I’ve never had a religious experience in the traditional sense of the phrase, but the first time I powerslided across a level in Vanquish felt remarkably close to how people describe such sensations. What initially seems to be a hilarious movement system gimmick soon proves to be the backbone of an absurdly wonderful action experience that never asks you to slow down for longer than is strictly necessary. Though Vanquish sometimes feels like a proof of concept for a more substantial experience, it’s just a ridicolously fun time. – MB
Though there have certainly been popular multiplayer third-person shooter games, you’re not alone if your mind jumps to first-person shooters when you think of the biggest competitive multiplayer titles. The first-person perspective often lends itself to an inherently more competitive, skill-based experience. Well, Fortnite isn’t just the most notable exception to that trend; it’s a game that practically built its considerable empire on the back of the advantages of that perspective.
Specifically, Fortnite got a lot of mileage (and money) out of being able to see your character, how they look, and what they’re doing. Skins and other cosmetics have long been prized in multiplayer games, but Fortnite turned the enhanced visual access you get from that perspective into a culture. Perhaps more importantly, Fortnite’s third-person perspective better allowed for the game’s iconic “build” gameplay, a variety of special events, and a massive influx of personality while leaving just enough room open for a genuinely competitive atmosphere. – MB
15. Binary Domain
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has become a household name as of late. This in-house development branch of Sega has gone through several names and has helped steer the Yakuza franchise to prominence ever since Yakuza 5. However, before the studio released that game, it developed its only third-person shooter, Binary Domain.
In Binary Domain, players command a squad of allies in order to uncover a conspiracy revolving around rogue robots that can disguise themselves as human. What unfolds is an action-packed shooter where players fight through waves of androids and other weaponized machines. While the shooting is as you’d expect from a cover shooter, Binary Domain stands out thanks to a dynamic AI system that makes enemies react to where they’re shot. Cripple their legs, and they start crawling towards you. Knock their head off, and the robots start firing blindly, potentially hitting their allies. Moreover, Binary Domain really hammers its reliance on squad shooter mechanics. Not only do players need to provide smart commands in order to survive, but many interactions affect in-game relationships, which impact the ending. If it weren’t for Terminator: Resistance, Binary Domain would be the best Terminator game out there despite having no connection to the IP. – AG
14. Earth Defense Force
Sometimes, you just have the urge to watch a fun, stupid movie that lets you turn your brain off and enjoy the spectacle. Earth Defense Force is that very kind of video game.