Stop Putting These Enemies In Games

If you’re a gamer, then you’ve already met these guys, but SomethingAwful breaks them down so well, that you just can’t help but feel vindicated in every button-mashing, controller-throwing rage.

There is a fine line between enemies that present a challenge and those that are simply annoying. Actually, that’s a lie. The line is pretty wide. Think about the gap between our fantasies when we first heard about motion controls and the horrible reality that came to pass. It’s that wide.

Some enemy archetypes have never been fun in any form, yet they keep popping up. Why? Maybe they’re easy barriers to put up between the player and the finish line, prolonging the playtime without enough consideration for the quality of the experience. Or maybe some developers just hate us.

Either way, games have been around long enough for us to collectively know better. Let’s get rid of these bad guys for good.

Teleporters

You’re hitting a dude, and he suddenly reappears somewhere else. Great. You know what that adds to combat? Probably not strategy. Probably not excitement. Definitely a few moments of finding him once again, possibly having to then walk across the screen for a few not-action-packed seconds, hoping he doesn’t teleport again.

This is made worse when the teleporting enemy has a wind-up animation which renders him temporarily incorporeal. Your options are to sit tight while he wastes more of everyone’s time or wail away at his invincible head out of pure frustration.

Guys With Enormous Shields

Option 1: The guy with the huge shield has a weak spot that you can attack from the front. His feet are sticking out. He has a conveniently open portal in front of his face the size of a tuna can. Whatever. He will otherwise be invincible, and the whole time you’re plinking away at the tiny vulnerable point, you’ll be thinking about how weird it is that he didn’t cover himself all the way.

Option 2: You have to get behind the guy with the huge shield and hit him from behind. Every single time. A bad guy that was presumably tossed into the mix to make things interesting has only added one more predictable and creatively restrictive element to combat.

If we’re going to have dudes with shields, make the shields smaller and require bad guys to dynamically move them in front of attacks as they maneuver in battle and engage us in other ways.

Tiny Enemy Swarms

Robo-frogs and robo-mosquitoes in Daikatana. Pygmies in Diablo 2. Duke Nukem Forever’s impregnators. Has anyone, anywhere, at any time, enjoyed fighting a swarm of small fast-moving enemies? No. Of course not. These are the video game equivalent of a laser pointer flickered across the ground in front of a cat. Only, somehow, more demeaning.

Guys With Regenerating Health

“You have to be kidding me. Now I have to hit him again? Why? Will he just get healthy a second time, or is there some trick I’m missing? Great, now he’s healing faster than I can hurt him. Maybe if I use this other attack… oh, he teleported. Of course.”

PREACH! Fortunately, few of these agonising tropes are really represented by the game’s merch (okay, a couple are). So if you’re looking for some awesome figures, then proceed with caution and check out our selection:

DUKE NUKEM FOREVER: Coming Soon!

The game no one thought would ever happen is now officially on its way whether you like it or not. Eurogamer.net has more on what we can expect not from the game’s content, but from the overall effect it’s going to have.

Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has claimed it “doesn’t matter” how critics judge Duke Nukem Forever, insisting that his team “know the game is great” and authors of “lowball” reviews would be “held accountable by the readers”.

After over 14 years in development, the game is now just one week from release. And Pitchford, whose Gearbox studio snapped up the rights after original developer 3D Realms closed, believes the title’s stature and history among gamers will ensure success.

“We already know that everyone’s going to be talking about it,” he told Eurogamer during a recent press tour in London. “Hell, everyone’s already talking about it and it’s not even out yet.

“First of all it is great, it’s very, very entertaining, it’s very fun. It’s also Duke frickin’ Nukem frickin’ Forever. One could not be a gamer in this world without consuming that and having that experience.

“You’re just missing out on an entire, ginormous aspect of video games history if you fail to participate. This game’s gonna ship and we’re all going to be there, so it doesn’t matter what the score is.”

Elaborating on why he was “not worried about” the critical reception, he said: “We also know that it’s a very difficult problem for journalists, so there’s going to be very few of them that decide to go perfect.

“It leaves it in this band there where you’re going to see a lot of 8s and 9s, and the number in that range doesn’t matter. Even if some people start to skew in some 7s in there, it’s not going to matter to the actual results in that band of outcomes.

“We know the game’s great. Any journalist that decides to try to go… to lowball it is gonna be held accountable by the readers.”

2K Games’ international PR director, Markus Wilding, supported Pitchford’s view, adding: “The Metacritic score always matters, let’s not deny that, but I think it matters less to Duke than most games out there, because there are so many people out there just waiting for this game.”

A major UK games retailer, contacted by Eurogamer, confirmed that pre-orders for the title were extremely strong.

Referencing the title’s unique gestation period, Pitchford acknowledged: “I would not want to be a journalist on this one, though. I would not want to be a critic. It’s going to be tough.”

And his own verdict on the quality of the final product? “I play everything,” he said. “The last time I had a really solid experience like this was Half-Life 2.”

Naturally, in-keeping with the rules of today’s big-name videogames, there’s some Duke Nukem merch rolling out and we’ve already got a pre-order open for those of you who want to bring the big guy ito the real world and on to your shelf. He stand 6 inches tall, he’s made by the action figure whiz-kids at NECA and he comes packin’ heat. Pre-order now and he’ll be shipping out later this month!

DUKE NUKEM FOREVER: The 6-Inch Figure

Yeah, we never saw it happening, either. But somehow or another, Duke Nukem Forever has actually been made and people are going to play it. In the real world.

REALLY.

And, I suppose, to celebrate and usher in the new era of Nukem, NECA has created this 6-inch, gun-totin’ figure of the man himself. NECA is known for some highly-detailed sculpting and they’ve brought it to this new figure, really capturing the over-the-top, blissfully 90s-style look for which Duke Nukem is known.

Unlike the game, this figure is a sure thing, so you can pre-order it now and expect it a little later this year!