Sep 12 2012

The Eight Most Annoying Enemy Types in Video Games

Published by at 12:00 pm under Lists,Video Games

Enemy design in video game can be tough. You don’t want to be too generic, boring players, but you don’t want to be too outlandish either, making encounters too frustrating . As such, a number of enemy “types” have become universally accepted and copy/pasted across many, many video games.

Sometimes that’s totally cool, others, not so much. These eight enemy types never cease to annoy the shit out of me when I come across them in a game, and we’d all be better off if most of their iterations were banished from the medium entirely. See if you agree with my list below: 

Enemies that Blow Up to Kill You

There are usually one type of these in every single game, and I think we can trace them all the way back to Bomb-ombs in Super Mario. To me, there’s nothing inherently fun about backpedaling furious against an enemy where if it gets with in five feet of you, it will explode and you will be crazy amounts of dead. Just thinking about Banelings (in Starcraft, above) makes me shudder.

Enemies that Blow Up When You Kill Them

Yes, this is a different category than the one above, but almost just as annoying. “Oh so you managed to burst down my loads of HP so I”m dead, well F*** YOU MAN I’M GOING OUT WITH A BANG.” The Carriers from Halo above are the worst offenders, but most recently explode-upon-death molten enemies in Diablo 3 are annoying as all hell.

Enemies that are Cloaked

This category isn’t necessarily all bad, as I can respect the use of cloaked units in strategy games, but in shooters? It doesn’t really work. You see just shimmers of where they’re supposed to be, and you end up using most of your ammo spraying around the room until you hit one and it phases into view. Not exactly strategic combat design.

Enemies Who Get All Their Life Back

There are a lot of vampiric units in games, including vampires like the one above, but this can extend to any enemy that gets life back. That means bosses who go into “healing mode” just when you think they’re defeated, or any Pokemon trainer using a Full Restore on his almost dead Alakazam. SCREW YOU GARY!

Enemies that Randomly Become Invincible

These show up from time to time in games, and always manage to prove the hard and fast rule that making an enemy invincible for any reason, for any length of time, is almost always a recipe for frustration. Above we have the “shielding” affix in Diablo 3 which just makes elite groups of enemies invulnerable for random intervals. It does not make them stop attacking however, and therefore you are usually dead because of it. This also extends to the horrific addition of armor lock in Halo Reach which was almost by itself the reason I quit playing that game.

Enemies that One-Shot You

This pretty much covers every enemy in Demon’s/Dark Souls more or less, and most definitely all of the bosses, but it extends to other games as well, from FPS snipers to any powerful foe that kills you with a bat of his eyelashes. Some may dispute this and say that these types of encounters require the most skill of any type of play, and it’s how the vast majority of old school video games worked. I say f*** that noise, give me my checkpoints and health bars and armor shielding, and I guarantee you I personally will be having much more fun.

Enemies that Fly and Won’t Sit Still for Two Damn Seconds

There are ways to do flying enemies correctly, and ways to do them poorly. It’s sort of stupid to have a flying enemy sit two feet off the ground in front of you like in most RPGs, but it’s also dumb to have them swooping around in random patterns, unable to be hit by your melee character.

Enemies with 50 billion HP

Boss battles, I’m looking at you. There’s nothing wrong with a challenging boss battle, whether he hits hard or has a lot of life. But when you have a boss that takes 45 minutes to an hour to beat just because they have 50,000 times as much health as you? That just isn’t fun for anyone. Trying to punch down a brick wall isn’t enjoyable, and you’re not even satisfied when you finally get through. Your hand will just be mangled and you’ll be severely pissed off.





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26 responses so far

26 Responses to “The Eight Most Annoying Enemy Types in Video Games”

  1. David Ron 12 Sep 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Ugh, I hate opponents who regenerate health, especially if you’re playing a game where the actual player character doesn’t have that ability. I don’t mind having to work for my wins, but when it actually just starts to feel like work (i.e., when I’ve figured out how to beat the guy but simply can’t manage to wear him down), I get frustrated quickly.

  2. Sara Clemenson 12 Sep 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Flying enemies: PTSD alert.

  3. RBournon 12 Sep 2012 at 12:48 pm

    My personal bane is any enemy that requires you to try and try and try until you get lucky, as it’s not only annoying, but an example of poor game design.

    If you can’t make an enemy powerful and challenging in it’s own right, just make it have an instant-death move that happens at random and you can’t predict it.

    That’s not good design, and certainly isn’t fun.

    I don’t mind health regenerators if they have similar capabilities to me.

  4. Michaelon 12 Sep 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Enemies who only have an achilles heel. I can shoot you with a nuclear bomb, but it takes the the sunlight reflection from my shield defeat the enemy or or some stupid item/weapon that is completely useless unless you encounter the enemy for its intended use.

  5. nixon 12 Sep 2012 at 2:09 pm

    On the topic of the enemies with 50 billion hp: There’s an optional boss in final fantasy xii that literally takes three hours to fight, even if your characters are maxed. It’s ridiculous. I wanted to 100% that game but there was no way I was going to sit around for that crap.

  6. seanon 12 Sep 2012 at 3:07 pm

    spiders

  7. Zaggnitaon 12 Sep 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Ugh…I know what you mean. All of these has ticked me off.
    Pokemon in the regeneration thing…*eye twitches* Five-10 minutes pass of painful strategic use of potions and attacks, I’m happy when that hp is down to like 2 points…BAM! Full health bar via potion. *Eye twitches*

  8. [...] does acid at a Frat BBQ. I can relate via going to a hunted house on acid.8 really annoying type of video game characters.There is a new Iphone out. Cool story bro. How about you take a look at where the parts of your [...]

