Three First-Person Shooters to Watch from E3 2014

Three First-Person Shooters to Watch from E3 2014

Last updated on August 7th, 2015

Tired of gray spaces and boring places? Check out these new FPS IPs!


In a video game genre dominated by sequels and iterations that often look identical to one another in their gray drabness, standing out from the crowd can be a tall order.

Luckily, developers and publishers seem to have realized that gamers are thirsty for new and unique first-person shooter experiences. And though there will always be a place for the classic military shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, some developers are betting big on original ideas and new IPs to pave the way for the next generation of first-person shooters.

The list below details three new IPs from developers old and young that are taking original and impressive approaches to the beloved genre in order to break the mold.


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DESTINY

Originally described as “Borderlands meets Journey by way of Halo,” Destiny exploded into fans’ imaginations last year and has been the talk of the first-person shooter scene ever since. Fan-favorite Halo developer Bungie’s newest offering was the center piece of the Sony Press Conference, and for good reason. Set in an expansive new science fiction universe, players are cast as one of the last guardians of a war-torn Earth and tasked with its protection from an onslaught of alien enemies determined to wipe out mankind.

Across the myriad of open worlds Bungie has created for this game, players must explore untamed wilderness, acquire more powerful weapons and abilities, and establish their legend as the planet’s protector. Every character trait, piece of gear, and hard-won victory serve to make your character unique and truly yours in the world of Destiny. But players won’t have to undertake this difficult journey alone. In addition to competitive multiplayer, players will be able to fight together throughout a multitude of scenarios and worlds, which Bungie has plans to improve and expand over the next several years.

To call this game “ambitious” is an understatement. With a reported budget exceeding that of even the most popular summer blockbusters, this shooter combines MMO RPG elements with the time-tested gameplay mechanics of Halo to create what some are touting as the biggest entertainment launch in history. With an impressive pedigree and even more impressive technology behind it, here’s hoping this one lives up to the hype.


 

NO MAN’S SKY

For many people interested in the video game industry, independent games without the backing of major studios – no matter how excellent – are usually regarded as relatively minor offerings. Indies are small productions that can’t compete with the time and money provided by big corporations, right? Well, the four-man development team behind No Man’s Sky is out to challenge that assumption. With its mind-blowing scope, unique visual style, and a bucket of polish, No Man’s Sky is a first person explorative flight simulator/shooter hybrid that demands onlookers sit up and take notice.

Developer Hello Games touts No Man’s Sky as a “science fiction game set in an infinite procedurally generated universe.” So, what does that mean for you and me? It means a limitless amount of worlds to see and explore across the darkest reaches of outer space. Think Star Trek, with more thrilling dog fights and less William Shatner. But the uncharted void of the universe is rife with dangers and enemies eager to rob you in a moment of your most precious achievements. As players discover new planets, they will uncover resources and information to improve their abilities, spaceship, and equipment.

Beyond the more typical game characteristics listed above and its unique approach to them, No Man’s Sky seems fueled by an even greater ambition: to allow players to see things they never have before. This is a bold mission, of course. But more than its style, mechanics, or budget, reinvigorating the industry with a true sense of wonder may be this game’s greatest achievement.


 


 

EVOLVE

Fans of Left 4 Dead will be very familiar with the premise of Evolve: a group of four players take on insurmountable odds, guns blazing and spirits wavering. But the team behind Evolve, which also worked on that seminal zombie-slaughter classic, has turned that formula on its head. Instead of an army of undead, players are tasked with the elimination of a single enemy: an ultra-powerful monster. Aside from a plethora of natural advantages – including the ability to evolve as a game round progresses – the creature is also controlled by a fifth player who is in turn tasked with the annihilation of his or her pursuers. It’s like getting to be the unstoppable Tank in Left 4 Dead, except all of the time.

In turn, each of the hunters is armed to the teeth with an arsenal of class-specific weapons and powers. The four distinct classes – assault, trapper, medic, and support – each have a role to play in helping take down the formidable behemoth before it can grow in size and power.  But who wins any given match depends on the skill and strategy of the hunter and the hunted. If the four players do not work together, the odds are in the monster’s favor. If the beast does not eat the local fauna to fuel its evolution, then the hunters will find their prey an easy mark. Tug of war has never been so intense.

Whatever side of the battle you end up on, the game is a whirlwind of beasts, blood and bullets. Non-stop energy and simultaneously cooperative and competitive gameplay make this game truly unique among first-person shooters. And though Evolve sets players loose in futuristic sci-fi worlds to stalk monstrous alien creatures, its design is almost primitive. It tugs at our ancient human impulse to hunt and slay dangerous prey; prey, which in this gleefully sadistic case, happens to be our friends.


 

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Devin is a geek culture enthusiast of the highest order and the writer and narrator of the A Knight Adrift dark fantasy adventure podcast. His many interests include cooking for his wife, head-butting his cat, and obsessing over Dark Souls. He is currently working up the nerve to develop a video game, but it might be a while.

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