Second Person Shooter Zato

Someone with a gun fighting waves and waves of enemies is literally the oldest trick in the book of video gaming. Yet Second Person Shooter Zato manages to take that formula and make it feel new simply by changing the viewpoint.

Second Person Shooter Zato is a game where you can only see the game world through the eyes of your enemy. For every enemy that spawns, the screen splits to see their point of view along side the rest of the enemies. You are sometimes facing a 3-4 way split between the viewpoints of different enemies. Using these views, you have to move your character and fire either laser beams or missiles to destroy them.

This causes frequent bouts of disorientation. I was struggling to understand what was going on after more than one or two enemies appeared on the screen at a time. That, coupled with the difficulty in aiming, makes the game far more challenging than it would otherwise be.

But the change in perspective caused subtle shifts in how I viewed the game as well. The closer enemies got, the harder time I had dealing with them, despite them being closer and easier to hit. When they began dropping from the sky, it became very hard to focus on the cameras I could actually use instead of the free-falling overhead viewpoint that just appeared. Sometimes, honestly, I wanted the little buggers to win.

Talking Points: How does the shift in perspective really change how you view the game world? Does it change your perspective on the hero? Or the enemies? Is it harder to empathize with the hero? How does it affect the frantic feeling of the gunplay?

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Comments

I have been waiting for this game for over a decade.

The idea kind of reminds me of one of Valve's experiments playing a competitive game where you get to see the oppositions excitement level.

I enjoyed trying to shoot all of the enemies on the screens *except* the one that you are looking through.

Awesome
I've been listening to GWJ for ages now but never really participated in the forums. This link came up on my internal mail so I decided to check it out (I work at Unity Technologies) So its always awesome to find Unity games popping up around the web, especially on cool sites like this!

edit:
Cool, my brain hurts
I got to about the 3rd or 4th stage, but its getting towards the end of the day at the office and I should head home. But yeah, super cool concept

Interestingly I didn't feel as though I was shooting myself, maybe this is due to the my expectations of both first and third person games. But the lack of control over the 2nd person perspective told my 3rd person gamer brain that I was playing a third person shooter. An idea that was compounded whenever other enemies are seen within my view.

JoeRoYo wrote:

Interestingly I didn't feel as though I was shooting myself, maybe this is due to the my expectations of both first and third person games. But the lack of control over the 2nd person perspective told my 3rd person gamer brain that I was playing a third person shooter. An idea that was compounded whenever other enemies are seen within my view.

I honestly got kinda freaked out when I was following an enemy in one of the cameras, then I glance at another camera and see the first enemy. The enemy I was looking through. Very weird disassociation going on there, especially with having to constantly kill the enemies to proceed, which spawns new cameras.

I really want to sit down and think about this for a while. The rhetorical implications of this one "gimmick" are amazing.

I'd be interested to see what you could do to imitate this with polaroid film/glasses and split screen multiplayer, kind of like screenwatching as an objective.

I played this game a couple weeks back and really liked it (and not just because I've made a game around this same concept myself [/plug]). It reminded me most of all of the monster-cam bits in Evil Dead, which is a pretty brilliant well to draw from.

Switchbreak wrote:

I played this game a couple weeks back and really liked it (and not just because I've made a game around this same concept myself [/plug]). It reminded me most of all of the monster-cam bits in Evil Dead, which is a pretty brilliant well to draw from.

I'm crappy at following places like Indie City. You and others should really plug this stuff with the #FringeBusters hashtag.

The first game I ever worked on, Thrasher:Skate and Destroy, had this very trick in it. You would complete a two minute run and have to avoid the cops/security guards/crazies during the last 20 seconds. The trick is that it switched to their perspective when they activated. It was very weird to all of a sudden be watching yourself skating from the perspective of the security guard who was barreling towards you.

I got so lost. I'm really bad with this game, I keep forgetting to aim at the camera, and get confused as to my foes' locations.