There’s obviously no shortage of excellent first person shooters in the market, given the genre’s enduring popularity, but at the same time, there’s also more than a few games in the group that just got lost in the shuffle. Games that might not have been the best games of their kind, but were still solid, enjoyable shooters that perhaps more people should have tried out. Here, we’re going to talk about a few such games.
In 2012, EA and Starbreeze teamed up for a revival of the Syndicate series, only instead of making a real-time tactics game like the originals, they made a first person shooter. It was drastic shift, of course, and 2012’s Syndicate doesn’t ever match the heights of its predecessors- but it’s still a fun ride. It looked really good for its time and brought its cyberpunk setting to life really well, and there was a lot of fun to be had in its combat encounters.
Titanfall 2 is basically the poster child of shooters that deserved way more success than they got. Respawn Entertainment had already established the series and its style of movement and combat very well with the first game, but with the sequel they took things to a whole another level. Titanfall 2 delivered yet another multiplayer outing, of course, while at the same time, it also had an excellent single player campaign- which is honestly one of the best shooter campaigns in recent memory. It’s an absolute shame that Titanfall 2’s relatively lackluster sales killed the series’ momentum, because we’d love nothing more than to see Respawn make another one of these.
Thanks to MachineGames’ efforts, the Wolfenstein series is in a pretty good place right now, and has delivered some excellent games in recent years. 2014’s The New Order, however, wasn’t the first time anyone took a stab at bringing the franchise back from the fringes. In 2009, Raven Software’s Wolfenstein attempted the same, and though it wasn’t exactly a huge success, it was still a pretty fun shooter. Thanks to its occult vibes and its story, it had a very unique atmosphere (especially for shooters at the time), and especially for fans of the series, it’s a pretty easy game to recommend.
JURASSIC: THE HUNTED
You travel through portals back to prehistoric times and mow down dinosaurs. With a pitch like that, it’s hard not for a game to grab attention. And no, Jurassic: The Hunted doesn’t do full justice to that premise, and it’s far from a perfect game. But it’s still a heck of a lot of fun. Traversing its environments and taking down everything from velociraptors to a t-rex is exactly as mindlessly enjoyable as it sounds.
PRIMAL CARNAGE: EXTINCTION
Here’s another game about dinosaurs. Primal Carnage: Extinction has been out since 2015, but it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, so there’s a very good chance you might not even have heard of it. As those who’ve played it would tell you though, it’s worth checking out. It’s got its fair share of issues, from technical hiccups to even how much time it can take to find other players online now, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had here.
Developed by the team at Avalanche Studios that is now known as Systemic Reaction, Generation Zero slipped under a lot of people’s radars when it launched a couple of years ago. It wasn’t an exceptional game, so it makes sense that it didn’t get talked about a whole lot, but it’s still worth playing if you’re a fan of shooters or open world action games. The post apocalyptic alternate reality setting is fascinating, the world is beautiful and fun to explore, and fighting against the killer robots that inhabit the world can be a lot of fun, especially in co-op.
Terminator: Resistance really surprised people. The Terminator property isn’t exactly in the best place right now, so a licensed Terminator game doesn’t inspire much confidence, but Resistance turned out to be way better than most people expected. It wasn’t a critical darling, no, but even though it’s held back to some degree by its fair share of issues, there’s still a great game in here. The shooting and stealth segments are nicely balanced and generally keep you engaged, the story is surprisingly good, the levels are big and well-designed and densely packed. And of course, it looks and sounds exactly how you’d expect a Terminator game to look and sound.
Superhot has a sizeable fanbase, and those who’ve played it aren’t shy about praising it in the slightest, but it still deserves way more attention. Superhot is that good. Its “time moves only when you move” premise is ingenious in its simplicity, and carries the whole game by itself. Witnessing Superhot’s firefights is consistently delightful, as everything from moving around and dodging bullets to picking up weapons and aiming and shooting becomes deeply tactical, and yet always slick and fast-paced.
THEHUNTER: CALL OF THE WILD
Owing to its very nature, it’s not surprising in the slightest that theHunter: Call of the Wild is a pretty niche game. It’s a hunting simulator that emphasizes realism and immersion more than anything else, so if you’re not sold on its very specific premise, we wouldn’t recommend the game to you. But those who do like that premise are pretty much guaranteed to have a good time in theHunter: Call of the Wild. The open world is vast and beautiful with detailed, immersive environments, and there’s just something about its core loop of patient exploration, tracking, and hunting that can be really addictive.
There’s a very real chance that you haven’t heard of BIGFOOT, though the game has been around for some time, having been in early access since 2017- and it’s a bit of a shame that it hasn’t gotten more attention since then. You’d expect a well-made survival horror game where you attempt to hunt down bigfoot to be a fun time, and this one certainly is. And of course, the game is still in early access right now, so there’s potential for it to become even better ahead of its full launch. Either way, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.
What started as a fan-made mod eventually turned into a full-fledged Half-Life 1 remake with Valve’s approval, and honestly, if you’re a Half-Life fan, there’s absolutely no excuse for you to not check out Black Mesa. It’s a fantastic recreation of Valve’s classic shooter, and everything from the storytelling to the environments to, of course, the combat is improved in significant and smart ways that still stay true to the original game’s visions. It’s a labour of love, and one that more people should check out.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: CALL OF PRIPYAT
Pretty much every S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game need to be played by more people, but Call of Pripyat in particular deserves way more recognition. It delivers more of its tense open world survival horror gameplay, grueling combat encounters against devilishly smart enemies, and a dreary, atmospheric, terrifying world that’s a joy to explore. With the series coming back (hopefully) with a bang in 2022, now would be the perfect chance to go back and check out this underappreciated gem.
PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS
Predator: Hunting Grounds was pretty rough around the edges, but honestly, it was plenty of fun when it was working as intended. Playing as the Predator was, of course, an absolute blast, but even playing as human soldiers had its own merits- and it helped, of course, that there was a surprising amount of variety in the game when it came to playable characters. If Predator: Hunting Grounds had been more polished at launch, it probably could have managed to build a strong player base right off the bat.
ALIENS VS. PREDATOR
Aliens vs Predators came out at a time when the market was flooded with first person shooters, so simply of virtue of being an enjoyable but unexceptional game, it got lost in the crowd. But it was an enjoyable game. The multiplayer was extremely addictive, and each of its three discrete storylines were a blast to play through, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Rebellion as a developer is known for delivering fun, mechanically tight shooters, so if you like their brand of action, Aliens vs Predators might be worth trying out.
METROID PRIME: HUNTERS
Metroid Prime: Hunters wasn’t as good as the actual Prime trilogy, but was still a great game in its own right. Its first person controls worked very well on the DS thanks to its touch screen, and exploration, progression, and combat were consistently enjoyable. No, it wasn’t exactly a quintessential experience, but every Prime fan should at least give it a go.