3D: Video game FPS bad guys. Wise up.

Introducing 3D, aka Dirty's Digital Diatribes... An Op-Ed based series that's (more often than not) inspired by the people that both play and create video games.

Bad guys in First Person Shooters, you all truly, sincerely disappoint me. As Visuals, A.I., Physics and in-fact most every single aspect of video games keep advancing, you all have managed to not progress whatsoever. Ironically, you all had great mentors in a game that was released before there was even genres. In fact Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde are literally the only Bad Guys I would literally even consider calling remotely intelligent. Way back in 1980, not only did these trailblazers have the common sense to not always take the same path, but as hard as it may be for any of you to fathom, they actually ran away when they were in danger! Despite these four OG's unprecedented shining example of intelligent Bad Guy behavior, you all obviously made some secret pact to completely ignore the path they had started to pave. By choosing to ignore their brilliant lead, you created a foolish set of standards that to this very day almost every single one of you continues to follow, despite glaringly obvious shortcomings and downfalls.

Make no mistake about it, the Good Guys are definitely not the brightest bulbs in the bunch either. With that said, they have at the very least gotten a tad brighter over the years, most noticeably in the weapons department and where they can and cannot go (invisible walls be damned). I write this Op-Ed piece for the benefit of all Bad Guys everywhere. Perhaps with the following 10 simple steps of advice, you can finally thwart do-gooders and finally reign evil-supreme once and for all.

  1. If you have a weakness, do not make it brighter, put a flashing light on it, or leave it fully exposed. Common sense should tell you if you have a weakness, you want to conceal it by any means necessary. Smarten up, hide your shortcomings. Call me crazy, but you would think I would not even have to point this out.
  2. Stop telling the good guys your evil intentions without them even asking. Truly such a classic, rookie mistake. If they do not know what you are doing and / or where you are planning on doing it, they cannot stop you so easily now can they?
  3. In regards to "The Key," stop giving it to the guy who is always by himself and / or stop "hiding" it in an incredibly easily found location in the one room whose door is always unlocked. Give it to someone who can defend themselves or at the very least hide it better. As a matter of fact, scratch all of that. Get with the times and start using biometric keypads that require either a fingerprint or voice recognition to open. Chances are the good guys will just chop off someone's hand, but it at least makes their job that much harder. Also as a side note, if you insist on just locking some doors and keeping other doors open, lock the doors that are directly related to the "right path." Again, it might not ultimately stop them, but it may very well make the Good Guys job just that much harder.
  4. Stop making puzzles, because you fail at doing so. In the history of video games, there has not been a single puzzle that has not been solved. If you really insist on continuing to make puzzles, do not leave hints for said puzzles anywhere in the immediate vicinity, never-mind in the same location as the puzzle itself!! Furthermore, writing down then breaking hints to the puzzles and scattering them in various locations is not fooling anyone. Good guys always find all of the pieces and put them together. Always. I know you all love your puzzles, and I admit they seem like good decent fun for the Good Guys to solve, but something has to give if you ever want to truly stop the Good Guys.
  5. In the past few years for whatever reason, you all seem to be infatuated with leaving voice mails to each other outlining your diabolic plans. Good Guys have gotten smart, and they now know how to check voicemail and/or press play on the video logs. You might as well just put your diabolic plan on your Facebook status, this way at least more people can know how evil you truly are.
  6. If you are going to run away from someone who is shooting you, please do not then pop just your head out from whatever you just chose to hide behind. If you really insist on continuing this awful, awful habit, do not keep doing it on a timed schedule of every couple of seconds. At the very least vary the time in between head pops. Also, as a small side note, if you stop because you thought you heard a strange noise that sounds like someone walking, it is indeed someone walking. Stopping, looking around for a second or two, then continuing to walk you predetermined path is not solving anything.
  7. Stop putting valuable items in wooden crates. Large retail stores such as Target sell plastic bins that would probably prove a bit more difficult to break open than cheap wood. Actually, may I suggest that you can take it one step further and purchase clear plastic bins. This way Good Guys do not have to destroy your personal property unless they really, really need what is inside, saving everyone time and hassle. Lets face reality, half the time a good guy breaks a crate, they usually discover they do not want nor need what was inside after-all. Clear bins at the very least also save yourself from the potential of getting splinters during the inevitable clean up afterwards that no one even seems to think about.
  8. As a follow up to the wooden crates, may I suggest you all heavily consider investing in a storage facility that serves as a singular Weapons Depot. Sure, by doing so, you give the Good Guys one single resource to choose and secure various weapons, but leaving random weapons and ammunition strewn about is not only making the good-guys lives that much easier, but lets face facts, it is down right irresponsible. As an addendum, clearly marking cabinets that contain health kits with a huge red cross may not be helping matters either.
  9. Stop trying to be more evil than necessary. If you have a clear opportunity to kill a Good Guy, do it. Plain and simple. I can guarantee if you choose to kill them slowly by placing them in a precarious situation and then inexplicably walk away as you always do, the Good Guy can, and in-fact will, always escape. Sure, it may make for much shorter games, but for once in your forsaken existence you may actually come out victorious if you just choose do the right thing so to speak.
  10. Last but not least, fire whomever is your Facilities Manager immediately. Anyone who decided it would be a good idea to leave barrels of explosive materials scattered around everywhere is just plain stupid. Adding to this point, explain to your evil henchmen that these barrels will indeed explode, so it may not be the best idea to just stand by them, never-mind run behind them for cover. If you really must have exploding barrels everywhere, I truly beg of you, stop making them red. Good Guys have known for a very long time now to immediately shoot any barrel that is red.
So there you have it Developers, oops I meant Bad Guys. I do realize there are some exceptions on your end. Fontaine from Bioshock was a pretty bright guy, although if I was him I would have just cut the power to certain Areas so the vending machines no longer worked, but for the most part you are a very dumb bunch. With these words of advice I truly believe you at least stand a small chance against the Good Guys. Truth be told, the Good Guy is probably always going to win, but at the very least if you follow some of these suggestions, gamers can perhaps finally have a new experience or two when it comes to playing a First Person Shooter.

