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5 Video Game Hard Modes You Really Shouldn’t Attempt



I don't know what it is that makes a developer feel the sudden urge to make a game too hard — but it's evident that they get a certain kick out of it. And while we all love a challenge, as well as the sense of pride that follows with its completion, we're just not built to withstand torture. And believe me when I say — we've all had our fair share of beatings over the years when it comes to overly difficult video games.

Of course, I can't speak for the whole of the gaming community, but I personally am pretty content with sticking to the normal, almost beige-like difficulty modes; ones that can't hurt you if you're patient enough to learn from your mistakes and overcome them. But modes like these following five, on the other hand, well, let's just say I'd refrain from touching any of them with a ten-foot pole. You've been warned.


5. Dante Must Die (Devil May Cry)

The hack and slash kingpin of the last twenty years is no stranger to ramped up difficulty spikes, that's for sure. And yet, like most games that rely on muscle memory and certain fighting patterns to carry you through the harsher battles — anything can be accomplished with enough practice thrown under your belt.

So, tell me — why on earth is Devil May Cry's Dante Must Die mode so friggin' stubborn? It's almost as if Capcom cherished the thought of tormenting players for the sake of maintaining a household name in an already stupidly difficult collective. For reasons unknown, Capcom and its team of tongue-in-cheek devs managed to build on a mode that would render button mashing utterly useless, and basically destroy your self confidence in the process. Why? Well, honestly — I don't know. I just blame Capcom for the headaches.


4. Ethan Must Die (Resident Evil 7: Biohazard)

We're all huge fans of the spontaneous twist that Capcom decided to take with Resident Evil 7. Raccoon City was dry to the bone, as was Umbrella's undead propaganda, along with most things that the first six games plus spin-offs tried so hard to keep alive. But Biohazard managed to do something a little differently. It produced horror, plain and simple.

Arguably, the whole scenario with the dreaded Marguerite Baker was one of the most bone-shattering to date. It was a cat and mouse chase we really could have done without, and a nightmare our fractured minds simply couldn't fathom. But needless to say, we did it. We confronted Maggie, and we emerged victorious. And then, of course, we flicked the switch to spark the infamous Ethan Must Die mode, brimming with confidence that we could do it all over again with our hands tied behind our backs — and we died. Almost instantly. Four hundred times. Maybe more.


3. Deity (Civilization)

We all love a strategy game. We also love the idea of painting our wildest creations on an open canvas for spectators to relish for generations to come. But what we don't love, on the other hand, is having to watch that painting be thrown to the wolves, spat on, and then set ablaze for the fun of it. Now that, unfortunately, is Civilization's god-awful Deity mode in a nutshell.

Spend a great deal of time with the ins and outs of the Civ structure and you'll probably have a leg to stand on come launch day. But jump in headfirst with little to no experience, sadly, and you'll soon find yourself witnessing the downfall of your pride and joy. And when I say pride and joy — I mean the four mud huts you spent twelve days building before being nuked. Welcome to Civilization. Well, the end of it, anyway.


2. Ultra Nightmare (DOOM)

Now, I don't need to express to you how hard DOOM is. You already know that, as does the vast majority of people who have so much as grazed a controller or keyboard in the last thirty years. And it's because of its global reputation as being one of the toughest games on the market — that seeing a thread of even harder modes comes as no real surprise to most.

Keep running, and you may just see yourself crowned as a lucky winner of DOOM's Ultra Nightmare mode. But a word of warning before you lunge in and give it your all — even ID couldn't crack it. That's right, even the devs couldn't beat their own creation. If that's not enough to send you fleeting for the hills then I honestly don't know what is. Oh, and did I mention that it enables permadeath? One slip-up and you'll find yourself thrown back to square one before the blood-soaked tears from your tired eyes even reach the earth.


1. Mein Leben! (Wolfenstein)

Like DOOM, Wolfenstein thrives on keeping its players emotionally charged and determined to stay afloat. Using a spool of amped up modes, both The New Order and The New Colossus pretty much aim to crack you, giving you a sense of self-doubt as you scrimmage for the faraway horizon in a sea of your own misery. And they say video games are fun, wouldn't you believe?

Complete either Wolfenstein game on the hardest difficulty, and you'll unfortunately get a front row seat to the new mode, Mein Leben!, which is basically an excuse to amplify the toughest parts of the game so you're drowning in disadvantages. But if for whatever reason you're able to throw yourself through the chamber and come out with your health bar still intact, then hey — you'll get a bronze trophy as a reward. Oh, but you'll have to do it in a single session, without checkpoints — and you can't die. Toodles.


So, what's your take on the above five? Have you managed to complete any of them? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below. 


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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.