What makes this Shooter so great? You might find yourself asking that question this year with a good amount of shooters slated for release sometime this year. E3 hasn’t even passed yet, and dates aren’t final, but we expect to see these and even more for the shooting genre to release this year. Take a look at what makes each one unique and try to think about which ones you will enjoy the most, because popularity doesn’t always equal quality and we all have different tastes.
My own personal belief is that each of these games carries some sort of innovation or redeeming quality to them. Regardless of shooters being so redundant this gaming generation (and in general) we can always find something great about each one if we look hard enough. What bothers me though is that I feel like we are getting a piece of innovation per game when if these concepts were combined into one great shooter game we would see true innovation and the complete package.
Brink: In Brink you will find the unique ability to run around on walls, slide through obstacles, and be generally acrobatic with your murdering while in battle using the new S.M.A.R.T. system. There is also a huge focus on Co-Op with less emphasis on kill/death ratios and much more on objectives as well as teamwork.
Battlefield 3: This title brings the return of the classic series which is expected to bring the real Battlefield back to life while bringing in concepts learned from the development of the Bad Company sub-series. Great vehicular warfare, destruction of a new magnitude on environments, buildings, etc. and tactical/strategic focus are the main attractions for this game. Competitive multiplayer is the main zone of interest and there will be dedicated servers so lag and common problems that plague shooters online should be absent.
Resistance 3: A great sci-fi campaign with high immersion is basically guaranteed with this game (exclusive to PlayStation 3) after the previous titles impressed many. Unique weapons give the game its own feel when it comes to co-op side-missions and competitive multiplayer. The return of the weapon wheel could make or break the fan’s reception of the new multiplayer, but above all else you will want this game for facing larger than life enemies in the single player.
Gears of War 3: Basically the return of the beloved third-person cover shooter from Epic Games (exclusive to Xbox 360) will be seen as a major event gamers don’t want to miss out on. The biggest change announced thus far is the addition of dedicated servers to the online competitive multiplayer as well as a more ambitious co-op with up to four players in the actual story mode via Xbox Live. If all of that doesn’t excite you, it has pink guns now.
Uncharted 3: Uncharted 3 (PS3 only) brings forward another narrative experience (if you are into those sort of things) giving you more than just a mind-numbing murderfest. You will see some new customization features for your weapons in the multiplayer. This is nothing new to the genre but an added feature for the Uncharted universe. With rich graphics and dynamic levels in multiplayer, Uncharted 3 is set to go head-to-head against Gears of War 3 but if you only have one console your choice is pretty much made for you.
Duke Nukem Forever: This classic retro nostolgia-thon brings babes and brutality back. Toilet humor and a hero complex are included in full doses. Basically this is that classic reboot you heard about 13 years ago and after 4 publishers and 4 developers it is finally being released. Regardless of how you feel about delayed games, this should probably be something you check out if only for the relevance it has to the genre.
RAGE: With single player depth beyond what most games are promising in the shooter genre, including a life-or-death reality show based around vehicular combat, RAGE is set to be a hit in most people’s book already. The graphic fidelity accomplished by the latest id software inTech 5 brings an open world, post-apocalyptic role-playing experience to your shooter.
X-COM: Face an alien invasion and investigate as your mind is bent by what is going on around you. People are disappearing and it’s up to you to unravel what this other-wordly threat wants and what it means. As you extinguish evil entities from across the universe making their way through Earth’s population you upgrade and develop weaponry for your cause based on your field research and experiences.
Call of Duty 8/Modern Warfare 3(?): More of the same old false promises, lag, balance issues, and general lack of innovation. Oh, but everyone and their kid will have it.
F.E.A.R. 3: Animalistic A.I. is among the chief features held high for this franchise. Supernatural horror and co-op find a renewed focus as the goal of this title is to bring back the fire F.E.A.R.’s original installment was known for.
Conduit 2: MotionPlus support brings a higher precision to the aiming possibilities of this title. Illuminati/Alien conspiracy theory are the themes in this story which takes depth further than most. A full steam ahead focus on multiplayer is refreshing to see for the Nintendo Wii and High Voltage Software even went as far as creating their own voice chat solution for the game. If you have a Nintendo Wii though, you really don’t have a ton of options for good shooters anyway.
So here you have it. Each game has its own face and its own name, but these are some of the reasons each of them exist and what is different about them. If you aren’t really excited by any of these it may be that the generic template of shooter games has driven you away already. If you can find some of these concepts exciting, god bless you and see you in the killing fields.
Which shooter are you most looking forward to this year and why? Is there something *not* on the list that you are hoping will be announced, revealed, or otherwise dated for 2011 release? Let us know in the comments section below.