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5 Vastly Underrated FPS Games to Play if You're Sick of Call of Duty

Not loving the new CoD: Infinite Warfare? Have no fear -- play these great FPS games instead to get your daily shooting fix.

The first game of the Call of Duty franchise took the world by storm when it was released back in 2003. The original game allowed players to experience World War II first hand, and that visceral war experience helped the series gather a passionate following. But eventually it became a victim of its own success.

Players asked for more and more games. Multiple developers promptly answered their request -- and year after year, another entry in the series was released. After so many titles, the franchise lost its essence (and the passion of many fans) somewhere along the way. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is living proof that.

With sales approximately 50% down from Call of Duty: Blacks Ops III, many passionate fans have moved away to other franchises like Battlefield. If you too are disappointed with the direction the series took this time around, and want to try a new experience, here are five underrated first-person shooters that will give you just that. Each entry on this list is a great FPS game in its own right, and deserves more attention than it got upon launch. 

Insurgency

PC (Windows/Linux/Mac)

You may excel in the multiplayer mode of Call of Duty, but how would you perform on a real combat? You have probably asked yourself this question in the past -- and now you can know the answer.

Released by New World Interactive in 2014, this game focuses on realism, as players fight through Middle Eastern locations in Counter Strike fashion. Every element of this game was designed to replicate real life, and its developers used the smallest details to craft a more realistic and tense play experience.

The best example is the bullet counter -- or the lack thereof, to be more precise. Gamers may have a hard time conceiving this, but real soldiers do not have a floating interface telling them exactly how many bullets they have left. They must count each shot they fire, in order to keep track of how many projectiles are still available.

This is the case in Insurgency, as players do not have a HUD displaying their bullets. They must count each shot in order to know when to reload. If a player forgets to count one bullet, it can mean difference between reloading at the right time or running out of projectiles at the wrong moment.

This leads to nerve-wracking moments, as players must survive in battle and keep track of their inventory at the same time.

Another element of this game that adds to the realism is its ambience. In contrast to frenetic games like Call of Duty, Insurgency can have calm moments where being aware of your surroundings will be key for your survival. Players must use their senses to get a drop on the enemy. For example, it's possible to hear footsteps from a distance as an enemy player draws near.

Because players need to manage their inventory, pay close attention to their surroundings when the action ceases, and think strategically, this game offers the hardcore experience Call of Duty lacks. And if you think you are up to the task, you must enlist today and join the fight.

Dirty Bomb

PC (Windows)

What happens when you mix Call of Duty and Overwatch? This game is the closest you will get. Unlike the strategic and slow pace of Insurgency, Dirty Bomb is all about how fast you can react.

Choose your side as you either fight to protect London, or join the opposition in order to destroy it. As you rush through the streets, enemies will pop in front of you and your reflexes will dictate who must live and who must die.

Despite its chaotic premise, knowing how to cooperate with other players will be fundamental for your survival -- and most importantly, picking the right character will be essential for your success.

You have 19 different mercenaries to choose from, each with their own specs so you may choose one that fits your play style. In addition, this variety allows to try out different characters and skills -- prolonging the novelty of the game and adding a replayability factor.

Considering that this game has a vast roster of mercenaries to choose from and features frantic action, it gives to players the opportunity to immerse themselves in an environment that offers an element Call of Duty does not -- a sense of novelty which persists even after dedicating several hours to the game.   

Time Clickers

Android, PC (Windows)

When people think of first-person shooters, the thought of blood and gore likely crosses their minds. But not every shooting game needs to feature intense violence. Time Clickers is one of these exceptions.

With gameplay that consists of shooting down enemies built from blocks, players will test their sharp reflexes as they aim to reach maximum efficiency and get a higher score -- which they can use to unlock and purchase new skills or upgrade their weapon.

Are you tired of the visceral violence depicted in games as Call of Duty, but do not want to let go of the tension or skillshot action they provide? If you answered “yes”, then Time Clickers is the perfect game for you to test your skills.

 

Super Hot

Xbox One, PC (Windows/Linux/Mac)

When playing action-packed first person shooters, it is normal to wish you could slow time down in order to get an upper hand on your enemies. But what if you actually could?

Super Hot allows players to dive into a red and white universe where they will die instantly if hit by a single bullet. Thriving under this circumstance may seem nearly impossible; however, there is something to help players: time will only move if the player does. You can stop time to plan actions, then watch that plan unfold in real time. 

As the developers described:

"See the bullets crawling towards you as you carefully plan your steps and aim your gun. Enjoy the mayhem that is unleashed as you put that plan into motion."

You start alone, unarmed, and must use your ability to stop time to use your fists and get your first gun. From there on out, it's heart-stopping (and time-stopping) action.

With an audacious art style and innovative gameplay mechanics, Super Hot invites players to join an adventure they have never encountered before.

Warface

Xbox 360 and PC (Windows)

Responsible for the Crysis franchise, Crytek earned its spot as one of the top developers in the world. But apart from this renowned series, the studio has also developed another first-person shooter that doesn't get nearly enough credit.

Warface is Crytek’s weapon in the free-to-play gaming market. Featuring the graphics of CryEngine 3, it provides to players a visually dazzling experience -- and its gameplay mechanics are not far behind.

Despite not presenting players with a shooting mechanic that we can regard as “innovative”, the cooperation this game allows makes it shine. Developers added certain actions to the maps that can only be performed when two players join forces, and these have a meaningful impact on how the game flows.

Players can ask a peer to boost them up in order to reach a ledge and go to higher ground. Or they may cooperate to push a car out of the road and clear a path. This element adds depth to the experience, as it increases the number of variables in the game, which includes versus and co-op modes.

Looking to other players for actual help is a far cry from a game like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which encourages independence and provides resources (like jetpacks) that will simply let the user do whatever they need on their own. On that front, Warface is the better experience -- there's certainly more depth, given that you can decide whether you want to cooperate with your team or leave them high and dry. 

Conclusion

If you are a Call of Duty fan, but the direction the franchise took did not please you, and you aren't looking to enlist in Battlefield 1, there are many other games for you to explore.

From the realism of Insurgency to the innovation of Super Hot, there are other productions outside the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises that will keep any first-person shooter fan entertained. Let us know in the comments if you've played any of these games or plan to try them out.

Happy shooting!

Published Nov. 10th 2016

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