The Top 5 Most Frustrating Gaming Moments Ever

It’s a rite of passage that all gamers will be familiar with: reaching a point in a game that’s so ball-breakingly frustrating that you hurl the controller at the TV, slam your fist down on the console ‘OFF’ switch and storm out of the room, possibly giving the cat a good boot up the behind for good measure. The best games will always see you returning eventually, whispering apologies like a spurned lover as you coax the console back into life and promise that “I won’t get so angry this time darling, let’s give it another go.” But sometimes there’s only so much a man (or woman) can take. Here’s a quick run down of the top five gaming moments that brought us close to having an embolism.

#5 – That Bit With Natalya In GoldenEye

It’s the moment we all dread – the point where you’re given a mission that involves protecting some idiot NPC who insists on wandering into gunfire. Game designers seem particularly fond of these ‘escort and protect’ missions, which crop up in almost every RPG and FPS I care to think of, despite the fact that NO-ONE ENJOYS THEM. Where exactly is the fun in escorting some hapless cretin from point A to point B when they seem more interested in sauntering over and having a chat with the enemy, incidentally being blown to pieces in the process? Escorting Natalya on the N64 game GoldenEye has to rank as the most annoying game mission of all time – the ropey AI meant that our dopey heroine spent a good part of her time running full pelt into walls and walking in front of you just as you lobbed a grenade, which elicited various spirited responses along the lines of “WHAT THE <bleep> ARE YOU DOING YOU STUPID <bleep>!!! GET OUT OF THE <bleepbleep> WAY OHMYGOD YOU’RE <bleepbleep> DEAD AGAIN!! <bleepbleepbleepbleep>!!!!!!!!!!” [Slams door and walks out]

#4 – The Marathon QTE Ending Of God Of War II

Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than escorting some suicide-wish idiot across a battlefield is the unforgiving banality of the randomly generated quick-time event (QTE) so beloved of the God of War games. Granted, QTEs – when used well – can offer some satisfaction to the player, allowing you to perform some stunning feats of spectacle with little input, but all too often they make you want to gnaw your own legs off in frustration. Watching an interminably long loading screen after you’ve failed to press some randomly generated button within the allotted nanosecond of time is NOT FUN – game designers take note. The ending ofGod Of War II is the nadir of QTEs – after several hours’ worth of generally bearable, and sometimes enjoyable, QTE intervals, the game coughs up a finale of randomly generated QTE annoyance that seems to go on forever. One mistake and it’s goodbye Kratos, hello loading screen… and adios enjoyment.

#3 – The Seemingly Never-Ending Room Of Bad Guys In Black

Black is a thoroughly enjoyable and underrated shooter for the PS2 and Xbox that does an excellent job of crafting an exciting and imaginative game world, despite the utterly impenetrable plot. All is going well until you reach what turns out to be the final room. At the end of a long corridor lies a concrete space in which it seems the enemy troops have been experimenting with contortionism – so many of them keep emerging from the various anterooms that they must have been packed in there like mercenary sardines. And just when you think you’ve dealt with the last one, a few more emerge – presumably from some kind of broom cupboard – clutching rocket launchers that they’ve hidden God knows where. So many of the blighters keep popping out that the room takes a good 15 minutes to clear – if you’re lucky enough to survive that long. If you don’t, it’s back to the loading screen and another quarter hour of teeth-grinding, controller-hurling annoyance.

#2 – The Level Clearly Designed By Satan In Super Mario Galaxy

Don’t let Super Mario Galaxy‘s cutesie looks fool you – beneath the cuddly exterior lies a black heart of gaming sadism. The game reels you in with oh-so-easy opening levels, and the difficulty curve is almost lovingly gentle, offering precisely the required amount of risk and reward. But then it all goes horribly wrong. Towards the end of the game a level is revealed that’s so devilish difficult and frustrating it must have been designed by the twisted hand of Satan himself. The level appears in the shape of the NES incarnation of Mario – a charming distraction designed to divert you away from its wickedness, as all too soon you realise that ONLY THE DEVIL could have concocted this fiendish mix of disappearing platforms, difficult-to-reach collectibles and bottomless pits. As would-be completists toiled through the hellish level again and again in search of that all-elusive 100th star, their bitter cries could be heard inbetween their endless, plaintive wailing: “Deliver Us From Evil Oh Lord!!! Verily, The Level Before Me Could Only Hath Comest From The FOUL PIT OF HADES ITSELF!!!”

#1 – General “Hard As Bloody Nails” RAAM In Gears Of War

I hate General RAAM. Not only has he got a stupid name and a face that would make milk curdle, he’s also the undisputed winner of the prize for Most Annoying Game Boss Of All Time. <SPOILER ALERT> He crops up right at the end of Gears of War, at a point when the game designers obviously thought, “Well, I guess we’ve given them enough fun, let’s just annoy the hell out of everyone for the last bit.” This most hated of boss fights is set on a freight car on a speeding train, and constitutes one of the most botched game endings I can think of. Rather than present you with an opportunity to go balls out for glory in an epic firefight to the death, the designers present you with the none-too-exciting chance to hide behind crates whilst dying frequently. If you step into the shadows, it’s instant death. If you get too close to RAAM, it’s instant death. If his weird bat things get you, it’s instant death. It was such a disheartening and soul-destroying episode that even just looking upon RAAM’s gnarled face is sapping my will to live. Praise be then that the designers got it right for the sequel and gave us an infinitely more satisfying conclusion, blessfully free of bat things and dubiously named generals.

So that’s the top five, but I’m sure we’ve barely scratched the surface of annoying gaming moments. Let us know your all-time most frustrating moments below – they say that sharing eases the pain.