Good boss fights from FPSs?

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#1 Posted by tsiro (222 posts) -

This is something that I've been thinking about for a little while now. I can't really seem to think of very many great (or even good) boss fights from FPSs (or, for that matter, TPSs, either). Might this be something inherent to the genre? I've been toying around with the idea that some of the things that tend to make FPSs "fun" (e.g. mowing down enemies, smart positioning, movement) don't mesh well with some of the more traditional boss fight tropes (e.g. lots of health, long battles, high damage/risk "attacks").

I also think that it's certainly possible to make great FPS boss fights, but those tend to be due to creative ideas that don't necessarily lend themselves well to repetition (e.g. set-piece moments/fights).

I just started thinking about this in relation to Borderlands 2, a game that I thought didn't have the most creative boss fights (in large part, they felt like enemies that just happened to have more health -- so you just shoot more bullets at them -- and that do more damage). [Note: this is not supposed to be a "hey let's all rag on Borderlands 2!" thread, that is merely a jumping off point. I like Borderlands 2 just fine!]

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#2 Posted by CommanderZx2 (134 posts) -

It is rare that you encounter a boss fight fight that doesn't rely on the typical glowing weak spots or simply having lots of extra health for no valid reason.

The best boss fight I can think of in recent memory is Mr Freeze in Batman Arkham city. A very smart boss who is simply too powerful to attack directly, you have to use tactics and stealth to do damage to him. However you cannot simply use the same tactic over and over again as he adjusts his strategy making previously used methods impossible to repeat.

When it comes to FPS games, there are no good bosses. They're all rather boring bullet sponges or rely on the the weak spot nonsense.

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#3 Posted by Hizang (9359 posts) -

Grunt invert godd c

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#4 Posted by Zacagawea (1673 posts) -

Portal 1/2

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#5 Posted by Begilerath (178 posts) -

I dont know of counts as a boss fight, but I remember a really great moment in Halo 3 where you have to fight two Scarabs at the same time. Its one of my favourite moments in gaming.

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#6 Posted by kgb0515 (427 posts) -

No Bioshock love here? I suppose some of the Big Daddy fights are somewhat obvious, but they still have a way of getting the blood pumping.

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#7 Posted by mordukai (8242 posts) -

@kgb0515 said:

No Bioshock love here? I suppose some of the Big Daddy fights are somewhat obvious, but they still have a way of getting the blood pumping.

The last boss fight was weak but I can't remember a single Big Daddy fight I did not throughly enjoyed.

I know I'm in a minority here but I really enjoyed how you deal with end boss on Thief: Deadly Shadows.

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#8 Posted by Dagbiker (7025 posts) -

I always liked the anti-bossfight, its why I think Equilibrium is a good movie. Because it builds up to this big fight, then just throws all the tension out the window in less then a second. Christion Bale slices the guy up in a single cut of the camera, you don't even get to see the sword slice him up.

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#9 Posted by tsiro (222 posts) -

@kgb0515: man, as someone who claims to love Bioshock, I'm disappointed in myself that Big Daddies didn't even come to mind.

@Dagbiker: I will always have a special place in my heart for endings like that.

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#10 Posted by StarvingGamer (11078 posts) -

I really liked the Hyperius fight in the DLC for BL2. Also BNK3R was a lot of fun, although I can't quite figure out why.

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#11 Posted by ervonymous (1299 posts) -

At first I thought "Well Painkiller and Serious Sam, duh", but then I realized they're probably the crappiest of the bunch. More recently the bosses in Hard Reset made me groan and the final encounter in SS3 is a stinker. The little charm that there is to those games shrivels up and dies when you're shooting at one giant thing instead of a thousand smaller ones.

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#12 Posted by impartialgecko (1824 posts) -

There are none. FPSs have one core mechanic more or less and that's shooting. The reason other games manage to have great boss battles is because they have a load of other mechanics to facilitate them. With an FPS you just end up pumping shots into either a big thing that can take a bunch of damage or some dude who inexplicably can take 100 rounds to the face.

