There are several indie shooters that take their inspiration from Call of Duty or Halo, but not any I can think of that take them from the frantic pace of classic shooters like Doom and Quake. Or at least there weren’t until I tripped across “Avatar Arena Action” today.
The game, first and foremost, has excellent controls. It’s hard to overstate that as an important feature, but they really are good. The game has a multiplayer deathmatch focus (system link and online supported), but there are bots for solo play and for training. Unusually for a game with a multiplayer focus, the bot AI is actually good!
I suppose the migration from keyboard/mouse being standard to gamepad being standard was the beginning of the end of the frantic shooters, but they’ve done a commendable job here adapting the controls to the 360’s controller. It’s worth $1 if you are itching for a game like this, but be aware that (as is often the case with anything but the most popular indies) the way to play this online is to convince several friends to plunk down the dollar and plan nights to get together to play it. But if you’re looking for a solo experience against good AI, this actually fits the bill.
Here’s what the developer (Teflon) has to say about the game:
“A first person shooter with avatars, featuring fast deathmatch gameplay on eight maps with jumppads, teleporters and a proven arsenal of energy weapons. Compete with other players in online multiplayer sessions or practice offline versus bots.”