Games I have played in the past year that feature shooting as a prominent mechanic:

  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Metro 2033
  • Borderlands
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Gears of War
  • Dead Space
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Alan Wake
  • Vanquish
  • Dark Sector
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
  • Singularity
  • Darksiders
  • Far Cry 2
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3 ODST
  • Battlefield: Bad Company
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Modern Warfare 2
  • Alpha Protocol
  • Fallout 3
  • BioShock
  • BioShock 2
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Bayonetta
  • Crackdown
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2
  • Portal


Once I’m done with Red Dead Redemption, I’m taking a year off from shooters—in fact, from games that ask me to shoot a gun at all. That means no Portal 2, no Deadly Premonition, no Mass Effect 3, and probably several other games that I was looking forward to. There’s just too much of this shit, and it’s depressing. I’m tired of apologizing for it when I try to make a case for games as a serious medium. I enjoy shooters, but I’m sick of them, and they tend to exemplify the things that I find most upsetting about the state of the market.

Obviously, Portal and Far Cry 2 are not “what’s wrong with video games,” but I need to cleanse my palate. Or detox, take your pick. That means nothing played in the first- or third-person in which centering a target and firing is a main mechanic.

This is The Year of No Guns.