Boomer Shooter is the newest term to follow the likes of Soulslike or Roguelike in the hyperspecific gaming subgenres. It applies to the first-person shooter that harkens back to the classic PC games of the last part of the ’90s, such as Doom and Quake.
Battlefield and Call of Duty are recent definers of the FPS genre, signing a trend towards Realism that lasted more than a decade; some developers wish to relive the day they considered the glory days. This fad starts in the late 2010s to describe the game, addition of new term.
Start of the Boomer Shooter
The video game industry has changed by iD Software forever with Wolfenstein 3D, a level-based, pseudo-3D action game that has introduced the world to FPS(first-person shooter) game genre. After some years, iD Software will release the Doom, which took the world by storm with bombastic weapons, demonic and gory visuals, fast-paced gameplay and compelling level design.
In the late ’90s, Doom Clones, the surge of FPS games dubbed, got popularity in many ways; they were the accurate boomer shooters. Many classics such as Hexen, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Rise of the Triad emerged from iD, Raven Software and 3D Realms.
Some different features characterized all the games. Games have level based campaigns and are designed like giant mazes. They have very responsive and quick gunplay similar to wacky weapons designs. And they have the low- res pixelated textures of early 3D visual style and character models full of harsh edges and chunky.
Some of them are considered the best FPS games; now they start trending towards franchises realism such as Battle filed, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. The Doom drastically slow down the pace with 2004’s Doom 3. And the Duke Nukem not mentioned forever.
In the early 2010s, the Proto boomer shooters faded into obscurity, but the indie scene did not let it die. Games such as Wolfenstein: Doom (2016) and New Order have proved a need for first-person shooters and updated the classic format according to the latest requirements. The indie game scene is where the boomer shooters start to blossom truly.
The indie developers New Blood Interactive and David Szymanski released Dusk in 2018, a grim but hectic FPS; its stream page incredibly shows that it’s Quake, Heretic, Inspired by Doom, Half-Life, Hexen, Redneck Rampage and other ’90s best. Dave Oshry, the runner of Dusk publisher New Blood Interactive, tells Inverse that gamers coined the boomer shooter term fastly, and the New Blood wholeheartedly embraced it.
Rise of the Boomer Shooter
Although the actual origin of the video games is not clear still, the developers like New Blood started to take advantage of the trend in early 2019. Developers begin to wield the term it for ranking purposes on the press releases and Twitter.
Recapture the games like Dusk, which made the Quake and Doom memorable even down to visual style in the 1990s. However, many boomer shooters use modern video game engines such as Unreal Engine 4 and Unity that escape the old-school graphic boxy nature and still use the same odd weapons and Ludicrous speed, making the classics memorable.
Most of these games feature boomstick, giant explosions and shotguns, and the name of boomer shooter feels doubly fitting. Boomers, the internet loves roasting, and in the ’50s and ’60s, the shorthand term for Baby Boomer generation born. Honestly, the fans of boomer Shooters are likely Millennials and Gen-Xers, and still, they are including the term in a sarcastic but positive way that shows the old-school nature of this niche genre.
Pit from Humble Games and other games released on October 19, 2021, keep popping up. Developer Nightdive Studios kept the classic alive and remastered classic boomer shooters such as Turok, Sin, Blood, etc. And the 3D Realism has hosted an annual event known as Realms Deep for the past two years, where the remastered and new boomer shooters take centre stage.
Although they are not necessarily boomer shooters according to their best production abilities, faster-paced first-person shooters such as Doom Eternal, Titanfall 2, and Halo Infinite are getting more popularity than the latest Battlefield games and Call of Duty, providing a fantastical FPS and faster-paced appeals to mainstream audiences.
Many key indie developers look dedicated to ensuring that the boomer shooter doesn’t fade into obscurity. It all depends on time; before we see this vast studio iterate on this increasing trend show on a big studio, what Returnal did with a roguelike.
As Bethesda and Microsoft have re-released Quake and Doom recently. And the most highly qualified publishers admitted that interest is there. Battle royales and Roguelikes remain the town talk, but it is not surprising that well known named boomer shooters become the coming big thing.