If you are like most gamers after the hype of the E3 convention, you are probably already making your list of games that you’re going to get before Christmas. For those who play First Person Shooters, there’s really only two dates that you’re looking at:
- Destiny 2 – Release date September 6, 2017 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
- Call of duty: WWII – Release date November 3, 2017 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
Both games are highly anticipated given the cult following of the original Destiny game along with the much awaited game style reset for Call of Duty fans that were just not that into jetpacks.
That being said, many FPS players have been keeping busy over the last few months with some close substitutes. Perhaps some have been enjoying the fast paced gameplay of Overwatch. Some took the chance and played a few rounds of Infinite Warfare. And earlier in the year, many gamers who were tired of the direction the Call of Duty had decided to step back and play Battlefield One, Battlefield’s World War I game. But by now they’ve probably logged way too many hours on and are just waiting for the new releases to come out.
Maybe this gap in major FPS game releases can present an opportunity for the bored gamers out there, and at minimal cost, too. There are old games out there with growing online communities. Games that were once labelled as dead due to new series releases, or considered dead on arrival due to technical issues at release, or just forgotten because other games were hyped up more on release date. But there are a few that have seen a resurgence in participation, which can be a good reason to give them a second chance while waiting to buy your new games later this year.
Black Ops III
The third installment of Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in November of 2015 as part of Activision’s yearly FPS quota and has an average rating of 4/5 stars with most reviews. Although the game was not able to reach the success from BlackOps II where the series reached its peak, it still had a good amount of players in the first 6 months. Storyline aside, the multiplayer game modes provided all the familiar features known with COD with the addition of new Special abilities for characters along with the integration of jetpacks, adding a truly futuristic feel to the game series for the first time. And Zombies… people loved killing zombies.
COD games usually follow a regular pattern of usage where the peak happens around November, then gradually shows a drop in users after Christmas, with occasional upticks because of DLC releases. Mostly because theres only so many kills one can make, and the repetitive use of maps (even with DLCs) brings a certain level of boredom. This, however, is normal and is at no fault to the game or gameplay. Gamers in general will want to switch to new titles throughout the year.
Fast forward to today, the Call of Duty series has gone through another title with Infinite Warfare, a game most notably for a trailer with over 2 million dislikes on Youtube. Probably due to the general feeling that people were just sick of jetpacks…. and no zombies. To give you an idea of the player usage, at the November release month of Infinite Warfare, platforms like Steam only showed a peak player count of 15,000 players
while BlackOps in the previous month was still showing a peak usage of 19,000 (which quickly dropped off to over 8,000 users when the new title came out. But by June of 2017, Infinite Warfare had a quarter of the peak players as BlackOps in the exact same month.
Even with users well below the level of its release date, BlackOps III has seen a recent increase in usage over the last few weeks. Particularly between March of 2017 till today. Meaning despite the age of the game, BlackOps is showing signs of getting better with age. But we could probably attribute this to FPS players dropping off Battlefield 1’s slower pace as well as the need for COD fans to come back to a slightly less futuristic style of play.
In any case, with. Fifth DLC coming out, it is still a good time to try it out again while waiting for this November’s COD release.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Rainbow Six: Siege is another game released in 2015 where it has shown that with the right updates, bug fixed, game style changes and DLCs, a game that started horribly can rebound and gain a solid community of players.
Released on December of that year as Ubisoft’s flagship FPS game, Rainbow Six Siege already faced an uphill climb being released 1 month after Activision’s BlackOps III. And immediately out of the gates the game was plagued with server issues and bugs that almost killed the community right at the start.
However, through a series s of fixes and server management improvements together with free DLC map packs at constant intervals from Ubisoft, the Rainbow Six online community has actually grown from its original user count at the start. Looking at Steam’s statistics for the game, peak player count today is at 47,000 as compared to its first month at 18,000 players.
Aside from that, streamer counts of Rainbow Six outpace the amount of content from games released in late 2016.
With a growing community and a decreasing price for the game, this is definitely something to pick up on your free time.
Counter strike: Global Offensive
Sometimes you just needs to go back to the basics and play a few rounds of Counter-Strike. Not really much to say here… Counter-strike is the standard for what an FPS should be about and its gameplay hasn’t really changed drastically since it’s beta days.
Today, CS still hold one of the largest Steam communities with peaks well above 600,000 players. For a game released in 2012, Global Offense is still is a lot of fun to play and even shows a great following with more people streaming it than games released in the last 9 months.
So while you’re waiting for the new titles to come out, think about spending less on active online FPS games. Their sustainability shows a great deal about how the developers reacted to what players wanted from those games, and how those changes made the games better over time….