7 Awesome Shooters in Need of Revival

In the wake of Doom, Wolfenstein, and Shadow Warrior, we look at a few other older shooters whose return is long overdue. 

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Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake, Shadow Warrior, and Unreal Tournament are all a part of a glorious revival of classic shooter franchises. Doom is a kickass, frenetic shooter with brilliant gunplay and polished graphics, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a solid shooter with fun level design and an engaging story, and Shadow Warrior is a glorious revival of the campy, goofy shooter with a mix of guns and melee weapons. While Quake: Champions and Unreal Tournament haven’t released fully yet, they’re shaping up to be faithful revivals of their predecessors, much like the other games mentioned on this list.

This trend of resurrecting older shooters and reforming them with new mechanics for current expectations is a fun one, reminding us of our roots and what first-person shooters can be beyond smash-and-grab missions in military shooters. In the spirit of keeping this trend moving forward, here are seven classic shooters we’d love to see get their own fresh reboot.

Turok

Dinosaurs, weapons, jungles, and commandos. Turok is a glorious, campy patchwork of some of the best aspects of classic arcade shooters, all wrapped up in ‘80s movie ridiculousness. We’re past due for the Dinosaur Hunter to make a return, and being able to hunt prehistoric creatures in high-definition with retooled shooting mechanics sounds like the best return Turok could possibly ask for. Although, maybe this time we approach it with a sliiiight amount of cultural sensitivity. Just a little. 

Perfect Dark

On the Nintendo 64, Perfect Dark challenged GoldenEye 007 as one of the best first-person shooters available on a console. Its sequel Perfect Dark Zero wasn’t quite the masterpiece of the original, and it has definitely been long enough to justify revisiting the exploits of Joanna Dark on modern hardware.

SiN

Considering the mechanics SiN is known for, a modern revival has the potential to be fantastic. The original SiN had a massive amount of interactivity, ranging from taking damage on individual body parts to taking different paths in levels that would change the outcome of future levels. It has a lot of the trappings people love about RPGs; branching paths, some light simulation, and approachable-yet-complex mechanics. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to play a new SiN, and now seems like a better time than ever.

Star Wars: Dark Forces

Star Wars is back en vogue in a big way, grossing millions and millions in merchandising, video game adaptations, and blockbuster films. Despite this, there’s still a severe lack of new Star Wars games on current machines, and having Kyle Katarn be re-introduced to the canon as a rogue mercenary discovering nefarious imperial dealings across the galaxy would be a nice, much-needed Star Wars: 1313 substitute in the wake of 1313’s cancellation. Plus, it would give us a narrative-driven Star Wars shooter that isn’t a multiplayer-only game. 

Syndicate

A hidden gem on the Xbox 360/PS3 and its own reboot of the 1993 game, Syndicate is a tight, well-crafted shooter complete with hacking and multiple options to approach combat encounters. It’s also filled with boss fights, level variety, sharp guns, and an original, sci-fi world populated with characters and personality. Bringing Syndicate back would be a brilliant way to re-introduce the cyberpunk/sci-fi series back into the mainstream. 

Heretic

Heretic strikes a balance between embracing the awesomeness of killing demons in Doom while also taking place in a dark fantasy world with touches of horror throughout. That’s a balance we don’t see a lot of in our current climate, and it has the potential to be a really awesome series today. Due to its fantasy setting, Heretic opens the door to a wide range of different weapons with unique properties, including spells, potions, guns, and--if they wanted--even melee weapons. Mixing genres can be messy fun, and Heretic seems like a great avenue for doing just that.

Strife

Plagues, resistance groups, RPG elements, and branching story paths are what make Strife an interesting prospect for a brand new revival. It’s not necessarily a mix we haven’t seen before, but not every game has to create a wildly new set of tools to play with. Instead, Strife could potentially be a game with BioShock-level story twists, and its RPG elements would add a layer of customization.

F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. is basically a more realistic version of the Ghostbusters without the quips, gaffes, and marshmallows. Centered on a special forces unit used to contain supernatural entities, it’s a horror game with a lot of relevance and potential for a reboot. A horror first-person shooter also seems like a more enticing deal for major publishers, who tend to shy away from creating more traditional horror games for fear of limited public appeal and sales. Much like Dead Space, F.E.A.R. has the potential to be sold both as an action shooter and a horror game.

For more on classic shooter revivals, check out the Shadow Warrior 2 interview we did with the developers at PAX below. 


Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    December 2, 2016 10:08 AM

    Cassidee Moser posted a new article, 7 Awesome Shooters in Need of Revival

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      December 2, 2016 10:22 AM

      I had fun in Chasm: The Rift shooting body parts off.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkj8n41oftg

      Soldier of Fortune did something similar, right?

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      December 2, 2016 10:24 AM

      No Time Splitters? I'd rather have a new TS than Turok or Heretic.

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      December 2, 2016 10:26 AM

      I loved heretic, hexen, hexen 2 and all the addon packs. I even liked Heretic 2. Would love a revival.

      Sin ... man, Wages of Sin has a special place in my heart, being in it. :)

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        December 2, 2016 11:38 AM

        Heretic 2 was great. I always look for it on modern platforms but I haven't found it anywhere, sadly. I loved the third person view and colorful spell effects. Good shit.

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      December 2, 2016 10:26 AM

      Heretic was for all intents and purposes just a heavily modified Doom. Unless a new Heretic is "2016 doom with fantasy flavor," I'd rather leave it alone

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        December 2, 2016 1:13 PM

        No fuckin way, the multiplayer was o much fun and original

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      December 2, 2016 10:31 AM

      Um... where is "Blood?"

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        December 2, 2016 3:58 PM

        yeah, I'd easily trade something like F.E.A.R. for Blood any day of the week

        • rms
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          December 2, 2016 7:36 PM

          I get the impression jace hall is holding it hostage. He has all the assets, I believe?

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            December 3, 2016 9:01 AM

            Jace hall tried to do a remake but was shut down the by IP holders (Atari) they are the real ones to blame. Not doing anything with the project but not letting anyone else either.

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      December 2, 2016 10:37 AM

      OG Joanna Dark is still the best character in a shooting game.

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      December 2, 2016 10:42 AM

      SiN was great!!! Thank you for including it in this very enjoyable article.

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        December 2, 2016 1:43 PM

        The Wages of SiN expansion was pretty fun too as I recall. Won them both from Ritual back in the day. Thanks RomSteady!

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          December 2, 2016 1:55 PM

          Wages of SiN was done by the team that did Medal of Honor and then became the foundation of Infiniti Ward. :)

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        December 2, 2016 7:14 PM

        SiN was incredible and I'd damn near kill for some more SiN Episodes.

        I was so upset when Ritual closed their doors. I've had mint-in-box copies of SiN and Wages of SiN just waiting to get signatures and that'll never happen. :/

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        December 5, 2016 5:57 PM

        It is great! And it did some really cool technical things to boot ;)

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 10:53 AM

      They tried Turok. Bust.

      Let FEAR go. The first game was amazing, FEAR 2 and FEAR 3 were really disappointing. Extraction Point was good. Perseus Mandate was blah. I mean, there's no reason to reboot this or whatever.

      Dark Forces makes sense, but I think most people would rather have a new Jedi Knight.

      Perfect Dark deserves a second chance.

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        December 2, 2016 11:40 AM

        I agree on FEAR. I loved the first game, tolerated the second game, and skipped the third. The non-canon sequels were decent though because they were the first game's mechanics.

        I don't see where a reboot would really fit in. I agree that the horror shooter genre could use a new game, but I don't know if FEAR is really where we need to go for it.

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        December 2, 2016 12:02 PM

        I'd take a HD Remaster of F.E.A.R. 1.

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        December 2, 2016 12:30 PM

        IIRC, Steve Gaynor said on a podcast that he worked on one of the FEAR expansions (probably Perseus Mandate) and it was one of those experiences where they were making garbage and they knew they were making garbage but it was going to ship on Date X in whatever shape it was so they just had to make sure they were finished, and didn't have time or any input to make it better. Like, the basic contents were probably decided by a committee and they just had marching orders.

      • rms
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        December 2, 2016 7:34 PM

        FEAR 3 was remarkably good. A complete departure in mechanics from the prequels, with it's scoring system, it still carried on and completed the series plot in what I thought was a pretty satisfying manner. I just shake my head at the drumbeat dissing of F2 & F3.

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          December 3, 2016 12:12 AM

          Yup, it's a weird one, a clear departure in tone and gameplay from the rest of the series yet remarkably more satisfaying than whatever F.E.A.R.2 was about.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 10:08 PM

        F.E.A.R. 2 was pretty good. F.Three.A.R. was...not good in my opinion.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 11:02 AM

      Great list, Cassidee. It illustrates why I so rarely play shooters. Today's games are military-themed, by and large, but FPS games from the '90s had variety. Back then, the genre consisted of more than just your standard arsenal of shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, and one or two oddball guns.

      Heretic was a full-on fantasy action game--a skin over Doom, as another Shacker mentioned, but so what? The weapons and setting immersed me. Dark Forces made creative use of the Star Wars license. Turok mixed in a few terrestrial weapons with fun ones like the Cerebreal Bore (Turok 2, but I digress). Even Half-Life changed up its more conventional arsenal by putting a twist on standard fare: combining shotgun and super shotty into one; attaching grenades to the SMG; letting you manually aim rockets using a mouse cursor; and a charge-based laser cannon that made "rocket jumps" safer and easier to pull off.

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        December 2, 2016 12:08 PM

        Heretic and hexen were not merely skins over Doom they were extremely different in gameplay and level design and philosophy especially the hub system in hexen it's the was actually pretty damn Innovative and unique at the time even though I constantly got lost and I've heard countless others say they never completed the game because of how confusing it all was

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          December 2, 2016 12:13 PM

          Heretic was somewhat of a fantasy take on doom (weapons balance was literally 1:1) but yeah Hexen was vastly different.

          • reply
            December 2, 2016 12:15 PM

            that is pretty true, heretic was less ambitious. hexen was a whole different animal, it even had a distinct class system.

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              December 2, 2016 12:37 PM

              Yeah, I pointed to Heretic as a skin for a reason. Nothing against it, but Hexen was different and more ambitious.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 11:03 AM

      Oh, and obligatory "Half-Life" mention. :P

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 11:07 AM

        hahaha most definitely :D also L4D, Portal, etc :D

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 11:12 AM

      BFV, yo!

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      December 2, 2016 11:20 AM

      Man, Strife was so great. Just recently played through it since it was cheap on Steam and was really impressed with how it all fit together and flowed. Really forward thinking and effective.

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        December 2, 2016 2:36 PM

        I played the PCGamer demo back in the day but damn if I can remember much of it other than I thought it was pretty cool at the time.

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      December 2, 2016 11:22 AM

      i would like a new hexen

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        December 2, 2016 11:24 AM

        New Hexen with loot like Borderlands/Shadow Warrior 2 would be siiiiick.

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        December 2, 2016 11:26 AM

        Yeah, you could tell Heretic (fun as it was) served as a practice run for the game that became Hexen.

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        December 2, 2016 11:39 AM

        Ziggurat is the closet thing to this at the moment. It's a fun little game.

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          December 2, 2016 7:53 PM

          Thank you, I was about to make a post asking if any spiritual sequels to Heretic/Hexen existed.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 11:41 AM

      Rune
      Shogo
      Painkiller
      AvP
      Blood

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        December 2, 2016 11:43 AM

        man, i loved me some Rune back in the day, MP was awesome!

