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The newest game to make the list contains a superb one-hit kill. Granted, it does occur after a stupidly difficult boss fight against two 'bogeys' (sometimes a handkerchief just isn't enough, right kids?), but the final sequence begins against a foe who is alive, aggressive and moving freely.
Above: Sam Gideon has a lot of trouble with bogeys throughout Vanquish. Vapour-release tissues would help
So what if they're only puppets controlled remotely by your real enemy? The scene gets more dramatic every time we see it. Down, apparently out, the ARS suit malfunctioning after the release of the safety valves... everything's going wrong for Sam Gideon. But to block the bogey's attack, dodge four surely lethal blows and snatch the fiend's own weapon is brilliant. The reticule is almost impossible to control - you can see in the video that it was only on 'red' for a single frame before I pulled the trigger. Boom! Down he goes... and a hundred inferior shoot-'em-ups with him.
See it happen:
Unlike Bioshock, which blows its load prematurely with its Atlus revelation midway through, Singularity saves its biggest hit for the end, which is undoubtedly the best place for it. The whole game boils down to one bullet from your gun as you stand before the supposed good guy and the supposed bad guy. Your decision here and subsequent actions in the past will determine the future that's actually your present. If that's not confusing, I don't know what is. Either way, this one-hit kill has causality written all over it.
Above: They say somewhere there's a bullet with your name on it. Viktor Causality Barisov looks worried
My first decision was to do the 'right thing' by killing the bad guy, Demichev (pictured on the right), and then heading back to 1955 and shooting my other self before he could screw up the timeline. It looks like you've really wiped yourself from existence for a second as you both fade away, but the game then returns you to the helicopter ride at the start. You fly past a huge statue of your buddy Barisov wearing the Time Manipulation Device. Your character, Renko, then looks at his left hand - most likely experiencing a massive moment of deja vu. Nice touch.
Secondly, you can kill Barisov and choose the evil ending. The end sequence is suitably grim, but just goes to show the consequences that can come from a single choice. Brilliantly, the third option arises if you decide to shoot both men in the head. With all memory of the Time Manipulation Device dying with them, you are left to rule the world. That's the selfish ending – and one that yields a silver trophy for being such a damn smartypants.
But while all three of these choices with the men standing before you are awesome, it's the game-ending self-kill that earns Singularity its place in this Top 7. Seeing yourself struggle in through the flames with the young Demichev over your shoulders, it's a harrowing moment as you align your sights, pull the trigger... and effectively kill all three of you with one shot.
See it happen
As for the deed itself, whoever you decide to shoot, it's one of the most realistic gunshots in gaming. There's nothing fancy here - no lava, rockets or eleborate death throes. One bullet = one dead dude.