The Retro FPS genre is having its own renaissance in the past couple of years with indie developers and smaller studios putting out new titles that will give you a retro FPS experience. These games are also bringing back an old-school principle that has mostly disappeared in the current gaming market.
Each game on this list has demos available for you to download and play so if you see a game that piques your interest, you can download a demo and give it a shot. We’ll start off this list alphabetically with a title that has recently received a significant upgrade.
New Blood Interactive and the creators of Rise of the Triad teamed up to create this dark fantasy shooter. Amid Evil has you playing as a champion branded as a ‘Heretic’ on a quest to defeat evil forces. Amid Evil delivers the retro FPS experience with non-linear levels, a wide variety of enemy types, and a full arsenal of magical weapons. Your weapons can be overcharged with the souls of slain enemies to completely decimate anything in your path.
Amid Evil is built and runs on Unreal Engine 4, giving you the retro FPS aesthetic mixed with modern graphical effects and performance. The game was just updated to use NVIDIA’s RTX ray-tracing and DLSS 2.0 tech so if you have an RTX card slotted in your PC and want to enjoy the added eye-candy and performance boost Amid Evil’s demo will let you do just that.
From developer DANG! and Devolver Digital, Boomerang X is a retro FPS that will have you zooming around your enemies as you slice them up. The game arms you with a boomerang and magical powers to let you maneuver around the map with ease. The player’s goal is to take out designated Nightmare enemies that spawn in each round, making sure to avoid them as they take off a health point if they come too close.
Boomerang X leans into the movement shooter style of gameplay. Players who can master the boomerang toss and magical powers can take out the targeted enemies in each area without losing a single point of health. Healing zones are also placed in each arena, giving players a chance to stay in the fight if they lose health.
Boomerang X is planned to release sometime Summer 2021. Meanwhile you try out the game’s demo right now on Steam.
The Citadel is a retro FPS made by developer doekuramori and Top Hat Studios. With the game placing you in the shoes of a ‘Martyr,’ sent on a quest into a dark citadel to fight a violent cult and kill the “Sleeping God.” The Citadel is an homage to retro FPS games like Marathon, Doom, and Wolfenstein 3D.
Exploration is an important aspect, with keycards and secrets in each level to help players progress further through the story. Players also have access to a hub area with a trader where players can buy and sell items using gold coins they find during gameplay.
The combat in The Citadel is brutal. Weapons pack a punch and have devastating alternate fire modes. Players are also able to sprint, dodge, and lean around cover during fights. The game allows players to adjust each aspect of the game’s difficulty. So you can experience the game at your own pace.
The Citadel is available on Steam, with its demo ready to download and play.
Dillon Rogers, David Szymanski, and New Blood Interactive are teaming up again. This time to bring an immersive sim-styled horror FPS taking place in a dark Victorian city. Gloomwood has combat, exploration, resource management, and stealth mixed into its gameplay.
The game gives players the old-school vibes of the classic Thief titles. Although rather than playing as a master thief, that avoids violence. However, Gloomwood’s Doctor has no problems using weapons like a cane sword, revolver, and shotgun to fight the denizens and monsters they will encounter. Players will have plenty of options to tackle the game’s levels. They can manipulate objects in the environment, take alternative routes, and use items they have picked up along their journey.
Gloomwood has no planned release date yet. Although its demo is available to download and try on Steam.
Created by the developer Zan, who shares their name with the game’s protagonist. This retro FPS puts you in the shoes of a half Orc – half Demon warrior as she takes on evil cultists and the chaotic demons that seek to threaten Hedon and the Overworld. This game goes all the way to immerse you in its story, with world-building and lore that players will encounter throughout their playthrough.
Running on the GZDoom engine, Hedon aims to bring back the old-school aesthetic and gameplay of the original retro FPS games. With fast-paced combat, multiple enemy types with their own attack patterns, along with an arsenal of weapons and magic items available to use. There’s no hand-holding here, as players will have to explore the environment and even backtrack to figure out their next steps.
Developed and self-published by Spytihněv. HROT is set in a dark version of Czechoslovakia in 1986 after an unspecified disaster. You will face off against creepy, unsettling enemies while going through bleak Eastern Bloc levels inspired by real locations.
Crafted in a custom engine written in Pascal, HROT will get you sunk into its unsettling atmosphere thanks to its aesthetic, sound design and frantic combat. HROT also comes with an endless mode where players can fight off increasingly difficult waves of the game’s enemies.
HROT is currently in Early Access on Steam. With Episode 1 and the demo available.
Made by MGP Studios and Solid9 Studio, Project Downfall is a retro FPS game that parallels Hotline Miami. The neon-soaked colors, sprite-based enemies, along with its CRT screen and scanline effects, give off a distinct look. Its combat is fast and lethal, with melee weapons and firearms available to pick up and use. The player can take prescription drugs to slow down time and boost their strength during combat. This comes in handy when going against enemies that can wipe the floor with you in seconds.
Project Downfall is set in a dystopian future setting, with the player in the shoes of an ordinary person turned vigilante. The game’s story takes the player’s actions into account during their playthrough. With different scenes playing out and even alternate levels based on their choices. Including a sanity system that takes the player’s self-medication into account during their playthrough.
Project Downfall is currently in Early Access, with its demo available on Steam. The development team estimates the game to leave Early Access around Q4 2020. Although the team has noted this can change depending on community feedback.
Last but certainly not least is a title that has been getting a lot of attention. Developed by Arsi “Hakita” Patala and published by New Blood Interactive, Ultrakill is a fast-paced retro FPS that mixes in combo elements from action games like Devil May Cry.
Players will find themselves moving around levels and taking on multiple types of enemies using four weapons—each with alternative modes that give new options during combat. Players can go wild with wall bounces, ground slams, slides, and explosion boosts which can all be chained together to effortlessly move around.
Players are also finding movement and combat tricks like shotgun parrying to help them quickly take out enemies and reach higher scores. At the end of each level, the player’s performance will be scored based on their time taken, kills, and style score, with the elusive “P” rating given for a perfect run.
The demos of these games will give you a small taste of what these games have to offer. Hopefully, you’ll have found a game or two that you are keen on trying or even buying!
If you have any other retro FPS games that you want to suggest, leave them in the comments below!