Perfect Dark exceeded the reach of Goldeneye , its predecessor, in nearly every way other than popularity. Not only was the game more technologically innovative, but it was thematically groundbreaking as well, quietly subverting standard notions of videogame heroism through its artfully understated female protagonist.
Both the Medal of Honor series and the World War II shooter genre quickly wore themselves out, but Frontline remains one of the more significant first-person shooters ever released. The original BF is a game I sunk many hours into, because it offered so many memorable experiences.
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Simultaneously, though, the original game was also followed by some fantastic total conversion mods, from the jungle-based Vietnam combat of Eve of Destruction , to WWII realism mod Forgotten Hope. The latter, in its original iteration, hits a near-perfect level of realism that makes each of the armies distinct and different rather than simply clones of each other while still maintaining just enough of its arcade origins for gameplay to remain vital and addicting.
All in all, though, BF laid down a format so effective that the series has barely deviated from its basic structure in 13 years. What else could Doom II ever be but the sequel to Doom? The game certainly had big shoes to fill, but it rose to the challenge admirably. The game mostly stayed true to the design philosophies and beats that made the first one so seminal, but added in enough new surprises to keep from growing stale. It was part of the pinnacle of arena-based shooters, one that emphasized movement and positioning just as much as accuracy. Learning the routes, the power-up spawns, the perfect route to bunny-hop along was important, but it also stood strong as a polished and engaging shooter that provided an experience nothing else could.
A melting pot of loot-based role-playing games and first-person shooters, Borderlands 2 stands head-and-shoulders above its predecessor because of the universe it created. Borderlands 2 took the barebones formula before it and fleshed out an entire world for Pandora , with a solid story, unique locales and a memorable cast of characters. I will drown you in a hundred copies of the game until you swear your allegiance to it. Porta 2 might not have had the purity and elegance of the original, but it more than made up for it by showing that some ideas have too much staying power than a single game can muster.
By introducing paint, light beams and other gadgets, Portal 2 gave its core conceit new life. It knew when to shift gears and give you something new to do, never letting you settle into tedious rhythms. It was a great option that made every firefight incredibly tense and tactical, a quality more first-person shooters need to have. Wanna play Capture the Flag in low gravity with guns that kill opponents in one hit? You could do that!
List of freeware first-person shooters
Of course, regular old Deathmatch was just as satisfying thanks to the tight controls and creative weapons the nuke-throwing Redeemer remains a personal favorite. It may sound shallow, but improvements in technology are what made Quake noteworthy. But, the higher fidelity sound and music, the integration of 3D mouse aiming and a far more accessible online multiplayer mode all worked together to make it a landmark shooter.
Every design decision was focused towards maximizing its co-op appeal, making it basically unthinkable to play without friends, even if the game let you. It was also really funny without ever beating players upside the head with how funny it was supposed to be, which is still almost unheard of in videogames. The FPS framework made Prime feel unlike any previous Metroid , while the classic Metroid focus on exploration and retracing your steps made it feel unlike any other first-person shooter.
It tapped into that addictive rhythm of progress and reward expected from Metroid and its many derivatives, but added an edge of engrossing, fast-paced action expected from a shooter. And between its optional data scans and environmental storytelling, it depicted a fallen world in a relatively understated fashion, offering lessons designers could still learn from today.
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One of the most extensive total-conversion mods to-date, the game, which began its own life as a fan-created mod, helped usher in a new golden age both of modding and competitive gaming. More than anything else, Deus Ex was a playground.
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By blending role-playing conventions like free-form character development and dialogue choices with stealth and shooter design, Deus Ex allowed the player to define their own version of protagonist JC Denton through action rather than exposition alone. The goofy cyberpunk conspiracy story, which found a way to rope in everything from Area 51 to the Illuminati, lent a fantastic, sinister tone to the game, making it a wonderful snapshot of Western culture in the early days of a new millennium. Its shooting felt refined, its plot immersive and unobtrusive, and its world-building impressive.
Going back and playing it years after its release has only made me realize how few steps forward the genre has taken narratively since , and how much of a mark the game has left.
Halo may have been a revolution for Xbox players, but Halo 2 took the designs and concepts and mastered them to make what still stands as the best Halo multiplayer today. The addition of dual-wielding added depth to the weapon pool, and signature maps like Headlong and Containment became as eponymous as Blood Gulch. Team Fortress 2 made multiplayer shooters intuitive. The exaggerated Tex Avery-esque caricatures helped even the most novice of players understand how their role should define their play; the Heavy was large and slow, which made playing him as an unstoppable wall a no-brainer, for example.
You could subvert brute-force tactics in sly ways, which gave the game the variety it needed to maintain its presence all these years later. Before Bioshock or Deus Ex ever came about, System Shock 2 was melding role-playing game inventory systems and colored key cards with the tenets of FPS. The villainous SHODAN embodies this narrative focus, as an AI that holds the player captive like a puppet and became one of the most memorable antagonists in games.
Like a cool older brother, Halo introduced console gamers to first-person shooters, borrowing genre conventions where possible and improvising where needed. Instead of bullets or lasers you used that portal gun to open up doorways and solve increasingly elaborate puzzles. You might have had to destroy some turrets and robots along the way, but it was a relatively non-violent game.
Portal has had as much impact on game design since its release as any other game. Before episodic games were routine, it proved that players would feel satisfied with a three-hour game as long as it was designed well enough. It was also legitimately funny, which, as mentioned earlier in this list, is always a rarity within the world of videogames. But, it had a more positive influence, too, in its willingness to attempt a holistic merger of shooter conventions and narrative. Bioshock is an uncommon game in that it actually has a point to make and devotes itself fully to arguing it through visuals, gameplay and story.
Far Cry 2 stood out from its progeny because of its lean approach to thematic and mechanical design. Doom was, simply put, the genesis point for modern first-person shooters.
Share Tweet Submit Pin. Bioshock Infinite After a long and very public development period, Bioshock Infinite had a lot to live up to. Tags shooters videogames battlefield bioshock bioshock 2 bioshock infinite call of duty 4: modern warfare doom far cry 2 half-life half-life 2 left 4 dead portal quake quake iii arena system shock 2 team fortress 2 wolfenstein 3d wolfenstein: the new order.
A depiction of the beginning of the infamous war between the noble Autobots and the nefarious Decepticons, set on the Transformers' homeworld, Cybertron, long before they had even heard of humans or the planet Earth. Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is a team-based multiplayer shooter, featuring a Western setting and four playable character classes.
Section 8 is a Sci-Fi first-person shooter that allows players to dynamically alter the flow of combat utilizing tactical assets and on-demand vehicle delivery. Your mission is to scout and secure difficult locations using the most advanced arsenal of military hardware known to man. Return to the Pacific Theater in this simpler downloadable console-exclusive sequel to the massive World War II first-person shooter Battlefield It features a cartoon-like graphical style and is played from a third person perspective. It is also a "Play 4 Free" game.
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