10 ULTRA Hard Video Game Opening Levels That Broke You

Demon's Souls is trial by fire, while the fire insults your very existence.

Demons souls
Bluepoint Games

First impressions matter a lot, and so it's little surprise that the overwhelming majority of video games ease players into the experience, offering up a simple, straight-forward tutorial or opening level to get them acquainted with the bigger challenges to come.

But sadly, not all games are quite so charitable.

Some games dare to dispense with the pleasantries and just throw players out of the frying pan and into the fire immediately.

These 10 games all dared to present players with a colossal challenge right out of the gate, serving as an immediate skill check before they even knew if they were actually any good at the game at all.

In extreme cases, sadistic developers even dare to put the hardest level in the entire game first, ensuring that if - and only if - players could make it through that opening stretch, they'd have every skill and tool necessary to survive the rest.

But for many players these levels were just too demanding an ask from the outset, such that they never actually bothered to make it any further and simply moved onto another game instead...

10. Stage 1 - Back To The Future Part III

Demons souls
Probe Software

Even for the standards of video game adaptations of classic movies, Back to the Future Part III sure is bad - a listless collection of four glorified mini-games rushed out to capitalise on the movie's success.

And yet it doesn't even have the decency to be a blandly inoffensive cash-in: the first stage, in which you play Doc Brown as he rides a horse to try and rescue his love Clara, is a maddeningly infuriating obstacle course requiring pin-sharp reflexes.

Players are required to shoot incoming birds and projectiles, jump over crevices and barrels, and fend off incoming assailants, with such aggravatingly small reaction windows that you're better off just resorting to rote memorisation of the path through the level.

Though a successful run through the stage only lasts a minute or so, it's much easier said than done. The game never gets this hard again, but it also doesn't really get any better either, so you may as well just stick with the pure fun of the movie instead.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.