Though the last decade has seen the rise of the open world action adventure, the first person shooter is still a goto genre for many people. There’s now a surprising variety to be found here, whether it’s a tightly scripted campaign, sprawls through a wide open world, or invites you to compete for bragging rights in multiplayer.
2019 looks like it will have a bumper crop of great shooters, both big and small. We’ve already featured a number of multiplayer shooters elsewhere, so this selection of Ones to Watch is much more about the single player.
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 15/02/19
After the battle to survive the cramped confines of the Moscow Metro system and the contamination of the city’s ruined surface in the first two games, Metro Exodus flips the formula on its head. Now the vast majority of your time will be spent exploring the surface, and it’s when you head underground that you’ll find the need to don a gas mask and keep an eye on your watch.
No longer cowering in darkness, Ayrtom and the Rangers are breaking out of the city and chasing after the promise of fertile lands and freedom. As they journey from one region to another, they’ll again come into contact with different human factions both friendly and not so friendly, and engage in tense firefights where every precious bullet counts.
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 14/05/19
If there’s one thing I remember about the first Rage, it’s that it was very, very brown, but with Avalanche getting their hands on the sequel, they’ve brought as much colour into the game as they possibly could. There’s splashes of purple and yellow through all the promotional material, for one thing, while they’re really amping up the different hues that the sky can cast across the world and the story will take you through different biomes.
Avalanche are also throwing their brand of over the top gameplay into the mix. Iconic weapons like the homing Wingstick return, you’ll be wielding the usual array of automatic weapons and shotguns, but Walker’s Nanotrite powers and power suit give him all manner of excessively powerful abilities to use. When you kick into Overdrive mode as a reward for your antics, your speed is amped up, your guns and fists become more sensationally powerful, and the screen is saturated with lens flare and digital artefacting. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a hybrid of Id’s Doom, MachineGames’ Wolfenstein and Avalanche’s penchant for chaos.
Far Cry New Dawn
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 15/02/19
Rage 2 isn’t the only colourful post-apocalyptic shooter in 2019, and it won’t even be the first. Ubisoft’s tendency of alternating numbered Far Cry games with named spinoffs continues with Far Cry New Dawn. Set a good few years after the bombs dropped, the open world is covered and transformed by superbloom fields and mutated predators, giving it an oversaturated vibrancy that should mix things up again after Far Cry 5.
You’ll bump into familiar elements of Far Cry gameplay, but instead of capturing bases, you’re raiding them for resources and the Highwaymen will be returning to reclaim them and give you a bigger challenge (and reward) should you battle them again. Add to this a new base building mechanic to upgrade and grow a small community, and there’s plenty of new and expanded ideas that should make New Dawn more than just a quick throwaway release.
Platforms: PC – Release: 10/09/19
It’s been far, far too long a wait for a new MechWarrior fan, but the series is finally returning next year with Piranha Games at the helm. Set during the Third Succession War, you’re a rookie pilot fighting to survive on the battlefield, leading a Lance of other mechs, and making decisions on contracts to take that will change the flow of the game’s story.
Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch, PC – Release: TBC
Though a date has yet to be announced for Doom Eternal, but with Bethesda currently celebrating Doom’s 25th anniversary with a “Year of Doom”, it feels like a pretty good shout for it to come out next year.
The sequel to 2016’s acclaimed reboot, Eternal takes us to an Earth overrun by demons and monsters, whisks us away to Phobos, and back to Hell again. The gameplay’s even faster and more fluid than before, pushing players to race headlong into combat with new features like the Meat Hook grappling hook, wall-climbing, dash moves, and more.
New for Eternal, and coming at the expense of the SnapMap level creator, are single player Invasions. Similar to Dark Souls, other players can join your game if you’ve left this enabled, spawning in as demons whose only goal is to kill you.
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 2019
Jumping us forward to the 1980s, BJ’s twin daughters are off to fight Nazis in Europe once more and find their MIA dad. Jessica and Sophia Blazkowic’s mission takes them to France and Paris in particular, possibly sparking a fresh French revolution in the process?
With twin leads, the game will feature both single player and cooperative play through the story, acting as a smaller standalone story similar to how The Old Blood did for The New Order.
Ready to pick up a digital gun and shoot some bad guys in 2019? Let us know what tickled your fancy in the comments below.