The Hero Shooter, also known as Character FPS, is a Sub Genre
of First-Person Shooter
with some MOBA
elements. In this type of game, instead of choosing which weapons to use or finding the weapons, the player can choose one out of multiple characters, or heroes, with different weapons and abilities. For example, one character may be able to Double Jump
, while another can heal teammates
, and another can build turrets
. The characters may also have Ultimate Abilities
that can vastly alter the course of battle. This in turn makes the characters more unique and the game defined by the characters rather than the weapons available in the game.
Games of this genre tend to rely on teamwork and a combination of abilities to cover for weaknesses. Some or most characters have abilities that are only useful in specific situations
or are countered by a specific character
. Some of these games are heavily focused on the MOBA aspects, including the ability to level up, learn, and upgrade abilities and buy items during matches, to the point where they are basically First Person MOBAs. Others are much more focused on the FPS aspects and use different weapons, abilities and ultimates to increase the variety of play styles in the game.
These are all important because in games like this, your objective isn't to obliterate your enemy team, they always respawn after a few seconds. The game contains an objective to be contested, usually an area to dominate or hold or a payload to escort or stop. Therefore, kill counts doesn't really matter as long as you managed to hold onto your objective so the mindset of 'frag-hunting' that is more common in deathmatch games (like Unreal Tournament
) would be counter-productive when playing this game.
Observe that the abilities and/or weapons must be tied to a character or group of characters, otherwise the game is just a First-Person Shooter
with customization. It is possible, however, that some characters share some abilities.
Compare with Adventure Board Games
, which also have characters with unique abilities.
Do not confuse with Hero Killer
Examples of this genre:
- Atlas Reactor: A Turn-Based Tactics version.
- Battle Cry
- Borderlands: Focused on PvE.
- Depth is an asymmetric version - the sharks each have unique appearances, abilities, and health, while the divers can fill out certain roles with certain equipment, but aren't restricted.
- Dirty Bomb
- Evolve: It's an asymmetric example of this genre. The available characters are different if you are on the hunters side or on the monster side.
- Final Combat
- Ghost in the Shell: First Assault Online
- LawBreakers, leaning more towards Quake: Champions than the rest of the genre.
- Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch isn't this on its own, but there are several Game Mods that allows the players to play as different Robot Masters and other characters with their own abilities and weapons instead of just being able to pick up and use weapons on the map.
- Monday Night Combat: Third-Person Shooter example
- Nosgoth: As with Monday Night Combat, it's a third-person shooter, along with asymmetric multiplayer.
- Primal Carnage.
- Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
- Quake Champions is a sort of compromise between a Hero Shooter and the traditional "Arena Shooter" of previous installments. There are different characters with unique traits and abilities, but these are secondary to weapons, which are found in the level and not character-restricted.
- Rainbow Six Siege is a competitive Rainbow Six-styled multiplayer shooter mixed with some hero shooter elements. All of the "Operators" have distinct gadgets and personalities, and teamwork is absolutely vital to success. However, the game downplays the gadgets in combat (most are utility or tactical tools), and keeps the general gameplay style of most characters the same.
- Star Wars Battlefront (2015), specifically in Hero focused modes like Hero Hunt and Heroes VS Villains.
- Team Fortress Classic
- Team Fortress 2: Some, but not all characters have abilities (such as double-jumping or cloaking) and each character has a unique set of weapons to fulfill their designated roles. The Medic's Übercharge and most Soldier's secondary weapons also count as ultimate abilities.
- Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict is an early example which features both Deathmatch and Team-based gametypes. Each character has an unique melee weapon and a weak ranged weapon, plus two unique Adrenaline abilities. Characters are also divided by race (Humans-Necris-Robots-Nakhti-"Special") and weight (Light-Medium-Heavy), with each of these divisions also granting different Adrenaline abilities to the characters. Finally, characters can choose an energy weapon and a projectile weapon, as weaponry has no spawn points in the game.