There’s honestly nothing more disheartening than finding yourself stuck in a video game, knowing how close you are to actually beating it. It happens a lot with missions, even more so with harder difficulties enabled, of course. But what can you do? We try, we try, and we try again, hoping that with enough persistence, we’ll finally pull through and kiss the frustration goodbye. Getting to that blissful moment, however, now that’s the bit we tend to hate.
Being immersed in a story can be a beautiful thing, truly. And, when we flow with the characters we play, that connection can make us feel unstoppable, like no mission could sever our bond with the narrative. That is…until one does, and we’re left to try and rebuild what was once a healthy relationship. We all despise those types of missions, and we’ve often been left feeling unattached to the game because of them. Just take these five, for example. Here lie missions that, honestly, would’ve been better off as an optional objective or, failing that, a complete write-off altogether.
5. Asteroids (Dead Space)
Dead Space was perhaps one of the freshest horror titles to roll out of the 360 era. Bundled with its innovative creature designs and contorted sci-fi landmarks, the debut title honed in on some next-level craftsmanship, with enough material to carve a flagship legacy. Combat was exhilarating and spontaneous, area designs were all unique and buried with secrets, and the overall narrative behind the famous USG Ishimura was fascinating beyond belief. Mission-wise, however, only one segment managed to spoil the immersion altogether. Those darned asteroids. That blooming integrity hull.
Up until chapter four, playing through Dead Space as the elite engineer Isaac Clarke doesn’t exactly involve anything overly demanding. Push that button. Go to point A. Pick up that component. Go to point B. You get the picture. It’s a walking simulator with the odd patrolling Necromorph to dismember. But after that, however, the difficulty spike hits, leaving you to suddenly question your skill over a game of asteroids. Thanks to the ridiculously harsh mission that has you protecting the integrity hull (which annoyingly starts at 85%), you basically have to have a rapid response time, a boatload of luck…and an unbelievable amount of patience to pass it and progress. Not fun.
4. “The Big Boner” (Shadows of the Damned)
Seeing as we’re on the topic of shooting things out of the sky, it seems only fitting that we pour Shadows of the Dammed and its similar portion onto the slate. And that portion, regrettably, comes in the form of “The Big Boner”, an extended canon that grants you the power to shoot towering demons from their axis. And yes, this is a real mission, as well as an actual game. A good game at that, believe it or not.
Shuffling through the darkest depths of hell as the rebellious demon hunter Garcia, we’re greeted by all kinds of unusual entities and settings, with even stranger weapons to boot. However, being an overpowered hunter with a thirst for hellfire, no curveball often stacks high enough to knock us from our high horse. Until we get a firm hold of The Big Boner, of course. That’s when our power flutters, and we’re ultimately led to scavenge whatever skill we have left to slump through. But with endless waves of enemies and clunky controls to weigh you down, you’re pretty much on your own for what seems like an eternity of cliche catchphrases and unfair battles. Pass that, however, and you’re golden.
3. “Supply Lines” (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Before you think it — yes, we really did consider putting Big Smoke’s iconic train mission on the list. But to be honest, comparing the controls on a dirt bike to an RC plane, we just can’t help but slate the latter. It’s awful, plain and simple. And Zero, along with his entire story arc in San Andreas, just wasn’t the greatest of laughs, to be honest. But I think we can all agree on that.
Luckily for us, Zero almost takes a backseat after meeting him in San Fierro, leaving us to either build a lasting friendship with him…or abandon him in the gutter…where he rightfully belongs. However, choose to help the RC fanatic and his shop, then you’re basically lining yourself up for a whole world of frustration. Take the mission Supply Lines, for example. All you need to do is think about how harsh the goals in the mission are, as well as the unforgiving time restraints, and you’ll understand why we’re obliged to put this one on the list. No regrets. We just hate Zero.
2. The Race (Mafia)
Honestly, the last thing we expected to enrol in as a made man in the Mafia was a race. And yet, there we were, as an ex-cabbie, about to throw down the gauntlet with some of the biggest names in the racing scene. Of course, we had already chauffeured half the city around (while going the speed limit, of course) prior to throwing ourselves into the life of crime. But that ship had sailed, and we were finally ready to crack skulls and extort businesses for all they were worth. But it just so happened, annoyingly, that our wheelman services were once again in demand.
Thankfully, Mafia: Definitive Edition managed to touch base on the difficulty spike of the original race, making it a whole lot easier for players to sludge through without any problems. But play the classic mode, however, and you’ll unfortunately have to endure that torture all over again. Every twist, every turn, and every unfair disadvantage. It’s all there, and you will absolutely hate it. Guaranteed.
1. “Demolition Man” (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)
Gee, Rockstar sure love to tuck a few horrendous missions into their games, don’t they? And what’s more is that, even when the whole world openly slates them after the game releases, they still choose to embed them in the next project as if under the impression that everyone adored them. And yes, I am pretty much referring back to Zero and the RC malarkey with that one. But before that, however, it was all about “Demolition Man”, a mission that made flying an RC plane feel phenomenal.
As if wrapping our head around the clunky controls of a mini helicopter was one thing — but also having to beat the clock, avoid a whole army of gangsters gunning for our propellers, and bomb an entire skyscraper at the same time? I mean, please — give us a break. It was never supposed to be that unfair. And yet, Rockstar clearly had the last laugh when sneaking that one into the base game. The problem was, a lot of players actually uninstalled the game because of it. So, in ways, they’re the ones who ended up laughing. Probably.
So, what missions do you remember being a total pain in the backside? Let us know over on our socials here.