I grew up with first person shooters. I'm old enough to have had access to Wolfenstein 3D as a young child. I played the shareware version to exhaustion, running alongside the walls while mashing the space bar looking for secrets. But it was Doom, and later Duke Nukem, that really solidified my love for first person shooters. And while I adored the more fantastic settings of demonic and alien invasions, what I loved most about these games were the weapons.
The keystone of a great FPS, in my opinion, is fun weapons. Doom had a few of these. The plasma rifle was always a blast to use when I could spare the sparse ammo. But this is where Duke Nukem excelled. Past the pistol and shotgun, Duke had a wide arsenal of unique weapons that became a standard to which I judged future games.
But, alas, after the golden age of the 90s, first person shooters seemed to become more mundane. As computers became more powerful, the simulation shooter became a genre, stealing market share from my beloved arcade shooter, which was suffering enough from the proliferation of WW2 shooters. Occasionally I would be introduced to something to sate my appetite: Time Splitters, Perfect Dark. But it took a special game to get me excited for a first person shooter.
Metro 2033 is a special game.
Before this game came out, I must admit I was interested. Science fiction themed, spiritual successor to STALKER. All good points. But the second I saw the commercial for this game, peddling that damnable exclusive DLC of a light machine SHOTGUN, I knew this game needed to be part of my life. And it didn't disappoint. Despite still having the regular machine guns, shotguns and pistols, they all had unique designs and almost reinvented each weapon. It was enough to make me abandon my typically stealthy playing style. How the hell hadn't anyone thought of a machine shotgun before? WHY ISN'T IT IN EVERY GAME? Because it ridiculous, that's why. But everything can benefit from being a little bit ridiculous. And what's more ridiculous than belt fed automatic shotguns and silenced revolvers?
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