We’ve all had moments in games that we simply can’t get past. Often, these come in the form of bosses and no matter how hard we try, we just can’t do it.
The last one I remember wasn’t a boss as such.
No, rather it was a section of Arkham Knight that I just couldn’t get right. It was the bit where the Arkham Knight was driving an Excavator through some tunnels and you had to drive the Batmobile around them whilst avoiding him.
The key to winning this particular fight was luring him through tunnels that had been set with charges and thus, bringing the tunnel down on him and his stupid digger. This had to be done several times and for some reason, I just couldn’t do it. I can’t remember if I was too careless or couldn’t get the timing right but after countless attempts, I turned the console off in frustration. The following day however, with renewed determination, I gave it another crack and did it first time.
I don’t know what I did differently but with a sense of bemused relief, I continued with my quest to save Gotham.
I’m sure that you’ve had your own moments like that and I’m about to regale you with another such tale of trial and tribulation.
This one took me a lot longer though and I gave up any such hope of beating the game on more than one occasion.
I’ve always been a fan of Metal Gear Solid. It’s probably my favourite franchise and despite The Phantom Pain being a pretty different experience to its predecessors, playing it was a no-brainer.
So, I proceeded to play my way through the game and enjoyed the autonomy it gave me to play through missions in the way I wanted to. Naturally, the game progresses to the point where you fight the Metal Gear itself and in this case it was called Sahelanthropus.
In the previous games, I didn’t really experience any issues with this part of the game and actually found the fights quite fun. Sahelanthropus however turned out to be my Goliath.
The key in this fight is to run around and avoid it stamping on you, its gun fire and sprouting rocks whilst also firing rockets at the white cylinders on its front and back. Obviously, you only have so much ammo so you also need to call in continual supply drops from the chopper.
To start with, I found it all too easy. Firing shots off and finding my mark whilst also timing my supply drops to perfection. About half way through the fight Sahelanthropus decides to go sniper mode and jumps up to some high ground whilst trying to pick you off with a laser.
It seemed to find me every time I played the mission and I heard the anguished death cry of Big Boss more times than I’ve seen Spider-man’s Uncle Ben croak it.
I then started to realise that once it finds its high ground, it doesn’t move from that spot. So I found some nice cover and stayed put until it got bored and came after me again.
Once Sahelanthropus comes looking for you again, you revert back to your previous tactic of running, shooting, running and calling in more ammo. That only lasts until the floating boy appears though and this is where I hit my second barrier.
When he appears, everything goes into slow motion mode and you have two options. You need to pick your tactic quickly as Sahelanthropus is charging its lasers and one hit means instant death.
The options you have are to fire a shot at the Floating Boy or to run and hide. A shot at the Floating Boy means Sahelanthropus is incapacitated for a short while whereas running away means that he simply won’t hit you with the laser.
For a long time, I kept trying to hit the Floating Boy with a shot. Alas, I ended up totalling more deaths than an average Game of Thrones episode. So, I turned chicken and ran away to hide. You really have to pick your hiding place well though as Sahelanthropus is right above you at this point but after doing this three or four times, you continue to pummel the mechanic monstrosity with rockets and finally, you down the bugger.
Metal Gear Solid has always made you change the way you play during boss fights and as a veteran of the series, it’s something I’m accustomed to. Sahelanthropus however, makes you change your tactics three times in one fight and I clearly struggled with that.
Writing this has been like therapy after my experience and I’ve basically given you the short version of my struggles. If I failed this mission less than fifty times though, I’d be surprised.
Another feeling you’ll all have experienced is the absolute joy of overcoming a gaming obstacle such as this. The frustration at failing time and again. The annoyance when you can’t quite time something the way you need to. The anger when you get so close to doing it, only for a stray shot to end your hopes when you’re on the brink of success. Then finally, you do it and it’s a sense of relief and joy that you can only have from gaming.
The relief that you finally, finally beat your gaming Goliath. Because let’s face it, we all have them and Sahelanthropus was mine