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7 Shooters You Might Have Overlooked Last Generation
The last generation of consoles had their fair share of shooters, especially with the large franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty, Killzone, Gears of War, and BioShock. However, a fair number didn't receive the critical love and/or the sales numbers that they honestly deserved. Before ye abandon the last generation forever for the new, here are seven glorious shooters you might have overlooked.
"Spec Ops breaks the monotony with storytelling."
After playing the first BioShock, I really didn't think anything would blow my mind like the simple phrase, "would you kindly", did. I am so glad I got to play Spec Ops shortly after I played BioShock (I was extremely late to that party), because that climactic reveal did more than make me pick up my jaw off the floor; I had to come to grips with what I horrible person I was at the same time, something Yager studios never let you forget. The shooting mechanics are nothing too special, but this game is all about delving into Captain Walker's madness. The story completely makes up for any monotony one may find in the gameplay.
"Complete with French-speaking comrades."
This was supposed to be Sega's Gears of War, and they did a fantastic job mimicking the cover-based shooter all while giving it a personality of its own. Instead of fighting hordes of monsters from the underground, your team fights hordes of robots that actually believe they are human. In addition to questioning what is humanity really, the game features optional voice commands that the player can use to order your team around. The downside to that is if you swear at your TV while playing, your teammates will think you're swearing at them, and they will tell you what you can do with yourself. Plus one of your comrades is a robot who speaks French; what's not to love about that?
"It's an Orc bloodbath."
If you're a Warhammer 40K fan, chances are you've already played this and you love it as much as I do. But even if you know nothing about Warhammer, as I was once ignorant when I played, Space Marine offers plenty for the shooter fan to enjoy. First off, you wield chainsaw swords, and yes, that is as awesome as it sounds. As such, the gameplay is a twisted hybrid of hack-and-slash and third-person shooter that forces players to rely on a sound strategy before jumping into the swarms of orks. Unlike many hack-and-slash games or shooters, Space Marine weaves a very dark and deep story, one that spurred me into reading Warhammer books. I'm a lost cause now.
"Loved the suit in this one."
Vanquish was an extremely polarizing shooter--you either loved it or hated it. There really seemed to be no middle ground. Obviously I'm in the camp of loving it, and it wasn't because of its story. Truth be told, the story was less than stellar, and that's overselling it. What made this shooter unique and fun was its fast-paced gameplay. Vanquish was all about using both speed and slowing down time to your advantage to clear each stage as quickly as possible. Since this is a Platinum Games title, of course you are given a grade after completing each level. Many complained that slowing down time to line up your shots broke your rhythm, but if you found ways to incorporate this function with your groove, it melded together beautifully. Plus, it was fun flicking cigarettes out into the open to confuse the robots.
"Yep, it's a storm of bullets, baby!"
Bulletstorm was hailed by both Epic Games and People Can Fly as the shooter your mom will hate. As a result, right or wrong, people either flocked to it or shunned it completely. Bulletstorm is one of the most violent shooters I have ever played, yet I couldn't stop laughing while playing it. The game is all about two things: offensive, yet hilarious dialogue (yes, the word "dicktits" was thrown around a couple of times) and executing creative kills. Every creative kill (called a skillshot) had its own laugh-out-load title to boot. For example, if you kill someone by blowing up a hot dog stand, the skillshot is called "Sausage Fest." Shooting someone in the balls and then shooting or kicking his head off is called "Mercy." My personal favorite moment in the entire game stars The main character singing an entire song dedicated to a remote control Godzilla-death-machine. While Epic Games is moving on from the Gears of War franchise, they really need to make a sequel to this game.
"Zero hype, but a lot of fun."
Inversion sadly received zero hype and very little marketing outside of play stations at E3 in 2011. Then it got delayed several times and was released during E3 2012--not optimal. I stayed on top of it because I had fun with it, but the poor game was completely forsaken. Once again, it's not the story that makes this game riveting, but the ability to change the orientation of the world as well as the direction of gravity introduced interesting concepts on how to destroy hordes of enemies. Gravity could be increased, decreased, or inverted to make enemies implode. The game wasn't that challenging, but I had fun coming up with zany ways to obliterate the enemy with gravity and the environment.
"Zero hype, but a lot of fun."
FUSE was Insomniac Games' first attempt at producing a multiplatform shooter, and to be honest, I have no idea why this game fell off the radar for so many people. It featured a four-man team with option for four-person co-op play, and each character had his or her own unique style of playing, not unlike your typical four-person team in a multiplayer game. When playing solo, players could leap between any character they wished at any time, take advantage of their specific abilities or weapons, and then leap to someone else. Controlling one character gives that particular character experience for leveling up, so it becomes a matter of your character choices affecting how you can play. Playing co-op definitely would have made the game far easier, but it's just as enjoyable solo. In addition, playing alone forces you to really formulate a strategy with which character(s) are best to use for a particular situation.
Any shooters from last generation that you think were grossly overlooked? Let us know in the comments.
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