Rahul is a video game addict who loves lumbering around in open-world RPGs like "Skyrim" and "The Witcher 3." Join him on his adventure!
The long-running Doom series is renowned for its crazy-fast gunplay. With the first-person shooter market slowly pivoting away from the single-player front, games like Doom have become a rare gem. In my quest to find some good single-player, no-nonsense shooters, I came across quite a few excellent entries. Since I have played all the entries of this listicle, I can vouch for their quality. Let’s take a look.
Games Similar to Doom
- Bioshock: The Collection
- Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
- Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition
- Remnant From The Ashes
- Borderlands Series
- Shadow Warrior 2
- Serious Sam Series
- Rage 2
1. Bioshock: The Collection
The Collection is… well, a collection of all three games in the iconic Bioshock series. While newcomers to the series will find plenty of incentive to go on and finish the trilogy, thanks to the quality of storylines and a fascinating mixture of gunplay and magic, veterans will be a tad disappointed to find out that Bioshock: The Collection offers nothing new in terms of gameplay improvements. Yes, visuals are somewhat improved, but that's it. Well, there is an added video series that breaks down the Bioshock Series from its inception to execution, but nothing else apart from that.
If you're a newcomer, however, you're in for a chaotic treat. Bioshock's painstakingly crafted world is often steeped in violence, madness, and chaos—a world ripe for exploration and experimentation. The first two games take place in Rapture, a fictional underwater city in the 1960s. Developed as a spiritual successor to System Shock 2, an iconic first-person shooter in its day, the first Bioshock puts you in the shoes of Jack, the lone survivor of a horrible plane crash. Things quickly go south when he accidentally stumbles upon Rapture, the underwater city. He must use any means possible to get back to the surface again.
The third game is where the series shifts gears. Bioshock Infinite, the final entry of the franchise, takes place in Columbia, a fictional city floating above the clouds. You play as Booker Dewitt, a grumpy man with a checkered past who has been hired to find the whereabouts of Elizabeth, a mysterious woman.
While the settings change in the third iteration, the gameplay remains the same. The maps of Infinite are more open-ended, providing a background for all kinds of experimentation. If you want to go all guns blazing, you sure can. But the game often encourages you to try the different permutations and combinations of your magical abilities and gunplay. When you know exactly what you're doing, the fights are a delight.
If you're looking for a game like Doom with a better narrative, Bioshock: The Collection should be right up your alley.
2. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda Softworks, New Colossus once again puts you in the shoes of BJ Blazkowicz, the leader and last hope of the resistance army fighting against the Nazis. For the uninitiated, the Wolfenstein series takes place in an alternate reality where Nazis end up winning the war and taking over the US. Your Job is simple; rally the resistance and free America from the chokehold of the Nazis.
I will not delve any deeper into the overarching storyline, but it’s advisable to at least take a glance at the key moments in the franchise before jumping straight into this gory shoot-'em-up action-adventure. Fret not. Even if you don’t want to bother yourself with the lore, New Colossus is a chaotic delight. More often than not, the storyline is a shorthand for the unflinching violence and gore.
If you don’t want to go Rambo on your enemies, there is always an option to sneak around and thin the heard before unleashing your impressive arsenal of guns. While I love the impressive gunplay of this series, it’s great that I get to be sneaky if I want to.
As long as you’re not expecting a grounded, touching storyline, The New Colossus is an absolute bang for your buck.
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3. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition
Bulletstorm is by no means as edgy as it once felt when it was released back in 2011. Then again, it’s over a decade old now. Even the Full Clip Edition, which launched back in 2017, feels a bit jagged by today’s standards.
For the most part, Bulletstorm remains a simple action shooter. You run amok its constricted maps and find innovative ways to kill your enemies, including using the environment to your advantage. In your eight-hour campaign, you’ll be kicking and shooting your enemies to obliteration. While simple combos and gunplay are enough to get the job done, the real fun is in finding innovative ways to kill.
Other than that, there is not much else to do. No side quests to distract yourself; no weapon upgrades to be excited about. At the end of the day, Bulletstorm is a simplistic and slower version of Doom. If you haven’t played it before, you should.
4. Remnant From The Ashes
It's surprising how well Remnant of The Ashes works, despite borrowing ideas from games like Dark Souls, Fallout, and the Halo series. Its procedurally generated campaign might fail to impress at the first glance, but the seamlessness of combat and gunplay make the game grow on you.
Washed up ashore, you're put in the shoes of an unlikely hero who's just been tasked with saving the Earth (I know, generic). Create your custom character, load up some weapons, and off you go. The first hour of this looter-shooter is a drab affair, but as you delve deeper into the heart of the game, its Dark Souls-esque combat gradually tightens the screws. Though you have a few ranged weapons in your arsenal, bullets are a precious resource in the rusted wasteland of The Ashes. More often than not, you have to rely on melee to get the job done and get out of the dodge.
