When thinking of truly challenging games, perhaps the GTA franchise won't be the first thing that pops into a player's mind. Maybe they're thinking of games like Dark Souls or Enter the Gungeon, games designed with the specific intent of challenging players.
The goal of the GTA games has been, for the most part, to offer a form of escapism and let players venture into an exaggerated form of reality. While appreciated, the challenge isn't exactly at the core of what makes a GTA game enjoyable.
Yet, there have been times where players have chucked a controller halfway across the room in frustration. They may even have destroyed a monitor with their keyboards. Missions like "Wrong Side of the Tracks" might come to mind, or perhaps "Death Row."
However, there is one single mission that stands out amongst the rest as one that gave players serious anger issues to deal with: "Demolition Man."
Is Vice City's Demolition Man the most challenging mission in the GTA series?
The mission first evokes an almost child-like fun that comes with taking control of a remote-controlled helicopter. Soon, after four repeated tries, the aircraft became the bane of the player's existence in GTA Vice City.
The frustration attached to the mission reached a certain point where players would call upon their friends or elder siblings to help them get through it. GTA Vice City has its fair share of fun challenges, but Demolition Man seems almost sadistic.
Players love the challenge if the payoff is worth it, but completing Demolition Man rewards them with just the joy of watching the "Mission Passed" screen. However, once the internet became common, and players started reading about their favorite games, they quickly realized that the mission wasn't even mandatory.
It turns out, all of Avery's missions in GTA Vice City are side missions and not necessary to finish the story of the game. Meaning, all those hours spent learning the controls of this terrible pink helicopter could've been avoided entirely.
What makes Demolition Man so challenging?
Players will often cite Demolition Man as one of the toughest missions in the GTA series, but what exactly gets it that reputation? Games will often use different ways to make a level or a mission challenging, such as:
- Tough enemies
- Larger number of enemies
- Limited resources
- Locking certain items, etc.
There are many ways to make a mission hard, but what is inexcusable are wonky controls. GTA Vice City typically has pretty decent controls, but they take a turn for the worse when it comes to helicopters.
The RC Helicopter handles much in the same way as the rest of the helicopters in the game. But what makes the mission challenging is that players have to drop bombs with the accuracy of an Olympic-level marksman.
The controls become increasingly frustrating, and any sense of fun that the mission has is quickly eroded, replaced by a throbbing sense of frustration. This feeling multiplies ten-fold when playing the game on PC.
Unlike a controller, a keyboard does not have an analog stick, and the controls for a helicopter on PC are even more complicated. By default, players have to use the NumPad to use the chopper, which makes for terribly inaccurate controls.
Therefore, Demolition Man is challenging, not because of the actual design involved, but from the game's inadequate controls.