January 11, 2013

Top 5 Best Shooters of All Time

Undoubtedly, I’m going to irritate someone with this list today. My mission isn’t to create an industry standard, but to highlight those that put forth not just effort, but real thinking power towards the shooters of this HD console era.

We’re nearing the end of this generation, with the Xbox and PS3 clocking in a very respective eight year generation cycle. Particularly what’s kept this generation alive for so long is the sheer effort and amount of work that goes into HD textures. By way of the dictionary, HD doesn’t have a true definition amongst gamers. The best way that anyone can describe its joys are through the resolution in movie screens and the textures in video games.

One thing is for certain: whether you’re holding a controller or a TV remote, the HD era has been a great thing for the consumers. The same can’t be said for game developers who didn’t see a comfortable transition when this industry made its switch to HD.

And with that moment of silence and salute to our fallen developers, let’s celebrate this console generation by way of highlighting our favorite shooters!

The reason I chose this genre of video games is because it has had the most attention in the past five years, and hence, the most amount of innovation and technology. That’s not to say that the same amount of innovation and technology wasn’t applied to any other genre, but shooters seem more worldwide among console gamers. Here we go!

5) Mass Effect 2

Image Credit: Bioware

This science fiction thriller brought shooting mechanics and awesome futuristic guns at a time when we were still experimenting with our imaginations in that particular genre. While it lacked the same elements of free roam as its predecessor, Mass Effect 2 is regarded by most shooter fans as a very interesting and action packed Sci-Fi adventure.

4) Call of Duty: Black Ops

Image Credit: Activision

Modern Warfare 1, 2, 3, take your pick. I don’t very much appreciate Activision and Treyarch’s annualization method in the CoD franchise, but I’d be telling a bald faced lie if I didn’t say that Black Ops wasn’t ten shades covered in awesome. This action packed and very generic first person shooter took the elements that we had been bored with for four years and made it interesting with an amazing storyline and heart-wrenching plot twists. Assuredly, it’ll probably be our only preferred CoD game for another ten years.

Enjoy it now while you can Activision…

3) Crysis 2

Image Credit: Electronic Arts

Give me whatever back talk you have about the original Crysis being a “PC God”, and how it should never have been ported to the consoles.

I will simply laugh in your face.

Crysis 2 revived my interest in first person shooters, where I had sworn for the tenth time that I had given up on the genre. It’s not that I have a problem with the mechanics of movement, or the hard on that developers have for guns. It boils down to player-environment-interaction, and sadly that’s not well done with a lot of FPS’s today. Crysis 2 made me feel really good about the world around me, using stealth, or going full on berserk mode against dozens of armed militants. Not only this, but the graphical wonders of the Crysis series is nothing short of jaw dropping. These guys really know how to utilize DirectX 11 and Anti Aliasing technology in video games.

I have no doubt in my mind that Crysis 3 will live up to the potential of its predecessor this year.

2) Halo 4

Image Credit: Micrsofot

How can I explain it? I absolutely loathed Halo 3 when I first picked up an Xbox 360 back in ‘08. It wasn’t the first time I played a Halo game, so I can’t blame its single player. What irritated me so much was the fact that after only a year of the thing being on the market, players were already at rank 50 and pulling no scopes out of the shadows.

The game was a gateway online multiplayer giant for me, and would be the cause of my competitive nature when Halo 4 was released. It had been five solid years since Halo 3 was released, and only two since Halo Reach dropped into stores. I was much more prepared for Reach then I was for 3, but ultimately felt very restricted by the nothingness of the game.

Halo 4 revived my interest in Halo by bringing back the Battle Rifle (Thank GOD), as well as an entire arsenal of Halo 3 desired guns. Not only this, but it brought Master Chief back onto my 360 after more than five years of absence. I truly enjoyed hearing the Chief and Cortana’s voice in sync once again while I popped Covenant heads.

1) Gears of War 2

Image Credit: Microsoft

I told myself I wouldn’t make this a contest, but it’s a bit difficult to not pick favorites. When I first borrowed Gears of War from a friend back in ‘08, I absolutely hated its game play. I couldn’t settle into cover-based shooting mechanics, and even worse, I hated how clunky player movement felt.

So it surprised me a great deal when I picked up the Game of the Year Edition of Gears of War 2, complete with all available DLC, and instantly fell in love with horde mode. Not only this, but the single player campaign was unlike any game that I’ve ever played before. Alongside Marcus Fenix, we traversed all over the planet of Sera and beneath its surface into the Locust-infested Hollow, where we battled seemingly endless hordes of Brumaks and Creepers.

Not only this, but multiplayer was solid and had a steep learning curve for those who wanted a game with skill. When I first began playing its multiplayer, I consistently ended matches with 0.3 and 0.6 Kill/Death ratios. Needless to say, I had a sour taste in my mouth about Gears 2 for a while.

But through some tough training sessions, alongside dozens of games, I pushed my ratio to an impressive 2.0. Without a doubt, Gear sod War 2 will forever hold a special place in my cold, dark soul.

These games were my highlights of this generation, effectively marking a signal of my life as a gamer in my late teens. As we move on forward into next gen, my 20’s shall receive new enlightenment, and hopefully, as much happiness with shooters as the previous generation.

I’d love to hear your comments below.

Featured Image Credit: Photos.com

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