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Enemies That Can One-Shot Kill You In Games - Thoughts?

Enemies That One-Shot Kill You In Games - Thoughts?

  • I don't mind - learn their weakness/improvise, adapt, over-come

    Votes: 59 43.7%
  • I don't like them but I understand why they're there

    Votes: 24 17.8%
  • I hate them - it's lazy design

    Votes: 52 38.5%

  • Total voters
    135

tylrdiablos

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Jan 7, 2018
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Just finished a game (I won't say which for fear of derailing the topic before its even begun) where, in the literal final hour, the developers had chosen to put in an enemy that could charge/stomp you and kill you instantly.
This happened multiple times, often with 2 of the enemy-type spawning at the same time, and it felt like it was there simply to tack another ~30 minutes onto the games duration.

It got me thinking about what other people think about this type of enemy. Normally, I don't mind it but this game had me killing wave after wave of enemies in an arena... then threw these stompy one-hit kill guys at me when health and ammo where low.
It just felt cheap and soured an otherwise enjoyable game.

Thoughts and examples of where its been done well/poorly are more than welcome!

Quick edit: The game I was playing was a first person shooter so the one-hit kills felt extremely out of place. As several other posters have mentioned below, it suits certain genres other than others.
 
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cormack12

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Mar 21, 2013
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Hate them. It's even worse when a number are OHK, and you have to get hit to find out which are the killers. It's just a waste of time. They are basically saying we're going to make you restart several times just to learn to not get hit. It's even worse when they give the boss a massive health bar so you have to basically do a 5-10 minute perfect run.
 

Aion002

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They are trash.

I get extremely frustrated with them, one little mistake or unlucky move and bam! You are dead. No balance at all.

The worst part is that they are usually positioned far away from checkpoints, I get that the idea is to make you fear the enemy, however they're just annoying.

Horror games loves this crap, RE3R on Inferno difficulty is the biggest offender for me, almost every single enemy can one hit kill you and there's no checkpoints at all... But the enemy positioning is so predictable that you can only die if you're not paying attention or thr game decides to fuck you up... The final boss is pathetic, but can stun lock the player quite easily... It's just crap and an annoyance, there's no challenge.


Also, this reminds of the Laura boss on The Evil Within, it can kill the player without warning... Worst boss on the game.


Those situations are different from stuff that happens on games like Dark Souls, when you die because of a treasure monster drained 90% of your health bar, for example, you just smile and say damnn... And that never ever happens again, because you are learning. But when the enemy AI decides that Nemesis will teleport behind you and stun lock Jill, because reasons, fuck this shit.
 
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AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
May 31, 2018
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As always it depends what game you're playing. Literally everything in Super Meat Boy is a oneshot due to the nature of the game.

In games where they can oneshot you and it causes you to replay like 10+ minutes of the game? No, fuck off.
 

DogofWar

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They are ok, you just shoot them until it dies!
 

jufonuk

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Depends on the game. If it’s an old school game or a homage to such then done correctly, or part of the general game. It’s ok. If out of no where then it’s annoying as hell and cheeses the game. Especially if said enemy has a bullet hell attack or something you have to avoid at the same time.
 

HoodWinked

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It's all in the design.

Some games that do it well will cause intense sense of thrill and adrenaline, then ultimately relief or accomplishment.

Or games like Superhot where it's necessary for the combat puzzle to work.
 
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AllyITA

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Feb 22, 2017
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depends on game/situation and how can the "one shot attack" be predicted/avoided etc..

RE3R: the sewer monster can instakill you if they swollow you. but it is a slow attack that mostly catch you out of guard the first time, after that it is avoidable, and the game gives you the ammo to contrast that enemy right there (at least in normal difficulty).
i'm ok with this, as long as i got the chance to make a save point not too long ago and it is possible to avaoid death in some way.

cyberpunk2077: it's an rpg and you can go wherever you want, so you'll encounter enemies that can kill you with one hit.
but it's ok, the game tells you this beforehand by placing a skull over the enemy's head, so you know that the fight will be very difficult (or impossible) at the moment; you can try if you want, or come back later.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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It only bothers me if the reload times are long (whether that's the load time itself, and/or the time taken to get back to where the enemy one-shotted me).
 

Bartski

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Love them.

Zero mistakes allowed, high-risk-reward gameplay is my jam but only in games designed to be played that way from the ground up, as there are many other components that need to work very well alongside to support such gameplay.

So it all depends. The example OP refers to is obviously horrible as well as 99% of the of such "enemies" you find in games in general, also mentioned in other comments in this thread. So yea most of them are bad but imo not intrinsically, it's just the way they are usually implemented in a conflict with the remaining mechanics of the game.

