10 Fantastic Indie FPS Games


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Shooters tend to simplify the actual mechanics of shooting a great deal. Press R and your character plays a canned animation and your clip is full. That’s not the case with Receiver, though. You have to handle guns the same way you would in real life.

Receiver takes place after a disaster, leaving you alone – albeit with a pistol – against a horde of robotic drones. You die in one hit, and when you die you are dead for good. Unlike other shooters, Receiver has no HUD, and everything related to your gun must be done as though you are actually handling it. Curious about the number of bullets you have left? Take out the clip or check the chamber. Clip empty? Pull it out and put in more rounds. It’s slow and arduous, but this level of simulation gives Receiver a pace unlike any other shooter. Every fight is life-or-death and reloading your weapon is nerve-wracking, especially in combat.

The story is some generic post-cyberpunk silliness about alternate realities and “waking up,” and if you’ve seen The Matrix or Tron you’ll have a general idea of what to expect. It does have a really fantastic soundtrack, though.

The King Of The Wood

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Atmospheric storytelling is arguably the best kind, as it creates stories out of expectation rather than exposition. The King Of The Wood understand this, and the result is a short, but extremely sweet, game that smacks heavily of Blade Runner.

Your goal is simple: find at “retire” a rogue android in a mansion outside of Eugene, Oregon. However, the android has equipped his home with various defensive measures, such as cameras and drones. Equal parts adventure game and shooter, The King of the Wood tells an immersive, engaging story through small details. Things like every mirror in the house being destroyed. It’s a very short game, but it’s freeware, so there’s no point in not giving it a download and try.


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Love is a rarity, even in the normal world of gaming. It is an open-world FPS MMO where you build and maintain settlements against AI hordes. You can give it a whirl for free, but if you want to have actual persistance you will have to shell out a few bucks.

Describing Love – visually or mechanically – is tough. It has a strange, impressionist style to the visuals that I haven’t seen in any games before or since. The game is played somewhere between co-op shooter, god sim, and adventure title. Almost nothing is explained in-game, and you have to experiment to discover what actually works. If you can get past how otherworldly it feels, however, you’ll find an excellent MMO brimming with originality.

Hard Reset

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Robot uprisings are a pretty common theme in sci-fi literature, and Hard Reset is no exception. It follows a policeman-slash-soldier as he runs around plugging up holes in a city’s defenses, picking off rogue robots with his machinegun and plasma gun the entire time. In the process, he becomes embroiled in a strange, almost incomprehensible cyberpunk conspiracy.

Hard Reset is best described as “confusing.” Levels are labyrinthine mazes, visuals have a massive amount of mechanical complexity, and particle effects stream everywhere at the slightest provocation. It’s a good kind of confusing, though. You always feel like something exciting is happening, and even when the game goes a little overboard – such as on the screen shake effects – it’s still really fun. Those looking for something in the style of Serious Sam or other “enemy flood” games will love Hard Reset.

Did we miss some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment on 10 Fantastic Indie FPS Games


On May 2, 2013 at 5:57 am

I may be mistaken but, was Metro 2033 indie? I know none of the big boys developed it. If it was, I would totally add it.