Happy almost new year. I must admit, out of all the myriad of game genres out there, FPS games are among my least favourite, I’m a third person guy through and through. It goes back to my love of old school survival horror games like Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, Silent Hill and more recently Dead Space. The third person atmosphere just lends itself better to that kind of game, in my opinion. But shooters are not without their merit and while I may not be a huge fan, that doesn’t stop me from trying them all. And this year was a particularly decent year for the FPS.
No. 5: Crysis 3
Crysis and me have always had a love hate relationship. I’m a console gamer so I never really got into the PC space much. But I remember being back in college, and we had these super sweet Alienware desktops in our labs (I studied Game Development so we needed that kind of hardware for the stuff we were doing). So when someone presented me with a copy of Crysis to try out, I said why not. I loved it. It was gorgeous, smooth, played very well, and appealed to a broad range of play styles, everything I look for in a game really. So I played it, and played it, and played it some more until it was completed. Lucky for me, when Crysis 2 came out, it was getting a console release so I was able to play it on my large TV on the PS3. Sure, it didn’t look as good as the PC version but comfort is comfort.
But that’s beside the point. Crysis 3 ups the ante considerably from the first 2. While it is not as good as its predecessors, it still hits a lot of the right notes, and is suitably epic enough to earn a spot on my list.
No. 4 Battlefield 4
I waited for the PS4 to play Battlefield 4. I wasn’t in any rush to play it and I was trying to clear out a backlog of games before the next generation officially started up. I haven’t completed the campaign as of yet, but all I can is, after 4 levels, WOW! It just starts at 100 miles an hour and never slows down. Buildings blowing up, thousands of people being mowed down by machine gun fire, racism, xenophobia, all an integral part of those first 4 levels.
The multiplayer is, as expected, amazing. My very first match, I jumped into a quick random game and I was catapulted into a 52 player match. I spawned in a boat and drove down along a river. All of a sudden, a building exploded to my right and it collapsed on top of me. This is what pretty much sums up multiplayer in Battlefield 4. Chaotic, epic, and endlessly cool. Will you die a lot? Absolutely! The only question is, how good can you look while doing it?
No. 3: Killzone: Shadow Fall
I was not a big fan of the previous entries in the Killzone franchise, but as this list will demonstrate, Killzone’s year was 2013, at least in my opinion. On the surface, the game seems to be all style and no substance, but when you start to play it, you realize that this isn’t the case. There is an awful lot of style to it, yes, but the game itself is immensely enjoyable pretty much from start to finish. There are a few stumbling blocks along the way, but for the most part, its an engrossing and beautiful experience that is worthy of being the top next gen launch title. And if a launch title can look this good, imagine what games will look like in 3 – 5 years time?
The multiplayer is a drastic improvement over the terrible experience that was Killzone 3. It actually puts me more in mind of Killzone 2 which was one of the best multiplayer experiences I have had on any console last generation. The key word in Shadow Fall’s multiplayer is “teamwork”. Work together as a team and you will succeed. Break out on your own, and you will fail…hard! There is nothing better than getting a group of friends together into a team and tasting the sweet nectar of success.
No.2: Killzone Mercenary
We should never discount the Playstation Vita. It hasn’t gotten much in the way of blockbuster games since its launch. We’ve had gems like Little Big Planet VITA, Tearaway, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, but nothing that set the console alight. That all changed when Killzone: Mercenary launched earlier this year.
Lets face facts, shooters are high sellers, difference makers. They can make or break a console. So when Killzone: Mercenary launched on the vita, it was met with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Then the review scores came in, and it was pretty unanimous, the game was awesome. And having played it myself, I have to say I concur. It’s a shooter that makes the Vita a worthwhile purchase. And if it attracts people to Vita who wouldn’t normally have bought it, maybe they will discover the other great titles it has to offer like the above mentioned, and Uncharted, Gravity Rush and a host of others.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 2014 could be the year of the Vita.
No.1: Bioshock: Infinite
It should come as no surprise that this made it to No.1 on my list. This will probably be top of everyone’s shooter list for this year. Bioshock is a shooter with a difference. It has everything an FPS is meant to be, but it add’s magic, mysticism, RPG elements and more to create something unique.
The latest iteration was no exception. It was a beautiful game with a compelling story and plenty of “Holy S*!t!” moments throughout. I have replayed it multiple times going after the collectibles and to complete the ultra hard “1999 mode”. It never gets old. In fact, I discover something new every time I play it, subtle nuances that make the game that much more beautiful.
Much like The Last Of Us claiming the top spot in my Top 5 Action / Adventure Games of 2013 these are the kind of games that we need more of. We don’t want them to all be like this, but more than 2 or 3 a year would be a nice start.
And that concludes my Top 5 Shooters of the year for 2013. IF you agree, disagree, or just want to talk about games in general, hit me up on Twitter @GameOverGary