What is TPS? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]

TPS or Third Person Shooter, refers to a game which places the camera behind the character whom you’re controlling, allowing the player to observe more of the action that’s taking place directly in front of them. In a third person shooter, a lot of the action is fast paced and so, much of the level must be conveyed in order to take out enemies that perhaps you may not see in first person perspective. Third person shooters, as of late, provide an aim assist feature, which provides players assistance to shoot enemies since this perspective is generally quite difficult to aim in. Third person shooters can also incorporate other prominent genres such as tactical stealth like in such games as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Sniper Elite 4, or the popular adventure series Uncharted from famed developer Naughty Dog. While the latter is more of a third person adventure than a shooter, it does still incorporate shooting elements that still make it a great title. Since we now have a pretty collective idea of what TPS means, let us take a look in more detail while providing some concrete examples to go along with it.

A Totally Different Perspective

Third person shooters are very popular among gamers because unlike the conventional shooter that typically forms itself around the first person perspective, third person shooters give players a little more freedom in terms of what they can interact with, but also what they can see in front of them. In first person shooters a lot of your vision is limited in the sense that, blind spots are often implemented into the game and prevent you from seeing what or who is to your left and right. Third person shooters display everything from a totally different perspective, allowing players to see more of the action from various angles never before achievable in the first person view. When you hide behind a crate or large object for example, third person shooters allow you to angle the camera around that object so that you can see maybe an enemy on the opposite end, allowing you to plan your next step more carefully. This could be crucial especially in a boss battle or even online multiplayer where every bullet matters. One great example is Watch Dogs 2, so let’s dive in a little deeper.

Watch Dogs 2

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: November 15, 2016

While the original Watch Dogs didn’t really sit well with reviewers, much of the general public found the level of exploration to be quite endearing. You could run around just about anywhere and hack just about anything that was in front of you--all in third person. Fast forward now to Watch Dogs 2 where everything you loved from the original made its return, but now more revamped and packed with fresh new features to make the experience more enthralling. As you run through a fictitious San Francisco Bay Area with main protagonist Marcus Holloway, you encounter so many incredible things as the world feels lifelike and the citizens respond to everything you do. Whether you’re hacking into a building to destroy security access or stealing a fancy sports car to complete a mission, Watch Dogs 2 satisfies every craving in a remarkable way by allowing you so much freedom. The third person perspective just adds an extra added depth to the game because you get to see this vast city in all its glory, while still being able to interact with things on the go.

You could be shooting down a gang of thugs and then switch the camera view to see if anymore of these punks are tracking you down, and that’s the beauty about third person.There’s never a moment where you feel trapped or limited by what can be seen and so running around and completing missions feels a lot more gratifying. Watch Dogs 2 also throws in stealth elements which contribute to the already action packed title and because it’s all played out in third person, tracking down enemies and taking them out without arousing anyone gives you a nice rush. Another added bonus is that when controlling vehicles, you could perform drive-bys with relative ease since the third person view allows for a more dynamic feel when dealing with a horde of enemies all at once.

Watch Dogs 2 Launch Trailer

Stealth is Wealth

One great aspect about third person shooters is that it adds a higher level of versatility when determining just how to take down the enemy when you’re surrounded. Stealth action plays a significant role in third person shooters because as we mentioned earlier, the angle at which the camera is placed provides a more dynamic view for the player to take advantage of. This means that when you’re in a threatening position and need to decide just how to eliminate every enemy around you, having this perspective available allows you to slip through cracks that could not otherwise be seen if you weren’t in third person view. It’s also a very pleasing feeling when you’re able to sneak past a group of guards undetected, and carry on with the mission without risking death. On the other hand, it’s quite satisfying when you’re able to chuck a grenade from behind a large crate, and watch as the enemies scatter like ants in a panic. For this example we’ll take a look at Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Kojima Productions
  • Release Date: September 1, 2015

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, much like Sniper Elite 4, are both labeled as tactical stealth action games and they most certainly fit that bill. However they do incorporate the third person perspective for most of the gameplay, while throwing in some first person elements when it comes to sniping down the enemy. For the most part MGSV: The Phantom Pain places you in a third person view while providing an open world experience. This level of diversity in the game is what makes MGSV: The Phantom Pain a blast to play, because it incorporates so much into one title that there’s a lot of depth to everything. One minute you’re charging into a building full of guards just waiting for you to make a careless mistake, then shortly after you’re riding on the back of a horse to carry out the next mission. Perhaps the major reason why MGSV: The Phantom Pain is such a thrill is that there’s never a true feeling of guarantee, even after you’ve cleared out a room full of enemies. Everything surrounding you could be a potential threat such as carelessly hitting an object, or even something so simple such as walking around to give away your position could result in imminent death.

