Still one of the most lucrative and popular strands of the video game industry, shooting games have evolved from cheesy 2D side scrollers into an unri
Still one of the most lucrative and popular strands of the video game industry, shooting games have evolved from cheesy 2D side scrollers into an unrivalled collection of groundbreaking titles that offer adrenaline-pumping bursts and breathtaking moments of action. With polished mechanics, smooth graphics, passionate communities and hyper-competitive skill ceilings, here are some of the top titles that offer that special feeling of adventure right from the comfort of your home.
Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of the likes of World of Warcraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, began their first ever foray into the world of first person shooters with the release of Overwatch in October 2015.
Featuring vibrant visuals courtesy of Jeff Kaplan, the game sees two teams of six pick from a large group of characters known as ‘heroes’ fighting it out across a variety of maps. And it is this hero system that has enabled Overwatch to have the legacy and impact it enjoys today, with each and every hero having their own unique skill sets, items, moves and abilities. Heroes are divided into three different classes: Tanks which can absorb vast amounts of damage, Supports which can heal and buff their teammates and Damages which deal the bulk of attacks in a game. This format helps support a skill ceiling that rewards the teams with the best teamwork and communication, and has created a FPS game that feels more dynamic than most others in the market.
The game is set in a near-future setting where technological advancements have changed the landscape of both the weapons available to use and the settings teams can play on. Most of the maps have a fun cartoony feel to them, allowing for a good degree of escapism, and the objective of taking or defending the various control points across portions of the map really help sell the feeling of being on a journey or adventure whenever you land on the server.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) was released back in August 2012 by Valve Corporation as the fourth major instalment in their flagship FPS series. Counter-Strike has always had a strong standing within the shooter community of video games, and CS:GO was designed to be the spiritual unifier of two of its predecessors, CS 1.6 and Counter-Strike: Source, both of which had equally passionate followings.
CS:GO’s primary game mode, Defusal, revolves around two teams of five players taking control of either the Terrorist (T) or Counter-Terrorist (CT) forces on any one of a number of carefully designed competitive maps to carry out various objectives in a race to win a best of thirty format. Rounds last 1:55 and see Terrorists attempt to plant and defend bombs planted at one of two bombsites located on the map, and Counter-Terrorists subsequently attempting to defend these sites from the opposing team before the sides are swapped in the second half.
CS:GO has a notoriously high skill ceiling and emphasises communication, team work, strategy, planning and short sharp bursts of action. Teams are given an economy each round they have to carefully manage, there are various bits of utility and weaponry they can pick to help get ahead of a round, and the hyper-competitive nature of the game has made CS:GO betting an exciting venture for passionate fans to take their experience to the next level with.
Call of Duty: Warzone
The most recent title to date on this list having only been released in March 2020, Warzone is technically a part of the 2019 title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but it nevertheless stands as a unique and interesting chapter in Activision’s FPS franchise.
Noting the success of games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Call of Duty: Warzone marks Activision’s most serious attempt to break into the lucrative world of battle royale shooters. Players can play with anywhere between 150-200 players online in the server, and the game really emphasises the need to accumulate the in-game currency (known creatively as ‘Cash’) to equip themselves with better gear and equipment. Warzone is also unique through its introduction of the ‘Gulags’ as a way of players being able to cheat death and get another shot on the battleground by engaging in a quick 1-on-1 fight against another dead opponent.
According to Activision, Call of Duty: Warzone had surpassed the 60 million download mark just two months after release and has more than 85 million active users as of the beginning of January 2021. The game naturally has a strong presence on online streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv, and has helped birth new forms of virtual betting and wagering at online operators such as Unikrn.com.