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          December 2, 2016 12:04 PM

          lmao i loved playing with my buddy, and randomly throwing my weapon at him and running off

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        December 2, 2016 12:10 PM

        I forgot about Shogo, but that game was awesome.
        Would Titanfall be similar?
        I haven't actually played Titan at all.

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          December 2, 2016 1:37 PM

          Titanfall seemed more Heavy Mech style (Mechwarrior, even Heavy Gear) mechs while Shogo was more Mecha syle (Gundam, Robotech)

          • reply
            December 2, 2016 7:19 PM

            Pretty much sums it up.

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            December 2, 2016 8:00 PM

            TITANFALL is way more mecha than 'mech. You're crazy.

            • reply
              December 2, 2016 9:01 PM

              When I played (free weekend or beta?) they felt pretty much between Mechwarrior and Heavy Gear mechs. Which would make sense from comparative sizes. Shogo was closer to Elementals or movie Transformers (in movement, not in size).
              Now I am talking about the first Titanfall. I haven't touched the 2nd.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 11:54 AM

      CYBERMAGE

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 11:59 AM

      You know what else is ripe for a reboot? DOOM. That last one is sooooooo last summer.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 1:52 PM

        I'd give up every potential revival in this article if it meant DOOM 2 (2016) were to be released tomorrow.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 12:01 PM

      +NOLF!!!!!!!

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        December 2, 2016 12:05 PM

        That seems to be a no Brainer right now. I wonder where it is.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 12:05 PM

        I'm not sure how that didn't make the cut but it should have been on the list.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 12:13 PM

        Yeah I also always forget this.

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        December 2, 2016 1:12 PM

        Hell yes.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 1:32 PM

        Wasn't there a remaster or at least digital release being worked on? Haven't heard anything about it in a year or so.

        • reply
          December 2, 2016 11:59 PM

          Warner Brothers, who likely holds the majority of the license, shut it down. Everyone else was interested, even some parts of WB were interested, but it suddenly went from a good conversation to a very solid no.

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        December 2, 2016 2:04 PM

        i'm with it until the stealth mission

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 8:35 PM

        This is what I came to post. Good list otherwise.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 11:01 PM

        Why was this omitted? We demand answers Shacknews!

      • reply
        December 3, 2016 2:58 AM

        Seriously where the fuck is NOLF?!

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 12:05 PM

      BLACK (original Xbox) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAkrG3xdyRQ This game was so much fun. I think I played through it more than a couple times.


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      December 2, 2016 12:36 PM

      Oh lord, no more FEAR. However we need NOLF to get on Steam/GoG already.

        • reply
          December 2, 2016 12:41 PM

          I recently watched this and it was a fascinating look into the franchise
          https://youtu.be/aVa6wlgR9CM

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            December 2, 2016 12:45 PM

            Thx I'll check it out. I've been enjoying these kind of videos quite a bit after I replayed a bunch of old games last year.

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              December 2, 2016 12:51 PM

              Yeah his stuff is great, it also helps me learn about games I'll probably never make the time to play (like Fear 3)

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            December 2, 2016 3:24 PM

            I watched that whole thing waiting for him to talk about NOLF lol

            • reply
              December 2, 2016 4:51 PM

              Haha oh man, I'd love for him to do a NOLF video

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        December 2, 2016 12:48 PM

        NOLF is one of those things that can come back in a spiritual successor kind of way. Nothing stopping anyone from making an fps with a campy 60s spy setting and sharp humorous writing.

        Evil Lives Forever

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 7:27 PM

        YES. I long for the day when this bullshit tangled mess is sorted out and NOLF is at least on Steam / GoG.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 12:38 PM

      F.E.A.R.'s multiplayer was the best. It felt so badass with slomo and all the particle dust effects and shit getting blown off the walls. So good.

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 12:43 PM

      L4D :(

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 12:43 PM

      I could go for Call of Juarez: Gunslinger II

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        December 2, 2016 1:17 PM

        open-worldish, a town in need of saving!

