10 Nasty Video Game Levels Designed To Torture You

Bad to the bone.

Underwater mission

Artificial difficulty is never going to go away, is it?

There's never been a shortage of video games so merciless in their approach to providing challenging content, that the most important ingredient for any successful video game - fun- gets left on the backburner.

Getting the balance just right isn't easy - if it were, then every game that owes its existence to FromSoftware's lauded 'Soulsborne' series would receive the same praise that it did; maintaining an equilibrium between tough but fair gameplay. Still, even shining examples such as those often suffer from an overzealous approach to difficulty.

Whether it be in the form of generic, uninspired level design (sorry John, there are four floors to this dreary Library) or a reliance on detestable mechanics, there's not an ounce of entertainment to be gleaned from any of these offenders, not least when their presence contradicts the intended purpose of any given experience.

Overlong, linear segments in an otherwise open-ended RPG? Thanks, but no thanks.

10. The Fade - Dragon Age: Origins

Underwater mission

In theory, The Fade was an excellent component to Origins' overarching narrative. A self-contained dream world drenched in magic that you'd need to escape using fantastical powers. Sounds fantastic on paper; in practice, not so much.

The nightmare was neverending; several segments, each more labyrinthine in their layout than the last, required senseless trudging through identical demon-infested buildings and forests, made worse by clunky, ill-implemented (oh god, the Mouse form) transformations.

Add to that the fact that, once you're putter under the Sloth Demon's spell, there's no escaping the realm without completing all of the objectives, you're sh*t out of luck if your Warden is underleveled.

'Have fun getting stuck in an endless loop of death and loading screens! Sincerely, BioWare'.

Pro-tip: when there's a mod that allows players to skip an entire segment of your game, it's not a good sign.

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Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.