Portal 1 and 2 had great boss battles if you could call them that.

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#13 Edited by Justin258 (13889 posts) -

Metroid Prime, if you count it as a shooter, but it used a lock on instead of a dual joystick thing. Yes, I know, the Wii version, but the original versions used lock on.

Anyway, for a game whose genre is inarguable, I liked this boss fight in Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil. It's not particularly original or anything, but I thought it was fun enough:

Loading Video...

Honestly, the best "boss" section I can think of is this:

@Begilerath said:

I dont know of counts as a boss fight, but I remember a really great moment in Halo 3 where you have to fight two Scarabs at the same time. Its one of my favourite moments in gaming.

This part of Halo 3 is downright amazing.

EDIT: Gee, that guy fucking sucks at Doom 3...

EDIT 2: Forgot something:

Loading Video...
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#14 Posted by MikeGosot (3236 posts) -

DOOM. First Cyberdemon.

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#15 Posted by awesomeusername (4590 posts) -

Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

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#16 Posted by pyromagnestir (4416 posts) -

The Metroid Prime games have the best first person boss fighting around.

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#17 Posted by Raven10 (2166 posts) -

Painkiller comes to mind. The bosses aren't really that tactical or anything, but they are really epic. Same with some Serious Sam bosses. Probably the best boss fights I can think of in a shooter though are those in Vanquish. Because you have a lot of mobility the bosses can involve more than circle strafing. They aren't as good as the bosses in Bayonetta but they are still pretty damn great. I enjoyed a couple of the boss fights in Binary Domain as well. Personally I think that in shooters you just generally don't have enough abilities to make a really fun boss battle. Fighting one dude usually just involves shooting him a lot and/or shooting the things that protect him and then shooting him a lot. I'll agree with others that fighting the Big Daddies were a lot of fun but I think the key to that was that you had a ton of abilities and options beyond shooting. I mean in something like Call of Duty, you just don't have enough options to make fighting one guy interesting. Fighting some of the really powerful Elites in Halo is really fun. Not really boss fights, but still fun. Seeing those Yellow Elites in the first Halo was horrifying back in the day. Again, not bosses, but probably better fights than those with most of the bosses I mentioned.

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#18 Edited by ArtisanBreads (6811 posts) -

People keep saying TPS games...

Kind of crazy how there's none that really come to mind that much when you consider how many games have been in the genre.

For me, I think the Jedi Knight games have had the best bosses of any FPS games I have played, but again that series ended up being a hybrid. So I'm kind of a hypocrite.

Some have had some big, crazy looking bosses but none of them were that fun to fight really.

It's more crazy encounters. Stuff like the a fore mentioned Scarab fights in Halo (which were awesome) and some of the nasty moments in Serious Sam like when the enemies keep coming in that Colosseum.

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#19 Posted by BeachThunder (14193 posts) -

@Zacagawea said:

Portal 1/2

Wait, do you mean Postal or Portal, because I don't recall shooting anyone in Portal. And if you do mean Postal, then the first one certainly wasn't a first person game.

Even though I haven't finished Crawmerax (I probably never will), I'll go with that. The only problem is the sheer amount of time it takes to get back into the fight once you die =(

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#20 Posted by Zella (1217 posts) -

I thought fighting Daud was pretty badass in Dishonored. He didn't go down in seconds like all the guardsmen but also wasn't too hard or cheap. Also the idea of two supernatural assassin's having a magic/gun/sword fight is pretty dope.

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#21 Posted by Kerned (1183 posts) -

Big Daddy fights were the shit, but you guys will have a hard time convincing me that they are bosses, as opposed to just powerful regular enemies.

Regarding Portal: GlaDos (or however the capitalization works) is a great GREAT boss fight, but I'm not sure that Portal is an FPS. Unless the "S" somehow stands for "Puzzle Game."

mentioned the Metroid Prime games, and off the top of my head I would say those are the only FPSs that have boss fights that could qualify as "good." Those games are pretty great overall.