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30 Comments

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I'm really disappointed with enemy AI too. It's so bad still to this day. It's kind of sad. It seems like developers don't care how stupid the AI is in games. Then you have the stupid crap like the explosive barrels and wooden boxes that are still used in the year 2009. They just plant them all over the maps/levels.

i guess the counterargument can be that were meant to hate the villains, not the game... making smarter villains is a bigger workload on the game makers, and there could come a point where a game breaking flaw that makes it impossible/pointless to continue the game slips through the testers

but yeah if they took this article seriously, all the games would end up being alot more epic to beat

by the way, on no.7 , you could clearly say that that the opposite is true, the thing about clear bins so we wouldnt have to break them open to see whats inside.... if i were a villain , i would feel better putting them in slightly more secure, nondescript boxes... but then again its a method which works so well that it ends up being what you complained about in the first place.... imagine if a game really had clear bins instead of nondescript boxes, wouldnt you make fun of that too?

I have been thinking along these lines for years! When I become a great villian, I will not make these mistakes

This isn't FPS related, per say, but I was extremely impressed when Kul'thuzad (last boss in Naxxramas) mind controlled a retribution paladin (on heroic mode) made the paladin cast Hand of Sacrifice on KT. Everyone else hitting the boss caused the MC'd retribution paladin to die (HOS transfers 30% damage to the paladin). I was pretty impressed by that kind of AI.

Quite a laugh actually, but unfortunately quite true. Most FPS shooters have such atrocious Evil Doers that it's pathetic. One example is Black, one of the most beautiful games for the PS2 but had a crappy end boss. All you do is shoot towards the window and then you get a little confirmation that Lennox is dead, only to find he's not dead? RE4 is another example, though I do have to give props to however think up creating those Regenerators, I remember the first time playing it that I wasted a lot of ammo just to bring it down only to find out there is another method, and no less easier at that. Then again, it is a third person shooter.

I think the only FPS to have really challenge me wasn't even a first person shooter, and the game was called Portal. That was the only game that I had to take time to make my moves, and the fight at the end was very challenging but once you've finished it, made it all so satisfying. Another game that came to mind is Star Wars KOTOR II, I know it's not a FPS but it had a wonderful villain in Kreia, who manipulated not only your character, but also your comrades.

I wish we could have more challenging games, I remember I had to think very hard in playing Zork and Myst, and I completed both those games without resorting to a manual.

Scirwode

Hell yeah, KOTOR was awesome! Every aspect of it! In the end I was not very strong so I had to try 4-5 times before coming up with my hit and run strategy that I ultimately defeated her with.

Recon415 said,
Hell yeah, KOTOR was awesome! Every aspect of it! In the end I was not very strong so I had to try 4-5 times before coming up with my hit and run strategy that I ultimately defeated her with.

Hit and run? Pah, all I did was Force Storm her and her silly little sticks .

Scirwode

Really interesting that you mention this actually. As I was writing this up last night, I was thinking that my next article was going to be a word to Video Game developers to please not take the lead from Hollywood.

I lol'd. Sadly if gamers weren't so whiney and put some effort in, developers wouldn't have to make their games so easy. It is a fact they make them easy to beat on purpose, and not flaming here, but the rise in popularity of gaming in USA is one of the biggest reasons why.

I usually play games on easy just as a way to chillax to be honest and the good ones I really loved I may go back to on a harder difficulty.

I do think some games have issues in their scaling of easy to hard but.

Last but not least, fire whomever is your Facilities Manager immediately. Anyone who decided it would be a good idea to leave barrels of explosive materials scattered around everywhere is just plain stupid. Adding to this point, explain to your evil henchmen that these barrels will indeed explode, so it may not be the best idea to just stand by them, never-mind run behind them for cover. If you really must have exploding barrels everywhere, I truly beg of you, stop making them red. Good Guys have known for a very long time now to immediately shoot any barrel that is red..

The Manager is innocent.

http://www.hlcomic.com/index.php?date=2005-06-24

http://www.hlcomic.com/index.php?date=2005-06-27

HAHAHA I had never seen them. Nice.
I will be the first to admit and say this is not some groundbreaking list. In fact, all of it has been said at one point in time over the years, more than once, and that is the point of it actually. That we are STILL facing the same exact things after all of this time.

ROFL... I was thinking of the HL2 comic as well when you mentioned thousands of explosive barrels everywhere for no good reason.

LyKwId said,
I think you just summed up the whole Resident Evil series. (checks list again).... Yup.. you did

Or bond movies :P

You might as well just put your diabolic plan on your Facebook status, this way at least more people can know how evil you truly are.

I got a good laugh out of that.