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5 difficult GTA missions due to poor game design

Sometimes a bad GTA mission can break the immersion of the game (Image via Nikitozz, YouTube)
Sometimes a bad GTA mission can break the immersion of the game (Image via Nikitozz, YouTube)

There are a few moments of frustration in the GTA series that may cause players to throw their controllers in anger.

For the most part, GTA missions are well-designed. If it weren't, the series wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar success. Action-packed sequences are the heart and soul of the gameplay.

However, Rockstar Games doesn't get everything right, especially with the earlier titles.

Sometimes bad game design can render a GTA mission very difficult. It involves several factors - clunky vehicle controls, terrible camera angles, strict time limits, and merciless enemy waves. What makes it worse is that most of these missions are mandatory for storyline purposes.



5 GTA missions that were hard due to bad game design

#5 - Boomshine Blowout

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One of the main reasons a GTA player never finishes Vice City Stories is because of this early mission. Phil Cassidy needs to get his liquor out of a burning warehouse before it explodes.

Victor Vance has to use a forklift to unload four packages into a truck but it's easier said than done.

For starters, forklifts are difficult to control. While the game does provide instructions, players need to be precise when picking up objects. It's very easy to clip into a corner and get stuck.

Fixed camera angles are another major obstacle, which makes navigating the warehouse a painful experience.

The absolute worst aspect is the unforgiving time limit - there is no room for error. Every time Victor loads a package, the warehouse starts to collapse and block pathways.

It might take multiple attempts to get down the perfect route. Players cannot waste any time whatsoever.

#4 - Espresso 2 Go!

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GTA 3 is one of Rockstar's first major attempts at open-world gameplay in a 3D environment. It was inevitable there would be a few balancing issues with certain missions; this is one of them.

Asuka Kasen tasked Claude with destroying several drug stalls from the cartel.

When the first stall is destroyed, players are given an eight-minute time limit. The biggest problem with the mission is no sense of direction. For whatever reason, the stalls don't show up on the map until a player gets close to them.

Without a full map, players wander around like chickens without heads.

GTA 3 players need to use the bullet-proof Patriot from the mission Marked Man. Otherwise, their bodies will be riddled with bullet holes from powerful enemy shotguns.

The lack of a bail-out mechanic means it's very likely players will die inside an exploding vehicle rather than escape at the last minute.

#3 - Demolition Man

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"Now look here, son... I got a problem and I reckon you can help me with it."

Avery Carington's first line for this mission (provided the player doesn't skip the cut-scene) is enough to reopen old wounds. GTA players would rather not be reminded of Demolition Man, which is single-handedly the most difficult mission in Vice City. There are two main reasons why.

First and foremost, players have to control the RC Goblin to plant bombs in a construction site. Not only do players have to be familiar with the building layout, it's also easy to go the wrong way.

RC controls are non-intuitive and completely take away from the experience.

Finally, there is the time limit. While it doesn't start until the first bomb is picked up, it's annoying having to go back and forth between locations.

GTA players cannot waste a single minute with this mission. Some of them even joke it would be easier to fly a helicopter in real life.

#2 - Supply Lines

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Rockstar should've realized the RC missions from Vice City were stupidly difficult enough. Rather than get rid of the concept, they brought it back to San Andreas. One of the most despised missions in GTA history is Supply Lines.

Tired of being humiliated by his rival Berkley, the irksome Zero has CJ destroy his delivery courriers.

Once again, the main enemy of this mission is the time limit. CJ has to control an RC plane, but he has to be careful not to run out of fuel.

Since the delivery courriers go on completely different routes, the mission relies on RNG. GTA players can only hope they destroy these vehicles in time. Tellingly, RC-based missions were phased out in the following GTA entries.

#1 - GTA 5 triathlons

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Nobody in their right mind does this for entertainment value. Instead, they do this to get 100% completion (and a sense of satisfaction). The triathlons in GTA 5 are a mind-numbing series of tasks that take forever to complete.

While the first two marathons are manageable, it's the third one that will test the patience of GTA players. It will take at least half an hour to complete the entire run. Meanwhile, players will have to constantly mash buttons while they swim, cycle, and run.

It's a long and dragged-out process that will destroy the player's thumbs. The GTA 5 triathlons are a prime example of terrible game design.

Not only does it physically hurt the player, it's also not fun in the slightest.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

For comprehensive guides and walkthroughs, check out SK GTA Wiki

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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