Best of 2013
When all of us are dead and gone, shooting games will most likely live on. As one of the most popular genres in the industry, developers can't stop making them, and the public can't stop buying them.
With the advent of new consoles we've seen more feature parity with the PC platform, a welcome feature that will no doubt benefit shooters going forward. So without further ado, here are the nominees for best shooter of 2013.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
The result of all this is a deep and well crafted premise in a somewhat shallow game. Blood Dragon is well made, and thoroughly entertaining to lovers of the eighties, but in many ways, it becomes a victim of its own success -- the core ideas are so fun, so lavishly crafted, one aches to see them in a game equal to their quality. Blood Dragon is a good little game, and I highly recommend checking it out, with the caveat that it's one of those games that does a few things well enough to inadvertently highlight its own flaws.
As critical as I may be, however, I'd rather have Blood Dragon exist as it does than not exist at all. A game this delightfully stupid can only make the world a better place, and I sincerely hope this isn't the last we see of Rex Colt.
Read the full Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon review.
PAYDAY 2 is undeniably rough and needs a couple of updates to fill in a few blanks, but the thrill of robbing banks, smashing jewel cases, and cooking meth is too great for the asking price not be returned to the player in spades. If you're willing to work with a team and get involved in some delightfully chaotic situations, the world of poorly made drills and unnecessary amounts of violence is one well worth investing in.
Read the full Payday 2 review.
At five stages long, Resogun can be finished in one sitting. But it’s so lovely and inviting that you don’t mind jumping right back in. Turning up the difficulty is a great reason to come back. Add in the systems that pile on new levels of depth and you’ll find new challenges each time. And, of course, when the leaderboards go live, the top score chase will provide endless reasons to return to the loop. But I do wish that Resogun were longer.
Resogun is a satisfying arcade-style game with a next-gen look and feel -- the ideal system launch game. It’s an eye-searing blur of a loop that you’ll be happy to jump into again and again. Don’t miss it.
Read the full Resogun review.
Shadow Warrior is a great game, and, like Rise of the Triad before it, proves that the '90s era of first-person shooters can still make it in today's world. The weapons pack a punch, the graphics are great, and the personality is top-notch. Hell, there are even a few dick jokes here and there! I know you've missed those.
Read the full Shadow Warrior review.
As a game, BioShock Infinite has its successes and its falterings consistent with any suitably complex piece of interactive entertainment. As a story, as an exercise in drawing the player into a believable and relevant world, as proof of exactly what a videogame can mean to a person ...
Well, I already said it. BioShock Infinite is damn near perfect.
Read the full BioShock Infinite review.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
I like Killzone: Shadow Fall for its change of direction from previous series games, as well as its change of pace over other first-person shooters. Guerrilla has tried a few new things this time around, and should be commended as such. I welcome the almost sandbox-ish level approach, and the stealth segments did a nice job of breaking up the standard shooting action. It’s really nice when gameplay concepts win out over big set pieces and cinematic events.
Read the full Killzone: Shadow Fall review.
AFor the time being, however, this approach works -- Battlefield 4's multiplayer is strong enough to carry it. The single-player campaign isn't nearly the waste of time that it was in the last game, though it still ends up being an unnecessary inclusion. One can't help but wonder how much better Battlefield would be if DICE quit striving for back-of-the-box feature parity and concentrated its efforts entirely on multiplayer. I hope that day comes again.
Read the full Battlefield 4 review.
Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina Assault on Dragon's Keep
Looking back, although I did enjoy Captain Scarlett and Mr. Torgue, neither of them were nearly as in-depth as this DLC, which is a benchmark for future Gearbox add-ons. Although they could have stood to have gone a little farther with the concept, if you can only choose one campaign, this is easily it.
Read the full Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina Assault on Dragon's Keep review.
Metro: Last Light
However -- and it's a big however -- Last Light is also a fine game on its own, and if we're to judge it without the shadow of 2033 looming overhead, we can say it's a game packed with structurally sound combat, a rewardingly fluid narrative, and an atmosphere that runs the gamut from intriguing to chilling.
As a default experience, Metro: Last Light is a good game that forgets why Metro 2033 was a great one.
Read the full Metro: Last Light review.
Killzone: Mercenary could have stood to provide more content, but that which is on offer is all very well polished and plays almost impeccably on Sony's latest handheld venture. Distinguishing itself as the first Vita FPS to really showcase the system's strengths, this is one of those ambitious titles the system can be proud to showcase, proving that a console experience can not only work in the handheld space, but be damn fun without suffering too much in the way of compromise.
Read the full Killzone: Mercenary review.
Congrats to all the nominees! We'll be announcing the official winner on Monday, December 24.
Here's all the other nominee categories we've revealed so far:
In the mean time we want you to tell us which game this year was the best shooter.