Super Hot Articles RSS Feed | Super Hot RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Why Microsoft Will Always Have the Best First Person Shooters Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:57:35 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Becoming an independent video game developer is not an easy task. You will work with limited resources, reduced staff, and not enough funding, but if you present the industry with a concept that grabs the attention of larger companies, they may come to you and offer a solution to your problems.

Console exclusivity is one way of doing this, something Microsoft has a long-standing tradition doing, releasing exclusive games for its consoles with an emphasis on the FPS genre. Of course, the finest example is the Halo franchise.

In the latest generation of video game systems, Microsoft released the Xbox One and as of now, it features four exclusive FPS games: Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 5: Guardians, Titanfall and Super Hot, which is one the vastly underrated games you must play when you are tired of Call of Duty.

Considering that the Halo franchise is owned by Microsoft itself, it is no surprise to see it locked in on the Xbox. But there is also Titanfall and Super Hot, both developed by independent companies, which decided to side with Microsoft.

The company offers payment to grant the exclusivity of the game for its consoles, but the side-effect of this move is the reduction of the potential market a game can reach. With that said, what does Microsoft have to offer that makes siding with them an irrefutable offer for these indie FPS developers?

Console exclusivity through the years:

In previous generations of systems, signing an agreement to make a game exclusive to a certain console was the best modus operandi to follow because the systems available in the market featured significantly different hardware. 

It was difficult; therefore, to deliver a game for more than one platform, because adapting the project to a different technology would consume too much time and money. As the decades went by, on the other hand, systems started to converge towards a single point.

In the current generation of gaming systems, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One contain technologies with similar capabilities, reducing the amount of time and resources required to develop a game and thus making cross-platform releases more viable.

But with the ease to produce a title for several systems, why would a company opt to suppress a portion of its market share in detriment of an exclusivity deal? And why with Microsoft especially?


It is not just about the cash:

Money moves our world the same way a chest full of loot drives our virtual adventures, but Microsoft has an advantage over Sony in this regard. While the latter can invest tens of millions of dollars in the development and the promotion of a game, the previous can offer something else.

Signing a deal with Microsoft not only grants an abundance of financial resources for marketing and production, but it also ensures that the product has the possibility of being released on the PC.

Considering that the biggest drawback of participating in an exclusivity deal is the limitation of sales, being able to release your game on two different platforms, while under a contract of exclusivity with Microsoft, hinders the damage caused by the reduction of the market share. This is something Sony cannot offer.

There is, however, another factor that contributes to Microsoft being attractive to FPS developers.

User experience:

Being able to develop a game for the PC, while in an exclusivity contract with Microsoft, does not only allow the developer to release the game in two different systems but by delivering a PC version of the product, it can live up to its true potential.

Desktop computers can offer better graphics and higher frame rates, thus creating a more compelling visual experience. But this is not just about looks. Computers feature a mouse instead of a controller, and this device allows for more accurate movements and a more fluid gameplay experience.

In games where being precision is key, such as Titanfall and Super Hot, being able to receive funding, to develop for the PC is an advantageous perk. One again, an advantage Microsoft offers.


While Sony has the Killzone franchise, Microsoft is the company you should be eager to receive a phone call from if you are an indie developer, as it can offer you with more than just money.

It can present you with the opportunity of developing for more than a single platform, and it may grant you the chance and the resources to produce your game on the PC, helping it live up to its plenitude, with better graphics and a more fluid gameplay.

5 Vastly Underrated FPS Games to Play if You're Sick of Call of Duty Thu, 10 Nov 2016 14:34:49 -0500 Caio Sampaio

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. 


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.


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. 


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!