Top 10 Unconventional Video Game Shooters

Script written by Chris Gregoria Typical shooters have come to all but dominate the video game market these days, but that doesn’t mean that all developers have stopped trying new and innovative ideas. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Unconventional Video Game Shooters. For this countdown, we’ve selected the most unique or unusual games that play in the way a shooter does, with precedence going to those who truly break the mold. There still has to be some form of shooting in the game so no Walking Simulators like SOMA or Dear Esther. And, of course, only one game for each series. Special Thanks to our user "DaveVsTheWorld" for suggesting this topic on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Chris Gregoria

Top 10 Unconventional Video Game Shooters


Typical shooters have come to all but dominate the video game market these days, but that doesn’t mean that all developers have stopped trying new and innovative ideas. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Unconventional Video Game Shooters.

For this countdown, we’ve selected the most unique or unusual games that play in the way a shooter does, with precedence going to those who truly break the mold. There still has to be some form of shooting in the game so no Walking Simulators like SOMA or Dear Esther. And, of course, only one game for each series.

#10 “Steel Diver: Sub Wars” (2014)

Placing players in control of a submarine in battle, Steel Diver: Sub Wars puts the 3DS’ capabilities to full use. Players view the game through the first person perspective in full 3D, and you have the options of using either the circle pad pro or the levers and buttons on the touch screen to control your sub. The game’s focus is on multiplayer battles, throwing players into a four on four battles that require strategic movement and intense precision rather than faced passed twitch skills. Even the multiplayer chat takes to the theme, and uses Morse code to send messages. Oh – and it’s free to play!


#9: “Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath” (2005)

Plenty of games switch up the shooter’s general monotony with crazy weapons, but few do it with just their ammo. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath puts players in control of the Stranger as he sets out to capture wanted outlaws – dead or alive. But the game is completely unique in the way you do so. While it makes use of a capture system, where keeping the criminal alive grants you a bigger reward, the real fun comes from the Stranger’s crossbow. Able to be loaded up with a ton of different small animals to launch at unsuspecting enemies, the Stranger’s crossbow is certainly a unique weapon. Who doesn’t want to throw skunks at people?

#8: “Pokémon Snap” (1999)

Hunting Pokémon is something no kid would ever want to do. So, instead, the developers of Snap decided to put a camera in the hands of player instead of a gun and let them lose in the Pokémon world. As you play as Todd Snap, an assistant to Professor Oak, you’ll travel to a number of different locales to hunt down the Pokémon that live there and snag some awesome pictures. You’ll have some items like bait and pester balls to help you get the best shots, and maybe even facilitate an evolution or two.

#7: “Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare” (2014)

Leaving the defend-your-house style gameplay behind, Garden Warfare brings the series into a 3D, third person competitive shooter. Despite the move to 3D, the game still captures the distinct style of Plants Vs. Zombies with all kinds of zany weapons and gadgets, ranging from weed-killer and warp gadgets to simple seed-spitting plants. As you play and level up, you’ll unlock more progressively ridiculous classes and weapons, and even some crazy special abilities. Oh, and did I mention how ridiculous some of the classes – especially the plants - are? With all kinds of craziness happening on the battlefield, this game is certainly hard to miss.

#6: “Ratchet and Clank” (2002)

Who would’ve expected something called a Lombax to be so…cool? Ratchet and Clank’s selling point was the platforming adventure goodness mixed with third-person shooting mechanics. However, what really set the game apart for most was the exceptionally unusual weaponry that could be found throughout the game. Ratchet’s armory may start small – with nothing but a wrench – the over-sized and ultra-destructive weaponry is just around the corner. With Ratchet using all kinds of weaponry from a giant flamethrower to an auto-targeting nine-round missile launcher, he’s got some of the most memorable weaponry out there. And, as later games got released, the weaponry only got crazier.

#5: “Zeno Clash” (2009)

First person games have almost always defaulted to being only a shooter, but first person melee is just as intense. Zeno Clash is one game that puts a very heavy focus on first-person unarmed combat, and it does so extremely well. Setting itself apart with tons of context-sensitive abilities and attacks, Zeno Clash does a fantastic job of bringing unarmed brawls to life. While there are a few sections where you’ll get access to ranged weaponry, nothing will top the feeling of pummeling an enemy into submission with nothing but your fists in first person.

#4: “Mirror’s Edge” (2008)

Parkour has been a huge part of most recent games, bringing a ton of verticality and freedom to genres that didn’t have them before. However, Mirror’s Edge didn’t just add parkour, the game was parkour. Focusing on the main character Faith’s movement, the game is all about getting from point a to point b in style while trying to stay alive. While the first person combat in the game is still a selling point, this is a shooter than really emphasizes the RUN aspect of “run-and-gun”. With the game never breaking that first-person perspective, immersion is the key here.

#3: “Natural Selection 2” (2012)

Mixing genres often give life to games that are more unique than many of its predecessors, and Natural Selection 2 is one such example. With a mix of twitchy first person shooting and real time strategy management, Natural Selection 2’s gameplay is hard to replicate. The game puts one player on each side in the commander position, allowing them to command their team, and juggle resources and buildings the way a real-time strategy game is played. With the buildings and upgrades being fully destructible, this puts tons of objectives on the huge map, and makes Natural Selection 2 a very strategy-focused game.

#2: “Splatoon” (2015)

How can you have a traditional shooter without any actual violence? Well, Nintendo answered that question with Splatoon, featuring the Inklings – kids that can transform into anthropomorphic squids. Or is it the other way around? (Play you’re a kid you’re a squid) Combat focuses on using squid ink to dominate the battlefield by covering it in their color ink or using it to “splat” opponents. The gameplay focuses heavily on the ink itself, with players able to morph into a squid form to swim through their ink color for faster movement while the other teams color slows you down on foot. And with tons of paint themed weapons from squirt guns to giant paint rollers, Splatoon is a really unique shooter.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions.

“Heretic” (1994)
“Orcs Must Die!” (2011)
“Evolve” (2015)
“Descent 3” (1999)
“Gal Gun: Double Peace” (2015)

#1: “Portal 2” (2011)

Who would have ever thought that testing could be so much fun? Portal 2 tasks players with controlling Chell, a woman trapped in the Aperture Science labs as she attempts to escape with the help of a few select crazy characters. Throughout the game you utilize the portal gun, which allows you to connect two surfaces through a portal to jump, walk, or otherwise pass through to solve puzzle after puzzle. The game’s entire gameplay revolves around the gun, and it makes for a singularly unique experience, which is compounded by the constant audio files and comedy happening throughout the game that will leave anyone in stitches.

Do you agree with our list? What’s the most unique shooter you’ve ever played? For more unusual top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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