Every step requires sound judgment and rational thinking as the level of difficulty increases the further you embark into the game, but also your hiding spots start to become less frequent and so planning accordingly is imperative. Not too many games can pull off the third person stealth shooter so brilliantly as Metal Gear Solid and that’s just because Hideo Kojima is in a tier of his own, and is an absolute scientist when it comes to creating immersive experiences for the player. We need more of these types of games because it doesn’t reward blind rage or the generic run and gun approach, but rather it teaches the player the value of patience, critical thinking and most importantly being absolutely aware of your surroundings at all times.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Trailer

Dynamic Gameplay

While a lot of games now are catering more to the hardcore audience, throwing in breathtaking graphics with realistic looking characters, other games place their attention more on dynamic gameplay than ultra realism. This isn’t to say that these realistic games are bland or farfetched, but a lot the time we get so caught up in the visuals that we often forget that we’re gamers and games are meant to be played. So while it’s nice every now and then to oggle at the television screen, it’s so much more satisfying to jump into a game with your friends or just simply online and duke it out with other passionate players. This brings us to our next and final example which is Nintendo’s new IP Splatoon, which takes all of the finer aspects of the popular shooters and adds in wonderfully unique elements to make the experience more thrilling. You’re not controlling a war general or private agent, but rather an inkling that can transform into a squid and spray the battlefield with tons of paint to control territory, and take home the gold.


  • System/Platform: Wii U
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: May 28, 2015

Nintendo has always been a company that places great importance on creativity and innovation more than realism and powerful hardware. Had it not been for Nintendo’s passion to push the envelope and pioneer many of the now standard approaches we see in gaming today, the industry would truly not be where it is right now. You can certainly see this in the controllers we use for example the rumble feature, which had been introduced back in the Nintendo 64 era and is now commonplace in every controller out there. Now we’re talking about Splatoon, a third person team based shooter that’s truly a remarkable title and throws all the benchmark rules out of the window and gives you a totally fresh experience that’s exclusive to only Nintendo’s hardware.

What sets Splatoon apart from every other team based shooter is that instead of relying on bullets and realism, you’re thrown into a vibrant world filled with a cornucopia of colors and carefully designed weapons that shoot out blots of paint to take out the opposition and conquer territory. The shooting aspects are still very much in place but Splatoon makes it feel more imaginative and playful, while still retaining that adrenaline pumping excitement during every match. Speaking of matches, they’re quick and relentless with every player on the team delegating tasks to one another to ensure victory at all costs. Splatoon encourages teamwork at all times and one slip up could cause the other team to lay down layers of paint into your half and cost you the game. It’s very back and forth along with being very balanced so that there’s no weapon that truly feels more overpowered than the other. With Splatoon 2 about to hit store shelves in more than a month's time, the Nintendo Switch will have another mammoth title under its belt and here’s hoping that Splatoon 2 gets more tournament play!

Splatoon Trailer

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found this article not only informative but entertaining as well, so be sure to share your thoughts down below along with showing love on social media. As we always love to do here at Honey’s Anime, we’ll leave you with some honorable mentions that can’t be ignored. One of which is most definitely Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V along with Red Dead Redemption which is slated to drop its highly anticipated sequel Red Dead Redemption 2 later this year. Other titles include Ratchet & Clank, Max Payne, Mass Effect, Lost Planet, Just Cause and many more. If you have some others that we didn’t mention of course be sure to drop them, because who knows we may just write about it sometime!

As always for all things sweet, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Metal-Gear-Solid-V-The-Phantom-Pain-game-Wallpaper-700x394 What is TPS? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]


Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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