Thanks to its procedural nature, the game offers plenty of replayability value. Though the campaign can be finished in around 30 hours, you'll need to play it multiple times to see everything this underrated game offers.
Doom vs Remnant of The Ashes
Before jumping in, you should know that The Ashes requires a constant Internet connection to play, even if you're going solo. Doom's campaign, on the other hand, can be played offline in its entirety.
Also, Remnant from The Ashes offers much more freedom in combat, allowing you to get up close and personal and show off your melee skills. The earlier entries in the Doom series, on the other hand, don’t offer any melee fights. While, Doom Eternal, the latest entry as of the time of writing, has integrated melee attacks into the mix, it's met with mixed reactions from gamers.
5. Borderlands Series
Over the last decade or so, the Borderlands series has gradually risen to prominence, thanks to its unique cell-shaded style and an assortment of guns, making the series a chaotic playground for your sadistic experimentation with firearms.
Though there is a long-running story arc, it’s just a shorthand for all the shooting and looting. In all candidness, there is not much to write home about when it comes to Borderlands’ storyline. What’s more, with so many DLCs, updates, and spin-offs, it’s difficult to keep track of everything happening in the Borderlands universe. If you’re into games like Doom, the story should not be much of a concern anyways.
Excellent gunplay is what you’re looking for, and this series offers plenty of that. If you can overlook its dry juvenile humor, the Borderlands series is a blast to play through.
While most of the games of the series are above par, skip these entries.
- Tales From the Borderlands - This Telltale entry is a narrative-driven adventure with QTEs. While it’s a great game on its own, by no means it’s even remotely close to Doom.
- Borderlands 1 - Don’t get me wrong. I loved this game when it first came out. Unfortunately, the game hasn’t aged well at all. Not only are the graphics antiquated, but the gunplay and animations feel stiff, at least by today’s standards.
6. Shadow Warrior 2
If it weren’t for Shadow Warrior’s drab humor, this fast-paced shooter would certainly be near perfect. This minor nuisance aside, Shadow Warrior 2 is one of the most expressive genre-bending games I've ever played. While it operates within the confines of a first-person shooter, SW 2 is also a great hack & slash game when you're wielding a Katana.
Of course, it's not a grandiose splendor like Doom, for the Shadow Warrior series is a more constrictive experience. When it comes to the combat mechanics, however, Doom's gunplay is no match for SW 2's weighty combat.
Every shot taken at an enemy has a punch to it, and when they finally go down, you can clearly see their lifeless body bearing the brunt of your carnage. Call me a gorehound, but there is something so therapeutic in shotgun shells leaving gaping holes in your foes' bodies. Don't get me wrong. I don't condone violence, but don't tell me that you wouldn't love to have a shot (no pun intended).
7. Serious Sam Series
If you want a no-nonsense shooter without any frills, the Serious Sam series is one of the best options available out there. Initially a PC exclusive, the series is finally available on consoles as well.
As long as you're not expecting a deep storyline and RPG progression system—something that's a norm in video games these days—this balls-to-the-wall series will satiate your craving for a bombastic first-person shooter. With a boatload of guns at your disposal, feel free to wreak havoc your own way. Starting off with only a pistol, you gradually upgrade your arsenal with bigger, more menacing guns capable of decimating larger hordes. As your arsenal upgrades, the game hurls more difficult obstacles at you.
Though there is a storyline, it can mostly be ignored. Need I remind you that we are Doom fans. The story isn't much concern to us as long as the gunplay is superb.
Play it solo or go co-op with your buddies. Though, I'll admit that the latter is always better. Unless you're really well-versed in FPS, talking hordes down with a team is so much better than taking them on alone. If you’re wondering, there is a multiplayer mode as well. When you're through the single-player campaign, give multiplayer a shot as well.
8. Rage 2
Rage 2 has gotten so much bad press that it's difficult to recommend this underrated shooter to anyone these days without getting a few raised hackles. Thanks to the pre-release hype generated by Bethesda's marketing team—something the game didn't even come close to meeting—Rage 2 instantly got flak for being undercooked and shallow.
Give Rage 2 a shot with no prejudgment. Yes, the story lacks depth. The enemies could have more variety and vibrancy to them. The list of "should have beens" can go on. At the end of the day, however, Rage 2 is not half as bad as it's portrayed to be. And dare I suggest that it's a solid shooter with brilliant gunplay delivery, despite suffering from uneven pacing and an insipid storyline.
Billed as an RPG shooter, Rage 2 has blatantly borrowed most of the ideas from games like Doom, Wolfenstein, and Borderlands, and it's all the better for it. All the mash-ups have resulted in an excellent package—one that should definitely be explored by more gamers.
Did I miss out on any other games like Doom? Let me know in the comments section.