author: Adam Zechenter
5 Most Anticipated Single-player Shooters From My Steam Wishlist
I don't always feel like playing a huge sandbox, an elaborate RPG or a 4X strategy. Then a good, old single-player FPS is often the perfect choice for me. Here are five shooters from my Steam wishlist that I'm looking forward to the most.
Thirty years ago, shooters reigned the imagination of gamers, and as a genre, they've stood the test of time better than most of the others. From Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, through CoD and Far Cry, to Cyberpunk 2077, first-person shooters continue to attract millions of players. It's hardly surprising – first-person shooters are the essence of video games for me. They focus on gameplay, and the plot, atmosphere or graphics are often just an addition (sometimes taking the forefront) to the core mechanics, i.e. shooting. Below, you'll find five Steam shooters that piqued my interest the most recently.
RoboCop: Rogue City – a cop on steroids
Release date: September 2023
Creators: Teyon (Poland)
Teyon is an interesting studio. It was created in 2006, but it got publicity only in 2014 on the occasion of the premiere of an absolutely hopeless rail shooter. Rambo: The Video Game received a staggering 34% on Metacritic (the console version was even lower), and we weren't too excited about the game either.
However, the team did not give up and after releasing several smaller games, they return with a new shooter with a movie license. Terminator: Resistance won't be a rail shooter; it's going to be a true old-school single-player shooter crafted with due respect and awareness of the source material. It's not surprising that the game received almost twice as high marks as the unlucky Rambo.
In the fall this year, Teyon will deliver the third big shooter based on a cult-classic film franchise. This time it will be RoboCop: Rogue City. The studio has already proven that it knows a) how to learn from mistakes; and b) that they perfectly understand the action cinema of the 80s, so I am very curious to see what Teyon will cook up this time.
In Terminator, our character was weaker than cyborgs. It was part of the history of the universe and also made sense from the gameplay point of view, because it made the game challenging and defeating the T-800 horde yielded a lot of satisfaction. RoboCop, in turn, is the textbook definition of a character "on cheats" – it seems immortal and abuses the aimbot. Remember those sequences from the movies when the robo policeman deflected hails of bullets and mocked his opponents? For sure. I'm curious how the creators will translate this into an attractive gameplay, which must challenge us after all – but I appreciate the very fact that the studio undertook such an unusual task.
We should visit the dangerous streets of dystopian Detroit in the fall. I hope for dry one-liners ("Thank you for your cooperation!"), and maybe a pinch of social commentary on the causes of extreme economic stratification and the roots of crime.
- RoboCop in our encyclopedia
Forgive Me Father 2 – Cthulhu boomer
Release date: 2024?
Developers: Byte Barrel (Poland again)
When asked about my relationship with the first Forgive Me Father, the answer is: it's complicated. I loved the mix of boomer shooter and a Lovecraftian horror. Both of these approaches complemented each other well, because opponents in the form of flat 2D objects gave the game a nice, paranoid atmosphere. Unfortunately, something was off with the difficulty level. The game was a pain from the start, and it only got worse over time. As a result, I stopped playing somewhere around the middle.
I hope that Forgive Me Father 2 will take and improve the coolest elements of the prequel. And there was plenty of these. Atmospheric, claustrophobic maps. Constant lack of ammunition forces you to use different guns. Large selection of weapons. An interesting story. The classic, 1p experience. Various skills unlocked for our hero. And dense atmosphere of a place full of tentacled monsters from beyond this world and time.
I hope that the difficulty level will be balanced better – or even designed differently altogether. Not that I have an issue with difficult games. I do, however, have an issue with unfair ones. Scarce ammo is great, it makes you play more carefully and promotes testing new strategies or less-liked weapons. The problem, however, was that it was impossible to avoid getting hit – so I often had to repeat the same fights, luring individual enemies aside, which was frustrating. It's not my style of fun – I prefer all-out mayhem. If the creators manage to balance the challenge better, may the Ancient Ones look after us, because it will be hard to tear yourself away from the screen!
- Forgive Me Father 2 in our encyclopedia
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun – For the Emperor!
