around shooting, and in which the player can see the avatar
Avatar (computing)
In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. It can also refer to a text...

 on-screen in a third-person view.

Design


Third-person shooters are a type of 3D shooter game
Shooter game
Shooter games are a sub-genre of action game, which often test the player's speed and reaction time. It includes many subgenres that have the commonality of focusing "on the actions of the avatar using some sort of weapon. Usually this weapon is a gun, or some other long-range weapon". A common...

, which is a subgenre of action game
Action game
Action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes diverse subgenres such as fighting games, shooter games, and platform games, which are widely considered the most important action games, though some...

 that emphasizes the challenge of aiming and shooting. These games are distinguished from other shooter games because the graphical perspective is rendered from a fixed distance behind the player's avatar, and slightly above them. They tend to be more realistic than 2D shooters, not just graphically but in terms of gameplay. For example, games often limit the amount of ammunition that the avatar
Avatar (computing)
In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. It can also refer to a text...

 can carry, and damage is usually assessed based on what part of the body is hit by a gunshot. The 3D nature of these games also allows enemies to hide around corners or behind doors in a way that is not possible in a 2D game.

Relationship to first-person shooters


These games are closely related to first-person shooter
First-person shooter
First-person shooter is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist. Generally speaking, the first-person shooter shares common traits with other...

s, which also tie the perspective of the player to an avatar, but the two genres are distinct. While the first-person perspective allows players to aim and shoot without their avatar blocking their view, the third-person shooter shows the protagonist from an "over the shoulder shot
Over the shoulder shot
In film or video, an over the shoulder shot is a shot of someone or something taken from the perspective or camera angle from the shoulder of another person. The back of the shoulder and head of this person is used to frame the image of whatever the camera is pointing toward...

" or "behind the back" perspective. Thus, the third-person perspective allows the game designer to create a more strongly characterized avatar, and directs the player's attention as if watching a film. In contrast, a first-person perspective provides the player with greater immersion into the game universe.

This difference in perspective also has an impact on gameplay. Third-person shooters allow players to see the area surrounding the avatar more clearly. This viewpoint facilitates more interaction between the character and their surrounding environment, such as the use of tactical cover
Cover (military)
In military combat, the concept of cover refers to anything which is capable of physically protecting an individual from enemy fire. This differentiates it from the similar concept of concealment, in that an object or area of concealment only affords the benefit of stealth, not actual protection...

 in Gears of War
Gears of War
Gears of War is a military science fiction third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios...

, or navigating tight quarters. As such, the third-person perspective is better for interacting with objects in the game world, such as jumping on platforms, engaging in close combat, or driving a vehicle. However, the third-person perspective can interfere with tasks that require fine aiming.

Third person shooters sometimes compensate for their distinct perspective by designing larger, more spacious environments than first-person shooters.

The boundaries between third-person and first-person shooters is not always clear. For example, many third-person shooters allow the player to use a first-person viewpoint for challenges that require precise aiming. The first-person shooter
First-person shooter
First-person shooter is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist. Generally speaking, the first-person shooter shares common traits with other...

 Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved, frequently referred to as Halo: CE, or Halo 1, is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first game of the Halo franchise, it was released on November 15, 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox gaming system, and is...

was actually designed as a third-person shooter, but added a first-person perspective to improve the interface for aiming and shooting. The game switches to a third-person viewpoint when the avatar is piloting a vehicle, and this combination of first-person for aiming and third-person for driving has since been used in other games. Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime is a video game developed by Retro Studios and Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube, released in North America on November 17, 2002...

is another first-person shooter that switches to a third-person perspective when rolling around the environment using the morph ball. Alexander R. Galloway
Alexander R. Galloway
Alexander R. Galloway is an author and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He has a Bachelors Degree in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in Literature from Duke University in 2001. Galloway's research...

 writes that the "real-time, over-the-shoulder tracking shots of Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant
Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. is an American director, screenwriter, painter, photographer, musician, and author. He is a two time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director for his 1997 film Good Will Hunting and his 2008 film Milk, both of which were also nominated for Best Picture, and won the...

's Elephant evoke third-person shooter games like Max Payne
Max Payne
Max Payne is a BAFTA Award–winning third-person shooter video game developed by Finnish developers Remedy Entertainment and published by Gathering of Developers in July 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Ports created later in the year for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and the GameBoy Advance were published by...

