Are you intimidated by the likes of Call of Duty and Halo? Have you never understood the hype of the genre? Are you turned off by toxic online communities? Then you may be in the right place. Over the past 30 years, first-person shooters have slowly climbed their way to the top of the industry as the most played genre. However, there are still a lot of people who dislike them. While they can carry a stigma behind them, this isn’t to say there aren’t exceptions out there that will speak to you. These are some of my personal recommendations for haters of the genre.
Set in a retro-futuristic alternate reality, the city of Rapture is an underwater utopia that has been plagued with corruption and chaos from disillusioned industrialists. From the very beginning, you are thrust straight into the unsettling environment of a seemingly abandoned city. First-person shooting mechanics take a backseat to the suspenseful and gripping story, sci-fi RPG elements, and deep exploration of a crumbling society. With a large arsenal of different psychokinetic powers, you are given the freedom to approach every encounter to your liking. With options to go in stealthy, run around guns blazing, or employing the environment to your advantage, you will have countless options to take on a variety of enemies from Splicers to Big Daddies. Witness one of the most jarring plot twists of all time as you try to make sense of the horrors you encounter along your descent into madness.
While Nintendo technically categorizes Metroid Prime as a “first-person adventure” game, the main combat mechanic here is indeed shooting. Granted, much like Bioshock, the shooting mechanics are not the star of the show. Rather, much of your time will be spent exploring the meticulously crafted planet of Tallon IV, solving puzzles, and upgrading your suit. The story of Metroid Prime will have you play as the notorious bounty hunter Samus Aran as she battles space pirates in a race to reach the center of an impact crater in order to defeat a mutated alien of the Metroid race. Metroid Prime stands out as arguably the best game from the Nintendo GameCube, as well as one of the greatest video games of all time. Everything from the claustrophobic environment, immersive score, and satisfying gameplay weave perfectly together to form one of the mediums crowning achievements.
With the sequel to this sleeper hit from 2016 releasing this month, I thought I’d shed some light on one of the best first-person shooters from this console generation. This remake of one of the most influential games of all time hits every note perfectly by updating the gameplay to modern standards, while somehow still maintaining that classic feel of Doom. The story is simple: you are a marine stranded on Mars who must find a way to survive and stop a demon invasion. You don’t need to be great at shooters to feel like a complete badass in this game, as you pick up over-the-top weapons and upgrades that will make demon-slaying all the more satisfying. Once you get your first blood-splattering glory kill to the sound of heavy metal booming in your ears, your adrenaline will begin pumping as if you just chugged a pint of liquid sugar. If you weren’t particularly fond of first-person shooters before, you’ll become a fanboy after a single playthrough of this gem.
While all three Borderlands games stand out as excellent shooters, it was with developer Gearbox’s second entry in which they struck gold. And in a time where seemingly every other video game contains RPG elements, the Borderlands franchise does it right. In Borderlands 2, you take control of a vault hunter on the comical and eccentrically violent planet of Pandora, as you shoot your way through a hilarious story to become a Crimson Raider and stop the tyrant known as Handsome Jack. The previously mentioned RPG mechanics will allow you substantial control over the way you play. If you want to hide and strategically shoot from cover or conversely run into crowds of enemies with a minigun, the variety of classes on hand will help you accomplish that. This game is a great option for those who are not typically drawn to shooters because of the hilarious world, variety of ways to play, and the option to tackle the entire game cooperatively with friends.
If you have even remotely followed video games over the past two decades, there’s a good chance that you have heard about the quality of the Half-Life franchise. The original game reinvented the genre by focusing on narrative-driven gameplay – something we hadn’t really seen before. The sequel however, took everything that was great about the original, and cranked it up to eleven. Once again, you play as Gordon Freeman as you awaken from stasis and must fight along a resistance in order to overthrow an alien occupation of Earth. Much like the original game, you shoot your way through an intense story while exploring and solving puzzles in order to progress. Half-life 2 is iconic, for good reason, and remains a masterpiece in video game storytelling in which many developers still aspire to achieve.
At the end of the day, if you dislike first-person shooters it’s most likely because you haven’t found the right game yet. Hopefully, one or two of these non-traditional picks will have you intrigued enough to play something new. Keep in mind that there are so many great options out there and this list is just some personal favorites among a very crowded genre. If you enjoyed this article, “would you kindly” like it and follow me on Twitter @TheGameLounge5, or click the “Follow Blog via Email” button at the bottom of this page.