Reviews Archive

First Person Shooters (5th Gen)


Whilst first person had been around for many years previously, the era of the 5th generation of consoles was the first time when technology was at a standard where they could be done justice, delivering much more playable and varied games than had previously been possible. Many of the quintessential aspects of the genre were pioneered during this generation and from here on in, for better or worse the FPS genre pretty much took over as the most popular mainstream genre.

  alien trilogy on ps1 Alien Trilogy
alien trilogy on saturn
  1 player  
  Stand out versions - PS1, Saturn  
  One of the best of the early PS1 releases. Alien Trilogy was basically a Doom clone, but it used the Alien licence to excellent effect. The game managed to successfully recreate a lot of the feel and tension of the movies and though simplistic is still pretty fun to play even now. The later alien shooter on PS1, Alien Resurrection is also worth checking out for fans of the series, it nearly made the list but lack of polish and unreliable controls just about took it out of the running.  
  alien vs predator on jaguar Alien Vs Predator
alien versus predator on jaguar
  1 player  
  Stand out version - Jaguar  
  This was definitely the first truly stand out Jaguar exclusive. AVP gave you the fantastic feature of playing as either a marine, alien, or Predator, and each character gives a very different gameplay experience with different objectives. The whole thing is pretty fast and smooth (for 1994) and still remains the best reason to own a Jaguar.  
  disruptor on ps1 Disruptor
disruptor on playstation
  1 player  
  Stand out version - PS1  
  Disruptor is a very polished PS1 game from the people who went on to make Resistance Fall of Man on the PS3. Apart from the Doom gameplay and excellent graphics there's also some interesting new ideas thrown in, one of which is access to a limited secondary power you can use either offensively (energy blast) or defensively (health recovery), there's also a draining ability you can use on the enemies to replenish your power levels.  
  doom on ps1 Doom
doom on jaguar
  2 player simultaneous  
  Stand out version - PS1, Jaguar  
  Doom represented a real coming of age for FPS games and has to be pretty much the most important release of its genre. Shooters of its type had existed previously but Doom simply offered a faster, more varied, smoother and better designed experience than any of its predecessors. Funnily enough, Doom has probably dated the least out of any of the games featured here, it still remains a very playable experience even now.  
  duke nukem 3d Duke Nukem 3D
duke nukem on n64
  4 Player (N64) 2 player link (PS1) 1 Player (SS)  
  Stand out versions - Saturn, N64, PS1  
  Arriving at a time when everyone thought the upcoming, uber hyped Quake was going to dwarf all else, Duke Nukem 3D came out of nowhere to offer some surprisingly serious competition. The element that Duke Nukem really brought to the genre was interactivity, the designers went to town with adding cool little touches to the levels, with the character unexpectedly responding to all manner of situations, this element, as well as the humour throughout the game, gave Duke Nukem much more characterisation than the average First Person Shooter. With all this work done on the graphics and features you'd think maybe the gameplay wouldn't have as much attention, but this is not the case at all as the levels are also well designed and filled with original features.  
  golden eye on n64 Goldeneye
goldeneye on n64
  4 Players  
  Stand out version - N64  
  After Doom, this was probably the second most influential first person shooter to hit the consoles. The gameplay was much more centred on stealth, and the levels contained more focus and variation to keep them interesting. Goldeneye's crowning glory has to be its split screen multiplayer features though, which made it the party game of choice to play with your friends for the whole generation.  
  hexen Hexen
hexen on saturn
  1 Player  
  Stand out version - Saturn  
  Hexen is a decent early Doom clone with polished gameplay, a cool medieval atmosphere, and some interesting, albeit fairly minor RPG style elements thrown into the mix. Its well worth picking up if you find it cheap. Avoid the PS1 version though as its inferior to the others and its added failings put that version more into mediocre territory.  
  killing time on 3do Killing Time
killing time on 3d0
  1 player  
  Stand out version - 3DO  
  One of the earlier fps games to try to include adventuring elements. Killing Time has you exploring one giant mansion, there's a plethora of different items with different effects, a lot of emphasis on resource management, and even multiple endings. The greatest thing about the game though has to be the presentation, there's just tons of atmosphere, and the music is extremely high quality too. Word of warning though, this is an old game and is definitely the most dated featured in this article, it takes a while to get going, and the frame rate is poor in comparison to games of today. For these reasons I nearly omitted it from this list, but I felt it should be mentioned for the unique elements it featured.  
Atari ST
Atari VCS
Commodore 64
Game Boy
Master System
Mega Drive
Neo Geo
PC Engine
ZX Spectrum