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While a lot of action games let you play as an unstoppable badass who can take on endless waves of enemies (like the Batman: Arkham games, Devil May Cry, and pretty much most of the Assassin’s Creed franchise), few games can make us feel truly immersed by letting us do the same through a first person perspective.
I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely love using melee weapons in FPS games. Getting up close and personal to strike down your foes just feels so satisfying, especially when the combat system goes beyond just mindlessly spamming the left mouse button. With that in mind, here’s some FPS games, both old and relatively recent, that have fun melee gameplay!
First up, we have arguably one of, if not the best medieval slasher game out at the moment. MORDHAU features a complex combat system where you can slash, stab, parry, and chamber your way to victory. The game ensures that skill is heavily rewarded to the point where you can dominate people with nothing but a frying pan if you’re good enough.
It does have a really high skill ceiling, but once you start to get the hang of it, you’re guaranteed to have a blast with this game!
Released in 2006, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic is the oldest game on this list, but its combat system holds up to this day. Honestly, the only way I can describe how it plays is that it’s what pretty much any Elder Scrolls game’s combat system should have been.
As the game’s built on the Source engine, you can pull off a lot of goofy and hilarious kills. You can cut rope bridges, kick enemies around, throw objects whether by hand or using telekinesis, or drop objects by destroying certain elements of the environment.
I feel like this might be a bit divisive, but hear me out. Despite its hardcore ultrarealism (I’ll be covering this in a future article) and initial learning curve, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a pretty fun combat system that really shines in 1v1 situations. This may be the most frustrating entry in this list as the game treats your character like a regular peasant, which, in context, you kinda are.
It starts out slow, and you will suffer in the beginning while you’re still learning how to fight, but it’ll get better. Trust me, once you get some decent gear and a bit of practice, you’ll start to feel like an actual knight. Unfortunately, the combat does fall off once you’re facing more than one person, as it becomes a tedious mess where the only way you can reliably win is by parrying nonstop.
If you were ever a fan of Left 4 Dead, then you’ll feel right at home with Vermintide 2. It’s a melee-focused coop game based on the Warhammer Fantasy IP, and it’s just as epic as it sounds. Cut your way through armies of Skaven, Northmen, and Beastmen as one of five heroes, each with three distinct classes and a wide variety of weapons, each with its own unique, albeit simple, moveset.
Not only is it satisfying to take down hordes of minions, the various types of special enemies (there are rat gunners, chaos warriors, and even ogres) and challenging bosses force you to actually play smart and not just mindlessly swing your weapon/s around until you reach the exit, adding an element of unpredictability and a lot of depth to each run.
Finally, we have what I can only describe as the metalhead child of DOOM and Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. ELDERBORN is a fast-paced slasher that borrows a lot of elements from established franchises, such as Dark Souls (checkpoints that heal you but also respawn enemies) and Hexen (retro-style puzzle solving and key hunting).
There’s not really much else to say about the game other than that it’s a wild adrenaline rush from start to finish. It’s like a more action-oriented version of Dark Messiah, complete with a diverse arsenal and a simple, yet impactful, progression system. I’ll be writing a rapidfire review about this game soon, so be on the lookout for that!