A looter shooter is a video game genre that seamlessly blends RPG features with a point-and-click shooting game.
If done well, adding randomness to components of the game helps it feel more alive. You’ve spent so much time in this environment that you’ve become pretty familiar with it.
Looter shooter games present a whole new century of gaming experience. The language, violence and gore, and sexual themes are second to none.
When you ask what a looter shooter game is, the definition sometimes takes its meaning a little from the name.
Success does not happen by chance. It isn’t coincidental or unjustified, and it isn’t the result of pure luck. Success is the result of a lot of trial and error and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.
It is made up of equal parts originality and emulation and careful observation and precise effort. Success is not a fluke; it is the consequence of hard work, with the goal that the ultimate result would make you better.
It necessitates effort and time. Asking the question, what is a looter shooter game? In that regard, I can’t help but think of one of the newest and most popular video game genres: the looter-shooter.
Looter-shooters, often known as “shooters,” is a sub-genre of video games characterized by completely random arms and ammo, rapid gunplay, and the hunger to obtain this procedurally produced weaponry to have the best fast-paced gunplay possible.
Furthermore, looter-shooters tend to strive for durability, with the unpredictability of loot drops and continued content offered via extensions, season passes, and other means, keeping players involved.
Character advancement is emphasized in these games, just as it is in RPGs, one of the two genres central to this hybrid.
However, although a skill tree or level structure is not essential in a looter-shooter, weaponry constantly boosts your player.
With Flagship Studios’ Hellgate: London, the experiment began in 2007. Hellgate was the first game to blend the adventure role-playing game genre with first-person shooter elements to create an altogether new beast and answered that question of what is a looter shooter game, just by the gameplay of its games.
It was developed by a team led by former Blizzard workers. The game provided great players with a reasonably enjoyable grind centered on equipment randomness and character stat upgrades.
Furthermore, Hellgate was widely touted as a “games as a service” title, implying that the producers intend to support and provide extra content for the game long after it has been released—through usually at a cost.
Both of these characteristics would go on to become looter-shooter hallmarks, giving the sub-genre durability rivaled only by MMOs (massively multiplayer online games).
Despite nailing the “looter” element of the looter-shooter genre, Hellgate’s “shooting” portion fell short, possibly due to the developer’s inadequate experience with shooters.
The ranged classes just failed to produce the punchy, kinetic gunplay we’d come to anticipate from shooters, whereas Flagship understood how to weave melee fighting into the game—hence the bulk of the six classes using it. It was completely flattened.
When the game first came out, it received severely mixed reviews, with outlets highlighting the game’s glitches, repetition, gunplay, and excessive price ($10 month or $150 for life) as some of the game’s major flaws.
Flagship filed for bankruptcy in 2008, only one year after the publication of Hellgate. Although Bandai Namco Games decided to support gamers until February 2009, it was evident that Hellgate’s concepts needed a lot of development before they could become mainstream.
Fortunately for us, the reorganization and subsequent “birth” of looter-shooters as we understand them today were only a few months away.
When we first stepped foot on Pandora in 2009, we were still answering that question, what a looter shooter game is.
We were joined by Cage the Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” a dusty planet teeming with bounty-seeking alien civilization tech and wealth beyond their wildest dreams.
We met four “Vault Hunters”—Lilith, Brick, Mordecai, and Roland—as well as the Borderlands franchise, which has become one of the most recognizable of all looter-shooters.
Borderlands, unlike Flagship, was created by Gearbox Software, a firm recognized for its work in shooters. And, whereas Flagship failed to create engaging gunplay, Gearbox got the art pretty well down pat.
Gearbox’s experience with shooters, combined with Randy Pitchford’s love of RPGs, led the firm down the same route as Hellgate and created Borderlands.
In an interview with Glixel, Pitchford said, “The thing which motivates us toward the progress and that realization and that decision in typical RPGs, that sort of lengthy loop, it’s not mutually exclusive with all the short-term, the visceral, base-level joy we have from the correct kind of moving and shooting in a shooter.” “These two components were just sitting there,” says the narrator. Considering that these two items are not mutually exclusive, there’s a real chance that we can break new ground if we combine them. That was always the case with Borderlands.”
While Borderlands did not invent the shooter-looter genre, it did establish its current mold and solidify its place in video game history thanks to its hilarious conversation, cell-shaded graphics, and inventiveness.
On the other hand, the initial Borderlands game was only a launching pad for Gearbox, who would go on to stretch the genre even more in a few years.
Warframe, a free-to-play looter-shooter created by Digital Extremes, was released in 2013.
The game was launched quietly, to mostly positive reviews and minimal interest; what the game lacks in early response more than makes up for sheer length.
Warframe had over 150,000 players online just a few months ago, making it the 16th most popular game on Steam all time, topping even Among Us and Dead by Daylight.
So, after all these years, what keeps Warframe alive? The game received a fresh, free expansion earlier this month, making it the tenth from its 2013 release.
Warframe has set up itself as a GaaS, or “game as a service,” thanks to its extensive community and game support.
Warframe brought a hitherto unpopular concept in video games: microtransactions, to the shooter looter genre to compensate for the game’s and expansions’ free-to-play nature.
While the game can be played purely via grinding, micropayments allowed players to buy in-game things with real money, avoiding the tedium that the looter-shooter genre often brings.
Since introducing microtransactions in Warframe, practically other looter-shooters have followed suit, including our next release, which started implementing them a year into its development cycle.
While much of the game follows the standard looter-shooter structure, a few aspects of Destiny distinguish it from previous games, including its MMO components.
Despite rejecting the title and pitching itself as a “shared-world shooter,” Destiny has a lot in common with many modern MMOs, aside from the “shared-world” aspect.
First and foremost, Destiny has clans, which function similarly to guilds in MMOs.
It also includes strikes, raids, and other timed events that are updated regularly by the creators and, happily, are free of charge and do not require a subscription.
Furthermore, the game has a centralized hub where you can communicate with up to twenty other players and public events where you can join up with other players and take down larger targets while traveling the many planets.
While Destiny is not an MMO in the typical sense, it does incorporate many of their best aspects and has put a unique spin on looter-shooters in general.
Risk of Rain 2 was published on all consoles in August after leaving early access. While Chucklefish released the first Risk of Rain in 2013, Gearbox released Risk of Rain 2, which may explain the series’ abrupt shift from “Metroidvania” to looter-shooter.
Despite this shift in the genre, Risk of Rain 2 retained the roguelike components from its forerunner, which allowed the game to profit on the present roguelike trend and provided it with the edge is required to be considered a unique entry in the genre.
The game got quite positive appraisals and, at a time, sold over four million copies on PC alone.
Overall, looter-shooters are a relatively new genre, and while the basic premise is well-developed, how this concept is best performed remains a point of contention.
Is it the game’s grind or the developer’s community interaction and continual development that ensures the game’s longevity? And how important is lifespan in the first place? Do we regard these games as standard games with limited lifespans and many entrants, or as MMOs with ever, long-term commitment? How can we balance single-player adventures and increased multiplayer action or microtransactions and redundancy?
Finally, looter shooters provide a unique and psychologically fulfilling experience by combining the long-term reward of character development with the instant satisfaction of high-octane shoot-outs.
Looter-shooters will continue to have a particular place in the hearts of many gamers in 2021, with titles like Borderlands, Destiny, and Warfare one of the most popular titles in the genre.
However, this sub-genre has become a staple in the games industry, making it even more intriguing that it only began 14 years ago.
I believe we have been able to clarify what a looter shooter game is with this article.