Dying a lot is fine but only if combined with zero load time respawn, Hotline Miami is a great example. TLOU series on "grounded" is an excellent example but definitely not for everyone and that's ok.
Ghost of Tsushima on Lethal+ is a descent example if it wasn't for the duels where the balance goes out of the window in favor of difficulty that here feels rather dissonant.

Health bars and damage sponge enemies are gameplay systems that have seen close to no innovation since 1985.

I'm happy to see some R&D in this area and I think it should be a preference and part of difficulty mode settings.
 
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Orta

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Apr 26, 2018
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If it is a case of respawning exactly where you were killed, not at a check point ten minutes beforehand and certainly not at the beginning of a level I can live with them, otherwise its nothing more than lazy design that in most cases has me walking away from a game.
 
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depends on game/situation and how can the "one shot attack" be predicted/avoided etc..

RE3R: the sewer monster can instakill you if they swollow you. but it is a slow attack that mostly catch you out of guard the first time, after that it is avoidable, and the game gives you the ammo to contrast that enemy right there (at least in normal difficulty).
i'm ok with this, as long as i got the chance to make a save point not too long ago and it is possible to avaoid death in some way.

cyberpunk2077: it's an rpg and you can go wherever you want, so you'll encounter enemies that can kill you with one hit.
but it's ok, the game tells you this beforehand by placing a skull over the enemy's head, so you know that the fight will be very difficult (or impossible) at the moment; you can try if you want, or come back later.
I saw that message about the skull, but never saw the skull. I actually didn’t have a bad time guessing if enemies were going to hit hard based on proximity to the starting area. I was also on hard...I think I just kind of like what OP hates.

Enemies can‘t save or retry. The player alway has an advantage! Imagine how they feel after you best them once and move on.
 
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There are many reasons why i stop playing Path of Exile.
But a big part of it, is that the game is determed to punish defensive gameplay. Despite being a game where you can customise your stats, the only real way to play is to have high damage and fast movement. Bosses are designed to have near instant kill attacks that could only be dodged if you move fast enough, and some bosses get progressively harder if you take too long. The only thing that was suppose to keep a defensive player alive, health leach, is nerfed over and over. And rewards are locked behind how fast you move.

In the end, the whole point with instant kill enemies, is to force you to dodge. To make it so that there is no point wearing armour, or use a shield. Just dodge, and move so fast that the low level mobs couldn't physically target you. The top players of PoE are all moving like Sonic with all Chaos Emeralds and they literally time themselves on how many seconds it takes for them to clear a map. Defence? What defense?
 
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AllyITA

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I saw that message about the skull, but never saw the skull. I actually didn’t have a bad time guessing if enemies were going to hit hard based on proximity to the starting area.
usually enemies have a "bullet" icon over their head; green if they are easy, yellow medium and red skull hard.
 

Diddy X

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It can be okay, "avoid being hit by x enemy at all costs!" seems like a valid gameplay mechanic and can be enjoyable if done right.
 

Eimran

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Depends on the situation. Certain bossees have it but clearly show signs that they are gonna do the instant kill move, but in most cases it's just lazy design
 
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It can be okay, "avoid being hit by x enemy at all costs!" seems like a valid gameplay mechanic and can be enjoyable if done right.
It is best done when the game is built around it.
But the end result is that you render defense a waste of stat points. You render most play-styles inefficient, and speedy glass cannons become the only true path.

Or in other word, a Shoot 'em up like Raiden or Touhou.

 
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Kamina

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It greatly depends on the situation.
If it is a 1v1 scenario where either me or the enemy die in one hit it might be okay.

What i dont like is when enemies take countless hits but are able to one-shot you and every second you spend fighting them increases the risk to getting hit, forcing you to be perfect with evasion and/or blocking mechanics.
If the game provides your character with a health bar then it should allow it as damage buffer, and not empty it in one hit.
Good game design makes enemies difficult in other ways than how much health they have or how much damage they deal.
 

Loke

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Hate it. Remember playing the final few levels of Red Faction and there are these dudes with railguns that will kill you with one shot. Loved the game but man that was such a dumb game design.
 

Halo0629

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Depends really on the game since it gives the extra challenge, but man I really hate it when gas cans one shot me in cyberpunk 2077.
 
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cripterion

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Ahhh I raged hard over some ennemies in Nioh 2, but eventually finished the damn game last week.

I chose the 2nd option although I gotta say it feels good once you beat something that was so difficult, that you thought couldn't be done. A wave of relief washes over you, a good feeling, like browsing through that ass GAF thread, it's soothing :messenger_beaming:
 

SCB3

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Like others have said, depends on the game

Destiny and Halo have a different issue on their hardest modes, Enemies just get super accurate to the point where its not fun
 
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Paasei

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Highly depends on the game. If it is a dodgeable/avoidable thing as part of a boss, or if it is a core mechanic of a game like Hotline Miami, there's nothing wrong it it.