, a close cousin of the FPS."

History



Some of the earliest shooters with a third-person behind-the-back perspective were space shoot 'em up
Shoot 'em up
Shoot 'em up is a subgenre of shooter video games. In a shoot 'em up, the player controls a lone character, often in a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging their attacks. The genre in turn encompasses various types or subgenres and critics differ on exactly what...

s, including the Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

's single-screen shooter Radar Scope
Radar Scope
is an early cabinet arcade game developed and published by Nintendo in November 1980. Some sources claim that Ikegami Tsushinki also did design work on Radar Scope. It is a shooter that can be viewed as a cross between Taito's Space Invaders and Namco's Galaxian...

(1979), Sega
Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...

's forward-scrolling
2.5D
2.5D , 3/4 perspective and pseudo-3D are terms used to describe either:* 2D graphical projections and techniques which cause a series of images or scenes to fake or appear to be three-dimensional when in fact they are not, or* gameplay in an otherwise three-dimensional video game that is...

 rail shooters Tac/Scan
Tac/Scan
Tac/Scan is a 1982 space combat shooter video game originally released as an arcade game, and later ported to the Atari 2600. It was also included as an unlockable game in the PlayStation 2 version of Sega Genesis Collection...

(1982) and Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom (1982), the forward-scrolling laserdisc video game
Laserdisc video game
A laserdisc video game is an arcade game that uses pre-recorded video played from a laserdisc, either as the entirety of the graphics, or as part of the graphics.-History:...

s Astron Belt
Astron Belt
Astron Belt is an early laserdisc video game and third-person space combat rail shooter, released in 1983 by Sega in Japan and licensed to Bally Midway for release in the United States. Developed in 1982, it is commonly cited as the first laserdisc game...

(1983) by Sega and Inter Stellar (1983) by Funai
Funai
Funai Electric is a Japanese consumer electronics company headquartered in Daitō, Osaka. The company was founded in 1961. It owns the subsidiary Funai Corporation, Inc., established in the United States since 1991, to market and maintain Funai-licensed brands such as Sylvania, Emerson Radio,...

, Konami
Konami
is a Japanese leading developer and publisher of numerous popular and strong-selling toys, trading cards, anime, tokusatsu, slot machines, arcade cabinets and video games...

's Juno First
Juno First
Juno First is a shoot 'em up arcade game developed by Konami and released in 1983. It was licensed to Gottlieb in the United States. The game is a vertical scrolling shooter, with a third-person perspective like Radar Scope. It follows in the tradition of space-themed shooting-galleries such as...

(1983), Nippon
Nippon
Nippon is a native name for Japan, more formal than Nihon.Nippon can also refer to:-Company names:All of the following companies are based in Japan.*Nikon *Nippon Telegraph and Telephone...

's Ambush (1983), and Nichibutsu
Nihon Bussan
Nihon Bussan Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game manufacturer, commonly known as Nichibutsu . The company uses an owl sign for the company's official logo. The company has its headquarters in Kita-ku, Osaka....

's Tube Panic (1983). Some of the earliest third-person shooters featuring characters on foot were also rail shooters, including Space Harrier
Space Harrier
is a third-person rail shooter game, released by Sega in 1985. It was produced by Yu Suzuki, responsible for many popular Sega games. It spawned several sequels: Space Harrier 3-D , Space Harrier II , and the spin-off Planet Harriers ....

(1985) by Sega, and the early 3D stereoscopic games 3-D WorldRunner
3-D WorldRunner
is a third-person rail shooter platform video game developed by Square in . In Japan, the game was released on the Famicom Disk System as Tobidase Daisakusen, and was published by DOG, a now-defunct label of Square...

(1987) and JJ
JJ (video game)
is a video game developed and published by Square for the Nintendo Family Computer in 1987. In English, it is sometimes referred to by its long form, Jumpin' Jack, or by its subtitle, Tobidase Daisakusen Part II...

(1987) by Square
Square (company)
was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1983 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 and became part of Square Enix...

 (now Square Enix
Square Enix
is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its console role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series, the Dragon Quest series, and the action-RPG Kingdom Hearts series...

). Silpheed
Silpheed
is a video game series developed by Game Arts and designed by the late Takeshi Miyaji. It made its debut on the Japanese PC-8801 in 1986, and was ported to the Fujitsu FM-7 and MS-DOS formats soon after. It was later remade for the Mega-CD and has a sequel called Silpheed: The Lost Planet for the...

