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Far Cry 2
Bioshock did much to highlight some of the narrative and metanarrative quirks of the genre, but when it comes to marrying narrative and mechanics and using the conventions of the genre to critique its themes, Far Cry 2 is in a class of its own. Although the game receives flak for some of its mechanical peccadilloes and somewhat questionable design choices, few shooters—indeed videogames—have as clear a handle on how to use mechanics to inform narrative effectively.

It may lack explosive cut-scenes, Hollywood-style set-pieces and memorable dialogue, but Far Cry 2 is the only post-Bioshock-era first-person shooter that truly understands the tools it’s working with, and it uses them masterfully. While most other games fall victim to the cut-scene-action-cut-scene chain, struggling to pause and deliver a story through cinematics after 10 to 30 minutes of corridor shooting, Far Cry 2 embraced the mechanical limitations of the genre, using rote violence and open-world wandering as the basis for its limited narrative rather than trying to reconcile a heavy-handed story with arcade-y action. Rather than try and soapbox about the state of violence in games, Far Cry 2 simply holds itself up as a mirror of player interaction in shooters and silently prompts us to draw our own conclusions from what we see. Masterfully understated and incisively observant, Far Cry 2 is the pinnacle of what narrative in a first-person shooter can be. More information on hacks for battlefield hardline can be found at this website.

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The 10 Best First-Person Shooters
Remember about 15 years ago or so when to the non-gaming public videogames were synonymous with blood, carnage and youth-corrupting violence? When concerned parents around the country banded together out of fear for the well-being of their children? Fortunately for us (and our parents), games have evolved quite a bit from the violent, blood-soaked heyday of the ‘90s. However, while games have developed and evolved considerably over the past decade and a half, the first-person shooter is still around and still going strong. Here are some of the most notable games in this staple genre—but put your goggles on, as the first two rows are probably going to get a little spatter on them.

First-Person Shooters