Release date: May 23, 2023
Developers: Auroch Digital (Bristol, UK)
Warhammer 40,000 is on a spree lately. In a steady stream of rather mediocre games from the universe (both fantasy and SF versions), Darktide has recently released a decent co-op shooter. And now Boltgun intrigues me, as a typical boomer shooter that conquered my heart with a single trailer.
Boltgun looks like Doom, where the Doomguy was replaced by a space marine. All right, but it's a modern product, so the dynamics of the fights are greater, and the visited locations – although pixelated like their existence depended on it – can knock you off your feet with their scope. But the love for the 90s in Boltgun pours out of the screen like the blood of heretics who dare challenge the Emperor.
With Boltgun, it was love at first sight. Sophisticated pixel art, dark locations from the 41st century, enemies dying in cascades of gushing blood, and, of course, the obligatory chain sword – fans of Warhammer 40,000 will find everything you could expect from such a production. In addition, I have the impression that the game, although it looks boomer, resembles newer Dooms, which were so much better than their ancestors from 90s. I'm crossing my fingers that this is actually the case.
And what could go wrong? I'm afraid of monotony a bit, the Achilles heel of many boomer shooters. Naturally, we won't get too many different types of weapons – we play a space marine, and their arsenal is not that broad. The lack of RPG elements, special skills or other modern elements of gameplay will please the old-timers, but it can also mean a lack of variety.
- Boltgun in our encyclopedia
Road to Vostok – serious survival
Release date: May 23, 2023
Developers: Road to Vostok (Finland)
Stardew Valley is a game that's proven that one man can create a great hit, enjoyed by thousands of people 7 years after release. At the time of writing this text, 44,000 people were playing SV on Steam alone – making many high-budget productions blush with envy (The Last of Us on PC gathered 34,000 concurrent players during its peak popularity).
Road to Vostok is a game from a mysterious ex military from Finland. The game is inspired by the cult Stalker and you won't find a more realistic shooter on this list. It's a full blown single-player survival game. We've got realistic scopes, a complex health system, no markers and minimal interface, and extensive crafting.
Vostok takes us over the gloomy forests of the Finnish-Russian border, which have recently gained even more strategic significance, as Finland has become a member of NATO. In the vids, the game looks stunning, and the ambitions of the creator are stellar. The game will lack a story campaign as such – it will focus on survival, and our goal will be to reach the east, the titular Vostok. Surviving in the wild won't be easy. We will be able to save the game in special hideouts only, and on the last map (there will be no open world, only a few separate areas) the death of the character will be permanent. And I've always liked games with such hardcore solutions.
If you're curious how the development of Road to Vostok is going, check out the artist's YouTube channel. The single developer regularly publishes videos presenting the development of his game and explaining his design philosophy, so if you're interested in getting to know your hobby from the inside, it's the perfect material.
- Road to Vostok in our encyclopedia
Ultrakill – show your skill
Release date: May 23, 2023
Creators: Arsi "Hakita" Patala (Finland)
It seems that the Finns prefer taking matter into their own hands, because the second game on this list made basically by one man, is also made in Finland. Ultrakill is distinguished by the fact that it's already a proven Steam hit, available in Early Access since 2020. 98% of positive scores out of nearly 54,000 reviews speaks for itself. As one player put it aptly:
This game is like cocaine and sex and DMC and Quake and Doom rolled into one.
Unlike other games I'm anticipating, Ultrakill doesn't have a classic story campaign. This is a skill-testing experience in which we're thrown into successive arenas full of enemies. Our primary task is to survive, but that's not all it's about. Over time, we learn to be better and better, so we get higher and higher scores for completing challenges. As in the Devil May Cry series, we get extra points for combos or spectacular elimination of opponents. And that's what Ultrakill is all about – getting better, learning and pushing yourself to the limits. This is the most skill-oriented game on this list.
You thought Doom Eternal was dynamic? Compared to Ultrakill, it's like a grandpa game. Add to that roaring electro music and original pixel art, and you get a crazy FPS that offers wild satisfaction.
- Ultrakill in our encyclopedia
Adam Zechenter | Gamepressure.com