Last weekend I finished Gears of War Ultimate Edition a second time, this time on Insane difficulty. My partner and I had a really challenging time defeating the final boss, RAAM. We must have restarted the battle like 40 times over a couple of sessions. (I got worn out the first time trying.)
As with most boss battles, as soon as we completed it, we realized how easy it was and how close we must have been to defeating him before. Basically, RAAM is an enemy general with kyrll (basically crows) that protect him for periods of time, making him invincible. A good grenade tossed to him or a shot at him with the Torque Bow will lower his defenses so you can take headshots at him. But he draws closer and closer to your position as the battle wears on, and trying to maneuver around him can be really tricky. Kryll will devour you if you run through a shadow — and also, RAAM is just really, really brutal. It felt like the battle was taking forever; we couldn’t seem to get past the first minute or two of it.
You have no idea how much rage I felt during that whole boss-killing process. At some point, I kept thinking about how late it was getting and debating in my mind whether it would totally corrupt my sense of achievement or disrupt my momentum if I took a break and came back to it another day. Sometimes I like to stick it out til the end with a boss, no matter how long it takes. I just can’t rest until they’re finished. Other times, I just have to take a breather, for my own sanity. Plus, with some games (Gears of War included), I feel like I need a few minutes to warm up to playing, and then I reach a certain point when I’m no longer at my peak and fatigue makes my reflexes worse. I was getting to that point trying to beat RAAM the first go.
When we realized how little progress we were making, my partner and I started looking up internet articles and videos on how to defeat RAAM. The first video we came across happened to showcase an old glitch, where you could run to certain block in the game, take cover behind it, and then blind-fire at RAAM while he got stuck on the other side of the block. You wouldn’t take any damage and could take your take whittling away his health that way.
I’m a little sad to say we totally went for it. I know it’s bad to take advantage of game’s glitches like that… but don’t we all get excited when they work in our favor? I don’t like not fighting fair, but there have been occasions like this one where I’ve done what would have otherwise been nearly impossible, simply by using the game’s own mechanics or mistakes against it.
Unfortunately, that glitch was from the original Gears of War. It didn’t seem to apply to either co-op or the Ultimate Edition, so my partner and I had to brave it alone. We ended up finding a better, legitimate strategy in another video and used it to make ourselves more maneuverable around RAAM instead of constantly getting cornered. It worked beautifully. It probably only took us five tries (maybe fewer) to defeat RAAM after that. It helped playing on co-op — sometimes one of us would die while the other ran to the opposite end of the train, and in the final attempt, my partner was the one who survived to deliver the final headshot.
But it made me wonder. Do other gamers take advantage of glitches like that — or do you guys purposely avoid them to fight fair? Also, do you take breaks from tough bosses or battle through to the end, in one sitting?