The main value of the modern gaming industry is in the variety of projects that it provides to gamers. You can easily find games for everyone, even the most sophisticated, from plot-focused adventures that require the player to occasionally press a couple of keys to real hardcore that challenges the player's abilities. It is about hardcore releases that we will talk in detail about today in our selection of the 10 most difficult games of 2018. Without further ado, let's get started.
The indie-long-term construction Below was dubbed a real audio-visual art almost immediately after its release. In the game, absolutely every element, from the gameplay to the musical component, tries to absorb the player and transfer him to the virtual world full of gloom and anxiety. You can both love and hate Below, but you will definitely suffer. It's worth starting at least with the genre of the game itself - Roguelike, in which each death means a complete restart of the passage and resetting almost all the player's achievements.
Ridiculous death is all the more unpleasant because the passage of the game resembles the hardest obstacle course, where even the most ordinary piece of land can keep a deadly trap. Don't forget to add to that the hardcore combat system, where a couple of inadvertently missed hits can lead to a restart and an emphasis on survival elements. The last point is even more interesting, since the amount of resources on the map is regulated by an almighty randomness, then dying from lack of food is a completely familiar, unremarkable phenomenon in the game.
The next release on our list of the most challenging games of 2018 is much more down-to-earth, both visually and gameplay-wise. Ashen can be roughly described as a clone of Souls games. The ears of Hidetaki Miyazaki's projects stick out from every corner of Ashen. Here we have a familiar combat system based on counterattacks, dodges and attempts to memorize the timing of opponents, there is also an analogue of Estus, along with saving fires aka waystones, reviving all adversaries in the location.
The basics are familiar, but unlike the Japanese game makers, the creators of Ashen did not set themselves the goal of driving players to white heat in all possible ways. Ashen is a much less complex game, a kind of "plush Darks Souls" for everyone who could not feel the famous hardcore projects of the studio From Software. But even with a much lower barrier to entry, Ashen can pose a fair amount of problems and feels like a really difficult game to challenge gamers. Of course, if you compare Ashen with the average blockbusters.
Into the Breach
Into the Breach is a great example of a game that looks just as offensive as it plays. Do not be fooled by the extreme minimalism and archaic graphics that convey greetings to the 20th century, because Into the Breach is an extremely addicting tactical strategy that makes the player's entire strategic genius manifest. The rules of the game are extremely simple: on a 64-cell map, a battle flares up between the last frontier of humanity (3 robots led by a player) and another alien race.
The main goal is always the same - to survive, but how the player will complete the mission depends only on his ability to analyze the current situation and the ability to predict the outcome of the battle several moves ahead. The easiest way is to compare Into the Breach with chess, since each game with a limited number of rules and goals becomes unique, and most importantly, it will force the player to use his brain at full power. We must admit that it is a rather rare occurrence for most modern games. And yes, Into the Breach is a damn hard game, but also fun.
Games in the genre of "survival" are a real Tamagotchi of the new generation. In pursuit of the goal of creating a project as realistic as possible, developers often even overload the gameplay with various character micromanagement mechanics. Especially in this regard, one of the main computer hits of this summer stood out - SCUM. The protagonist is not only susceptible to habitual human weaknesses, such as the need to eat, drink, sleep, or even go to the toilet. To make the player even better experience the hardships of survival in the SCUM game, the developers have paid manic attention to even the smallest details.
For example, after contact with water, clothes naturally get wet and reduce the characteristics of the game character. It can be changed or left to dry. In addition, each type of clothing has a liquid water absorption system, which is why it is recommended to wear a raincoat during rainy periods. This is an example of the most insignificant nuances, but the game has a record number of them, which, together with the ability to die from one stray bullet, makes SCUM one of the most difficult games of recent years.
Celeste's pixelated indie platformer is one of the most unexpected surprises of 2018. Before the release of the game, it was hard to imagine that a nondescript project from a tiny studio would be able to compete for the title of the best game of the year with mastodons like God of War and RDR2 at The Game Awards 2018. What is the reason for the success? In a mesmerizing soundtrack, a storyline unique to games, and of course extremely challenging gameplay. Like the main masochistic platformer Super Meat Boy in Celeste, the player is required to methodically memorize every millimeter of locations through a lot of trial and error.
