You guys know I’m huge into arena shooters. They are very high skilled games and full of constant action and excitement. Since there often isn’t a ‘level-up system,’ when you enter the arena it is just you and your abilities. Your score depends on how well you perform, how fast you can react and how well your aim is. Arena shooters, however, have been pretty absent from the gaming community for awhile. 2005 really to me feels like the last big year with Painkiller. Afterwards, there were some other games like Quake 4 that attempted to live up to these older arena games, but they never seemed to live up to the expectations. For a few years, it really seemed like arena shooters like the classic Quake games, Doom games and Unreal Tournament games had died out and fallen out of popularity. It really is sad that I have had a hard time finding a newer game that is able to capture that classic, heavy skill arena shooter.


Now, in 2014, we are starting to see glimpses of arena shooters coming back into the spotlight. I think people are getting bored of the more camping, slower movement shooters that have been coming out so much. Not to say these games are bad at all, I really enjoy Battlefield, but we have had so many of them coming out that people want to see something new besides another Call of Duty. The gamers want more and want to be pushed farther. They want games that are fast and involve creativity, not games where deaths are always two bullets to the back of the head. I miss that feeling of being able to have acrobatic fights that really push my limits, where you shoot a rocket at someone’s feet and then shoot them with a shotgun while they are flying through the air. People want to see how far they are able to go with new tactics and fast reflexes. I think people want a game where you aren’t leveling up and where the situation isn’t ‘I have this gun that you don’t have yet.’


We are slowly starting to see developers working on more of these kinds of games, and really it is extremely exciting! It’s almost been 10 years since the last great arena shooter was made, and now companies are actively working on these games. Of course, what the games look like and are going to be like is still unknown, but it puts a spark of hope into arena shooter fans. It really is an exciting time for fans of these games, as we are looking ahead at a few different games maybe coming out in the next few years. The launch of the new Doom game, the Battleborn game looks pretty interesting from Gearbox Software, and there is even talks of Cliff Bleszinski working on a game with his Boss Key Productions. Recently, I’ve been playing the UT4 pre-alpha, which has really been a unique experience. If you want a glimpse at it, I have a video I recently posted of me playing it. The game is still really early in development so it is hard to see what the end product will be, but I really enjoyed playing it. I do really like how they are allowing people to buy into the testing process and become a part of the development, though. It allows for the players to be able to add input and really become a close part of the creation of the game. Really, looking at all these games all I can think is ‘Wow, now we might have some games that we can dive into for a few years!’


I feel like we are all on the edge of our seats waiting for these games to come out and see what these companies can do. I personally really want to try to potentially get involved in one of these projects, even maybe help create one of these next arena shooters!  I’m not looking to consult on a bunch of different projects, I really want to be a part of the studio and work on the game.