Shooting games present a world in which the character must shoot their way out of dangerous situations. They provide the player with an array of weapons tailored to specific tasks. This unavoidably involves a combination of fisticuffs and gun based fighting that dictates the violent nature of these experiences. Beneath this harsh exterior though is often an intricate tactile game - and this is usually what drives the player.
Shooting games usually comprise of a campaign mode (where the player works through a story) and multiplayer mode (where the player tries to out shoot other players before they themselves get shot).
First Person shooting such as Halo 3 360 are viewed through the eyes of the in-game character. Players can freely run around the environment working their way through each level. As graphics have improved these games are now able to render realistic renderings of the game world, endowing the player with an added sense of immersion.
Third Person shooting such as Fracture 360 or Uncharted: Drake's Fortune PS3 are played over the shoulder of the game character. Becuase the player is in view these games provide more hand-to-hand combat sections, and often enable them to hide behind cover.
On Rails shooting games give the player control over the direction of the gun but not the movement of the character. Like the lightgun based shooting games of old, they are taken down a preset path and tasked with shooting the various enemies as they pop-up. This is the videogaming equivalent of a shooting range.
Shoot 'em ups place the player in some craft or spaceship as they travel through a sideways scrolling environment. The play controls the flight of their craft, while the game automatically scrolls sideways. These games date back to classic arcade games such as the original Space Invaders. More recently games such as Ikarigua Gamecube have focused on dodging bullets as much as shooting. Players develop their reactions and bullet grazing (read: dodging) skills to progress through levels littered with munitions.
BioShock Infinite is the much anticipated first-person shooting video-game that follows up Irrational Games' breakout success with the original Bioshock. Beautiful visuals, pitch perfect audio and intelligent level design create a world you'll want to explore. That is to say, to the untrained eye this looks and feels like any other video-games released this year... read now
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel promises to bring even more big-action gaming to local co-operative play as well as online support. It's unlikely to be genre-busting, but it should be an exciting ride... read now
Gears of War: Judgement is a return to the exciting and ultra-violent shooter series that earned a place alongside HALO in defining the Xbox 360 experience. A bigger co-op opportunity and improved replayablity could make this an instant classic... read now
Alien Breed is a cult classic, a gem of a survival shooter from the 1990's and regarded as among the best games ever released for the Amiga. By me, at least. In spite of the flashy update already released for PS3, this is the version I've been longing to see... read now
Defiance is a new multiplayer shooter, designed to coincide with and run alongside a new Sci-Fi TV show. As the actors step into their roles and the game's details emerge, just what kind of game is this taking shape to be?.. read now
The demo feature recently added to the Wii Shop channel is brilliant. Harking back to the days of demo CD-ROM on the front of magazines, it feels like we haven't had much of a chance to play free tasters of console games in a long time. Even though buying retail means you have more tangible evidence to consider pre-purchase, it's not like you actually know whether you're going to enjoy the game until you play it. However, the virtual distance when shelling out real money for digital points on games that have no physical presence means that getting to try before you buy is even more important, and I'm actually really excited that Nintendo have finally given us this chance... read now
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the latest in the popular Splinter Cell series. In this episode of FamilyGamerTV, we talk to Creative Director Max Bleland about the suitability of Splinter Cell: Blacklist's content, the importance of appropriate age ratings and possible future directions for the character... watch now
Guxt was once another Indie PC title from the one-man game creator that gave us Cave Story. Following the success of bringing an updated Cave Story to the 3DS, Guxt is next in line to appear, taking advantage of the 3DS' wide display... read now
Dead Space 3's announcement of a co-op story mode throughout the entire game will be mixed news. Anyone who has played Resident Evil 5 will know it isn't necessarily a recipe for a great game. But, at least Resi 5 was an experience my partner and I could enjoy together... read now
When Halo: Combat Evolved was released on Xbox in November 2001, it blew everything else away. Ten years later, after many sequels and spin-offs and millions of units sold, 343 Industries go back to where it all began with Halo: Anniversary... read now
Spec Ops: The Line 360 has a wildly implausible premise, but uses it as the basis for a thoughtful, almost allegorical story that's a cut above the patriotic bluster of most contemporary shooters... read now
Rebecca Mayes reviews Halo with her live performance at our theatre show. She weaves a fascinating response to the game pulling in not only her experience of playing, but the classic Halo chord theme... watch now
Halo Anniversary 360 polishes the visuals of the original game to an HD standard, but keeps the gameplay underneath intact. This authenticity is admirable, even when it preserves some of the game's flaws... read now
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
What sort of gamer are you?
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: