Shooters are one of the most popular types of video game on the market today. Any developer or publisher that wants to wander into the genre has to know going in how high the bar is set. This year was no different, and our nominees were made up of the best of the best in the shooter category.
Shooter of the Year Nominees
One look at our nominees list and you instantly know this was a heavyweight tilt. Most of the games on that list come from developers that specialize in shooters, and it’s safe to say that they’ll be some of the most popular games this holiday season. However, there can be only one winner.
Shooter of the Year – Destiny 2
For all the criticism hurled at Bungie over their decisions behind Destiny 2, the shooter mechanics aren’t one of them. Destiny 2, like Destiny, is largely considered to be a solid shooter. Each weapon sounds and feels unique from the rest, and the gun play is satisfying both in PvE and PvP. For me, that’s part of what sets Destiny 2 apart from most of the other nominees; I can partake in any activity with my friends. I get the spot-on shooter mechanics, but I don’t have to play PvP if I don’t want to. I can hang out in PvE, as old men such as myself like to do.
And while Destiny 2 could certainly use a bit more diversity in the characteristics of its weapons, I still love the guns. There are about 20 guns in the game that are on my shopping list for one reason or another. Nameless Midnight, a legendary scout rifle, tops that list because of how good it is. However, The Colony exotic grenade launcher, while not necessarily great, is unique and fun and something that I love to use. I do not get tired of watching my little robot drones fly across the environment and demolish my foes.
This is where Destiny 2 moved well beyond the nominees for me. Even though a meta has developed for what you should use in Trials of the Nine, or the Calus boss fight in the Leviathan raid, I’ve started to use weapons because they’re fun. And that’s what a shooter needs. A meta will always develop, but interesting weapons mixed with solid mechanics will leave your players with options that help break that meta up and make the game more interesting. Destiny 2 does that, even if I’d like to see them go back to random perk rolls on all guns in the future.
Of all the things that feel like a grind in Destiny 2, head-shotting a Dreg isn’t one of them, which is why it’s won our Shooter of the Year award for 2017.