This year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for new shooter games. Though shooters are based primarily on one mechanic—shooting (surprise, surprise)—there is endless creativity to be found in the genre as developers play with different twists on that mechanic. New shooter games explore the boundaries of what defines a shooter, making 2016 a great year for fans of the genre.
It’s no surprise that assassin and thief games are both lumped under the stealth umbrella. By their nature, games that use assassins or thieves as their main characters rely on stealth and subtlety in a way that many others don’t—it’s important to remain undiscovered when you’re trying to steal or kill covertly.
But despite the fact that both of these genres use stealth techniques, they often play very differently. There are benefits to both types of characters, but their unique attributes can shape the way players approach assassin and thief games.
A good puzzle game tests your smarts as well as your patience. Though the genre can be challenging for the uninitiated, puzzle games enable creative thinking, encouraging you to use your brain rather than brute force to make it through a challenge.
But puzzle games aren’t the only ones that can provide a good test of intelligence as well as skill; other genres can have a similar thought-provoking effect. Not all games are a cerebral experience, but some genres lend themselves well to adding a mental challenge on top of the test of skill and reflexes that games are usually known for.
Survival games aren’t exactly a new genre, but they’re seeing increased popularity right now thanks to their unique challenges and the emergence of popular games like Minecraft (which incorporates survival elements). While it seems like the market is saturated with survival games at the moment, with titles like Rust, The Long Dark, Dying Light, and even survival elements in AAA series like Rise of the Tomb Raider, the genre’s popularity may also be signaling the resurgence of stealth, which is often tied into survival games as well.
“Cinematic games” as a descriptor might call to mind games that are based around heavy cutscene use and epic stories, but that’s not all the term can mean. Film and video games have always been linked—they’re two of the most popular visual media types, and the visual style and storytelling of film often influences some of our favorite games. Whether it comes through in recreated shots, thematic elements, or other inspirations, film and television often inform the way that games look and feel.
Some of our favorite modern games were inspired by others that came before them. Like familiar tales that we see again and again in books and movies, game clones give a fresh take on our favorite stories by outfitting them with improved mechanics, new weaponry, or deeper storylines. So what is it that makes a good clone from a bad one, and how can we tell the difference? It’s a delicate combination of familiarity, innovation, and quality.
Military shooters are what most people think of when they think of the shooter genre. While games like Call of Duty and Counter-Strike are inarguably some of the most popular games in the shooter genre, they don’t wholly represent its breadth or scope.
It makes sense that military shooters are popular—they’re fun, fast-paced, and an approachable entry to the wider shooter genre. But there’s more to be found for people who like different, varied gameplay, and even some of the most popular games don’t fall squarely into the genre of military shooters.