Decoding the Enigmatic World of Boomer Shooters

Zachary Granger

29 Sep. 2023

Decoding the Enigmatic World of Boomer Shooters

Boomer Shooters, a term that has been gaining traction in recent times, is a subgenre of games that is as intriguing as it is nostalgic. This classification of games, promoted by New Blood Interactive and other developers, is bringing back the essence of gaming from the 90s, giving it a modern twist and captivating the gaming community. Let's dive deeper into this subgenre that is stirring up the gaming world.

Unraveling Boomer Shooters: Gameplay Takes Center Stage

The genesis of Boomer Shooters can be traced back to 1993, with the release of the iconic Doom by id Software. Doom revolutionized gaming by emphasizing robust gameplay mechanics over a complex storyline. The players, assuming the role of the Doom Guy, navigate through military bases on the moon of Phobos and eventually battle through Hell itself. This game, with its speedy, action-packed gameplay, became the blueprint for many Boomer Shooters to follow. The priority is always the gameplay. Games like Dusk from New Blood Interactive epitomize this approach, ensuring every level brings a fresh gameplay element or a challenging enemy configuration.

Embracing Aesthetics of the Past

Boomer Shooters, with their focus on gameplay, adopt a distinct visual style. The era these games reference was visually simple, allowing developers to employ low poly 3D or 2D graphics that enhance the art style. For instance, HROT, a Boomer Shooter, embraces the brown and grey hues of games like the original Quake, creating a visually interesting yet oppressive atmosphere. Amid Evil, another game from New Blood, takes inspiration from Heretic and Hexen, combining fantasy elements with sophisticated lighting effects and visual spectacle.

Design Philosophy: Prioritizing Gameplay

The emphasis on gameplay doesn't just influence the visuals; it dictates the design philosophy of Boomer Shooters. A visually simpler game allows developers to quickly iterate ideas, ensuring the design complements the gameplay. As a result, weapons feel more impactful, and level design becomes more intricate. Prodeus, a modern Boomer Shooter, exemplifies this approach, packing every level with secrets and upgrades that fuel the fast, brutal gameplay.

Boomer Shooters: A Balance Between Gameplay and Visuals

Boomer Shooters offer a refreshing alternative in a gaming world where graphical fidelity often overshadows gameplay. The stagnation of certain franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield highlights this imbalance. However, games like Doom (2016) and Doom: Eternal, and the Wolfenstein series are exceptions that manage to balance stunning visuals with exhilarating gameplay. This focus on gameplay over fidelity, combined with visual delights, is making Boomer Shooters increasingly popular among both developers and players. As the gaming world continues to evolve, Boomer Shooters promise to keep gameplay at the forefront while delivering a visually pleasing experience.