Let Me Help You Fall in Love with Shooters

Halo Shooter

Over the past week, two different people, who I believe are not part of a conspiracy of asking me eerily similar things, mentioned “not really enjoying shooters” but wanted to know more about BioShock Infinite and other shooting games.

So, I thought I would lay some stuff out there for people who are not necessarily into shooters and where to start if you want to give them a chance.

Step 1: Go out and buy the Orange Box. Do not borrow it, unless it is from one of those friends who doesn’t notice you’re just kind of keeping his or her belongings. The Orange Box contains Half-Life 2, which, as I have previously mentioned on many occasions, is the best. But all of the games on the Orange Box are seriously worth owning.

Step 2: Gather many, many refreshments around you. I recommend energy bars and some Vitamin Water. If we’re going to do this thing, we’re going to do it right. And I don’t want you getting dehydrated or malnourished.

Step 3: Play Half-Life 2. The best way to start off is with a really good, really solid first-person shooter that allows you to ease into getting a handle on your weapons and how they work before you are attacked on all sides. Half-Life 2 is one of the best first-person shooters I have ever played. Holy shit, it is so fun, I want to play it right now. Ahem.

Step 4: Experiment. Remember that everyone has his or her preferences when it comes to weapons, and it’s up to you to find what makes you comfortable and to discover what weapons work best on what enemies. While it might seem like a super good idea to equip only a grenade launcher and blow up everything in sight, you will soon discover that at close range, grenade launchers are a terrible idea. Also, there is nothing like a really terrific sniping spot.

Step 5: Chill out. You’re going to die a few times, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s how you learn how the game works.

Step 6: Finish playing Half-Life 2 (and the additional episodes) and congratulate yourself on your own awesomeness. Then, try out some other games.

One thing that both people mentioned to me was that they were not into violence. (Is anyone, besides Charles Manson?) The best way to avoid extreme violence is to take the game up to the counter at GameStop and pretend you’re buying the game for your 10-year-old nephew and ask how gory it is. That way they won’t gossip about how lame you are after you leave. That tip is yours for free. You’re welcome.

Another thing I usually tell people who are not into the violence of shooters is to play Halo. All of them. Because you’re not shooting at human targets that way. Their blood is orange and hilarious, and they drop awesome grenades. Also fun and good for co-play? Left 4 Dead. Your targets are zombies, and some of them explode when you shoot them. Just know that I always play with Bill. No exceptions. So don’t even think about stealing him.

However, if you are not opposed to violence and enjoy the screams of your enemies, then I do highly recommend BioShock above almost any other first-person shooter.

BioShock, like Half-Life 2, eases you into your weapons and gives you time to test them out before you challenge any of the really difficult opponents. You also have your Plasmids/Vigors, and there is nothing so satisfying as shooting bees at your enemies with your left hand, whilst shooting a gun with your right. It’s so fun that I want to play it right now…right after I play Half-Life 2 again. And then play more BioShock Infinite (which I recommend not playing until you’ve at least played through the first one).

Admittedly, I don’t know everything about shooters, as I am not into Call of Duty, Borderlands, etc. So, I am opening up further discussion in comments. What shooters do you recommend? What are your favorites? Let’s all enjoy shooters together.

Bethany Bryan writes funny things at Welcome to Bethville! and xoJane.

4 thoughts on “Let Me Help You Fall in Love with Shooters”

  1. This is great! I agree wholeheartedly with the Orange Box suggestion, but for those who have no experience with shooters and might be a little nervous about jumping in, I’d actually recommend starting with Portal before Half-Life 2. Portal’s a puzzle game, not a shooter, but it gets you used to the mechanics of using a gun (a portal gun!) and at various points requires you to aim and shoot accurately at specific targets, shoot accurately while in motion, dodge turret fire and utilize cover…all skills you’ll need for Half-Life 2 and other shooters. Plus, it’s one of the best games ever, it’s short, and then when you’re done you feel extra prepared and confident to tackle HL2 and the following episodes.

    Also, the advice about chilling out and accepting the fact that you’re going to die, probably multiple times, is spot on. Go forth and shoot something, everybody!

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