There’s something awfully special about running and gunning your way into the thick of a bullet-hell utopia—especially when armed to the teeth with an arsenal of high-powered weapons and upgrades. It makes us feel colossal, almost as if we’re built to destroy and, in turn, reject the consequences of our actions. And yeah, we love it. A little too much at times, perhaps.
Of course, we’ve seen our fair share of bullet storms over the years, which has only continued to stoke the fiery hunger in our hearts. And, like RAGE, many games have gone all-out to conjure up a worthy banquet of bloodbaths and brutality, if only to help satisfy that very hunger ever so slightly. With that, you can just about get your fill if you pull up a chair to one of these five bullet-riddled frenzies.
Bulletstorm was perhaps one of the most slept on action-adventure games of 2011, which is precisely why we’re eager to shovel it back into new soil over a decade later. Thanks to the high-octane shoot ’em up chapter, those who made the right decision to fork hours into it was able to feast on the very gizzards of its bullet-hell world, resulting in a hangover unlike anything else once concluded.
Similar to games like DOOM and RAGE, Bulletstorm favors full-on clashes with little room for maneuver. As Grayson Hunt, a former Black Ops soldier turned space pirate, you’re tasked with taking the fight to your ex-commander, a figure who tricked you and your team into committing unforgivable war crimes. Between absolution and revenge, however, idles a treasure trove of barbaric trials and hostile enemies. But with a little itchy trigger finger, you’ll find yourself making much more than a dent in the enemy lines.
4. Serious Sam (Series)
Serious Sam can only be described as the offspring of Destroy All Humans, and perhaps DOOM, though with a much brighter color scheme. Story-wise, it’s leaps and bounds from cracking the Game Awards. But mechanically, it’s an absolute blast, and prides itself on mindless mayhem, riddled in bullets and epic gun-slinging carnage.
The good thing about Serious Sam is that, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to experience the series from scratch. So long as you have an itchy trigger finger and a few hours to spare, then you’re basically free to cast your eye on whatever rolls out first. Because frankly speaking, each game boasts an equal number of opportunities to throw down and bag fleshy trophies. It’s a matter of opinion, if anything.
3. DOOM (Series)
There’s no ignoring the sheer brilliance of the high-powered DOOM series, as it claims possession of one of the most memorable first-person shooter structures in the gaming industry. This has been the case ever since its 1993 release on the MS-DOS, a time when high-velocity brawls didn’t come around all that often. With its launch, of course, a revolutionary concept was kick-started into ignition, effectively making the soon-to-be throne holder a permanent fixture on the market.
Over the years, DOOM has had a number of changes, both graphically and mechanically, though one thing has never really changed—and that’s the gameplay itself. So high-powered and advanced is it, that it makes other shoot’em up entries look like Viva Piñata. And you know, that’s precisely why we love it. It needs not change the formula, because the brew is as sweet as it’s ever going to get. Ain’t no reason to swap out these wheels!
2. Borderlands (Series)
Borderlands, as a series, has become a true highlight on the action-adventure market. As a force to be reckoned with, the Gearbox poster child proudly hoists the shooter-looter colors for others to admire. Although many have tried, only few have managed to make the ascension and sit on the same peak as it. Whether or not that’ll change in numbers over the coming years is another question.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the genre or a returning pro, because the fact is, Borderlands can accommodate any player, regardless of skill or experience. It’s explosively addictive, unintentionally hilarious, and well worth the truckload of hours anyone is willing to put into it.
1. Wolfenstein (Series)
Running along the same vein as DOOM, Wolfenstein brings the same level of bullet-infused mayhem, only with an actual story to flesh out the mindless gore and arena fights. And on that note, it packs a serious punch, to the point of making you feel front and center to a cinematic experience, rather than a bog-standard shooter with no meat on its bones.
Start with The New Order, and you will find yourself thrown into the deep end of a war-heavy tale, where survival only comes in the form of mindless killings and close-knit communities. Fortunately for you, you assume the role of one of the baddest rebels in the known gaming world. So, if you enjoy being an army of one and taking on unfair odds—then perhaps it’s time to introduce yourself to B.J. Blazkowicz. Madness awaits.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.