Ever have one of those days when you just wanted to be a one-man army? Where you wanted to unleash all sorts of havoc on video game villains by using as much physical force – or ammunition – as possible? Of course you have and there are various action games that help you get the job done. But how many really make you feel like a 100 percent genuine bad-ass?
Well, we're here to help: Prima Games has a list of some of the best gun-toting bad-ass games out there, from the old-school Duke Nukem days to new favorites like Shank. If you think your favorite bad-ass is somehow missing, don't be afraid to tell us. Just make sure you're firing an imaginary machine gun and yelling at the top of your lungs when you send your comment. You know, like "YERRRRRGH!" That sort of thing.
Now, to the bad-asses!
Duke Nukem 3D
Long before any of the modern day game warriors (like Master Chief) stepped up, Duke Nukem single-handedly took on an alien invasion... and won. Making his FPS debut back in 1996, Duke Nukem 3D really cleaned house on pig cops, alien invaders and other enemies with a variety of weapons. There were so many ways to unleash chaos that it wasn't even funny. Shrink enemies down and stomp them underneath your boot? Blast them to bits with the Devastator rocket launcher? Or just use a good ol' fashioned shotgun for close encounters? No matter what you used within the game, bloodshed was sure to follow. In traditional Nukem fashion, plenty of comical quips followed.
Duke Nukem might not be as ultra-heroic as he was in his heyday (one look at Duke Nukem Forever kind of points that out), but there's no question that back in the day, there was no stopping him. "Hail to the king, baby!"
Konami has done some wonderful stuff with its Contra series over the years. Not just content with the NES port of the 1987 arcade game, the company expanded with a number of sequels, including the thrilling SNES release Contra III: The Alien Wars, the thunderous Contra: Shattered Soldier for PlayStation, and the recent Hard Corps: Uprising, a visceral sequel put together by Guilty Gear developers Arc System Works. All these games are loaded with action, whether you're hunting down gigantic robots and blasting them to pieces or taking on something more organic in the Red Falcon empire, like a huge sand worm-like creature. Better yet, each game gives you the weapons to get the job done, whether it's the classic "spread" gun or the powerful laser. Being able to team up with a friend doesn't hurt either, especially with the near-impossible bosses you need to face.
Not every Contra game has been great over the years (we'll just forget the existence of Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure), but the majority of them are bad-ass enough to earn their place on this list. Lock and load, soldier!
Klei Entertainment may not have been the first company to think of when it came to creating gritty, unstoppable heroes at one point in time, but they've been producing them on a grand scale. First came N+ in 2008 for Xbox Live Arcade, featuring very nimble ninja characters getting through impossible stages. Last week, Mark of the Ninja joined their rundown of games with fantastic stealth action and plenty of slicing and dicing. Between those two games they made Shank and Shank 2, action games featuring a determined, wronged mercenary killing everyone in his path for the sake of revenge. These games feature plenty of gripping action moments, whether it's grabbing an enemy in the air and stabbing him on the ground or shoving a grenade in someone's gullet then punching them as it explodes. Shank 2 also provided the option to team up with a friend, delivering twice the justice on these ne'er-do-wells in pure, blood-soaked fashion.
If you haven't checked out the Shank games yet, you can snag them on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network and be sure to get Mark of the Ninja as well. You might be so pumped by these games, you'll hit the gym afterward. Maybe.
Capcom's demon hunter has been in business for quite a few years now, pulling out everything from a huge sword to twin pistols to a fully loaded shotgun to send monsters back to the underworld. He had a slight misstep with the release of Devil May Cry 2, but we'll forgive him for his sheer ability of being able to kill enemies and look masterful doing it. Throughout the Devil May Cry games, Dante has combined great athleticism with firepower, resulting in many enemies falling at his feet and others fearing just what kind of power he's really packing. He could easily take any character from Resident Evil – or any other given Capcom franchise – and make them regret they ever crossed paths with him.
Dante is going through some redesign with the 2013 release of DMC: Devil May Cry, but power remains. We're looking forward to that follow-up something fierce, if only to send monsters packing with a multi-hit combo. Hey, they deserve it!
Finally, we have to give the nod to Halo's main man who is more accomplished on his own than his whole UNSC squad. With a few weapons and a stern attitude, Master Chief is able to rampage through alien forces like they were nothing, blasting them with an assault rifle and even using their own weapons, like the Needler, against them. What's more, his melee attack is so vicious, it'd probably even make Chuck Norris quiver in fear.
Don't believe us? Just look at any of the past Halo games that have come out over the years or check out the footage from the forthcoming Halo 4. Master Chief has bad-ass written all over him. It might as well be imprinted on his armor.