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#22 Posted by MonetaryDread (2626 posts) -

One boss fight that sticks out in my mind was in the original Crysis. You go the entire game feeling secure in your ability to be a bad-ass, then you run into a group of 5 Koreans wearing knock-off nano suits. The whole battle is over in a minute on normal difficulty, but on Delta (the hardest difficulty), the enemies have an increase in health allowing you to see more of their AI routine. From suppresssion fire so a teammate can flank you, to efficient use of their cloak mechanic to travel undetected, I play this fight and actually felt like I was being hunted. It was threatening enough of a group that the entire battle took just under thirty minutes, just me chased through a forest while I slowly picked them off one by one.

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#23 Posted by coaxmetal (1803 posts) -

@Zella said:

I thought fighting Daud was pretty badass in Dishonored. He didn't go down in seconds like all the guardsmen but also wasn't too hard or cheap. Also the idea of two supernatural assassin's having a magic/gun/sword fight is pretty dope.

he seemed to go down just as fast as anyone else, one stab from behind. It was a cool bit though.

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#24 Posted by BeachThunder (14193 posts) -

Oh, I just remembered, the hurricane boss from NOLF 2 was fantastic.

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#25 Posted by deathstriker666 (1349 posts) -

There are none. Some FPS's do it better than others by making them less boring and ungratifying, but those are usually mini-bosses and not actual scripted boss fights. As others have pointed it out, they either boil down into bullet sponges or "hit the weak spot every time it is exposed" type of garbage.

The question really should be what is the worst boss fight in an FPS ever. I know that it's not an FPS, but I feel that Alpha Protocol deserves a special mention. Lord almighty. They're either incredibly infuriatingly difficult or laughably easily based on how you specced Michael or whatever that fuckers name is. Neither of which is truly satisfying. Normally the pistol is the weakest weapon in shooters, but in Alpha Protocol it is ridiculously overpowered with the chain headshot ability. Enter slow mo to tag enemies for headshots and exit to see them all fail to the ground dead. It was like a kill all console command except an actual skill you could invest points into. Oh and did I mention that you could instantly reactivate it with another super useful another ability or simply wait another 60 seconds for it to recharge? It ended boss fights as soon as they begun, well, side for the 2 vehicle bosses. Soaking up your rockets while you either waited for it to stop suppressing you or after you repositioned to a different building. Awful

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#26 Posted by Kerned (1183 posts) -

@deathstriker666: Hahahaha. I fucking loved Alpha Protocol. I agree with you completely. Your criticism can be applied to the entire game though. I feel like you have to spec stealth or the game would be miserable.

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#27 Posted by Zella (1217 posts) -

@Riboflavin said:

@Zella said:

I thought fighting Daud was pretty badass in Dishonored. He didn't go down in seconds like all the guardsmen but also wasn't too hard or cheap. Also the idea of two supernatural assassin's having a magic/gun/sword fight is pretty dope.

he seemed to go down just as fast as anyone else, one stab from behind. It was a cool bit though.

I meant if you take him head on, yeah I figured the stealthy approach would be the same as usual.

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#28 Posted by StarvingGamer (11078 posts) -

Psi-Ops
Metroid Prime(s)
Jedi Knight
Resident Evil 4/5

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#29 Posted by Delta_Ass (3807 posts) -

The Cyberdemon from E2M8.

Makron from Quake 2.

Final Boss from Crysis.

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#30 Posted by spankingaddict (2913 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

The Metroid Prime games have the best first person boss fighting around.

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#31 Posted by Ares42 (3388 posts) -

I seem to remember some boss from Quake 2 that I really enjoyed, but I can't remember any describing details or anything, just that I sorta remember the room and it was some sort of monster in a gate or something. Also it was probably only good compared to my standards at that point.

The problem with FPS bosses generally is that the mechanics of most FPS games are too simple to really serve a boss fight. The thing that makes boss fights cool is that they force you to utilize all your tools as well as possible, but when you basically only have one tool that is "shoot that guy" it's hard to do much with it. If anything I think Doom(2) might actually be the best FPS when it comes to bosses as it allowed you to just go buck-wild while spamming rockets at big huge monsters like the cyberdemon or mastermind.

