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My favourite 5 old school FPS campaigns – Reader’s Feature

Far Cry – forgotten beginnings (pic: Ubisoft)

A reader looks back at his favourite story modes from older first person shooters, including Black and the first Far Cry.

I do foray into the world of online multiplayer now and again, but not too often as, to be frank, I’m not very good, at least when compared to other gamers. I blame my age. However, I haven’t given up on the genre entirely, and am tempted by a title if it has a solid campaign mode. So I thought I’d take this as a basis for a Reader’s Feature and pick out my favourite first person shooter campaigns. So, in no particular order, my five favourite first person shooter campaigns.

Far Cry (2004)

Yes, I appreciate the series has developed over the years (and changed developer), with Far Cry 3 being a particular standout, but there was something about the original that has a place in my heart. The level design, although not open world, gave you enough room to tackle areas in various ways and the visuals were great for their time. No surprise the team went on to Crysis using a version of the same engine. The exotic setting was a virtual breath of fresh air and although the latter part with mutants was a bit odd, I feel this is a first person shooter that often gets overlooked as an all-time classic.

GoldenEye 007 (1997)

I never really played multiplayer on my N64, so didn’t enjoy those shenanigans that people talk about when discussing this title, but the campaign on its own was fantastic. Sound and music often get underplayed and/or overlooked in reviews and retrospectives but this excelled in both sound design and subtle Bond themes throughout the stages. The accompanying gameplay was no slouch either, with a satisfying balance of challenge and playability. As influential as the likes of Doom and Halo in my eyes.

Deus Ex (2000)

I was in two minds of whether to include this as it has quite strong role-playing game elements compared to the other games on my list, but as a large proportion of the game is shooting stuff from a first person perspective, in it goes. Often touted as one of the best games ever made and with good reason. Unfortunately, the series has had diminishing returns in terms of quality, but starting from such a high water mark the follow-up titles are still solid. Although no doubt influenced by the likes of Half-Life and GoldenEye, this went on to be influential in its own right for its game design, multiple ways of playing, and interesting (if a bit cliched) story.

Half-Life 2 (2004)

I could’ve gone with the original Half-Life but this turns that up to 11. Mixing great gunplay, new weapons, physics puzzles and solid driving sections with an engaging story, likeable characters, and cool stage design. This was greater than the sum of its parts and lead the way, along with Deus Ex, in that a good shooter campaign didn’t have to be all about run and gun.

Black (2006)

Now I’m first to admit, I can’t think of anything new this brings to the table, other than maybe destructible scenery, but I’m pretty sure that was done before. However, it gets the most important factor of any shooter – gunplay – spot on. Criterion did an excellent job with this title, it just ‘felt’ great to play and although it’s not held up as a classic like the other games on this list, my view is that it deserves its place. The visuals and sound made the action visceral, it just did the basics right. The developer made their name in driving games so I assume that’s why they never revisited this IP, which is a shame but there you go.

Honourable mentions: Halo (2001), Doom (1993), Bioshock (2007), Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007), Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014), and Titanfall 2 (2016)

By reader TheTruthSoul (PSN ID)

PS: Any recommendations for solid first person shooter campaigns, old or new, would be appreciated. I already have Metro Exodus on my radar.

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.

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