Again, highly depends on the game.
 

Braag

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It only works in certain situations. Like in PoP Warrior Within when that shadowy enemy chased you and you had to run away from him.
Or Dead Space had that one boss which could 1 shot you but you could destroy its limbs to slow it down and run away.

Then you have something like The Evil Within where almost every level had a boss or enemy which could 1 shot kill you and it was frustrating af.
 

Razvedka

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I, too, remember SPAS12 enemies in R6:Vegas 1 & 2 and Halo games on legendary with Flood forms wielding shotguns.
 

InfiniteCombo

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RE3R on Inferno difficulty is the biggest offender for me, almost every single enemy can one hit kill you and there's no checkpoints at all... But the enemy positioning is so predictable that you can only die if you're not paying attention or thr game decides to fuck you up... The final boss is pathetic, but can stun lock the player quite easily... It's just crap and an annoyance, there's no challenge.
I respectfully disagree with pretty much all of this.

"Almost every single enemy can one hit kill you" -- Yes, that's true. But the game also has "New Game+" items, such as the Defense Coins, that are purposely there -- and even encouraged! -- to help navigate the more difficult modes. You can use these initially while getting the hang of enemy patterns and AI, and developing strategies to get past these obstacles. A true, satisfying Inferno run involves usage of no New Game+ items.

"There's no challenge" -- Absolutely false. The whole point of Inferno difficulty is the challenge. And getting past that challenge involves two things:
(1) As you mentioned, recognizing enemy AI/patterns, and locations, and how to take advantage of that;
(2) You have to master the main new gameplay mechanic -- the dodge. There's no way around that. The design of Nightmare and Inferno modes revolves around mastery of the dodge. It's almost the entire premise of the final Nemesis Fight. There's even a New Game+ item (the "STARS Field Manual") that helps widen the timing of the dodge while you're getting used to it. In fact, I'd have to say the first time I fought final Nemesis, in Normal mode, that fight was very anti-climactic. But when I played in Inferno, it hit me: The 3 main skills involved in the game -- Dodging, shooting, and precise movement -- are all taken to their logical conclusion in this fight.

EDIT: I forgot about the "no checkpoints" part. Also objectively false. You can save on the various typewriters scattered around the game (although there are less of them in Nightmare/Inferno than there are on the easier modes). If you're trying to get an S rank, you are limited to 5 saves, so yes, that in itself becomes a set of gameplay design decisions on the part of the player. But if the player is going for an S rank, I imagine they have played the game a few times and have honed their skills.

I mean, no offense, but to quote the kids on the internet: "git gud."
 
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Aion002

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I respectfully disagree with pretty much all of this.

"Almost every single enemy can one hit kill you" -- Yes, that's true. But the game also has "New Game+" items, such as the Defense Coins, that are purposely there -- and even encouraged! -- to help navigate the more difficult modes. You can use these initially while getting the hang of enemy patterns and AI, and developing strategies to get past these obstacles. A true, satisfying Inferno run involves usage of no New Game+ items.

"There's no challenge" -- Absolutely false. The whole point of Inferno difficulty is the challenge. And getting past that challenge involves two things:
(1) As you mentioned, recognizing enemy AI/patterns, and locations, and how to take advantage of that;
(2) You have to master the main new gameplay mechanic -- the dodge. There's no way around that. The design of Nightmare and Inferno modes revolves around mastery of the dodge. It's almost the entire premise of the final Nemesis Fight. There's even a New Game+ item (the "STARS Field Manual") that helps widen the timing of the dodge while you're getting used to it. In fact, I'd have to say the first time I fought final Nemesis, in Normal mode, that fight was very anti-climactic. But when I played in Inferno, it hit me: The 3 main skills involved in the game -- Dodging, shooting, and precise movement -- are all taken to their logical conclusion in this fight.

I mean, no offense, but to quote the kids on the internet: "git gud."
Sure, but I think that you misunderstood me. I don't think that RE3R is hard at all, those one hit kills are just a mild annoyance. They are the only difficulty increase.

And it's just a superficial difficulty increase that adds nothing more than cheap deaths. I hoped for random located enemies at each playthrough or even new stuff .... Heck it is a 60 usd game after all.


I already finished RE3R more than 10 times, got the plat on two psn accounts just for fun... I love the game, I just wish that it was truly harder on the Inferno mode... Also, the plat is too easy almost effortless. RE2R is way more balanced...

Also... Those coins are a good thing for newcomers (the unlimited rocket launcher too), but for everybody else they make an easy game become even easier.


Plus the dodge boost, makes most players dodge masters.

Anyway, I would love a mode with less bullets, more enemies, less resources and stuff... Thankfully RE2R exist, I love the challenge that the "extra" modes of RE2R offers, I wanted that for 3.
 

