These 90’s classics like DOOM, Duke Nukem are characterized by including lots of exaggerated weapons, being fast, wild and quite difficult.
Boomer shooters, first-person shooter video games with a style and mechanics inspired by the classics of the 1990s, are gaining ground in the digital entertainment industry.
This subgenre, vindicated by titles such as DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D and Duke Nukem, stands out for its speed, variety of weaponry and the demand on the player’s mobility that encourage completing levels in record time.
In fact, these titles rely on features such as the use of exaggerated arsenals like rocket launchers, super shotguns and deliberately overwhelming cannons; as well as the use of a wide variety of enemies and advanced movement patterns.
And while these experiences, which were prevalent in the 1990s and temporarily overshadowed by games with deeper narratives, are once again capturing the attention of nostalgic gamers and new audiences alike.
The resurgence of “Boomer Shooters”.
Shooter games that originated in the 1990s and early 2000s, known as “boomer shooters,” are making a resurgence in popularity due to their quality and entertainment capabilities.
Their name comes from the term “OK, boomer”, used by younger generations in a critical tone towards older ones. Although there is a certain irony in its application, given that it targets Generation X individuals rather than true Baby Boomers, who are from an earlier generation.
Moreover, its return is not only seen in mechanics but also in aesthetics, with modern titles such as Ion Fury and Warhammer 40K Boltgun visually reminiscent of the classics. This phenomenon demonstrates that certain styles of gaming transcend their era, maintaining a loyal audience open to reliving these experiences.
And contrary to the thinking that retro graphics are essential for a “Boomer Shooter,” contemporary games like DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal disprove this thanks to their updated aesthetics and cutting-edge technology.
These titles, along with others like the Shadow Warrior remake, maintain the essence of classic gameplay with a modern graphic finish.
In fact, their success reaffirms that there is no obsolescence in game design as long as the ability to offer solid entertainment and ingenuity in their levels is preserved.
Difference between boomer shooters and FPSs
So-called “boomer shooters” differ from first-person shooters, commonly known as FPS, because they incorporate new mechanics and elements as seen in Painkiller.
These include everything from alternate shooters, to specific enemy weaknesses and final bosses that require complex strategies. And although inspired by the past, these works contribute to the development and evolution of the genre, mixing nostalgia with the search for more intense and strategic gaming experiences.
In fact, these titles that are characterized by being simple in their conception, but complex in their execution, are ideal for those who value gameplay over narrative or cinematic elements.
That is why for enthusiasts of the “state of fluidity” in video games, boomer shooters promise a unique immersive experience, where each level becomes a puzzle that strategically challenges the player.
The best boomer shooters
Among the most popular boomer shooters are Doom I and II, considered masterpieces of the genre by id Software; as well as Duke Nukem 3D, a 3D Realms title that combines action and humor, and stands out for introducing a charismatic and talkative protagonist.
There is also the re-release of Quake in August 2021, and the subsequent update of Quake II in 2023, which have made it possible to enjoy these titles with optimized graphics and other advances in modern gaming on current platforms.