In addition, practically every thirty minutes of the game in Celeste, new mechanics appear, which makes you regularly revise the usual tactics of passing and grit your teeth to break through new, even more sophisticated traps. Celeste may seem like one of the hardest games of 2018, but the developers should be given credit. When deliberately hardcore, the platformer turns out to be a pretty friendly game. You have no limit on the number of lives, and the next death leads only to a return to one of the generously placed checkpoints.
Mega Man 11
Mega Man 11 is a ticket to the distant past, when platformers did not try to compromise and offered difficult gameplay to the point of unfairness. As in the first part of 1987, Mega Man 11 mixes in equal proportions furious platform sections, a huge number of enemies along with generously placed traps and lengthy, forcing to memorize numerous timings of boss battles. Real hardcore in its original form.
In fairness, it should be noted that the game still sometimes follows the trend of the 21st century and tries to please the layer of casual gamers. There are both facilitating mechanics, like slowing down time, and 4 difficulty levels. But by taking the easy path, players will miss out on the hardcore charm inherent in the Mega Man series, where you choose the right tactics through trial and error and finally cope with a seemingly impossible task.
Kingdom Come Deliverance
Kingdom Come Deliverance is in many ways a unique game for the modern gamedev. Having spent a colossal budget of 30 million euros within the framework of Eastern European projects, developers from the Czech Republic created a game from the category of “not for everyone” and with enviable principles pursued the goal of developing an extremely realistic RPG. Of course, Warhorse Studios could have limited themselves to the familiar elements of survival, but they went even further and filled the game with a huge number of realistic mechanics and clearly show the difficulties of life in medieval times.
The main character Indrich, as befits the young son of a simple blacksmith, is a rare clumsy and with difficulty wins a victory over an ordinary enemy. But even when Indro, after swinging, will represent something remotely similar to a knight or a master of a beautiful word, the game will over and over again break the templates familiar to modern game-making. The pursuit of unprecedented realism in all aspects makes the creation of Warhorse Studios not only atypical, but also a truly difficult game for 2018.
A few months before the release of Dead Cells, the game was dubbed a two-dimensional counterpart to Dark Souls for its dark fantasy aesthetic and the developers' desire to provide players with immense difficulties in exploring an oppressive world. And the first impression did not disappoint, Dead Cells can really cause nervous breakdowns and several broken gamepads, because what else can you expect from games of the Roguelike genre? Death will become a constant companion of players throughout the entire passage of Dead Cells.
At the same time, the Motion Twin project, due to the competent progression of the abilities of the main character of Dead Cells, is far from the most difficult game in history, it is even simpler than numerous games from our today's selection. However, be sure that every encounter with a boss or a horde of opponents in Dead Cells will be a real test and involuntarily make you say a couple of unflattering words about the developers.
Monster Hunter World
The Monster Hunter series is a typical Asian phenomenon and an excellent proof of the rule that the most difficult games are developed in the Land of the Rising Sun. And even though Monster Hunter World is more westernized and somewhat simplistic compared to handheld console releases, it's still an extremely difficult and demanding game for the gamer.
If the player is not ready to spend long hours grinding resources and memorizing the leashes of the local fauna, then he is doomed to watch the death of his own character countless times. The gigantic creatures in Monster Hunter World are simply impossible to grab. Like the famous bosses from the Dark Souls series, they have a gigantic reserve of health and are ready to carry out a series of deadly blows at the most inopportune moment. A thorough approach, long preparation for the battle and dexterity worthy of Olympic champions are the key to victory in Monster Hunter World.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Another hardcore platformer that hides its mocking essence under the guise of a colorful, even family game. Do not under any circumstances offer your child to play Donkey Kong if you do not want to become the culprit of a nervous breakdown in a growing child. A Nintendo game like Celeste requires extreme concentration and the need to time the jump with microscopic precision.
But we strongly advise against passing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for fans of the genre. Excessive difficulty level can even be a plus and bring great satisfaction from passing the most difficult levels. In addition, the game generously distributes extra lives, so another fall into the abyss will no longer seem like a mockery from the developers.
This concludes our talk about the most difficult games of 2018. We also invite you to check out the top ten games of the past year.
The Topic of Article: 10 most challenging games of 2018.