These days, I can't escape a feeling of having seen it all before when I play a first-person shooter - I mean, in Call of Duty: WW2 I have literally been there before, having now stormed the beaches of Normandy in no fewer than four hundred different games.
If you ask me, the golden era of the the FPS was its first decade - wherein we got Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D and Dark Forces.
However, that wasn't the end of the 1990s FPS story. Here's a list of ten further decent, but cruelly forgotten, shooters from that decade.
I appreciated the tongue-in-cheek humour, but I never felt that the backwoods rural setting (if you ignored the aliens-cloning-rednecks stuff) got the plaudits it deserved. It was genuinely atmospheric - buzzing flies, chirruping cicadas, coughing chickens - and completely different to everything else on offer.
Also, it remains potentially the only game to date which had a downloadable update - The Cuss Pack - which added additional swearing to the game. Everybody likes swearing don't they? It's the coolest form of language!
"I cuss you bad!"
Ha ha. Do you get that reference? DO YOU?!
Nevertheless, it's odd that you rarely hear mention of Hexen or Heretic today.
Basically, they were a fantasy take on Doom - but offering the player the then-remarkable ability to look up-and-down. You know: like dogs can't do.
The fact it was so highly derivative of Doom - it was even published by iD Software - might be why it hasn't had the same sort of back-end legacy.
Ha ha: back-end (bottom)!
Basically, it was a ninja vs demons, and featured a character called - amusingly - Lo Wang. There have been a couple of unremarkable sequels, and an unremarkable remake, but the original - created by Duke Nukem developers 3D Realms - had a similar over-the-top sense of humour to Duke.
Oh... oh yes. With that in mind, Lo Wang was probably intentional. Grow up.
It was also one of the first shooters to feature that staple of the genre - levels set within a series of organic corridors, where the walls, ceiling and floor are made of guts. At the time, we hadn't seen it all before.
Why do so many shooters have corridors made of guts? What's that about? How many movies have had corridors made out of guts? If you got one movie which had a corridor made out of guts, do you think all the other movies would copy it, or would they say "Oh... Jaws 7 had a corridor made of guts, so we'd better come up with something else"?
Here's an idea: corridors made out of cake. What's the matter? Not edgy enough for you? Yeah, well... what if they're cakes made out of poo?!?!
Yeah. Now you're interested.
Set in a post-police future world, it begins with the player foiling a bank robbery, and blossoms into a corporate conspiracy to turn ordinary citizens into mutants.
Nowadays, most games let you fanny around with computer terminals and lavatories to your heart's content, but the joy of SiN was its interactive environments - a rare treat in those days. I played SiN again recently, and though its chunky visuals haven't aged terribly well, I was impressed at how epic and cinematic it still feels.
Also: a distinct lack of corridors made out of guts.
Unfortunately, you can thank Rebel Moon Rising for introducing that bane of the FPS genre - escort missions. Even more annoying, each level begins with the player possessing a limited supply of oxygen - effectively putting a time limit on your success.
Nevertheless, with an emphasis on stealth, and some neat gadgets and weapons, Rebel Moon Rising at least tried to do something a bit different.
It also introduced the sniper rifle to the genre - and perfected it pretty much from the off. It might not have been the best-looking game of the era, and weirdly mixed textured polygons with hand-drawn animation, but few could match it for sheer hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck atmosphere.
It also gave me one of my favourite gaming memories of all time; pinned down in a fort, surrounded by enemies calling my name, with just one bullet left in my gun... its testament to how much I was enjoying it that I didn't just give up, despite reloading my save game a good two dozen times.
It was originally released only for the Mac, making it the closest that system had to its own Doom.
Basically your average Doom clone, albeit with Metroidvania collectible items which opened up new areas, and an Ancient Egyptian re-skin, Exhumed is best remembered as being on the frontline of the debate over whether the Saturn or the PlayStation was the better console.
Weigh into this debate.... NOW.
Beginning with an evocative prison ship crash, the player finds themselves stranded on a strange alien world in an opening, which - there's no way of pretending otherwise - influenced the original Halo.
Halo's a bit rubbish really.