This big, dumb year in big, dumb shooter games – The A.V. Club

This big, dumb year in big, dumb shooter games – The A.V. Club

Far Cry 6 (Image: Ubisoft), Battlefield 2042 (Image: EA, DICE), Call Of Duty: Vanguard (Image: Activision), Halo Infinite (Image: 343 Industries)

Image: The A.V. Club

Every Friday, A.V. Club staffers kick off our weekly open thread for the discussion of gaming plans and recent gaming glories, but of course, the real action is down in the comments, where we invite you to answer our eternal question: What Are You Playing This Weekend?

At the risk of being too dismissive of my own tastes, I would say that there are only two kinds of video games I like: The kind where doing any one thing takes forever (like Death Stranding and modern Assassin’s Creed games) and what I like to think of as “big, dumb shooters.” Not all shooter games are big and dumb, and I don’t mean “dumb” as an insult or a mark of quality. I just mean that they’re games where you don’t have to pay attention to every piece of dialogue or conveniently discarded note to figure out what’s happening.

I usually end up playing a lot of the big, dumb shooters in a given year, often because I write about them here at The A.V. Club, and I thought now would be a good time to run down the big, dumb shooters of 2021 and see which ones were the biggest and dumbest.

Far Cry 6

Possibly the biggest and dumbest shooter ever made, Far Cry 6 drops you onto a big Cuba-like island that is largely identical from one coast to the other and has you team up with a band of guerrillas trying to take down evil dictator Giancarlo Esposito. There are some funky guerrilla weapons you can use and a gear system that lets you spec your character around your preferred play-style (the two options, as always, are “sneak around and kill everyone” or “just kill everyone”), but if you’ve played any recent Far Cry game then you’ve played this one.

I found it enormously boring, but also I bet I put 100 hours into it because it’s a nice way to do something with your hands while listening to a podcast. I’ll say this about Far Cry 6: I listened to some good podcasts this year.

Call Of Duty: Vanguard

I am an enormous sucker for Call Of Duty, a series that puts out a new game every year even if the new game isn’t actually good or isn’t ready to come out. This year’s COD, a World War II-set game called Vanguard, is largely identical to 2019…….