Games that put up a fight aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s a strange allure to these experiences that appeals massively to no few people. Sure, not every game that tries to go down that route is able to do it well – getting the balance right when it comes to difficulty is easier said than done, as more than a few games have proven over time – but even when certain hurdles feel like frustratingly impassible roadblocks, we can’t help but keep banging our heads against them. Here, we’re going to take a look at a few third person shooters that delivered challenging experiences of that variety- some in ways that were fair and well balanced, and others… well, not so much.
One of the more recent releases in this feature, and also one of the more obvious entries. Housemarque has always been known for developing old school arcade bullet hell shooters that aren’t afraid of testing the skills of their players and pushing them to the absolute limits, and Returnal translates that formula into a full blown AAA 3D experience perfectly. From the very first second right until the last, this is a game that can be extremely punishing- but overcoming the challenges it throws at you never fails to delight, thanks to its tight shooting and movement mechanics, its perfectly balanced roguelike structure, and its progression mechanics, which strike the perfect balance between progress resets and permanent upgrades. It’s not for the faint of heart, no, but if you do like a little bit of challenge in you games, Returnal is unmissable.