Opinion: Four Crazy First-Person Shooters You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
When it comes to the astronomical sales and public profile notched up by the likes of Call Of Duty and Battlefield, it’s clear that the first-person shooter has never been bigger. It’s also never been more boring.
For a genre that burst into life with exciting, schlocky and colourful fare like Wolfenstein and Doom, and in the late ’90s teemed with bonkers and brilliant titles fighting to out-do each other in the crazy stakes, it seems tragic that so many modern FPS experiences are utterly devoid of inspiration, humour and life.
You can keep your oh-so serious, set-piece heavy slogs of gritty brown-and-grey warfare. In terms of gameplay, plot and experience they’re all equally tedious and drab, with each series merely pumping out more of the same slick, soulless dreck every year.
No, this article is here to celebrate the FPS games that have really dared to be different, tossing aside the straight-faced and the mundane and edging into territory so weird that they skirt a fine-line between certifiably outrageous and inspirational genius.
Without further ado, here are four first-person shooters – past and present – that proved anything but dull:
Imagine the story of Under Siege, only featuring a crashed spacecraft and enemies marginally more outlandish than Gary Busey and Tommy Lee Jones, and you’re half-way towards grasping the sheer sci-fi lunacy of this mental mid-90s game.
PO’ed cast you as the resident chef aboard a galaxy-faring spaceship, which crash-landed on an alien planet and promptly found itself at the mercy of hordes of evil, bloodthirsty creatures. Some of which looked like ass.
As you were a cook rather than a marine, you had to make do with kitchen apparatus to battle these ugly little bastards, until you finally got your hands on some properly destructive weapons.
Still, if the idea of battering walking sexual organs with a frying pan doesn’t already strike you as thrillingly off-the-wall, it’s worth bearing in mind that PO’ed also featured fabulously strange and bizarre levels, full of mind-bending architecture and weird splurges of colour that made you feel like you were experiencing the world’s most intense LSD trip.
It also saw fit to trump Doom by giving you a nifty jetpack, allowing you to traverse the title’s insane environments in style. And that’s before we even get on to talking about the barmy Easter Eggs and secrets. Elvis on a meat hook anybody?
Wow. Where do we even start with this one? As an example of the most delirious madness Japanese gaming has to offer, GalGun has it all.
Scantily-clad, sexualized schoolgirls? Check. Weird tentacle monsters? Check. Copious upskirts? Check.
Just take a look at this report from 2010′s Tokyo Game Show, and you’ll have some idea of what we’re dealing with:
So, what in the name of Zeus’s butthole was all that about?
Well, it just so happens the game casts you as a boy who gets shot full of Cupid’s Arrows, rendering you so goddamn irresistible to all the horny girls at your school that you have to blast them with ‘pheremone shots’ to keep them at bay. Or else there’ll presumably jump your adolescent bones and hump you to death like randy sex-zombies.
Basically, it’s like every Lynx advert you’ve ever seen, although instead of willingly attracting all the women you’re beating them away with a love-powered stick, causing them to drop to the floor in a cascade of hearts and LOADS of orgasmic moaning. Yeah.
Just in case you were wondering, GalGun is currently available on Xbox360 and PS3. So if you thought that all hope was lost for the modern-day shooter – think again.
One of the most ingeniously unusual games from the whole post-Quake explosion in the late ’90s, PowerSlave may sound like some kind of weird S&M simulation, but it was actually a genuinely cool action title which spliced 20th century technology and weapons with ancient Egyptian mythology and magic.
Known as Exhumed in Europe, it saw you taking on giant insects, dog-headed beasts and mummies amid the unconventional backdrops of sand-swept tombs, temples and ornate chambers, armed with everything from pistols and machine guns to mystical armaments such as the ‘Ring of Ra’.
The monsters were great, the mixture of brawny firearms and explosive sorcery was awesome, and the whole backdrop and setting was so far-removed from the rest of the FPS crop that you could only sit back and marvel at the mad-cap genius of the development team.
Super 3D Noah’s Ark
We shit you not – this is completely, 100% real.
Released for the SNES in 1994 by bible-bashing game company Wisdom Tree (other titles include ‘Sunday Funday’ and ‘Heaven Bound’), this Wolfenstein 3D clone is a first-person shooter without the shooting, replacing bullets with food, and Nazis with goats.
You play Noah, owner of the world’s most crowded and crap-caked boat, who has found that sticking two of every animal on the planet into one ship really isn’t the easiest task to handle – even when he’s actually rounded up the critters and shoved them on board.
Condemned to wander the decks feeding the ungrateful bastards before they decide to eat you instead, you make your way around the Ark launching food at the animals to send them to sleep, and stop them running up and crunching your tasty, meaty legs.
Just look at it, and tell me it’s not a thing of beauty:
Sod Halo 4. You all know that Super 3D Noah’s Ark is where it’s at…