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          December 2, 2016 1:34 PM

          I would like that, but I kind of appreciated the linear aspect of the game too. It felt more driven and focused for me. I like both styles of games though.

      • reply
        December 2, 2016 7:40 PM

        That game was a lot of fun, another would be welcome

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      December 2, 2016 1:14 PM

      BLOOD

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        December 2, 2016 1:20 PM

        ^^^ This, although I doubt they would be able to get away with a character like Caleb these days.

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        December 2, 2016 1:54 PM

        This game is fuckin amazing

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        December 2, 2016 2:47 PM

        Picture it: A new trailer. The screen opens on blackness. A voice, whispering: "I live... again," followed by the sound of stone grinding on stone.

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          December 2, 2016 4:02 PM

          If blood2 never existed I'd make a giant mess in my pans, but I unfortunately we've been burned before.

          • reply
            December 2, 2016 4:03 PM

            However... if it got the nuDooM/Wolf/ShadowWarrior treatment....


            My god...

    • reply
      December 2, 2016 1:20 PM

      No SOF!? That list is worthless

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      December 2, 2016 1:35 PM

      I don't get Syndicate and Fear being here, but no Boiling Point or Painkiller?!
      Syndicate got rebooted in 2012 AS an FPS, and Satellite Reign is basically a reboot as the original RTS-esque. Fear just had its third game in 2011.

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      December 2, 2016 2:04 PM

      Shogo MAD

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      December 2, 2016 2:27 PM

      You know what's fucking awesome? The Titanfall 2 single player. It's like Portal and Fear and Halo had a baby. So good.

      That said, I second the comments about a NOLF reboot.

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      December 2, 2016 7:48 PM

      Shogo

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      December 2, 2016 8:07 PM

      some of those have what feel like recent sequels, then there's Syndicate, which itself isn't that old! Is it? I don't know. I did like it, would like to see a new one with less lens flare.

      Dark Forces: yes please.

      Sin Episodes: the poster child for why episodic gaming is dumb. Along with Half Life 2.

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        December 2, 2016 9:48 PM

        Syndicate is from 1993.

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          December 2, 2016 10:26 PM

          Syndicate had a FPS reboot in 2012.

          • reply
            December 2, 2016 10:27 PM

            Whoa.

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              December 3, 2016 1:29 AM

              I too consider the original the real one, but the article specifically talked about the 2012 reboot as one of the "awesome shooters that needed a revival"

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                December 5, 2016 5:56 PM

                Yeah, I'm talking the 2012 reboot. Wasn't long ago, but that game was so good. I just want a new take on it.

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      December 2, 2016 8:10 PM

      Cassidee is 100% correct.

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      December 2, 2016 8:12 PM

      It's a video game crime that I'm not able to hit my friends with a cerebral bore in a modern shooter. Bring back Turok!

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      December 2, 2016 8:52 PM

      Strong list. Even if other people would put up a different 7, all of the ones you mentioned are worthy.

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      December 2, 2016 8:57 PM

      No Soldier of Fortune? Seriously? One of the greatest MP titles of ALL TIME.

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        December 2, 2016 9:15 PM

        SoF2 Demo for life.

        Seriously I bought the game and it was better just to play the MP on demo.

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        December 2, 2016 9:17 PM

        Soldier of Fortune is the Saw of video games: there's a helluva experience beneath the facade of blood and guts, but the facade is all most people see and remember. I enjoyed Soldier of Fortune for its content, but it seemed like most people focused on wanton bloodshed and dismemberment, overlooking the genuinely fun gameplay beneath it.

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        December 3, 2016 3:33 AM

        I just realized it's been almost a decade since the last reboot of it. Holy shit.

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      December 2, 2016 9:24 PM

      Damn, I would be all over a new Heretic game.

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      December 4, 2016 1:21 AM

      I agree with several of these. Would have added, No One Lives Forever