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#32 Posted by Pinworm45 (4069 posts) -

@awesomeusername said:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

I know this game gets a lot of hate for the bosses, and one of them in particular was fucking awful (the military dude that just walks up to you and kills you over and over lol)

But that game actually has one of my favourite fights. The fight where you fight the person who stealths, after they deactive all of your abilities. I liked it because it took away everything that you rely on (perhaps why others hated it?), it was a good story effect, and it was really intense relying on purely my vision while looking for a stealth boss with a distorted screen. I guess that's why others hated it, but I always love when games unexpectedly take things away from you and make you rely on purely yourself

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#33 Posted by BeachThunder (14193 posts) -

@Pinworm45: Ugh, that part was fucking awful. Without doubt the worst part of the game. Perhaps I shouldn't have gotten that upgrade earlier, but having a boss which becomes almost unplayable because you made some seemingly innocuous choice a couple of hours beforehand is absolute shitty-ass game design.

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#34 Posted by Dario_Silva (9 posts) -

Legendary*

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#35 Edited by Fredchuckdave (9629 posts) -

Radec in Killzone 2 is the best (and most challenging) FPS boss, period. If you're going for style the last level of Doom II has a pretty fantastic boss mechanic as well. The last fight in Halo 2 was alright, better than not having a boss entirely for sure. Emperor Ing in Metroid Prime: Echoes is solid, as are Thardus and Metroid Prime itself in the first game. Pretty much every large monster encounter in the original Resistance: Fall of Man both feels like a boss and seems reasonably challenging, with a dozen different weapons to use all on your person.

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#36 Posted by Zekhariah (700 posts) -

Half-Life one (the tentacle you have to sneak around and activate rockets to kill) and Half-Life 2 Episode 2 (all the striders) were both good and fairly interesting boss fights.

Although I am also a fan of the giant boss that takes a ton of shots to take down like Serious Sam, Quake, and Doom. As long as it fits within the game framework.

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#37 Posted by EVO (4029 posts) -

Resistance 2 had some interesting bosses, in particular that terrifying swarm thingy that you had to lure into the reactors.

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#38 Posted by TobbRobb (5782 posts) -

Mecha Hitler in Wolfenstein.

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#39 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (2321 posts) -

I thought the boss fights in Borderlands 2 were not only a huge step up from the original's bosses, but that many of them were legitimately awesome. I don't have a level 50 character yet, so I haven't had a chance to try to raid bosses, but the main story bosses are pretty damn good, and the final boss in the new DLC impressed me, as well.
 
The boss encounters in Half-Life 2 and the episodes are great, too. While they really just consist of fighting enemies that you encounter throughout the game anyway, they have you doing something different with them each time.

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#40 Posted by Loafsmooch (542 posts) -

Vanquish? Not a FPS per se, it's a third person shooter. But if you don't care about that POV difference, that game has a lot of good fights.

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#41 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

Mechanicallyy? None really , most of them consist of circle strafe/ammo dumping , but I dont care sometimes I just want that ;)

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#42 Posted by awesomeusername (4590 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@awesomeusername said:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

I know this game gets a lot of hate for the bosses, and one of them in particular was fucking awful (the military dude that just walks up to you and kills you over and over lol)

But that game actually has one of my favourite fights. The fight where you fight the person who stealths, after they deactive all of your abilities. I liked it because it took away everything that you rely on (perhaps why others hated it?), it was a good story effect, and it was really intense relying on purely my vision while looking for a stealth boss with a distorted screen. I guess that's why others hated it, but I always love when games unexpectedly take things away from you and make you rely on purely yourself

It was a neat idea that worked like shit since every the second and third boss can one hit kill you. You can do that without the screen becoming all fucked up though. Just don't get your chip replaced when they tell you too in Hengsha.

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