The Top 10 First-Person Shooters On The Wii U

Finding 10 FPS titles was a challenge

10 – The Letter (14%)

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The Letter is a first-person adventure horror game; or so it claims to be. The game was $2 on the eShop and crowdfunded affair. Well, sort of. The Letter failed to reach its development goal of $5,000, only making around $300. But thanks to Indiegogo and their flexible funding the game got to keep the $300 to develop the game; and boy does it show.

We’re already playing it lose with the shooting part of the first-person shooter, but the Wii U is pretty lite on them, so we have to make some exceptions. The Letter is one of those “wander around” games where you just search in the dark finding letters the move the “story forward”.

The Letter is not scary, clunky, and looks like a practice game someone makes in Unity just to learn the software. What’s worse is that the game is short. How short? Well, this video lasts about as long as the entire game. We think the folks at Cubed3 said it best in their review noting that “This is not a video game; it is one man's attempt to exploit ignorant consumers.”

9 – Chasing Dead (24%)

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Chasing Dead is a story-based, Sci-fi/Horror First-Person Action Shooter for the Wii U. It’s unfortunate that the game fails in all aspects of its description. Chasing Dead is so utterly unpolished that you’ll wonder if the people running the Nintendo eShop even look at the games that come across their desks for approval.

The game feels like one of those cash-grab ValueSoft shooters that graced PC’s back in the early 2000s. Chasing Dead tries to be different by being exposition heavy,with the story being told with real actors; actors being a very loose definition of the term.

The audio mixing is also atrocious, so much so that you won't be able to tell what they are saying, although this may actually be a positive. It really hurts us to know that the script and audio mixing for this Top 10 list has had more care and effort put into it than the mess that is Chasing Dead. 

The game has a physics engine, or at least we think it does. Your character has issues with all sorts of basic things, with climbing up stairs being difficult without jumping, and if you ride an elevator the game sometimes thinks you’re simply falling. These technical glitches get so bad that Chasing Dead may cause your Wii U to lockup forcing a hard restart. 

8 – The Walking Dead Survival Instinct (34%)

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The Walking Dead is a first-person shooter based on the AMC TV show and starring the Dixon brothers. If you don’t remember the game don’t feel all that bad, most people don’t even know this one exists. So, we are talking about an FPS game that people barely knew about getting ported to a console not all that many people owned.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a terrible game that is probably best not remembered. The biggest problem is that Survival Instinct feels like an unfinished mess simply released to take advantage of a license. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Activision printed an unfinished beta version instead of the final master of the game when they released it.

Combat is clunky, and the gameplay is boring and uninspired. Fighting zombies is a chore in the best of situations, and when the hordes start coming the game simply falls apart. Survival Instinct isn't helped with being riddled with bugs that often turn this very serious game into a comedy of floating zombies. Survival Instinct should be avoided at all costs and comes off as more a proof of concept pitch instead of a full game.

7 - 007 Legends (40%)

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007 Legends ties together five classic Bond movies and his latest outing (at the time), Skyfall, in one video game. Too bad most people skipped over this game and this port on the Wii U, with not even Metacritic having enough critic reviews to give it an average score. When you have an already poor game, chances are the port to the leftover console isn't going to ever be the greatest; 007 Legends is no exception.

The game is technically a first-person shooter that cherry picks famous moments from the various James Bond films to let you play. The idea is an interesting one, but since this is a generic FPS all of the moments featured lack any heart and soul. Where James Bond always felt slick and cool, in Legends he just feels like a standard Call of Duty guy that loves him some mindless killing with the occasional God of War interactive fight scene.

007 Legends is nothing but a rushed mess to take advantage of the Wii U and its lack of first-person shooters. It was dated and clunky when it hit the Wii U and looks all the more sad when you realize Black Ops 2 exists on the console. If you've never watched the Bond films featured in this game you’ll wonder why anyone loves this character and his films so much. 

6 – Soul Axiom (45%)

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Soul Axiom is a cyber-thriller, combining elements of exploration and puzzle solving gameplay with an intriguing storyline. The game is a port for the Wii U, but one that has a lot of technical issues that keep it from living up to its full potential. Soul Axiom was already a game with a lot of problems, so adding more technical issues really destroys what fun it originally brought.

The puzzles are really the star of the show in Soul Axiom but it’s everything in-between that really lets the game down. The level design is subpar, controls are a bit wonky and make you feel like you’re fighting with the game more often than not. This is made all the worse as the game is paced very unevenly.

Soul Axiom feels much longer than it needs to be, with much of your time spent asking yourself “what do I do now” as you run around. This is all a shame because there are some really neat ideas introduced in the game, and if it were a bit shorter, a bit tighter, Soul Axiom could have been pretty good.

