2021 may have been a slower year in terms of big AAA game releases than others, but 2021’s most difficult bosses were still plentiful. The ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic forced many games that were originally scheduled to release last year to be delayed into 2022. Big titles such as Horizon Forbidden West delayed to 2022, and Dying Light 2 was even pushed back repeatedly from an early 2020 date to, eventually, February 2022. This means that 2022 is set to be a bumper time for blockbuster games. However, despite this knock-on effect of COVID-19, 2021 did still see a slew of great games released throughout the 12-month period. And with new games come new bosses. And with new bosses, come new – and often difficult – challenges for players to overcome, including some that gave players a consistent run for their money.
[Warning – spoilers for Metroid Dread, Resident Evil Village, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, Returnal, and Shin Megami Tensei V follow.]
Some of the bosses that players faced in 2021 were more complex than others. Many, such as Resident Evil Village’s Donna Benevento boss fight, were not difficult in terms of the technical skill that players needed to display. Rather in the case of Resident Evil Village, the mental strife that fans had to endure as they made their way to their final confrontation in the Beneviento house caused the majority of the anguish in players. Similarly, the end goal in Deathloop was to finally hunt down and kill all eight of the game’s visionaries in one day. Here, the challenge lay more in the player learning the ins and outs of Blackreef (the game’s setting) and using the island to their advantage. In isolation, there is no single boss fight within the game that stands out as being a particularly difficult one. In fact, Deathloop’s stellar character Julianna Blake may not end up being the final boss players assume, depending on what ending they wish to achieve.
But while feats such as these are certainly still a challenge in their own right, they aren’t the single most difficult boss experiences. So, instead, here are some of 2021’s most difficult boss battles that tested players in terms of skill, timing, and, perhaps most of all, patience.
Despite only releasing in October, Metroid Dread quickly became nominated for several high-profile awards, including the coveted Game of the Year accolade at the 2021 Game Awards. Hazelight’s It Takes Two ultimately won GOTY, but Metroid Dread did win the Best Action/Adventure Game instead, and additionally won the Nintendo Game of the Year award at the Golden Joysticks. While the overall game is widely considered to be of a high caliber, one specific area that Metroid Dread has won overwhelming praise for is its boss fights.
Throughout Metroid Dread, players will come across gigantic, monstrous entities that spit fireballs at them, fast moving robots with guns and aggressive slashing attacks, and creatures with multiple thrashing tentacles. However, one boss that truly stands head and shoulders above the rest is Raven Beak. There are four phases to the fight against Raven Beak, and they are each full on until the bitter end. From his ability to fill the arena with an eviscerating pink energy to the bullet storm that he can rain down upon Samus, this final battle in Metroid Dread is fast-paced and hectic, requiring a lot of player stamina. However, it is incredibly satisfying when it is finally completed.
Even before Resident Evil Village released, its bosses were already garnering a lot of media attention. More specifically, a certain “Tall Vampire Lady” was: Resident Evil Village’s Lady Dimitrescu won over the hearts of even the most fearful of Resident Evil fans thanks to her beguiling looks and sultry manner. When it was revealed that she would stalk players around her sumptuous castle, many were eager to get their hands on a copy of the game as soon as possible just to live out some newly surfaced fantasies. However, despite being such an integral part of Resident Evil Village’s marketing campaign, Lady Dimitrescu’s presence within the game was relatively short lived.
On the other hand, the previously elusive Mother Miranda was entirely different when it came to Resident Evil Village’s boss battles. This final showdown is a long and difficult one. Mother Miranda is relentless, and finally overpowering her will leave players with drained ammo reserves, and most likely a severely depleted inventory and low health. The back-and-forths between Mother Miranda and Ethan Winters can become arduous, especially in the fairly compact battle arena in which Megamycete will spring up and block Miranda from the player’s view. When she does finally calcify, players will most likely need a little lie down to recharge before Resident Evil Village’s emotional ending.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl released on the Nintendo Switch in November 2021. A remake of the 2006 Nintendo DS titles, the BDSP games won legions of fans both old and new. However, while many praised the games for being largely faithful remakes of the originals, there was one area that has received several complaints: the boss battle with Cynthia.
Cynthia, the Champion of the Elite Four in in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, is a particularly tricky adversary for such a family-friendly game, especially when compared to her former incarnations. Cynthia’s AI in Pokémon BDSP is quite erratic compared to other battles, and she will often switch out her Pokémon. Players have to be constantly on their toes while facing Cynthia. Often spamming items and catching some lucky breaks is the only way to finally beat her, making this one battle that players should definitely remember to save their game before diving into.
Returnal is a notoriously difficult game. The developers wanted players to feel the same anguish as its protagonist Selene, and as such the gameplay was designed to be a challenge. However, while the game as a whole is difficult, one boss fight that stands out as being an especially hard one to overcome is Nemesis.
Nemesis is found in Returnal’s third biome, the Derelict Citadel. What starts off as a fairly standard shoot ‘em up fight, which in itself is already challenging enough thanks to Nemesis’ high damage attacks, soon evolves into an incredibly convoluted battle. When Nemesis enters its second phase, platforming elements briefly come into play, and platforming becomes integral to the fight in the third phase. Here players must use Selene’s grapple to traverse the newly levitating platforms, all while still avoiding Nemesis’ onslaught of deadly attacks. Players become very vulnerable when moving between said platforms, and finally whittling down Nemesis’ health can take a lot of resilience, and most likely multiple attempts to finally get right.
When a game’s website itself states that the “ambitions of God and human clash amidst the horror of a dying world,” players will surely realize from the start that they are not going to be in for an easy ride, and this is certainly the case for Shin Megami Tensei V’s mythology of weird demons. Taking place in an alternative, apocalyptic version of Tokyo known as Da’at, players of SMT V will have to endure many battles against several rock-hard enemies.
The fight against Shin Megami Tensei V’s version of Shiva, however, may well be the hardest of the lot. Shiva is a level 96 boss, and before players even attempt to take on the mighty Hindu god they will need to thoroughly prepare. Shiva’s move set includes severe fire and electric attacks to all foes, as well as heavy physical attacks. On top of this, Shiva can summon allies, such as fellow god Ganesha, to fight alongside them, adding another layer of difficulty to an already strong opponent.
With 2021 now at a close, fans now have to sit tight and wait to see what bosses 2022 will have in store. With most-wishlisted titles like FromSoftware’s Elden Ring and God of Ragnarök coming this year, there will no doubt be many more impressive boss battles and challenges ahead to dwarf 2021’s most difficult bosses – and that is certainly no bad thing.
2021 may have been a quieter year for games than was originally planned, but there were still plenty of difficult bosses for players to overcome.Read MoreScreenRant – Feed