Seven More Classic Games Coming Soon as a First-Person Shooter

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by Kyle Ackerman

Take-Two Interactive's X-Com RebootMaybe you were as astonished as I was to learn the revered (and ancient) X-COM series is returning as a first-person shooter and that Electronic Arts is bringing back Syndicate – also as a first-person shooter. Or maybe your first game was Halo ODST and you can't see why anyone would want anything more than an assault rifle, an energy sword and a low ping. If you played X-COM when it was still called UFO Defense, you probably also remember when a PC's power was measured in gerbil flywheels, when DRM involved cardboard wheels and you had to input unit commands using a telegraph key. If you remember that, you might be offended, but you'll still play the game.

I'll play X-COM, because it's... well... X-COM. Others will play it because they get to shoot aliens, and don't much care what it's called. I'll be crying into my vodka gimlet playing Syndicate's multiplayer while some middle-schooler headshots me from across the map and takes a victorious sip from his juice box. It's the same reason we're all going to see Asteroids if it really comes out as a film. Anyone who's dropped a quarter into one of the old Atari machines knows there's no plot, but we remember the name and want to see what happens.

That's why publishers have announced a slew of new shooters based on classic franchises:

Larry Laffer's Luger

Leisure Suit Larry has a Luger... and a light machine gun. What franchise could make a better transition to first-person shooter than the classic adventure games about a lovable sleazebag who just can't get lucky? Let's forget those recent platformers featuring Larry's nephews. This is the original lounge lizard himself. What happens when a man's style, gold chains and one-liners just aren't enough to get him laid either in a casino or on a cruise ship?

Leisure Suit Larry He compensates. With a big gun. Larry's still looking for love, but he wants to win over saucy lasses as a vigilante in the seedy city. Larry is no better at tracking criminals than he is at picking up on social cues, but he can hold a handgun. Larry Laffer's Luger starts off as a revenge fantasy, but when Larry goes after a disco bully who succeeded where Larry failed, he witnesses a drug-deal gone bad involving a buxom undercover cop. When her cover is blown, Larry comes in, guns blazing.

Finally getting a little female attention, Larry goes on a crime-busting spree around the city. On the way, three resourceful beauties join Larry on his crime-fighting spree, equipping a leopard-printed conversion van with everything a modern-day crime-fighter could need. Does Larry's Leisuremobile have a Police scanner? Check. Fully mobile crime-fighting computer? Check. Disco Ball? Check. Fuzzy handcuffs? Well, those are for the van. Larry totes a bigger firearm with every level. He doesn't need cuffs.

Lemmings Go Loco

Remember those tiny, paunchy guys with green hair? They're not marching to their deaths any more. Loretta Lemming was kidnapped by the trap-happy Weasel clan. When a lemming alone is doomed, it takes an entire clan of lemmings to whack a weasel and rescue a den mother.

LemmingsTired of only having two weapons to blast faceless clones or aliens in tight corridors? The Lemmings are armed to the gigantic schnoz with everything from picks and mining lasers to umbrellas and collections of wooden planks. Take control of Lloyd Lemming and lead the remaining lemmings into battle. Transform the entire battlefield with your lemming helpers. Need cover to fire at the Weasel onslaught? Turn one of your lemming pals into a blocker and make a place to hide. Want a higher vantage point so you can umbrella-leap behind enemy lines? Have a couple of builders put those planks to good use and build a colossal stairway to nowhere. Are weasels guarding the only exit to a tunnel? Set your diggers to tunnel right past them, grab a fencing foil from your lemming followers and melee those weasels in the back.

Lemmings Go Loco abandons that whole regenerating health trend. Lemmings don't heal just because they hide behind a rock. No sir-ee. The lemming clan starts with 99 lemmings at the beginning of each level. Each time Lloyd is killed by a weasel or trap, another Lemming steps up from the ranks, hefts the grapple gun and becomes the new Lloyd. Want to rain destruction on the Weasels? Invoke the ultimate lemming power and channel the spirit of the bomber. Then hurl that exploding lemming right into the Weasel phalanx. Every power or life lost uses up a lemming follower, so replay levels to save as many lemmings as possible.

Lemmings don't stampede to their own doom. Now, they deal destruction shrouded in floppy green hair.

Sam & Max On the Rails

The portly canine private investigator (Sam) and his hyperkinetic rabbity thing of a partner (Max) have one of the most devoted cult followings around. The Freelance Police have starred in more recent episodic adventures, but their classic LucasArts adventure game Sam & Max Hit the Road will always have a special place in gamers' hearts.

Sam and Max Hit the RoadMax isn't the kind of anthropomorphic dog in a baggy suit to be caught running around and ducking behind cover, so Sam & Max On the Rails is being built as an on-the-rails shooter for the PlayStation Move, Wii and Kinect. Gamers get to step into Max's oversized shoes and wield the controller like Sam's trombone-sized .44 hand cannon while Max shouts unhelpfully from the sidelines.

Launching each level from a roadside Snuckey's restaurant, Sam and Max follow a predetermined path through America's weirdest low-rent attractions. Leaping from the scenery are familiar foes such as a lovestruck bigfoot and sideshow carnies alongside new enemies ranging from the chupacabra to the Jersey Devil. Max himself is a special attack that Sam can slap into the underbrush to clear troublesome targets.

Every level ends with a boss battle that brings insult swordfighting into the age of the shooter. Every hit of a boss' vulnerable zones launches dialog that unravels the mysteries of classic Americana as only the Freelance Police can. Sarcasm like Sam's will defeat the boss, and headshots eliminate bad choices.

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Games Coming Soon as a First-Person Shooter

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on December 4, 2011 4:00 PM.

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