In the end Soul Axiom will be best known for the controversy around a YouTube personality wanting $11,000 to review and create a video for the game. It’s a far more interesting story than that of the game itself. If you really do want to check out Soul Axiom stick to the version on the PC for the best experience.

5 - Paranautical Activity (46%)

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Paranautical Activity combines the classic FPS action of games like Doom and Quake, with the randomness and difficulty of modern roguelikes like Binding of Isaac and Spelunky. Again, that’s a big description that shows the grand vision that these indie games have, but don’t always live up too. The game is another port to the Wii U eShop of what was already a very flawed game.

Paranautical Activity mentions Doom and Quake but the game looks more like a Minecraft mod more than anything else. The roguelike aspect of the game is where the focus lies, but it’s not implemented well. There’s no story, simply kill everything and move up the tower. You die and it all starts over again. This is fine, but the game is a little too random and cheap, making you feel like it cheated you and not that you did something wrong strategically. There are some really cool ideas here but everything simply feel too disconnected from each other.

The retro style is a nice idea, but the Minecraft-like design isn’t reminiscent of any classic shooter. Levels are all pretty bland and while they do generate randomly, they still feel very much the same because of the overall design. Add in some annoying load times and Paranautical Activity feels more of a fight against the games design and not against the challenge it tries to present. 

4 – Call of Duty: Ghosts (69%)

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Call of Duty: Ghosts wasn’t the best entry into the series and is the game many consider the point where the single-player aspect of the series started to become an afterthought. Think back to Ghosts and the only thing people will probably remember is the part of the game where you get to play as a dog.

The game is a port for the Wii U and is one of the best multiplayer shooters you’ll find on the system; not because it’s great, but because there just weren't all that many. Ghosts simply didn’t do much of anything to move the franchise forward in any meaningful way other than letting Wii U players take each other on in multiplayer.

Call of Duty Ghosts is the sort of game you buy simply because there are no other first-person shooters on the Wii U. You probably also bought the game in hopes that giving Activision your money meant they would later turn around and bring the next installment to the Wii U for your monetary support.

They didn't. 

3 – Ziggurat (70%)

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Ziggurat focuses on fast-paced first-person shooter action, with an old-school vibe and dungeon crawling elements. Add in the RPG and roguelike aspects and you have a fun little romp on the Wii U. This port is pretty barebones on the system with nothing extra added, but it works well and adds a nice twist to the standard FPS formula.

Ziggurat is a short game with only five levels, but the roguelike aspect of the game makes coming back for more something you’ll actually want to do. The random nature of the game means most every experience will be new, and the fast-paced action changes up the traditionally slow nature of the dungeon crawler.

It’s a bit of a shame that the game doesn’t take advantage of the Wii U Game Pad in any meaningful way, but you can play the entire adventure said game pad if that’s your cup of tea. Ziggurat strips away a lot of the fluff that so many indie games get bogged down with, instead simply focusing on being fun. The only thing holding the package back are the framerate issue the game faces when battles get intense. 

2 – ZombiU (77%) 

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ZombiU is a Survival-Horror First Person Shooter that takes advantage of the Wii U Game Pad. This launch title is actually a remake of one of Ubisoft’s first video games and showed that Nintendo was trying to shed the kids only branding that it earned itself over the years. Thankfully, ZombiU was a bloody good time, leading the game to get updated on future consoles.

You can think of ZombiU like a slightly expanded zombies mode from the Call of Duty series. You run about running errands and fortifying yourself from the zombie onslaught. The combat is a simplistic affair, almost working against you at times, but it feels right in the sort of world ZombiU is trying to present.

It’s a brutal game that isn’t afraid to turn up the challenge, sometimes to the point of feeling unfair thanks to the controls that feel a bit overly-complicated thanks to that brand-new Wii U Game Pad, and trying to do too much with it. But if you can get adjusted to them and prep yourself for a hard fought battle, you’ll probably get a good bit of fun out of ZombiU. 

1 – Call of Duty: Black Ops II (81%)

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Another launch title, Black Ops II makes use of Wii U’s second-screen including the ability to view multiplayer maps, call in score streaks and choose load-outs. It’s strange that the best first-person shooter on the console comes from the launch of the system. It usually takes a good little while before the FPS genre gets settled, especially on a console with new controls.

Thankfully, Black Ops II is one of the most-loved in the series and the core mechanics of the game work beautifully. This port of the game also didn’t suffer from the transition to the Wii U, with some considering it superior to the original PS3 and Xbox 360 releases thanks to the plethora of choices in how you control the game. It’s also nice to be able to play the game totally on the Wii U Game Pad. This also lets you plays with friends with one on the TV and one on the Game Pad.

Black Ops II is one of the last Call of Duty Games that seemed to place the same amount of focus on the single player portion of the game as it did with the multiplayer. The online aspect of the adventure is also a lot of fun, as is the added zombie’s mode. There’s a lot of content to be had here, especially for a launch title on the system. 

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