The avid keyboard soldier has a wide variety of shoot-’em-ups available to him online. While solo play can be fun and LAN parties with small groups are a challenge, you can make use of the Internet to join massive shooting games and play with people worldwide.
The most common type of online shooting game is the competitive game. This is normally a first-person shooter that allows for various styles of play such as “capture the flag” or “deathmatch.” In these games other players are your competition and teammates, as you attempt to win the game by accomplishing battlefield objectives and kill your foes. Popular titles such as Counterstrike and EA’s Battlefield series fall into this category. Many online games have ranking systems and other persistent stat-tracking to show you how well you fare against other players and how your skills are improving.
Less common, but no less popular, are the cooperative-style shooting games available for online play. These games allow you to take teams of players and face all the horrors that the game has to throw at you. Doom 3 and Resistance 2 fall into this category. Your objective in this type of game is to see your team survive and reach its goal. You will be battling hordes of computer-controlled demons, zombies, and other gruesome creatures in a normally linear fashion to beat the game.
While most games are commercially released and can be expensive to start, Free-to-Play games allow you to jump into the action with only a simple download. These can be competitive or cooperative games, but are often ad-supported or allow micro-payments to upgrade your character’s look or abilities. Nexon’s Combat Arms and Battlefield Heroes from EA are examples of this type of series. Exteel from NCSoft is a game that offers both competitive and co-op modes without any initial cost. All of these games are great options for getting together with your friends online, and even making new brothers in arms, for at least a few hours.