When all the rest of the games are long gone, shooters will remain. The most enduring genre, and the most lucrative, there's nothing we like more apparently than shooting virtual things in the face, and there were plenty of games that gave us the opportunity in 2013.
"It hasn’t been a smooth launch for its multiplayer component, and the single player campaign still won’t win any awards, but the latest effort from DICE is certainly the best Battlefield experience we’ve seen for a quite a while. Thanks to a rather shiny Frostbite 3 engine, and an array of social features with Battlelog, Battlefield 4 on PC might well be one of the best multiplayer titles of the year."
"Bioshock Infinite's final moment is one that will leave the player anywhere between gobsmacked and muted, but regardless of how the game ends, its journey is a thoroughly engrossing rollercoaster ride in a crumbling, thought-provoking paradise with one of the finest AI companions ever created. Irrational strike gold yet again."
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Though something of a hot mess on last-gen console, Ghosts found its own on PS4 and Xbox One, delivering an impressively stacked content package, a ludicrously overblown singleplayer campaign (COD in spaaaace!), and a multiplayer component that fixed a number of prevailing issues, proved immediately accessible, and delivered more meaningful customisation options in terms of progression than ever before.
"Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon shows you a damn good time for map pack money. If you're seeking bombastic freeform thrills, nostalgia value and laughs aplenty, it's hard to go wrong with this quad-barrelled disasterpiece."
"Metro: Last Light is both a game that surpasses and yet falls short of its predecessor. More technically competent in a number of areas, the chilling, tense atmosphere of Glukhovsky's world has been fantastically realised yet again, and there's so much to love in a world so impressively detailed and evocatively bleak. However, Last Light is very much the Dead Space 2 to 4A's original: bigger, bolder, and brasher, but also slightly less essential."
"When played with a reliable crew, PayDay 2 is one of the most exciting cooperative games on the planet. Annoying quirks and rough edges abound, but so long as you can trust (and talk to) the criminals at your back, you'll be having far too much fun to notice."
"Stood against the best SHMUPs of this passing generation, it's not necessarily as special as it seems, helped along by being the first and only current game of its kind on the PS4. But it's a great little PS Plus pack-in for new adopters, and will no doubt please genre fans immensely on the harder difficulty settings with a purity of purpose and execution that makes for a deliciously balanced and focused slice of SHMUP action."
"Shadow Warrior is an old-school blasterpiece; an unstoppable orgy of guns, swords, secrets and gore galore that sticks two fingers up at Modern Warfare and its ilk. If you're hankering for a hefty slice of classic carnage, this slam-bang humdinger has you covered (in blood and bits of demon)."
Best Shooter 2013 | Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Bioshock Infinite tells a better story, Call of Duty: Ghosts is an accessible tour de force on next-gen consoles, and if you can get a game in Battlefield 4 you're unlikely to be disappointed, but we're going to give this year's nod to Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon for a spot of backwards-looking, forward-thinking boundary pushing.
Jon put it perfectly in his review: "[Blood Dragon] provides a few satisfying hours of fist-pounding, quad-barrelled, neon-edged, laser spewing, dragon killing, hard rocking, side splitting power-gloved fun for just £12.00. Better yet, Blood Dragon painstakingly captures the spirit of 80s blockbusters, everything from the omnipresent synth to overblown training montages. Pay attention, other AAA publishers, because this is how you deliver a proper romp without breaking the bank."
In an age of hideous industry overspend, Ubisoft quietly leveraged the outstanding tech they'd already built to deliver a strikingly capable, (not-so) little download title, bristling with triple-A production values, packed with referential laughs, and loaded with awesome action. We've clamoured for developers and publishers to break up games into pieces so we can pay for what we want -- choice at a fair price -- and Ubisoft bought into part of that.
For a small outlay, we were given a full-fat campaign, plenty of laughs and an unabashed love letter to the excessive movies that captured our imaginations back in the day. For map-pack money, we got an audacious singleplayer romp that ticked all of the right boxes and pointed the way forwards for certain parts of this industry. Blood Dragon was a no-brainer, and we can only hope that more people follow in the footsteps made by Ubisoft this year.