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Since first person views are one of the best ways to avoid Camera Screw, a similar control in third person works just as well.

The three requirements to meet this trope are:

  1. The game is in a third person view.
  2. The view is locked behind the player character (even if not directly behind the player).
  3. When the player turns, the camera turns in synch with the player turning.

Now this isn't limited to Polygonal Graphics. This can be done in pseudo 3D as well, often by using "Mode 7".

A Third-Person Shooter often uses this view, thus playing just like a First-Person Shooter, save for not being first person. Heck, some first person games allow switching to third person, while keeping the control essentially the same.

This trope is named because "Over the shoulder camera" is a common term for this, after the cinematography trope Over the Shoulder.

Compare Camera Lock On, Free Rotating Camera.

Contrast Fixed Camera.

Examples of Always Over the Shoulder include:
  • Brandish is a rare example of a sprite-based Top Down View game that does this trope. The game actually loads four level maps per area, and when the player turns, it switches to the map in that direction.
  • The bonus levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 and Knuckles.
  • Became a standard in Resident Evil games since Resident Evil 4.
  • In the "Lock-Strafe" mode in the Ratchet and Clank games.
  • In the first two Saints Row games when in aiming mode (otherwise it's just free movement). The Third places the camera over the shoulder at all times.
  • Gears of War
  • Elder Scrolls games when in third person view.
  • The third person view in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight allowed the user to switch between first- and third-person cameras at any time; there was also an option to automatically switch to third-person view when drawing your lightsaber, which became the default for the later games, to the point that it is impossible to be in first-person view with the lightsaber equipped at all in Jedi Academy (Jedi Outcast still allowed first-person lightsaber combat, but only in singleplayer).
  • Some of the tank games in the Mario Party games.
  • Mass Effect uses this during the combat sections, while exploration sections used free-flying third-person.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron
  • Oddly for the post-3D Duke Nukem franchise, Zero Hour uses this perspective.
  • Battle Tanx used this perspective, with the slight variation in that the view is tied to the orientation of the gun turret, not the tank body; this becomes apparent when switching the control scheme to "Arcade Mode".
  • Call of Duty: World at War did the same for its tank level, in which the tank controlled similarly to when the player is on-foot; earlier tank levels in the series were played in first-person like every other mission and controlled more like an actual tank (i.e. the "Forward" button always moved the tank body in the direction it is oriented in).
  • Armored Core games use this as its default view.
  • F-Zero uses this view.
  • Xtreme G Racing games had this as the default view
  • Checkpoint Racing games from Rad Racer to Cruis'n Exotica use this view, though many later entries allow the player to choose First Person View instead.
  • Dead Space
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots, when aiming guns in third-person mode.
  • Command and Conquer: Renegade's tanks actually have two camera settings of this manner - the default ties the camera to the tank body, with the turret able to aim away from the center of the screen, while the alternate ties it to the turret, allowing the tank to engage targets to its side or rear while moving away.
  • God Hand makes use of this camera method in a Beat Em' Up. It works surprisingly well, too.
  • Max Payne and its sequel use traditional first-person controls for their third-person gameplay.
  • Wolf Quest uses this by default, but it allows you to rotate the camera as well.
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