(1986), a forward-scrolling
Scrolling
In computer graphics, filmmaking, television production, and other kinetic displays, scrolling is sliding text, images or video across a monitor or display. "Scrolling", as such, does not change the layout of the text or pictures, or but incrementally moves the user's view across what is...

 third-person space combat game by Game Arts
Game Arts
is a Japanese video game software developer located in Tokyo, Japan. Originally established in 1985 as a computer software company, they have since expanded their enterprise to produce for a number of game console and handheld systems...

, was an early example of a fully 3D polygonal
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

 shooter. WiBArm (1986), released by Arsys Software for the NEC PC-8801
NEC PC-8801
The NEC PC-8801 was an early Zilog Z80-based computer exclusively released in Japan, where it became very popular, by NEC Corporation in 1981. It was informally called the "PC-88"....

 and ported to MS-DOS
MS-DOS
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...

 by Brøderbund
Brøderbund
Brøderbund Software, Inc. was an American maker of computer games, educational software and The Print Shop productivity tools. It was best known as the original creator and publisher of the popular Carmen Sandiego games. The company was founded in Eugene, Oregon, but moved to San Rafael,...

, was an on-foot shooter that featured a fully 3D polygonal third-person perspective for exploring indoor areas, though bosses were fought in an arena-style 2D battle.

Konami's run and gun shooter Contra (1987) featured several third-person shooter levels where the player trudges through indoor enemy bases, advancing screen by screen. Konami continued to evolve the concept in Devastators
Devastators
is a 1988 third-person shoot 'em up arcade game by Konami.- Plot :Set in 1989, the player takes control of a mercenary duo known as the "Devastators", who are hired by a small undeveloped country to defend their land from a fanatical Middle East dictator threatening to conquer it.- Gameplay :The...

(1988), a fully third-person shooter, where rather than moving forward automatically, the player walks forward by holding the Up direction, as the background slowly scales toward the screen. Devastators also featured various obstacles that could be used to take cover
Cover system
A cover system is how a video game lets a virtual avatar avoid dangers usually in a three-dimensional world. This method is a digital adaptation of the real-life military tactic of taking cover to dodge enemy gunfire or explosives. Similar gameplay elements can be traced back to as early as 1986,...

 from enemy fire, as well as two-player cooperative gameplay
Cooperative gameplay
Cooperative gameplay is a feature in video games that allows players to work together as teammates. It is distinct from other multiplayer modes, such as competitive multiplayer modes like player versus player or deathmatch...

. Several 3D polygonal third-person vehicle shooters were released in 1993, including Namco
Namco
is a Japanese corporation best known as a former video game developer and publisher. Following a merger with Bandai in September 2005, the two companies' game production assets were spun off into Namco Bandai Games on March 31, 2006. Namco Ltd. was re-established to continue domestic operation of...

's two-player competitive third-person shooter vehicle combat
Vehicular combat game
Vehicular combat games are typically video or computer games where the primary focus of play concerns automobiles or other vehicles, normally armed with guns or other weaponry, attempting to destroy vehicles controlled by the CPU or by opposing players...

 game Cyber Sled
Cyber Sled
Cyber Sled is an early two-player 3D third-person shooter vehicle combat arcade video game released by Namco in 1993.-Game play:Game play involves maneuvering a hovercraft style tank through a futuristic arena and fighting to eliminate an opponent...

that required cooling fans because of the large number of polygons used, and Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

's third-person flight shooter Star Fox
Star Fox (video game)
, released as Starwing in Europe and Australia due to a game of the same name and subsequent trademark issues in those regions, is the first game in the Star Fox series of video games. It was released in the spring of 1993 for the SFC/SNES...

which was responsible for popularizing 3D action games. Fade to Black
Fade to Black (video game)
Fade to Black is an action-adventure game released in 1995 by Delphine Software International. Directed and designed by Paul Cuisset, it is the sequel to his previous game, Flashback .The game was released for DOS and PlayStation; planned Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn versions...

(1995) was a 3D third-person action-adventure game
Action-adventure game
An action-adventure game is a video game that combines elements of the adventure game genre with various action game elements. It is perhaps the broadest and most diverse genre in gaming, and can include many games which might better be categorized under narrow genres...

 similar to Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. It was originally released in 1996 for the Sega Saturn, with MS-DOS and PlayStation versions following shortly thereafter...

