Boss fights – or at least fights against creatures several times Death’s size – were scattered liberally throughout the dungeon. For example, when Death and Karn finally found the third Heartstone, it had been tainted by the Corruption so violently that it infected one of the constructs we’d been riding around in, prompting an extremely difficult boss fight against a ridiculously tough enemy. As big as that boss was, however, it was nothing compared to what lay in wait for us at the end of the demo.
Using the tainted Heartstone it to activate the Guardian – which, as you’ll remember, is the dungeon’s main objective – caused it to go berserk, drawing us into a multi-stage boss fight that seemed to have been yanked directly out of Shadow of the Colossus. The battle even began with Death riding around on his summonable horse, Despair (which, unlike Death’s horse Ruin, will be available from the beginning of the game), and plinking away at the Guardian ineffectually with his pistol. At first, the battle seemed impossible, mainly because Death automatically targeted the giant’s invulnerable feet for some reason.
As we soon learned, however, the only way to even start defeating the creature was to ride around in front of it until it swung its massive hammer into the ground, at which point its right arm – which was covered with Corruption, and more importantly with Corruption-grown bombs – became vulnerable. Shooting the arm stunned the giant, giving us a chance to latch on to one of its Heartstones and smash it until it was destroyed (this took a couple of tries even when we were successful; Heartstones are tough).
After that, the one-armed monster started throwing giant spiked orbs our way, which actively chased Death until he’d shot them enough, at which point they’d rise into the air and blast toward him, dealing huge chunks of damage. The secret here was to ride between the Guardian’s legs when the orb was about to launch, causing it to strike the Guardian instead. Cue the destruction of another Heartstone (which, again, took a couple of tries), and we were treated to the Guardian’s dramatic death cutscene, which – despite looking awesome – was disappointingly non-interactive. But at least it looks like there’ll be plenty more to see (and murder) when the game launches this June.