First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre which centers the gameplay around gun- and projectile weapon-based combat through the 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 shooter games, which in turn fall under the heading action game. From the genre's inception, advanced 3D or pseudo-3D graphics elements have challenged hardware development, and multiplayer gaming has been integral.
The first person shooter has since been traced as far back as Maze War, development of which began in 1973, and 1974's Spasim. 1987's MIDI Maze for the Atari ST was one of the first network multiplayer action games and also saw release on game consoles. The genre coalesced with 1992's Wolfenstein 3D, which is generally credited with creating the genre proper and the basic archetype upon which subsequent titles were based. One such title, and the progenitor of the genre's wider mainstream acceptance and popularity was Doom, released the following year and perhaps the most influential first-person shooter. Half-Life, released in 1998, enhanced the narrative and puzzle elements, and along with its 2004 sequel Half-Life 2, showcases the considerable development of the genre's potential. GoldenEye 007 (1997) was the first landmark first-person shooter for home consoles, with the Halo series heightening the console's commercial and critical appeal as a platform for first-person shooter titles. In the 21st century, the first-person shooter is one of the most commercially viable and fastest growing video game genres.