We all play video games for different reasons. Some want to explore fantasy worlds, others want to live out their fantasies of lifting the WWE championship, while others want to complete puzzles of varying complexity. There is a wide spectrum of gamers who play games for too many different reasons to list and only a niche portion of those do so to be challenged to the point of delirium.
The infuriating truth is that some players who don’t want to get pulled into a Dark Souls-type nightmare end up finding themselves getting frustrated by video games that aren’t necessarily supposed to be rage-inducing. Whether that’s a cute Disney spin-off with shockingly poor controls or just insanely difficult bosses hidden in otherwise enjoyable games. It takes more than a little perseverance to overcome the challenges that they present.
We asked Grown Gaming’s team of adult gamers for the hardest gaming challenges that they’ve overcome in video games, whether that’s a boss, level, or game entirely. Here are their responses:
John Santina: Getting Decent at Planetside 2 (and Getting Out of the Garage in Driver)
Planetside 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. Going into war with up to 2,000 other players is an epic experience that no other game has come close to matching.
The thing is, most players will die a lot in Planetside 2. And, by a lot, I mean most kill-death ratios are so embarrassing that you’ll find yourself going quiet at parties when fellow gamers talk about their Call of Duty KD ratios. They’re two completely different games – kill-death ratio isn’t a big deal in Planetside 2, it’s all about capturing points on the map to win overall. It’s about winning the war.
But dying still hurts and I’d made it my mission to turn my KD ratio into something half-decent. It took me literally months to unlearn bad habits taught to me by earlier Call of Duty and Battlefield games and to begin playing Planetside 2 with some strategy. I switched to the infiltrator class and bought an SMG, making me one of the few on the battlefield using this setup. I died a lot, but with time, I began to master when to go into and out of cover, and how to confuse groups of enemies by running into them, disappearing, then taking them out as they fired desperately in all directions.
Don’t get me wrong, my KD ratio didn’t ever put me anywhere near some of the best players in the game, for as an infantry soldier, I’d easily be able to take out 5-10 opposing players before I’d inevitably be taken out.
Aside from Planetside 2, the opening section of Driver comes to mind. Yes, that fucking garage.
My brother and I were given Driver for Christmas one year and, no lie, going into February we’d given up on the game because we were still stuck in the dingy parking garage. We’d tried and tried, but couldn’t make sense of what the game wanted us to do. Without the internet to help us, we were stuck.
Bored one day, I decided I was going to play that bastard game until I did it. And, I did. On my first try.
I was so excited as I yelled for my brother, probably sounding more like I was being attacked by a savage beast than anything else. We saved, then saved again (yes, we’re those sorts of gamers) then were finally able to go and explore Drivers streets. Good times.
Tom Svalinn: Clearing the Veteran Maelstrom Arena in Elder Scrolls Online
Reaching the end of Disney’s Aladdin was quite a feat during my childhood, although I cannot claim full credit as it was done taking turns on one PC with my brother. That sense of determination fostered by overcoming a lack of google, youtube or forums continues to help even in more modern games.
A few years ago, this was put to the test in achieving my first clear of Veteran Maelstrom Arena on Elder Scrolls Online. Although ESO is an MMORPG, this is a single-player nine-stage ordeal. In a story that does not seem all too uncommon among players, my attempts were spread across multiple months. In my first attempt, I failed to clear even the first round before taking a break. Upon a second attempt months later I reached a wall again at stage 5. Again, many months passed before I would gird my loins and push onward only to stall again at the last round. Then came that fateful day when the very last boss alone took 2-3 hours of attempt after attempt before victory was finally achieved. A shout of joy was accompanied by a punch in the air. Finally!
So what did I learn? Mostly that perseverance and patience is just as important in modern games as old classics. The willingness to switch out gear and skills, try new tactics and learn from mistakes can’t ever be replaced by YouTube guides. Although I’m still far from an expert, I can clear it comfortably in one sitting now and yes, there is still that shout of joy and raised fist on finishing.
Jason Monroe: Beat the Devil in Cuphead
I was going to say “I completed Another World on the SNES” but that would be a lie – it was on the PC via emulation and I cheated like heck to do it. So, yeah, go me.
An achievement I can actually claim is beating the Devil in Cuphead.
Cuphead is a beautiful game, with gorgeous hand-drawn visuals, but it’s also tough as hell. More than once I literally threw my controller and swore that I’d uninstall it, before returning for more punishment after a cigarette. By the time I’d got to the Devil, I felt like I had adjusted to rolling with the punches and not letting frustration get to me.
The Devil got to me big time. I’m surprised I didn’t throw my PC out of my window, followed by myself (only for dramatic effect – I live in a ground floor apartment).
The Devil doesn’t play fair, coming over and over, in a multiple of phases, with a ridiculously large assortment of attacks. Trying to learn the patterns made me want to drive to StudioMDHR and break down in tears on their doorstep screaming “look what you’ve done to me!”
But, I did it. Somehow, I did it. If I’m honest, I don’t even remember what I did – every failed attempt blurs into one horrible memory in my mind, but the feeling when I realised I’d completed it…man, there’s nothing that can compete with it.
What is the most difficult gaming challenge that you’ve overcome? Let us know in the comments!