first person shooter

#3 Minecraft (PC, Droid, iOS)

Publisher/Developer: Mojang

After years in the making and developing a rabid fanbase, thanks to giving users who preordered the constantly evolving beta, Minecraft finally hit version 1.0 this year. The indie sensation gives gamers a randomly generated world to make their own. Dig up materials during the day and build a homestead and weapons to fight the monsters that show up at night, or hit up some of the dungeons and mine away for diamonds. Minecraft is whatever the player wants it to be. (more…)

first person shooter

#7 Ms. Splosion Man (360)

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios — Developer: Twisted Pixel

For a premise as simple as the one the first Splosion Man had, Twisted Pixel could have just rested on its laurels and made a copy of the first game with the sequel, but the studio went the extra mile, taking every element from the first one and either refining it or making it better with Ms. Splosion Man. In this way, the sequel feels somewhat similar on a basic level, but better in just about every way imaginable. The platformer’s gradual difficulty and gameplay curve reminds of the Portal games, in the sense that every element is smartly introduced in a way that gives the player a solid foundation before throwing him into the thick of it. Be it the zip lines, canons reminiscent of the barrels from Donkey Kong Country, trampolines or the very cool teleporters that transport the Splody one between the backgrounds and foregrounds, everything has its place and makes it one of the greatest platformers of this console generation, if not all time. (more…)

first person shooter

Best Video Games of 2011 – Honorable Mentions


Pads & Panels will soon be counting down its Top 10 Video Games of 2011, but before we get to that point, we’d like to pay mind to 10 other games that stood out as top contenders for the year. They were all part of our discussion and all deserve some recognition for their achievements in gaming, even if they didn’t quite make the cut of the illustrious Top 10. All 10 of these titles were games that earned our attention and respect in one way or another in 2011, the list of them effectively serving as our 11-20 choices, presented here in no particular order. (more…)

first person shooter

Title: Rage

Platform: 360, PS3, PC


Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: id Software

Review By: Eric Stuckart

Rating: ★★★☆☆

After years of development and hype, Rage has finally hit consoles and PC alike, unfortunately with a resounding thud. It’s hard not to look at the game as a disappointment more than anything else, as it excels at doing everything in its power to underwhelm players, especially knowing how much potential the game has in its possession.

Given id Software’s penchant for developing games heavy on the action and gameplay with the least bit of emphasis falling on the shoulders of the game’s story — one need not look further than Doom for that — it should come to no surprise that the game’s story isn’t exactly the greatest. It wouldn’t even be much of a stretch to say that it makes that of Borderlands look fleshed out, but in Rage’s defense, that partly might be due to the design of the game. Much of the attention is clearly being directed to the visuals and the gunplay, which are far superior to much of the first person shooter competition out there. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to really make up for everything else that Rage has to offer. (more…)

first person shooter

Title: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Platform: PS3, 360, PC


Publisher: Activision

Developer: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games

Review By: Eric Stuckart

Rating: ★★★★☆

Ah, Call of Duty. It must be coming towards the end of the year already. With Modern Warfare 3, the behemoth military shooter franchise finally sees the end of its Modern Warfare storyline with this game, in my opinion the first in the series that truly doesn’t really see much in the form of innovation so much as doing just enough to get by and get the title out.

While that last statement still rings, keep this in mind: Modern Warfare 3 is still an expertly crafted first person shooter, with all of the flourishes that the series has become known for. It’s just that I’m starting to feel a bit of fatigue from the annual release of these games. There’s only so far one can take this genre, and for some people — myself included — it’s starting to see a logical end. Or a need to go back to the blueprints and start thinking up a new war style to exploit to keep things fresh. But I digress. (more…)

first person shooter

Title: Blacklight: Tango Down

Platform: XBLA (PSN, PC)


Publisher: Ignition Entertainment

Developer: Zombie Studios

Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Archie Easter

A downloadable title with big aspirations, Blacklight: Tango Down is a slightly futuristic FPS that’s no slouch in the graphical department. Dashing good looks aside, Blacklight’s central multiplayer mode is fun and includes much of the standard FPS fare in its seven modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Last Man Standing. Much in the same way as many popular shooters like Modern Warfare and Battlefield, progression trough the multiplayer allows players to gain ranks and unlock new weapons in addition to armor customizations. While the game’s presentation hints at an overarching storyline, the scant backstory of the game is buried in two small paragraphs in the “How to Play” section. The only single-player mode available is the 1-4 player cooperative “Black Ops” mode that consists of short mission objectives that lack any narrative against waves of AI opponents. In addition, the enemy AI in this mode is out to lunch, with enemies that get stuck behind cover and routinely run to the same positions. (more…)

first person shooter

Battlefield 3 Live Demo Impressions

Story by Archie Easter

While at C2E2, I got a chance to sit in on a live demo of Battlefield 3. The rep stressed that it was extremely early and unfinished code, so they didn’t allow pictures of any kind. Using DICE’s new Frostbite 2 engine, Battlefield 3 is now boasting some heavy duty tech to back up its arguably more tactical and compelling gameplay. (more…)