Cravis

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Not a fan of one shot kill but one hit kill for certain melee type enemies can be intense. Like in Resident Evil 4, when you hear that chainsaw crank up in the village you know shit just got real and you better run and formulate a new strategy.
 

Elcid

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gitgud don’t die if souls. everything else is annoying as fuck just like mandatory stealth
 

Physiocrat

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I normally hate them especially if it means having to restart like 10 mins ago as others have mentioned. That said I did really like one of the early bosses in the WItcher 2 which killed me like 40 times and many occasions with a single hit (I think it was to do with timing a jump - haven't played it for a while) before I won.
 

InfiniteCombo

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Sure, but I think that you misunderstood me. I don't think that RE3R is hard at all, those one hit kills are just a mild annoyance. They are the only difficulty increase.

And it's just a superficial difficulty increase that adds nothing more than cheap deaths. I hoped for random located enemies at each playthrough or even new stuff .... Heck it is a 60 usd game after all.


I already finished RE3R more than 10 times, got the plat on two psn accounts just for fun... I love the game, I just wish that it was truly harder on the Inferno mode... Also, the plat is too easy almost effortless. RE2R is way more balanced...

Also... Those coins are a good thing for newcomers (the unlimited rocket launcher too), but for everybody else they make an easy game become even easier.


Plus the dodge boost, makes most players dodge masters.

Anyway, I would love a mode with less bullets, more enemies, less resources and stuff... Thankfully RE2R exist, I love the challenge that the "extra" modes of RE2R offers, I wanted that for 3.
I see. I did misunderstand you -- my apologies.

If I understand better now, I think one of the core parts of your argument is that you wished the difficulty came from randomized placement of enemies, as opposed to making enemies being able to one-hit kill you in what feels (to you) is a "cheap way."

Did you beat the Inferno mode with no New Game+ items?
 

AJUMP23

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Can I kill them with one hit as well? If so I don't think I care, as long as the rules are fair.
 

InfiniteCombo

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By the way, people that got far or played the game extensively can chip in, but I'm gonna make a point about God of War (2018).

All the story enemies are fine, no issues there. But the optional enemies, the Valkyries -- I beat the first couple of them but then tapped out after that. (I believe there are... 9 of them, in total?). Not necessarily out of lack of skill, but lack of... patience. (I love Viking/Old Norse lore, but I never thought I'd get so annoyed at hearing "VALHALLA!" LMAO....)

While they don't one-hit kill you, they might as well. At the level I fought them as Kratos at the time (and I thought I was at a pretty good level), they take a lot of damage. And the one Valkyrie I remember, she's got these wing swiping attacks that cover A LOT of ground and are difficult to avoid. And if you get hit with like 2 or 3 of those screen-wide swipes, you're done.

I may give them another try in the future but I thought they were cheap as hell back when I played the game. Maybe I'm just remembering things wrong, but I guess it comes with the theme of enemies that feel "cheap" and can lead to frustration.
 
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Depends how it's done.

Something like Ghostrunner is a good example of both sides to the equation. Pretty much all the enemies drop in one shot but you do have the opportunity to avoid it if you react fast enough. Occasionally tho an enemy will be hidden behind a wall or corner which leaves you no chance to react as you have no idea they are there, and then you take a cheap shot in the back.

I don't mind it myself but if it feels cheap it can be irritating.
 

Aion002

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I see. I did misunderstand you -- my apologies.

If I understand better now, I think one of the core parts of your argument is that you wished the difficulty came from randomized placement of enemies, as opposed to making enemies being able to one-hit kill you in what feels (to you) is a "cheap way."

Did you beat the Inferno mode with no New Game+ items?
I did a couple of times. I am doing a newrun now, I am actually trying to get under the 1 hour and 10 minutes this time. It's hard, because I tend to make some silly mistakes and end up wasting time... I only save after meeting Carlos and before the final boss. I like replaying it, but when the main enemy is the clock,
I can't help but wish that they had used some of the stuff that they did on Revelations series or the ones from RE2R.
 

crozier

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Depends...

If there isn't a long trek back to the boss it isn't the end of the world.
 

Fbh

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I generally dislike them, but as with everything it depends.

For example if it's a fast game with short levels where you die but can retry instantly and be back into the action it can be fun.
If it's a game where I die, then have to go through some game over animation, reload my save, go through a loading screen, and replay 15 minutes of content to get back to where I died it can be really frustrating.

Or like if the enemy just has 1 instakill attack that is easy to read and prepare for it's not too bad. But if it's some fast enemy with hard to avoid insta kill attacks it's annoying.

I also think how your character plays is important. I like games where you die fast but you can also kill enemies fast. But if it's a game where enemies insta kill you but they themselves are bullet sponges it can be annoying.
 
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