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FPS Field Guide: A Look At Common Enemies

reetings, fellow traveler. If you’re new to first- or third-person shooters, you might find yourself overwhelmed by both the number and variety of creatures that populate their wonderful worlds. There’s just so much to see and shoot! Whether you’re stomping around the muck, shooting at some of history’s nastiest bad guys or zapping outer-space aliens with your trusty ray gun, you’ll eventually notice a few commonalities between your opponents. After spending time with our field guide you’ll not only know where to find specific enemies, but you’ll also be savvy enough to detect minor variations and related species. Nifty!

The variety of aliens that game players will encounter during their games careers is nearly as numerous as the stars in the sky. While their prevalence has somewhat diminished their impact, there’s still something very special about seeing a new alien species for the first time, moments before they unload their energy beams at your position. It can truly be breathtaking, in all senses of that word.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
While they may come from worlds millions of miles from our Earth, it’s amazing how similar aliens look like us. Most are bipedal and can grip weapons in homo sapien-like hands. Fortunately for us, we can usually pick up and wield those same weapons, should we run out of ammo ourselves. Their skin tones run the gamut from pale yellow to jet black, with complexions spanning every point between glassy smooth and craggy.

Watch Out For:
Our atmosphere isn’t necessarily the most hospitable place to visit, if you’re used to breathing chlorine gas. For that reason, many alien visitors come equipped with life-giving tanks or other bizarre apparatuses. Should you find yourself facing a charging alien (heaven forbid!) focusing your firepower on that equipment could mean the difference between life or the continue screen.

Natural Habitat:
Aliens seem to be attracted to Earth, particularly our urban and desert settings. Why those two locations are so interesting to our interstellar friends remain a mystery. While our metropolitan areas offer much in the realms of the arts, commerce and the latest fashion trends, those are generally seen as beacons for humanity, not our green-skinned sky neighbors. On the other end of the extreme, our deserts have little entertainment to offer, aside from comely views of box canyons, plateaus and vastly unpopulated expanses. Perhaps aliens are drawn to our desert climates but enjoy our nightlife, too. With that kind of internal struggle, it’s no wonder that frustration turns to violence.

Specific Habitats:
-Duke Nukem 3D
-Resistance: Fall of Man
-Unreal Tournament
-Perfect Dark
-Aliens vs. Predator

Can usually be found near narrow crate-filled corridors.

While aliens do seem to venture onto our turf on a regular basis, adventurers are also likely to encounter those exotic creatures while exploring other planets. In those instances, who’s the alien? Chew on that when you board your next rocket.

On first blush, it might not seem as though mutants and monsters should be lumped in together. Mutants are unfortunate souls who have been bent and manipulated by evil forces or materials. Those forces can include particularly devious aliens, who take the bodies of humans and use them as meat puppets for their disgusting plays. Monsters can include devils, demons, werewolves and mummies. If you squint your eyes and tilt your head just so, it’s easy to confuse the two. That’s what we’re doing, and we are writing this field guide, after all. Trust us.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
While mutants and monsters may come from different places, they do have one thing in common: scowls. If you’re going about your business, weapon bobbing in your line of sight, and you come across a charging humanoid, pause for a moment. If it’s scowling, open fire. Mutants and monsters are an angry lot, and that kind of preemptive thinking could very well save your hide.

Watch Out For:
Mutants and monsters may possess stronger constitutions than even the burliest of dockworkers, but that doesn’t mean they’re invulnerable. Point the business end of your weapon at them and give them a good what-for until they hit the deck. Repeat, if necessary.

Natural Habitat:
If you’re in, around or near a sewer system, take heed—you’re in prime mutant and monster territory. Upturned barrels oozing glowing green substances or other subtle signs of contamination should also spur you into action. Keep your finger near your trigger and keep making left turns until you resurface.

Specific Habitats:
-Doom (series)
-Serious Sam

Can usually be found near crates and sewers.

We’ve received reports that some communities have actually willfully exposed themselves to mutagens. If you see a vending machine advertising fantastical powers, think before you put in your two bits. Do you really need to control a swarm of bees?

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