(1996) by Eidos Interactive
Eidos Interactive
Eidos Interactive Ltd. is a British video game publisher and is a label of Square Enix Europe. As an independent company Eidos plc was headquartered in the Wimbledon Bridge House in Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton....

 (now Square Enix Europe) is claimed by some commentators as a third-person shooter, and Jonathan S. Harbour of the University of Advancing Technology
University of Advancing Technology
University of Advancing Technology is a private, family owned institution of higher education located in Tempe, Arizona. Founded in 1983, UAT is a university with multiple areas of study in technical fields, while retaining liberal arts requirements in the Fine Arts and Humanities...

 argues that it's "largely responsible for the popularity of this genre". Other commentators have considered it influential on later third person shooters such as BloodRayne
BloodRayne
BloodRayne has received mostly mixed to positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Xbox version 73.53% and 76/100, the GameCube version 68.88% and 73/100, the PlayStation 2 version 68.87% and 75/100 and the PC version 65.78% and 65/100.-External links:*...

(2002), C: The Contra Adventure
C: The Contra Adventure
C: The Contra Adventure is a 3D action game produced by Konami and developed Appaloosa Interactive that was released for the PlayStation in . It was the second of two Contra games Konami of America co-produced with Appaloosa, following Contra: Legacy of War in...

(1998), and Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.²
Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.²
Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.² is a third-person shooter video game made by Ritual Entertainment in 2000. A sequel to the Heavy Metal 2000 animated movie, the game stars Julie in her quest to save her home planet of Eden from GITH, an ancient entity seeking to conquer the universe...

(2000). Still others do not classify Tomb Raider as a shooter, but rather as a platform game
Platform game
A platform game is a video game characterized by requiring the player to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles . It must be possible to control these jumps and to fall from platforms or miss jumps...

 that is "also a three-dimensional block-moving puzzle game with added combat elements." The game eschewed the popular first person perspective of games such as Doom, instead making use of "third person" viewpoints, wide 3D environments and a control system inspired by Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia is a platform game, originally developed by Jordan Mechner and released in 1989 for the Apple II, that represented a great leap forward in the quality of animation seen in video games....

.

Syphon Filter
Syphon Filter
Syphon Filter is a stealth-based third-person shooter video game for the PlayStation released in 1999. It is the first game in the Syphon Filter series. It was re-released on December 4, 2006, on the PlayStation Network for use on the PSP...

(1999) by Eidetic (now SCE Bend Studio) combined the perspective of Tomb Raider with action elements of games such as GoldenEye 007 (1997) and Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid
is a videogame by Hideo Kojima. The game was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and first published by Konami in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to Kojimas early MSX2 computer games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake...

(1998). Richard Rouse III wrote in GamaSutra
Gamasutra
Gamasutra is a website founded in 1997 for video game developers. It is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb , a division of United Business Media, and acts as the online sister publication to the print magazine Game Developer...

 that the game was the most popular third person shooter for the PlayStation
PlayStation
The is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console first released by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 3, .The PlayStation was the first of the PlayStation series of consoles and handheld game devices. The PlayStation 2 was the console's successor in 2000...

. While in Tomb Raider and Syphon Filter the protagonists automatically aimed at antagonists, later games such as Oni (2001), Max Payne
Max Payne
Max Payne is a BAFTA Award–winning third-person shooter video game developed by Finnish developers Remedy Entertainment and published by Gathering of Developers in July 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Ports created later in the year for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and the GameBoy Advance were published by...

(2001) and SOCOM
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs is a tactical third-person shooter video game developed by Zipper Interactive and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is an exclusive title for the PlayStation 2. SOCOM was released on August 27, 2002, and it is one of the earliest online titles available for the...

(2002) forced players to control aiming themselves by means of two control sticks or a keyboard and mouse. Max Payne (2002) was acclaimed as a superlative third person shooter, inspired by Hong Kong action cinema
Hong Kong action cinema
Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling and aesthetic traditions, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural...

