Shooters have become a rather overdone genre in modern gaming. Seems like there’s a new one released every time you turn around. They’re not all good, though. In fact, some of them are just plain garbage. A lot of them are released just to hop onto the multiplayer train, without ever considering the fact that most people are going to ultimately stick to your Battlefields or your Call of Duties for an online shooter experience, and abandon your game after about a week of playing it. They put so much effort into this multiplayer, that no one’s going to play for very long, that the single player campaign suffers heavily for it. Here are five single player campaigns developers should take cues from when they’re developing a shooter, so that even when the online lobbies dry up, we can still have fun with them*:
*Minor spoiler warning. Be careful if you haven’t played these games yet. Although if you haven’t… what have you been doing?
#5: Perfect Dark (Nintendo 64, Xbox 360 [HD Remake])
The recent HD remake of Rare’s classic shooter for the Nintendo 64 proves that this game wasn’t just a product of its time. Perfect Dark unquestionably started off as a rip-off of Goldeneye 64. Playing as a spy? Check. A handful of gadgets to use alongside your standard weapons? Check. 3 difficulty levels, each with a more difficult AI to contend with, and more objectives to complete in the missions? Check. End-of-the-game unlockables based on which difficulty you’ve done the missions on? Check. But while it may have started off as a simple rip-off, Perfect Dark became so much more. The plot quickly twists to involve a clone of the president, two species of alien, interstellar war (not really involving humans other than you, though), and a trip to another planet. 007 never had any of that. It also boasted a fairly robust multiplayer, but we’re not talking about multiplayer, so shhhh! Perfect Dark was one of the few games that existed in that era where you played as a gun-toting female protagonist, (and there haven’t really been very many since), so it gets extra points for shattering accepted gender roles, as well. Despite attempting a realistic look, which means that the original game now resembles a rhinoceros after a fall from a banana tree (what I mean is it looks bad), it’s still an extremely fun game, although it must be said, that odd controller design was not very well optimized for shooters.