Paradise Paintball is one such 3D game. This game puts the player into a paintball match on a gorgeously created tropical island against other players. Essentially, the game play is that of an older First Person Shooter’s multiplayer mode. Long story short, you join a game of up to eight players, pick a team and attempt to “splat” (basically kill) as many enemy players as you can in the time allotted.
Each player is granted two weapons: a machine gun/sniper rifle and what looks to be a grenade launcher. However, the weapons hardly seem balanced as most people just roll around with the grenade launcher since all you need to do is pull the trigger, and you will probably hit something. The machine gun is all right, but doesn’t quite hold up to a good grenade, and the sniper rifle feels more or less useless since you cannot even crouch down in order to hide. Even in the flat map (Lost Paradise), where it is used more, it just turns into a “spawn camping” fiasco as all you have to do is point at the name that popped up (you can see enemy names from quite a distance) and you will probably hit someone (assuming you didn’t get shot before getting your bearings in the first place).
The FPS title that comes to mind first with Paradise Paintball is Delta Force by Novalogic. However, unlike the old mainstream game, Paintball so far only has two smaller levels. For a Facebook game, this app is fun to play with your friends (or with just random people if you want) occasionally, but while it looks good, it still needs some design work.
In most shooters, the players get to choose their own weapons in one way or another, and if it is well balanced, each gun will have its own strengths and weaknesses. This is one of many key elements that make multiplayer FPS titles fun. While incomplete, some of the balancing is there all ready for Paradise Paintball: The machine gun is only really good at short range, the sniper is slow and long range only, and the grenade launcher can hurt anyone in range, including the shooter. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough of the second element to exploit these strengths and weaknesses.
Level design is another critical feature in an FPS map. Each level needs to be carefully crafted in order to prevent dominant strategies (strategies that everyone uses). Sniper players should have areas with high ground where they can safely hide and not be noticed until the shot is fired, while the others should have ample places to take cover. Grenadier style players should have less available ammunition, long reload times, and a shorter range mixed with open areas where they would be weaker, and enclosed areas where they are stronger (assuming they don’t blow themselves up). And machine gun players should fall, more or less, in between these two types (at least in regards to this game). The more weapons and levels you add, the more you need to consider these delicate balances and designs.
None of this is to say that Paradise Paintball is bad, it just feels “unfinished.” In fact, the game is on the right track and could very well be an extremely fun game (especially if they allow more than eight players per game at some point). Yes, it could use more levels, and yes, more weapons might be interesting, but more than anything, the game needs better balancing and level design. No one weapon should be dominant on any map, and every map should have some elements that cater to each weapon. This alone will provide players a means to create their own strategies and their own unique ways of play.