Today’s feature is the Top Five Shooters of 2014 – The year of 2014 was a great one for gamers. While it lacked the grandiose releases of a Grand Theft Auto and two new consoles, it was a solid year overall. Gamers around the world hacked into Chicago, tried to survive against impossible odds, joined each other online to take down raid bosses, replayed remastered versions of older games, and collectively wondered how many triple A titles could launch with broken parts. Join us as we begin to rank the top games genre by genre, leading up to the overall game of the year. Twice a week we will release a list of the top five shooters, RPGs, handheld games, and so on.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare– The campaign is another corridor shooter, the game’s feature is exo-movement but punishes you for doing so online, and the multiplayer itself remains as frustrating as ever. But man, Kevin Spacey! Being cast as the villain, Spacey is given plenty of screen time to deliver monologues with that charismatic voice, that unflinching stare, and the ability to intimidate you into submission. Spacey redeems another monotonous hallway of set pieces and thoughtless gameplay. The “classic” multiplayer playlist allows you to resume the old strategy of map control. And despite the urge to double jump everywhere, it will result in quick deaths due to the speed at which guns can put you down. Pick 13 is forgettable and the perks are becoming more needlessly complex than ever. Four separate perks to accomplish what cold-blooded did in Modern Warfare 2? No thank you sir.
Borderlands The Pre-sequel– You can expect three things from every Borderlands game: a ton of guns, heavy RPG elements, and a comedic script. Borderlands The Pre-sequel brings all of these to the table along with a new setting with low gravity, O2 mechanics for traversal and combat, laser weapons and Claptrap as a playable character. While it may not be Borderlands 3 or a giant iteration upon Borderlands 2, it is another solid entry for the series. Being handled by 2K Australia, the game doesn’t feel much different from Gearbox’s titles. The humor remains the same and so do the pop-in textures whenever you load into a new area.
Titanfall– touted as the next big step for online multiplayer games, Titanfall was actually more of a light shuffle forward. The limitless sprinting, wall-running, and double jumping mechanics all made for good fast paced combat. But the community lost interest soon after release. The single player was non-existent and only present so you could unlock a new Titan armor type by playing through pre-set matches. Regular online games themselves were great, and the balance between pilots, Titans, and AI team members is still impressive. All of the offensive options and counters pilots and Titans have work cohesively together so that neither side is truly outmatched by the other. Maps pushed vertical traversal and it is a shame the game is not that populated anymore. That fact is especially disappointing when you compare the game to its rival Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, which is currently the bestselling video game of 2014. Meanwhile Titanfall’s sales were at the top of the charts in March, but Microsoft and EA have been mute on releasing any solid numbers.
Wolfenstein The New Order– Being one of the only games that did something emotional narratively, Wolfenstein surprised a lot of people upon release. The opening sequence is not a good representation of the game as a whole however. The New Order is about a soldier suffering from a tough decision, mental wounds, and waking up in a world overtaken by his enemy. Frequently you’ll hear whispers as Blazkowicz muses over previous actions and situations. He is haunted by a terrible choice forced upon him, as well as the tragedies that occur in all wars. The gameplay is stellar, with stealth a very valid and very satisfying option. The game is also decidedly old school with health and armor pickups, and even a weapon wheel; but none of it felt archaic. While the game felt a bit long and the pacing slowed a few times, the overall tale told pushes those complaints to the side.
Far Cry 4– when it comes to quality gameplay across the board, Far Cry 4 is your best bet. Kyrat is yours to roam, with not only enemy outposts and radio towers, but animals to hunt, fortresses to redeem, rebels to save and hostages to free. You can pursue a serial killer’s trail of dead bodies, defend injured comrades from vicious honey badger attacks, and ride an elephant into an enemy outpost. You can purchase an automatic crossbow and say goodbye to open combat, or gather bait to lure predators to kill everyone for you. The skill tree has been simplified and while the narrative is nothing special you don’t have to pay any attention to it in order to have fun. Far Cry 4 is a huge map of to do items. While you may grow tired of repeating the same old situations, you will frequently find yourself returning to Kyrat to fly a gyrocopter above enemy convoys, grenade launcher in hand, in order to rain down hell. That is Far Cry 4, and that is why it wins top spot as the best shooter in 2014.
And those are the Top Five Shooters of 2014! You can always voice your own opinion in the comments about what your favorite shooter was, whether it was Halo The Master Chief Collection, Destiny, or something completely different. And continue to check back for more Top Five lists as the month goes on, with overall game of the year premiering in the first week of January. Next will be the Top Five Action Titles of 2014.