GunZ: The Duel is one of those old school online games that evokes a ton of nostalgia. Its unique combat and fluid movement style made it one of the most exciting third-person shooting games of its time and even today. It unfortunately died a slow death over the years due to negligence from its developers and owners and rampant hacking, but GunZ players often still look back fondly at the game.
While an attempt to re-create and revitalize the game was made with GunZ 2: The Second Duel, the sequel was a shell of its predecessor. It lacked many of the aspects that made the original GunZ so fun and included many more negatives. Simply put, GunZ 2 was a flop.
Fans of GunZ need not fret, though. There are still private servers to play GunZ on. There are also a lot of great new games that are similar to GunZ that can satisfy that itch. We’ll go over five of the best games like GunZ in this article. But first, we’ll take a look at what exactly it was that made GunZ so fun to play so we can identify other games that incorporate similar elements.
Note: We’ve excluded games that are no longer played much, like Rakion, ArcheBlade and S4 League from this list.
Why Was GunZ So Fun?
Smooth combat system. Everything about the combat and movement of the game was smooth and ultra-responsive. There were no hitches or key input delays.
High skill ceiling. K-Style and all the movements associated with it – butterfly, slash shot, half steps, juggling, etc. – were extremely difficult to learn. Mastering these movements while ensuring good aim amidst high pressure combat situations was even tougher. This meant there was a lot of room for improvement.
1-on-1 duels. There’s a reason why the game is called GunZ: The Duel. At the game’s prime, one of the most fun aspects was the trashtalk and grudge matches. Given the high degree of skill involved, 1v1s were a clear way to measure skill between players.
Tactical teamfights. GunZ wasn’t just known for its 1v1s though. The gameplay transferred very well to larger teamfights, and with those often came different strategies and tactics required. Some of my most memorable moments from the game were the 3v3 and 4v4 clanwars with friends on voice comms.
Combination of melee and long range fighting. GunZ beautifully incorporated both close combat and long-distance fighting into the game. Good players had to be adept at both, and either style proved useful depending on the situation.
Variety of weapons. While the most popular weapons used were swords and shotguns, there were a ton of other cool weapons like rocket launchers, pistols, revolvers, daggers, katanas, etc. This offered a lot of variety in potential playstyle.
Best Games Like GunZ
You’ve probably heard of this one, considering Fornite is the biggest game out there right now. Fortnite is a battle royale game where players aim to be the last one standing on the island. There are a lot of similarities between Fortnite and GunZ. Both games incorporate fluid movement and combat styles, long-range and melee duels, and contain both 1v1 and teamfight aspects. Not to mention Fortnite has perhaps even more variety in terms of weapons and playstyle.
Fortnite is perhaps what GunZ could have become had the game been cared for better. Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, does an amazing job pumping out updates to the game and takes things like botting and hacking very seriously. The game’s graphics are more cartoonish than the graphics of GunZ were, but that also allows the game to reach a wider and younger audience than GunZ did.
Super Smash Bros: Melee
SSBM is the crossover fighting game released by Nintendo. While SSBM is played on console instead of the PC, there are actually many similarities between SSBM and GunZ. Both have an extremely high skill ceiling due to the mechanical difficulty involved in mastering movements and combos. Both have a strong 1v1 element that makes it clear who’s the better player. And like GunZ, Super Smash Bros is actually an old game (it was released in 2001!) that still has a very strong community.
The biggest similarity is that both games use glitches to vastly improve the way the game was played. Players are able to push the boundaries of what is possible by exploiting the game engine, creating unique and exciting combos.
Unlike the other games listed so far that are player-vs-player, Warframe is a cooperative action game where players team up to defeat enemies. In this mode, it doesn’t have that same intense high-pressure feeling that GunZ or SSBM has. Warframe does have a PvP mode called Conclave, though, and this mode is in fact very similar to GunZ.
When it comes to other aspects, Warframe and GunZ also share many similarities. For one, the two games have a similar style of acrobatic movement abilities. Dashing is a large part of Warframe, as it is in GunZ. You can also run on walls and launch for faster speeds. Weapon switching is also a big part of combat, and you can often animation cancel frames to increase attack and block speeds during combat.
Overwatch has a few major differences compared to GunZ. It’s a first-person shooter instead of a third-person, and the mechanics of the game are fairly simple with the standard WASD to move and click to shoot.
It does scratch some of the itch of the high-intensity GunZ games though, particularly if you play characters with high mobility like Genji and Tracer. You get to recreate some of that rapid style movement of dashing around and bouncing off walls. Overwatch also rewards both individual and teambased play. Many of the skills you learn as a good GunZ player like peripheral vision, communication, and map sense translate well to Overwatch.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
SF3 is the oldest game in this list, even older than GunZ, released in 1999. Despite this, the game still has a vibrant community full of enthusiasts. If you enjoyed the Gladiator matches in GunZ where you could only use your melee weapon, Street Fighter III is a solid game to try out.
The game combines the offensive and defensive aspects of melee fighting in GunZ well. There’s a boatload of strategy and mindgames you can implement. And like GunZ, the game has an incredibly high skill ceiling with tons of great players.