After several generations of gameplay and a collection of unique entries over the years, many series perform battles in their own unique ways. Despite many of the modern titles opting for a more narrative focus, many core aspects of hack and slash and beat ’em up genres are still a central factor in some mainstream AAA IPs.
From Capcom, Sloclap, Santa Monica Studio and many more, fans will be aware that these two styles of play are integral to these titles’ success. With its high-level performance and reception, more developers continue to follow suit, ultimately leaving fans who prefer a challenge wanting more.
6/6 Hack and Slash: Devil May Cry 5
Created from original plans that were ultimately scrapped Resident Evil 4, devil may cry has become a beloved series for many fans until its fifth and final issue. Many of the titles are seen as challenging, esp Devil May Cry 3.
Players unfamiliar with the fighting styles of each of the characters, or those who choose to play on the ‘Dante Must Die’ difficulty, will know the extremely difficult parts to overcome. Capcom’s ‘Bloody Palace’ DLC added to this, letting the player take on a whopping 101 floors of enemies with the difficulty level eventually increasing to its highest.
5/6 Beat ‘Em Up: Arkham Trilogy Combat Challenges
Often regarded as the best set of titles in the beat ’em up genre, the Arkham trilogy managed to capture a fighting style that many other games found inspiration from. Some of the combat challenges in all three titles gave players the opportunity to practice their skills while also enjoying the unique and engaging hand-to-hand combat featured.
The difficulty comes directly from different enemy types, and players having the right method sets to defend against them, especially the armed ones. The ‘Iceberg Lounge VIP Room’ is one of the more famously challenging arenas, as the endless influx of enemies left many on the edge of their seats.
4/6 Hack and Slash: Shadow Of War
The sequel to Monolith’s Shadow Of Mordor offered a complete overhaul to mechanics, adding a new level of agility to Talion’s skill set and a well-received nemesis system. Players will be aware that playing on normal difficulty alone can also have its challenging moments as players face an onslaught of enemies in multiple scenarios.
With the ‘Gravewalker’ difficulty, the level of adversity increases significantly as players are no longer given any chances to resume combat after being knocked down by an orc unless the skill is obtained through the skill tree. While facing enemies head-on, any moment can result in death and then lead to an orc’s promotion to a greater amount than usual. This will then add to the group of captains and warlords that players are already targeting.
3/6 Beat ‘Em Up: Sifu
One of the more recent titles fans have indulged in is Sloclaps Sifu. The element of a progressive difficulty system is very present in this title, as players continuously encounter much stronger enemies while also aging after each death. Many fans see the title as a learning curve, with many enemies being unforgiving in their ambush.
The game’s difficulty speaks for itself, with only five different stages of bosses for players to face, but a longer runtime as it encourages players to learn and practice before progressing to completion. This is also much more challenging for those trying to get the secret ending, where players show mercy to the main bosses. With the addition of the “Master” difficulty, enemies move at a much faster pace and show more aggression, requiring players to think through their approach.
2/6 Hack and Slash: God Of War
god of war (2018)’s predecessor featured a lot of hack and slash combat, as Kratos primarily used his Blades of Chaos in his quest for revenge. While the latest entry has taken a shift towards the third-person action-adventure route with an even deeper focus on story, it still remains true to its hack and slash roots.
Despite the game not being as difficult as it used to be, fans will be aware of how crushing and brutal this title can be, especially when facing enemies without sufficiently leveled gear or on the “Give Me God of War” difficulty. The change in game direction has somewhat reduced the challenge, but Santa Monica Studio still managed for some fans a great test of skill level.
1/6 Beat ‘Em Up: Good Hand
Among Capcom’s collection of IPs, God’s hand is arguably the developer’s most difficult beat ’em up title. The game allows players to mix and match certain movesets to get the best out of each match scenario, giving fans an almost endless amount of unique combinations and styles to adapt to. Equal God of War‘Spartan rage’ allows players to activate Gene’s ‘God Hand’, which makes him invulnerable to attacks and deals a lot of damage at the same time.
Despite this small advantage, this title has some of the most difficult enemies to engage in battle with, especially since they attack in crowds rather than waiting for turns. Since there is no camera control whatsoever, players must dodge attacks from all sides, which can make for exciting battles, but also requires a sufficient amount of skill to finish convincingly.
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