Many types of computer game have you taking on the role of the main protagonist. Sometimes you get almost no choice about the kind of person you’re playing and sometimes you get lots of choice. However, even with games such as Modern Warfare you often get a choice of weapons that can dictate your play style. At the other end of the spectrum are games like Skyrim where you have almost unlimited choice in how you play your character.
I find that no matter which game I’m playing, I tend to gravitate towards a small subset of archetypes for my initial play through. I may replay the game later with a different class or approach, but usually I stick to my tried and trusted standards.
I can split the archetype choices down into two basic categories. If the game is primarily fantasy based (Dragon Age, Skyrim, Dungeon Siege III for example) then I will most often play a warrior with sword and shield. I tend to relegate stealth, ranged weapons and magic to the back burner in fantasy games. Sure I’ll shoot an arrow if necessary, and I can sneak if the quest demands it, but I’d rather be standing tall in the middle of the battle, crushing the enemy with my shield and beheading them with my shiny sword.
If the game is modern, sci-fi (Borderlands, Mass Effect) or post-apocalyptic (Fallout, Fallout New Vegas) then it tends to include projectile weapons (i.e. guns). In those games, I usually always play a soldier style role with medium range high accuracy weapons by preference (assault rifles and other rifles, machine guns at a push). I love sniper rifles in those games, or anything which lets me shoot from very long distances. Again, I tend to avoid specifically stealthy options, close combat weapons (shotgun, pistol), melee weapons, low accuracy rifles (sub-machine guns) and the like. If the game has powers (like Mass Effect or Borderlands) I tend not to use those either unless they’re integral to the game.
On a second or third play through I might go for rogues/thieves or magic/powers based characters, and if the game supports lots of facets I’ll often pick up rogue-like skills as secondary support skills.
But generally, you’ll find me knee deep in dead goblins waving a sword and hiding behind my shield, or ducked behind cover 300 yards from the enemy looking down the scope of an assault rifle or sniper rifle waiting for the just, the, right, moment.
I find it amusing sometimes that in fantasy games I opt for the in-close with a melee weapon option and eschew bows and long range magic, and yet in modern and futuristic games I hate melee weapons with a passion. I’ll use the chainsaw once, for fun, but I’ll always go back to my trusty assault rifle.