Hilary Giorgi

Steam Debuts a Specialized Category for Retro-Inspired Shooters


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Steam has launched a novel category dubbed "Boomer Shooter" to classify and promote games reminiscent of early 90s first-person shooters. With a hint of humor in the naming convention, the addition serves to spotlight games that emulate the quintessential action feel of earlier eras within the gaming landscape.

Last year, Steam outdid itself by introducing upwards of 14,000 new games, hitting a new record for the platform. To navigate this extensive selection, Steam relies on a well-organized categorization scheme. The latest addition aims to assist aficionados of old-school shooters in discovering games tailored to their tastes.

The Boomer Shooter category encapsulates titles that share DNA with the legendary 1993 release of DOOM, characterized by high-speed, intense gameplay against an array of distinctive adversaries. Players have access to an arsenal of powerful weaponry, from enhanced shotguns to rocket launchers designed to handle the hordes. The movement mechanics in these games typically forgo sprint options but compensate with dynamic actions, including leaping and strafing. At present, nearly 150 titles populate this category, with standout games such as Ultrakill, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, Dusk, and Turbo Overkill leading the pack.

There's been a noticeable revival of interest in such Boomer Shooters, with the category receiving a surge of quality releases. It appears a sense of nostalgia for this particular breed of shooter has been setting in among players. Thankfully, there's no shortage of acclaimed entries for newcomers to explore.

Representative Titles in the Boomer Shooter Genre:

  • Dusk
  • Turbo Overkill
  • Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun

Embodying the essence of this resurgence, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun has captivated players and stands with an impressive 91% Steam rating. It brings to life the essence of the 90s classics, presenting both detailed, pixelated art and an engaging conflict cycle reminiscent of the genre's golden days. Not only does the category feature fresh experiences in this old-school style, but it also encompasses modernized renditions of beloved 1990s titles.

Several of these vintage games have been updated with HD ports, enhancing the visuals and performance while integrating new content. Projects such as Black Mesa have ambitiously reimagined iconic titles, notably transforming the original Half-Life by upgrading graphics, adding modern voice acting, and refining levels. Tackling the overhaul of such a seminal game might be daunting, but by all accounts, the team behind Black Mesa succeeded in honoring and elevating its source material.

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