As I played through ‘Shadow of Mordor’ I was convinced I was playing the best game of last 2014. It was a game that had a great combat system, stealth mechanics, a genuine innovation and it built impressively to the final confrontation with the Black Hand of Sauron – at last I’d have my revenge on that S.O.B!
Then it happened, a fucking QTE (pardon my french)! My revenge was waged in a 4 second QTE. I’ve never felt so robbed (well except that one time my car actually got broken into) or cheated. This brought the entire experience down, what was a 10 ended up a 9. surely the developers knew that their players would feel this way after spending 20 odd hours roaming Mordor.
Then we had MrJohnSherry highlighting that Dying Light also feel into this trap. How can so many games do this to their audience? Final boss battles are so important to a game, they are the last impression you get of a game and they are what stands between a great game and an all time classic. Yet there are games that get them so very wrong!
Here are a handful that stick out in my head. And I’ve included embedded videos so you can see how horrible they truly are.
The Joker (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ is probably the best Metroidvania of the past decade and the first truly great Batman title, it had everything a great combat system, stealth mechanics, a genuine innovation and it built impressively to the final confrontation (does this sound familiar?) with the Joker. Batman’s greatest nemesis.
Rocksteady will not cock this up at the very end…
…and then they did. I was expected a battle of wits, a stealth based war with the greatest mind outside of the Riddler – instead I got multiple waves of the same enemies I’d spent most of the game killing (or knocking unconscious) and a hulk-joker. That’s right the joker battle is against a venom version of the joker; it may not be as bad as a QTE but it is still very much shit.
Bioshock, so nearly a classic but like ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ it fell at the last hurdle. After gaming’s greatest twist Irrational Games felt the need to pit the player against a hulking super villian (in this case the dastardly Fontaine).
What occurs in this boss battle is nothing but farcical; Fontaine is a mega powerful enemy and killing him becomes nothing but strafe and shoot. It’s the laziest design of a boss of the previous generation, and it exposes the weaknesses of ‘Bioshock’ as a game. Its gunplay was flakey and inconsistent and it’s plasmid’s; when fully upgraded, were quite over-powered. Now however you are playing the role of splicer, you will fall foul of a far more powerful enemy.
Luckily A.I apparently wasn’t a thing and he will blindly fire at you from a distance OR charge you, this is all he will do and you can trap him in a cycle of charges and kill him with ease. There are no change in patterns, nor are they learnable tells, this is a terrible end to an amazing game. What a shit boss.
Zoran Lazarevic (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
Again, an absolutely brilliant game. Almost perfect screamed the critics, Official Playstantion France even gave this game an 11/10 in their review. Yet it was hampered by an absolutely shit final boss.
The worst thing about this final fight? You saw it coming.
The final chapter of the game is a frustrating pile of poop, with bullet sponge enemies and supernatural goings-ons it is a mess frankly. This fight focuses on the biggest weakness of Uncharted, its shooting while limiting its biggest strength – movement. this fight is literally a chase by an invincible enemy who can only be killed by blowing up blue things on the tree of life – IRONY!
On easy this fight is an annoyance, from hard up though it is a frustrating fight that takes far too long and ruins this game. Kudos Naughty Dog!
Seth/Galactus (Street Fighter IV)
1-on-1 fighting games are infamous for their shitty final bosses, ‘Street Fighter II’ had Bison who was quite cheap, ‘Mortal Kombat’ had Goro and Motaro(not the actual final bosses – but they were incredibly cheap) but the last generation brought some incredibly cheap final bosses into the side scrolling fraternity.
Seth had a move-set of incredibly powerful blows and throws, most of which are impossible to block and many are incredibly difficult to dodge. This led to him being hailed the cheapest final boss in ‘Street Fighter’ history. The move that caused most outrage was his throw that involved putting you into his stomach and firing you out (causing an incredible amount of damage and giving him a 3/4 ultra meter.
Beat him in the first round and he becomes even more cheap in the second – but you must beat him here, as the third round Seth is a giant pain in the ass!
In a move from left field however Capcom created a boss who is an even bigger pain the arse in Marvel vs Capcom 3 – Galactus. He is giant, has a huge energy bar, and has several ridiculously powerful moves that can empty you and your entire team. He is a git.
Who is your least favourite boss?
Do you disagree with my choices?
Tell me in the comments below!