Doom Eternal – keeping the name alive (pic: Bethesda)
Readers discuss the best first and third person shooters, with classics including Half-Life 2 and Titanfall 2.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Paulie, who asked which shooters are your favourite and why? Do you prefer first or third person views and do you primarily play them single or multiplayer?
We had lots of different answers, but most people agreed that first person shooters in particular don’t age well, and so there were relatively few nominations for anything older than last gen.
I remember a time when I would have said the easy answer to this was GoldenEye 007, but as another reader pointed out recently, the game is virtually unplayable today. It’s an extreme example, but I would say that first person shooters generally age very poorly and even going back just a generation or two they can be surprisingly clunky.
That may change as 60fps becomes a standard but a lot of Xbox 360 games for me are not something I would want to touch anymore, which is why the whole FPS Boost thing is such a good idea. But with all that in mind I’m going to say that Doom Eternal is the best. Is it an all-time classic like Half-Life 2? Maybe not but at this moment in time it’s the best the genre has to offer, as far as I’m concerned, and that’s all that matters.
Sure, it’ll probably be beaten by a different game, maybe it’s sequel, in a few years but I think that’s just the nature of the genre. No one stay on top for long. Which sounds like it would inspire innovation, now I think about it, but oddly it doesn’t. One of the reason I like the new Doom games is that they do feel like something different, albeit it also a bit retro.
I can’t stand military shooters like Call Of Duty and Battlefield that pretend they’re realistic but are clearly anything but. I like my shooters to be fun escapism though, like most of my favourite video games.
Answering the call
My first taste of an online shooter I could play at home was Call Of Duty 3 on my PlayStation 3. I have been hooked ever since and eventually sold my PlayStation 3 after getting nukes a few times in a row on whatever the newest Call Of Duty version was, as I was spending way too much time playing games (wish I knew about streaming back then).
I held out for about a year until I decided to buy a PlayStation 4 and – boom – I’m back on every Call Of Duty I can get my hands on. The rush I get from being the last man standing in a game of search and destroy, and managing to take out the entire opposition team, is unparalleled.
I’m now playing more shooters in VR on my Oculus Quest 2 but strangely I find my movement is more fluid playing with a controller. I think I just need to put some more hours In…
I generally prefer third person to first person in games, I feel far more connected to the character this way, as they’re not just a couple of hands holding a gun! I don’t play online so I only play games with a decent single-player offering.
Best FPS games for me are MachineGames’ Wolfensteins, Far Cry 3 and 4, and Resistance 3. I enjoyed the open world tactics of the Far Cry games (sniping from a distance, using animals to take the bad guys out, etc). Resistance 3 had awesome guns (one even made enemies puke!) and the Wolfenstein games were brilliant shooters but also had a lot of stealth options. Both the recent Wolfensteins and Resistance 3 also had far more interesting protagonists than you find in most shooters.
Favourite third person shooters are the Uncharted games (the combat generally gets criticised but I’ve always enjoyed them!), Spec Ops: The Line (a very different approach to a military shooter!) and of course the game that revolutionised third person games: Resident Evil 4! Still such brilliant fun with fantastic gunplay!
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My choice would be Titanfall, which I’m very glad to see has had a major revaluation lately by a lot of people. When it first came out EA buried it and it was a flop but then people started to discovery it when it went on cheap and now it’s widely acknowledged for having one of the best story campaigns of any shooter.
The multiplayer is good too, and much better than Apex Legends in my opinion, which is basically the same game but with all the interesting bits taken out.
I think we will get a third game at some point as there’s already rumours of titan cameos in Apex Legends but I don’t know if EA would want it to concentrate on single-player or multiplayer. I can imagine them letting it be single-player only, just because Apex Legends has the multiplayer covered, but I think it should be both, so that people can see that the game rules at everything.
It does feel like shooters in general are rarer than they used to be. But then the lines between genres have been disappearing for years now so while games like Far Cry and GTA have lots of shooting in them I don’t think many people would describe them as primarily that.
So while there aren’t many games trying to be Call Of Duty anymore, or even really Fortnite, the top games still exist and lots of others incorporate many of the best bits of those games into larger open world experiences.
But to answer the question, my favourite is BioShock. Which, again, you could argue is not really a first person shooter because there are other elements. But I think that’s been a bit overplayed over the years because shooting is what you’re doing 80% of the time and it’s better than most games where that’s all you do. The sequels were never quite as good for me though, so I’m curious to see what they might do with the rumoured new game.
Hail to the king
My best FPS is the obvious. Half-Life 2. The undisputed king. The perfect blend of plot and gameplay. My best third person shooter is Vanquish. Also a slick blend of different action mechanics with bullet time. Why have Platinum not made a sequel to this? Don’t they know the potential of this gem?
I prefer the third person view to the first person because the third’s view doesn’t make you feel sick which the first does. Or is that due to the frame rate and not the view?
GC: Motion sickness is just down to the individual, as far as we understand. And Platinum don’t own the rights to Vanquish, Sega does.
I’m going to say Splatoon 2. That may not be a popular choice (in the West anyway, it’s huge in Japan) but it’s probably the only shooter I’ve been interested in playing online. I do enjoy a good single-player campaign but in terms of being beaten by 12-year-olds in Fortnite or Call Of Duty, that’s not for me.
Splatoon 2 probably has an even younger playerbase but thankfully they’re not able to talk to you and instead we can all get on with the job of just having fun with the game, which is very easy because it’s great. Easy to pick, easy to control, but also very original. It is a shooter but it’s really no more violent than a snowball fight.
That and paintball was the obvious inspiration for it, not some bizarre need to recreate the Second World War in your home, and I think it’s a lot more fun as a result and more… video-gamey.
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