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Top 10 FPS Games Ahead of Their Time
10. Perfect Dark
Starting off our list is a revolutionary shooter that has even modern shooters outpaced. Perfect Dark introduced what we now know as competitive multiplayer, except this time around it felt right. As James Bond was taking over consoles at the time with the release of Goldeneye; Perfect Dark was composed off all of the magic that made Goldeneye so special. With dozens of original guns (the wall mounting laptop assault rifle is unparalleled), Intricately designed levels, challenging AI, as well as many different characters with customization options to boot; this game was hard to knock. Gamer's didn't have trouble passing it by in the stores though, as the game was trumped by 007 Goldeneye and collected dust even with its notable review scores.
9. Half Life
In 1998, Valve Studios sought to create a unique experience that was unmatched surrounding other FPS games at the time, this game was Half Life. In a very crucial era for FPS games, Half Life took leaps and bounds to bring a new feel to the forefront of gaming, merging puzzle quests with suspenseful firefights. With its linear level structure and distinct environments it seems this visual gem would be in every devout gamer's library. Instead, this game was overlooked as a clone of what was already on the market in terms of FPS games, and its half life was sadly decreased.
8. Area 51
In the prime time of great game releases (Doom 3, Halo 3) Area 51 was deemed a dud and supposedly fell short in almost all categories that make a game significant. It featured a protagonist named Ethan who was a HAZMAT operative assessing a virus that plagued the famed location known as Area 51. What makes this game ahead of its time is the fact that, despite being born surrounded by stars, it still fit in and had minor faults that earned it its bad rap. The game featured immersive gameplay that found a medium between an arcade style shooter and a survival horror while including a multiplayer that spanned many modes with well thought out maps and 16 player battles. It may just be a conspiracy, but there was more to this game than the reviewers made it up to be.
7. OddWorld: Strangers Wrath
Platform: Xbox, PS2
After the release of the highly successful Abes Exoddus and then the less successful Munch's Odyssey, Strangers Wrath rolled past us all like a tumbleweed in July. Featuring an interesting protagonist (who turns out to be some kind of man horse), Strangers Wrath takes place following the events of Munch's Odyssey and fortunately this time, nails the 3D gameplay. Taking players from desert wastelands shooting what looks like baby skunks at a boss named "Joe's Mama", to saving the natives from outlaws, this game could of taken game of the year. The gameplay was entirely original featuring mechanics never introduced to an FPS that somehow felt fitting. Blending the excitement of a fast paced open world adventure, with the intricacies of a strategic FPS, Strangers Wrath was too much for our barbaric minds at the time. Good thing it was re-released with a deserving, better review on the PSVita.
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
This visual masterpiece that was created by id Software portrayed a post-apocalyptic open world that was destroyed by an asteroid. This game; unlike the others mentioned here is not just an FPS game, but also an immersive racing game that feels like Dirt and Twisted Metal had a baby. With armored vehicles, loads of guns to customize, upgrading system and many side quests to conquer; it seems that this game had it all to keep you stowed away in your room until you became a potato. That was the problem though, according to many different unbiased reviews; the game had so much content that it was much too easy to get lost in quests and give up. Having access to the open world without much direction wasn't a new thing at the time though. it just seems that a game with so much new content and no direction confused many gamer's. Still earning high reviews from a few trusted sites (Gamespot, IGN) Rage was short lived and not understood well enough for its time.
5. Red Faction
Taking place in the mines of Mars lies a game that altered the way you play traditional FPS games. One of the most impressive features of Red Faction is the geological modifications that differ depending on what you shot or threw at it. There aren't many other games that allow you to shoot a cave in a wall to wait for unsuspecting victims; especially online. With maps that are constantly changing, this games 32 player multiplayer mode stood out from the rest. The campaign wasn't too well laid out but the developers excelled at what they intended for; a destructive FPS experience. Upon its release the game did surprisingly well but as with others mentioned above; it slowly became non existent on the game rack of most FPS gamer's. Even today there are not many games comparable to the interactive destruction that is Red Faction. Maybe it will be re-released by the time we land on mars!
Platform: Xbox 360
Imagine a world beyond earth filled with dinosaurs, giant spiders, scorpions and an evil corporation. Than go to Amazon and buy the decade old, Turok. Turok is an exhilarating game that puts you in the shoes of the space marine Turok who has just crash landed on an unknowingly inhabited planet. Not only does this game have a great story but the NPC's are all interesting and the environmental graphics along with character models were nothing short of gorgeous. At its time; it was respected by many but not owned by many. Upon its time of release owners were soaking in the smooth multiplayer experience that was introduced with other Xbox 360 titles and left Turok in the Jurassic period. Hopefully someday soon an archaeologist will find this relic deep in the earths crust and remake it for the newest generation of consoles.
3. Mirrors Edge
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
In Mirrors Edge you play as Faith. She is a nimble parkour athlete who runs from point A to point B, jumping and maneuvering around armed troops and over roof tops. That may seem like a concept that would fall short in all aspects because, lets face it. If your'e an avid gamer chances are you don't love running; especially enough to want to simulate it while you sit down. Unlike what most expected; Mirrors Edge is a simple yet remarkable game that's based on keeping momentum and conspiracy. Those who went as far as to buy Mirrors Edge would most likely agree that this was a game changer. It may not be a shooter but it keeps you in the first person perspective allowing you to feel the intensity of trying to make the jump between two roofs while being tailed by armed guards. Maybe Faith will wall run her way to Xbox One and PS4 and receive her deserved attention.
Platform: Xbox One
Ah yes, TitanFall; a personal favorite. Titanfall is an FPS masterpiece that envisioned a world where campaigns took place online and did not consist of traditional level or story design. Each level of the campaign was an online multiplayer match that pitted you against the opposing team with the opportunity to switch sides afterwords to experience the battle from both sides. This multi-perspective online campaign frustrated many and steered most gamer's in the opposite direction. Featuring wall running that is unmatched even today as newer games try to follow suit, there is also the opportunity to pilot a giant armored robot and pummel your enemies. The fluidity of the fast paced action felt so next gen that it should have been called future-gen when it was released. If you have a few bucks to spare it is highly recommended that you enjoy what you're life has been lacking.
1. Star Wars: Republic Commando
Taking first on this list is a game from a galaxy, far, far away. With the absence of Jedi's and the entering of a dark, new experience is Republic Commando. This Star Wars game focused on an elite squad and put you in their shoes as they strategically embark on operations spanning vast worlds across the Star Wars universe. Unlike other Star Wars games, Republic Commando was a military style shooter that relied heavily on commands and teamwork which is the opposite route of most Star Wars titles. Without Jedi's and intense X-Wing fighter battles this game seemed to disappoint many gamer's and went unnoticed. If you have ever played Republic Commando than you more than likely understand why it is #1 on this list.
With so many options..
What should have been #1?
© 2015 Jake Mally