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If you’re a busy bee like me, you probably have a huge backlog of games that you haven’t touched or found the time to finish. Luckily, a lot of indie games on the market are built to be fun, fast-paced romps that you can pick up for an hour or so and still make significant progress, much like old school FPS games, such as Quake, DOOM, and Wolfenstein 3D.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of five fantastic (and affordable!) FPS games reminiscent of retro titles, each featuring high-octane action and seemingly endless amounts of secret rooms in every level. Take note that this list is done in no particular order and is merely a bunch of recommendations for games that you may not have heard of before.
#1. Amid Evil
First up is Amid Evil, a medieval fantasy themed game by New Blood Interactive. Clearly inspired by games like Hexen and Heretic (which the game’s description on Steam very obviously alludes to), it features seven different episodes, each with its own unique theme and set of enemies, ranging from mystical cultists to large, terrifying brutes.
The premise is simple; you’re a badass champion chosen by the gods to eliminate an evil force that has corrupted all the known realms. The game provides you with a small, but highly satisfying arsenal, which includes a staff that shoots actual planets (there’s an achievement for blowing up the Earth!) and a special weapon that can fire black holes. Once you fill up your soul meter, you can activate a temporary alternate fire mode that significantly powers up your weapons, letting you wipe out an entire wave of enemies with ease.
Another game by New Blood Interactive, DUSK pits players against strange cultists and demonic entities as they go through a series of macabre levels in order to uncover and defeat a mysterious entity that’s behind all of this insanity. Right off the bat, you’re thrown into a dark room with a couple of hooded, chainsaw-toting militants, and the action immediately ramps up as you fight out of the basement you’re being kept in.
With extremely fast and fluid movement, a kickass soundtrack, and unapologetically violent visuals, there’s never a dull moment in this action-packed game. It’s an ode to 90s FPS games, and if you’re looking for an old school shooter that drops you right into the action without any BS, then you should definitely give this a try
Built on the GZDoom Engine, Hedon mixes old school and modern game design elements to create a vibrant yet hostile world that rewards players who take their time to explore and read every bit of text they run into. While the game still places emphasis on one’s skill, players must also pay attention to the world around them in order to progress and find the many secrets scattered throughout each level.
Admittedly, the amount of backtracking and puzzle solving may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the game’s satisfying and impactful weapons, badass music, and stunning visual design (considering it’s basically a total conversion of DOOM) more than makes up for the parts of the game that some may find tedious
#4. STRAFE: Millennium Edition
Slightly straying away from the more retro gameplay and design philosophy that the previous entries have, STRAFE is a roguelike game that features procedurally generated levels (which also shifts some secrets around), mutators, and a selection of 3 different starting weapons, ensuring that no two runs feel the same.
Unlike the other games on this list, STRAFE doesn’t provide players with copious amounts of supplies at every turn, so players must learn to manage their health and ammo throughout each stage. Featuring energetic synthwave music and an arsenal of high impact guns, the game is a nice little throwback that twists a traditional formula to cater to a more contemporary audience.
Finally, at #5, is Ziggurat, a roguelike shooter where you play as one of the many apprentices who enter the eponymous structure with hopes of joining a powerful order of wizards. In order to achieve your goal, you must fight through a series of randomized dungeons, making good use of the magical artifacts and perks you collect along the way.
In each level, your goal is to find the portal key to summon and defeat the boss in its chambers in order to open a portal to the next stage. It’s a very straightforward game with gunplay that makes it feel just like any traditional FPS. If you’re looking for a quick and challenging game where each run can be completed in under an hour, then this should be right up your alley!
So those are five FPS games that I think everyone who loves the classics should try (all of which are available on Steam). There are loads of similar games on the market, and if you have any other recommendations, feel free to leave a comment down below!