.
An important gameplay mechanic
Game mechanic
Game mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce an enjoyable game or gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game...

 that helped revolutionize third-person shooters in the past decade was the cover system
Cover system
A cover system is how a video game lets a virtual avatar avoid dangers usually in a three-dimensional world. This method is a digital adaptation of the real-life military tactic of taking cover to dodge enemy gunfire or explosives. Similar gameplay elements can be traced back to as early as 1986,...

. An early cover mechanic was introduced to the 3D third-person shooter genre by Koei's WinBack
WinBack
Winback is a third-person shooter video game developed by Koei's Omega Force studio for the Nintendo 64 in 1999 and PlayStation 2 in 2001...

(1999). Namco's Kill Switch (2003) was later the first third-person shooter to feature the cover system as its core game mechanic. Gears of War
Gears of War
Gears of War is a military science fiction third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios...

(2006) employed tactical
Tactical shooter
A tactical shooter is a subgenre of shooter game that includes both first-person shooters and third-person shooters. These games typically simulate realistic combat, thus making tactics and caution more important than quick reflexes in other action games...

 elements such as taking cover, influenced by Kill Switch, using off-center viewpoints inspired by Resident Evil 4. The game also employed grittier themes than other titles and used a unique feature which rewarded the player for correctly reloading weapons. Gears of War, as well as games such as Army of Two
Army of Two
Army of Two is a third person shooter video game developed and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on March 4, 2008 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The game is centered upon two mercenaries fighting through war, political turmoil, and a conspiracy from 1993 to 2009...

(2008), place a greater emphasis on two player cooperative play, as does Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5, known in Japan as , is a survival horror third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on March 5, 2009 in Japan and on March 13, 2009 in North America and Europe...

(2009).

Vanquish
Vanquish (video game)
is a third-person shooter video game developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles. The game was released in October 2010, after having been in development since 2007....

(2010) by Platinum Games introduced to the genre a gameplay style reminiscent of bullet hell shooters, with bullets and missiles coming from all directions. Its most important innovation, however, is the rocket-sliding mechanic that acts as both a defensive escape and an offensive setup, opening up new gameplay possibilities for shooter games. According to director Shinji Mikami, the sliding boost mechanic was influenced by the 1970s anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series Casshern. Vanquish has since set a new trend that can be seen in upcoming shooters which have incorporated similar sliding mechanics, including Bulletstorm
Bulletstorm
Bulletstorm is a first-person shooter video game developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, and is published by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows...

, Crysis 2
Crysis 2
Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek, published by Electronic Arts and released in North America, Australia, and Europe in March 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360...

, and Killzone 3
Killzone 3
Killzone 3 is a 2011 first-person shooter for the PlayStation 3, developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the fourth installment in the Killzone series, the first game in the series to be presented in 3D and the first to include motion controls using the...

. As of 2009, the third-person shooter genre has a large audience outside of Japan, particularly in North America.

A recent unique take on the genre is Second Person Shooter Zato, an experimental 'second-person shooter' released by Japanese indie
Dojin soft
, also sometimes called , are video games created by Japanese hobbyists or hobbyist groups , more for fun than for profit; essentially, the Japanese equivalent of independent video games. Most of them are based on pre-existing material, but some are entirely original creations...

 developer
Independent video game development
Independent video game development is the process of creating video games without the financial support of a video game publisher. While large firms can create independent games, they are usually designed by an individual or a small team of as many as ten people, depending on the complexity of the...

 Himo in 2011. It uses a 'second-person
Second-person narrative
The second-person narrative is a narrative mode in which the protagonist or another main character is referred to by employment of second-person personal pronouns and other kinds of addressing forms, for example the English second-person pronoun "you"....

' perspective to display the game from the viewpoint of the enemies looking at the player, rather than the other way around, and makes use of a split screen
Split screen (computer graphics)
Split screen is a display technique in computer graphics that consists of dividing graphics and/or text into non-movable adjacent parts, typically two or four rectangular areas. This is done in order to allow the simultaneous presentation of related graphical and textual information on a computer...

 to show the perspectives of multiple enemies. The game's perspective was inspired by surveillance cameras
Closed-circuit television
Closed-circuit television is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors....

, while the title takes its name from Zatoichi
Zatoichi
is a fictional character featured in one of Japan's longest running series of films and a television series set in the Edo period. The character, a blind masseur and swordmaster, was created by novelist . This originally minor character was developed for the screen by Daiei Studios and actor...

due to the player character's inability to see.