Reloaded: Top 5 First-Person Shooters that Need a Reboot

If Resistance can get rebooted, so can these.

James Kozanitisby James Kozanitis

With the discovery that Sony trademarked “Resistance” for an unknown reason, speculation is abound about a reboot of the once-well-received series. And why not? Doom is getting a reboot, Star Wars: Battlefront is getting a reboot, Wolfenstein got a reboot. So why not Resistance? Better yet, why not all the games on this list: the top 5 first-person shooters that need a reboot.

5. Black

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Back in 2006, these graphics were incredible, and so was Black. At first glance, Black was nothing more than a standard first-person shooter. Actually, that’s what it was on second, third, fourth and fifth glance, also. Developer Criterion Games knew what it wanted to do, and did it; nothing more and nothing less. Black was an action blockbuster in video game form, and that’s what made it so enjoyable.

How likely is a reboot? Zero. Black was and is an odd installment on Criterion’s gameography, since the developer does almost entirely racing games. Need for Speed and Burnout are their bread and butter, respectively, so why would they waste time redoing a nine-year-old shooter that probably barely made back its budget? They wouldn’t.

4. F.E.A.R.

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We can all just say it, by now: F.E.A.R. went downhill in a hurry. After creating the most inventive A.I., only recently surpassed by Alien: Isolation, F.E.A.R. was a revelation of shooters. That much should be evidenced by the immediate desire by the studio and developer to rush a sequel with a piss-poor plot and none of the same inventiveness that lead to the expansive levels and variable gameplay experience in the first game. And no, F.E.A.R. Online is not a reboot.

How likely is a reboot? Because of the aforementioned online-only installment, I’d say we’re looking at another five years at least before this becomes even remotely possible, unfortunately. Don’t go crawling through developer LinkedIns just yet.

3. Area 51

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If it was 2005, and you were too busy playing Halo to catch this gem in the genre, I weep for you. Area 51 had all the elements modern shooters consider mutually exclusive, such as pairing a compelling campaign with fun multiplayer (imagine that). The story was a long and in-depth trip into the secret military alien-harvesting airbase. The campaign had fun game modes, and also innovated with its “Infection” mode, which it did before Halo 2, I might add. The multiplayer maintained a small, but dedicated following easily through 2010, despite disappointing sales.

How likely is a reboot? Midway Games is probably the last major game publisher and developer to just flat out fold. Bad with money, I guess, and it’s a damn shame too. Midway’s titles included every Mortal Kombat, the Gauntlet games, The Suffering and many, many more. Warner Bros. bought all their IPs after their folding, and they have only touched the major titles. It looks like this title will stay dead.

2. S.T.A.L.K.E.R

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Talk about a role reversal. When we’re spoiled with protagonists in first-person shooters who are basically invincible to bullets, while being able to mow down scores of people with high-powered weapons, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. reminds us that some people are just helpless Europeans who spit bullets out of straws at heavily armored soldiers. While playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R., you’re the latter. We need games like this.

How likely is a reboot? I know what you’re thinking: aren’t they making another S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? That’s what they say, sure. Remember, though , that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has been cancelled three times. It was announced, canceled, reannounced, then canceled, before a shady developer calling themselves West Games put out a Kickstarted made from Unity assets that they tried to pass off as S.T.A.L.K.E.R., which was subsequently canceled by Kickstarter. Now the real S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers are back and working, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

1. Condemned: Criminal Origins

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While this title isn’t strictly speaking a first-person shooter, Condemned: Criminal Origins, has to be on this list purely because of the need for a good followup. Criminal Origins was a gritty crime thriller, wrapped in intense melee combat and ammo-starved shooting. Sure it had some problems, such as uninspired depth in crime scene investigating, almost all of which were fixed by its sequel Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Unfortunately, Bloodshot nuked the fridge on the plot so hard that it couldn’t be overlooked. The series deserves better.

How likely is a reboot? If God is willing, we will get the desired followup. Developer Monolith Productions has recently come into a bit of money after Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and I can’t think of a better game in their library to spend that extra cheese on.