Duck for cover, NPCs! Shooters come in all shapes and calibers, but the most popular is undeniably the first-person shooter. Today’s challenge covers a wide variety of different kinds of shooters, though we’ve already done shmups, so that means we’re talking about third-person shooters, tactical shooters, the elusive and nonsensical second-person shooters, you name it! So grab your favorite light gun or grubby earpiece because it’s time to tackle one of the most successful genres in modern gaming.
Here come the shooters, a phrase which should really be a lot more frightening than it is here…
The Green Screen Mage
Halo! Hello, just my favorite game series ever! With exceptions… Don’t get me started on Halo 5. Great shooter game though! Good variety of guns, not overly complicated, fun mix up of aliens. Great story, but also don’t get into that with me. I am way too deep in the lore.
The Black Humor Mage
Another recent game, but definitely the most hours I’ve put into an FPS yet: Overwatch. It’s sort of a MOBA and not every character uses a gun, but it’s still an FPS at its core. I’ve had so much fun and rage with the tight controls, cool maps/characters, and especially the team chat. I’ve played a lot of online FPS games before, but I usually stop after a while. Overwatch has been the only consistent online FPS that I’ve played this long, so it’s something special.
The Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews)
007 GoldenEye. The N64 was the first system I had basically to myself, and I remember GoldenEye being the first game that I booted up in my own room. There of course are so many great memories of playing by myself and with friends after that. Without having played it since then I have always held it to be the best experience I have ever had with a shooting game. (Honorable Mentions – Half Life 2 ep 2, Halo Reach, Duck Hunt)
The Spoony Bard Mage (Nerd Speaker)
While I did enjoy GoldenEye and Perfect Dark in my youth, shooters aren’t generally my thing. Then came the Borderlands series, with Borderlands 2 being the pinnacle of amazingness. With its irreverent humor, brilliant lore and amazing RPG-style progression system, it’s a gem of a game. So many guns. Also, there’s a pony called Butt Stallion.
The Five More Minutes Mage (Gamegato)
Star Wars Battlefront lets you experience your Star Wars fantasies. It is amazing to walk underneath an AT-AT, or climb into an Ewok village, or become a hero character like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. While lacking a campaign, Star Wars Battlefront is a very good PvP-centered shooter.
The Hopeful Handheld Mage (Retro Redress)
Call of Duty 4 (Xbox360). The greatest first person shooter of all time in my view. The fact it’s getting a re-release this year says it all. Infinity Ward took the excellent Call of Duty 2, sped it up and changed the setting to the modern day, all to great success. Too much success sadly, as this was the game that would lead to annual Call of Duty games of lesser quality. I feel like every Call of Duty game since has been a derivative of COD4, too scared to change the successful formula but without the quality and originality that made COD4 so good.
The Dapper Zaffre Mage (Save File 02)
I’ll admit, I never thought I’d get into an online shooter as much as I have with Overwatch. Yet, not only does it routinely pull me away from other games (much to the chagrin of people I play those with), it even sucked in a fair number of my friends. I had played others before, but this was the first time I had truly gotten into things like competitive teams and group play. Overwatch has been an absolute delight and I don’t regret playing it.
The Over-Caffeinated Nostalgia Mage (Nostalgia Trigger)
When describing the perfect shooter, I can’t help but draw up comparisons to what is my favorite shooter of all time. That game is Perfect Dark. I mean, the word “perfect” is already in the name! Instead of simply capitalizing on the success of GoldenEye, developer Rareware managed to create a gorgeous futuristic world, packed with all manner of nefarious alien life forms. As if the single player mode wasn’t enough, the multiplayer mode was jam-packed with features, including bots with personalities that affected how they played. If Rareware turned on the oven with GoldenEye 007, they set the whole town on fire with Perfect Dark.
The Rage Mage
Everybody loves Dr. Who. Just kidding. Only people who never shut up like Dr. Who, because they’ll keep talking about their fave doctor after everyone stops listening. If a Whovian tweets without any followers, does it make a sound? So there’s this Dr. Who FPS, proving that yes, Dr. Who can ruin anything, even desensitizing violence. I’m not sure what the actual title is called. Maybe it’s something like Dr. Who: ah gawd just shut up about Dr. Who already? Blast away all those animatronic thimbles with that memory-erasing gadget from Men in Black. Evidently, you could press F1 for Help to find some actually good science fiction to watch.
The Well-Red Mage
Shooters aren’t my favorite genre and I’m known to cast some glorious disdain upon the FPS clone scene but for today’s exercise in community I’m going to eschew my typical anti-FPS snobbery in favor of good ol’ retro self-righteousness. I’m nominating The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner for today’s favorite. This is a background-scrolling rail shooter on the NES that originally came with 3-D glasses, has a 3-D toggle option in the game, a pre-Final Fantasy Sakaguchi was involved with the project and (surprise, surprise) Nobuo Uematsu composed the music for this thing. As if that wasn’t enough, the game itself is actually quite fun, addicting, and retro-tough. I’ll take something like WorldRunner over hyper-realistic hyper-violent headshots any day.
While the gunsmoke clears, let me say thanks for reading! Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments below. Tomorrow ought to be an interesting trip into the more realistic corner of gaming. See you then!