  9. I_Like_icecreamon 12 Sep 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Flying enemies ugh. Particularly in action/adventure games, and shooters. They’ve got to be the only enemies in Borderlands I would actively avoid (ironically the most difficult to avoid).

    Speaking of outrageous HP, from someone who has defeated the dark summons in FFX (from whence that picture comes) there is something inherently satisfying in one-hitting an enemy will HP in seven figures, when you’re opening attacks in the game are doing somewhere in double-digits (Wakka’s Blitz reels with break damage limit and max STR)

  10. Jallelthalason 12 Sep 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Enemy with 50 billion HP is the worst, that is the reason I stopped playing Star Ocean Last Hope International for ps3. I got stuck on a bug boss of somesort and all my attacks did next to nil while his wipes out my entire party in 6 hits, and that was on the EASIEST difficulty. I was already 7 levels above the required level to face it according to strategy guides and I could not gain even 1 level unless I chose to take 3 hours to level grind against random spawns. Screw that crap.

  11. Straengeon 12 Sep 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Really, the only thing that ticks me off are the ones that come out of nowhere and just stomp on you. After awhile, of course, you pick up on clues/hints as to when they occur but it still aggravates me. There is one good example of thi *Cougar’ed*

  12. rcrdon 13 Sep 2012 at 6:16 am

    I cant remember of an enemy that kills you in one shot in Demon’s Souls

  13. mjlaxnmdon 13 Sep 2012 at 9:01 am

    Ugh, the original Aliens Vs. Predator for PC. Loved the game but I spent half of it back-pedaling while shooting as a Predator or Colonial Marine to avoid being splashed by Alien acid blood.

  14. elcon 13 Sep 2012 at 11:29 am

    The 2nd to last (swoopers) can be bad, and billions of hp is just tedious. But the rest of them–you just rattle off everything that makes enemies interesting to fight. If they’re all so ‘annoying’ maybe you need to be playing different types of games…

  15. Matton 13 Sep 2012 at 12:38 pm

    The fuckin suiciders in dead island pissed me off. How there strategically placed around coners in corridors, by the time you notice them your dead. Fuck those guys.

  16. Mikeon 13 Sep 2012 at 5:04 pm

    The worst enemies in any game are the ones you HAVE to lose to. They never tell you that you are supposed to die or just survive for a certain amount of time. I always end up using all my healing items and it didn’t even matter in the end, I still die.

  17. Emilyon 15 Sep 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I hate cloaked monsters, but not as much as exploders and vampiric ones – those are the worst. I can’t stand them. They get so annoying, especially the vampiric ones.

  18. billon 17 Sep 2012 at 8:58 am

    what about zubats

  19. BigOzwinon 17 Sep 2012 at 9:34 am

    Shao Khan, there is no tactic to him that uses any iota of skill, jump him, punch him, jump him punch him. A cheap ass tactic for a cheap ass boss!

  20. Peteon 17 Sep 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Apparently, you just want enemies that run at your and fire their guns until they get close enough to hit you. Get better at games.

  21. Mikeon 17 Sep 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Something to be said about trainers…

    I don’t use trainers all that much…maybe once or twice in any given game and ONLY in situations where the boss I am fighting is like any of the extreme examples above.

    Yes, trainers are cheating…but worse, they detract from the game enjoyment if they are used all the time…I figure, what’s the point of the game if not to challenge…but sometimes, as far as I am concerned, if the game cheats, then so will I.

  22. Patrickon 29 Oct 2012 at 2:24 pm

    General Knoxx Claptrap

    im not an overpowered borderlands player and it literally took 5 hours for me to shoot him down with my brother….we had to rotate deaths so we didnt have to start over….he wasnt even hard. He just One shot and had 57824097589302758902785923 hp

    -_____-

  23. DetLafon 29 Oct 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Hmm strange about General Knoxx ClapTrap…we (2ppl) play all 4 dlc of Bordelands in correct order and the last, Claptrap’s was easiest (apart from Mad Moxxi DLC and Eridium f*ck-alliens or whatever was that!! omg still remember that shit and LOT of frustration)..
    …..from the Mass Effect Universe – ME2 – of course Pretorian (regenerates barrier and always a most idiotic places to fight…Harbinger was pretty irritating too,when took the almost dead Collector guys (ahh f*ck that!!)….from ME3 MP its Dragoon – this M-F ignores all orders and
    code of battle and just run straight to you..when the spawn of enemies is near (game is buggy especialy on later waves) there is no chance to survive waves of 3-4 MF running right toward me!! oh god i hate them so MUCH!!! i can live with Phantoms but these guys are just MEH =)

  24. Adamon 24 Dec 2012 at 2:21 pm

    The writer of this amuses me. If you are gonna complain and say bosses or enemies suck, and/or it’s bad game design; why don’t you go make your own pussy ass game because all I hear is “WHINE WHINE WHINE.” Stupid newb.

  25. Arunon 24 Dec 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I actually hate easy enemies in the sense that you start a battle, like in Pokemon, and there are all these cutscenes. When the battle finally starts, you one hit kill them with some regular attack and then you watch your character(s) celebrate. What could have been a 10 second exchange has now become a minute and a half ordeal. Multiply that by 10 encounters and you’ve blown 15 minutes fighting stupid Zubats and Geodudes that never stood a chance.

  26. meowcat5on 04 Jun 2013 at 5:19 pm

    you forgot about archviles from DOOM! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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