There are currently many lists that can be found in gaming magazines and online that try to list the most difficult video games of all-time. Many of these lists compile games from past console generations and are usually quite similar. If one were to do a quick search online for these games, one would almost inevitably end up with games like: R-Type (arcade, MSX), Contra (NES), Super Mario Bros. (NES), Pac Man (arcade), etc.
While these games are in fact difficult, it seems that in such lists the current generation of video games is often neglected. Below, is a list of such games to be considered as some of the most difficult currently available in ascending order from the least difficult to the most.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)
Metal Gear Solid 4 was published and released worldwide by Konami in 2008 as a Playstation 3 exclusive. The game was critically well-received and garnered a lot of praise among gaming critics, consumers and even Indonesian casinos goers who love challenging excitements. The creator of the Metal Gear franchise (Hideo Kojima), stated that this would be the final Metal Gear game focusing on Solid Snake (The game’s protagonist for the franchise’s such a long history).
While MGS4 has 4 difficulty levels, the game maintains a high default level of difficulty because of its long-established stealth mechanics. Stealth has always been a staple of the Metal Gear series, the game makes it difficult for players to act impulsively or irresponsibly in anyway.
The slightest sound, movement, or failure in camouflage captures enemy attention. If the player is discovered, the enemy not only calls for reinforcements but engages him immediately. Once this occurs, a countdown timer displays the level of enemy alertness and time until the enemy returns to his original position.
While this stealth mechanic is an established cornerstone of the Metal Gear experience from the first game on. What makes MGS4 arguably more difficult than its predecessors is that certain parts of the game take place in active warzones.
So, where in previous games the player was tasked with infiltrating a single base or area, in this iteration the player must negotiate his way through actively warring factions. This coupled with the necessity of maintaining a low-profile makes MGS4 an extremely challenging game.
Armored Core: For Answer (PS3, XBOX 360)
Armored Core: For Answer was developed by Japanese company From Software and published worldwide by both From Software and Ubisoft in 2008.
The Armored Core series of games was launched in 1997 on the Playstation 1 and has kept running to this day. The games are well-known for their steep learning curve both in terms of player control and of the games mechanics.
Armored Core: For Answer places the player in the position of a ‘NEXT’ (giant robot) pilot-for-hire. In this latest installment, the level of customization is stunning.
As the player earns credits by succeeding as efficiently as possible in missions, he can then choose to buy whatever parts he may need. Everything from type of radar to cooling system to secondary and main weapons.
The challenge presented by this level of customization is to try and build as elegant a NEXT as possible, too much weight and it will be an easy target, too light and it won’t be able to hold in battle, wrong weapons and the player will fail the mission.
While this scale of customization is present in many of the latter Armored Core series what makes For Answer more difficult is the introduction of ‘Arms Forts’, which are essentially enormous, moving, heavily-armed and armored, fortresses (whose introduction into the series were also used as in the game’s marketing).
In many of the missions, the player must fight and win against at least one Arms Fort. Given the controls (the player literally uses every button on the controller in every mission), the level of customization, the balancing of necessary parameters, and the introduction of Arms Forts, it becomes obvious that this is not a game designed with the novice in mind.
Metal Slug 7/Metal Slug XX (DS, PSP)
Metal Slug 7 was developed by SNK-Playmore for the Nintendo DS and released in 2008. The Metal Slug series has been running since 1996 and the games mechanics have largely remained unchanged.
In Metal Slug, the player chooses a character to move along a side-scrolling two-dimensional plane, shooting at enemies. As in the classic Metal Slug games, XX maintains this standard of play (small enemies, slightly more difficult enemies, mid-boss, enemies, boss). Even though the formula may seem generic, it still requires skill to maintain ones score.
Maintaining its arcade-style gameplay, XX maintains a point/score system, with each kill, each hostage rescued, each power-up taken, the score increases. However, with every level continue the players score resets.
While it is not difficult to beat this game with enough time (infinite continues) it is extremely difficult to maintain one’s score. Also, even though XX may be described as a fairly typical Metal Slug game, one cannot help but notice that the difficulty in terms of bosses and enemy-types have been increased. The bosses now require more strategy to defeat and the enemy-types are widely varied.
The above three games are just an example of several best games in the past decade when the console era flourished and people started loving the gaming characters of the games. The decade of 2001-2010 is known as the golden era in video games when rich graphics started pouring in and creativity of developers, musicians and vocal articles saw a boom. Gaming parlors mushroomed in every localities and sales graph of titles was found moving northwards.
Some budding gaming professionals emerged and many believed it was the time to organize online gaming events on national as well as international platform. The era was wonderful. The era was lovable. The era was full of excitement when the only interactive entertainment was video games. Today, the magical era has continued and the industry has expanded several folds. Hope the expansion continues with more creativity and advanced technology.