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What's important to you in a game's combat?

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What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by TripOpt55 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:42 pm

Random question, but when it comes to combat in games, what is important to you in that aspect of the game? Are there certain things all your favorite combat systems have or that are a "must" for you to enjoy a game's combat? Not sure I'm explaining this very well, but hopefully we can kind of riff off this and get a discussion going. Feel free to throw out what games have the best combat and why. We can always try and go from there.
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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by BretBaber on Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:55 pm

Metal Gear Solid 4 has some of the best combat in my opinion. You can be stealthy, you can go in guns blazing. I know people will say "But there's too man cut scenes, takes away from the action." Whoopee, you can just run through the game shooting shit left and right to lengthen it if you want. It also doesn't hurt that it is one of the best controlled games of this gen.

Ratchet and Clank nails combat as well, especially Up Your Arsenal. It's pretty much a shooter, and it is non-stop fun from beginning to end.

As far as role playing games go, Final Fantasy VII to me has the best combat. It's fast, frenetic, and each character brings something new to the table. The materia lets you build a character how you choose, and it's just a blast to get in battles. Final Fantasy IX would have been a close contender, but the battles are just a bit too slow for my taste.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by avidacridjam on Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:48 am

Good button mapping for the controls is necessary. Most games have slight differences but it`s something that can easily overlooked.
The ability to switch between weapons with ease is important.
Sound design is important especially in FPSs where distant gunfire/explosions or an enemy`s footsteps can be heard.
Level/map design should be creative but not complicated. I`d like to have a good sense of where to go or how to maneuver in the environment.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by BretBaber on Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:22 am

avidacridjam wrote:
Level/map design should be creative but not complicated. I`d like to have a good sense of where to go or how to maneuver in the environment.
Agree with this, especially in multiplayer games. One of the reasons I love Killzone so much is that the maps are kind of perpendicular. For the most part, no side really has an advantage. Where as a game like call of duty just becomes a battle for one specific spot while the other 90% of the level is garbage.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by TripOpt55 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:17 am

I've been thinking about games I really loved combat in lately and I think having options is such a big key for me. That is what prompted me to start this thread. The Last of Us, Far Cry 3 and even something like Mark of the Ninja. There are so many ways to approach combat.

While it is sort of a relatively less new favorite, Ninja Gaiden fits into this mold to some extent as well. Though it is from a more straight up action standpoint it equips you with tons of weapons and moves to take out foes. Same with Ratchet & Clank, but with it it is combining various weapons and stuff like that.

I think smart challenging AI helps a lot too. That is certainly what makes Ninja Gaiden standout from some of the other games of its ilk I have played and is a bigger selling point for it than the options in that game's case.

Also good call on the symmetrical maps. That is a good one for multiplayer shooters. Asymmetrical maps can become a real clusterfuck.
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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by BretBaber on Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:45 am

I remember making maps in the Timesplitters game where they were mirrored so that way friends couldn't screen watch and get the upper hand.

A really great example of this in Killzone is Salumun Market, no one team has the advantage in that map. It's also my favorite map.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by volvocrusher on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:39 am

Options like you said Trip. Kotor, Mass Effect, Batman, and Halo are some of my favorite games because they give me a scenario I have to get through, but let me figure out the rest. Could be what order I take out the enemies, what powers/weapons I use, and what tools I have in the world to help me out. Hell, it's why I'm so addicted to Pokemon, that game gives hundreds of options for your team to shape up thanks to all the different guys, I'll never get bored of that series for that reason.

Also love when every option is viable or the game gives you a good reason to use all of them. Like in Arkham Asylum using all your gadgets in a combo nets you a higher bonus. Or how in Mass Effect 2/3 how I'm using all my powers. Incendiary ammo for armor, cryo ammo for nothing, shockwave for enemies in cover, pull for in the open, and charge for a strong hit/escaping a tough scenario. Then there's my allies for other things, good stuff.

Also just awesome stuff happening. Like in Bayonetta how finishing a combo has her transform her hair into a giant foot/fist for a final blow and even more outrageous stuff for finishers. Or the weapons like the RYNO or Buzz Blades from Ratchet and Clank. Just throw some outrageous, it really does make things more fun.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by Krubixcube on Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:12 am

AI is a tricky one, it's making AI that's smart enough to be engaging to fight yet stupid enough that you can exploit certain patterns (especially when stealth is an issue).

I think other people mentioned it, but I like when beat em ups reward you for making combos, otherwise there's no motivation for me to finesse at all. Batman's combo counter was satisfying as hell for that. And building it up into one hit KOs was ultra satisfying. But I think Batman too highlights another thing I like in melee combat...rhythm. A feeling like every button I'm pressing is one hit and kind of feeling out that rhythm. I like that.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by Motinator on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:30 am

I totally agree with the rhythm thing. Dynasty warriors comes to mind for having no consequence for just mashing square. I usually just button mash as fast as I can and wait for the animation to tell me when to hit triangle.
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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by TripOpt55 on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:52 am

Hmmm... rhythm eh? I have to be honest, I was surprised when I finally played the Batman games that people said they have the best melee combat in games. While they may be better games, I don't think the combat is in the same class as Ninja Gaiden, Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. It's completely lacking in depth in comparison and I guess I personally hate fodder enemies like Batman's. It can't do bosses well with its system either which hurts for me. Getting high combos was fun. I get why people like it. I liked it. But it just seems like a whole rung lower to me than those elite action games I mentioned. (this all refers to open combat)

Anyway some of your comments here make it make a bit more sense even if I still feel its not on the same level. I recall Greenman telling me he hated having to remember combos like in Ninja Gaiden which is one reason he prefers Batman's (which makes sense), but even then I'd think Bayo/DMC's more free form system would be superior.
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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by volvocrusher on Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:01 am

I've warmed up to combos a lot since then after playing Bayonetta though. I think it was that you could practice them during the load screens complete with tutorials so when I had trouble distinguishing one from another, I could really get the difference down between them there.

Another thing I'd like to put is when you have something that really practice to get down perfectly, but still doesn't seem unreasonably complex. The best I can think of is Metal Gear Rising's parrying. Parrying one attack is pretty simple, but when I could get eight straight parries from one enemy's combo, that was so damn satisfying.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by Krubixcube on Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:26 am

I think I'm just too stupid to remember combos personally, I really struggle with it.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by BretBaber on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:09 pm

I don't really care about combos. Unless it's cheese flavored with a pretzel.

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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by Motinator on Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:50 pm

Ya, parrying in MGS Rising does feel awesome.

I wish Rising, and all other games, had the practice rooms like in MGS 4. It is sooo nice to just figure out what all of the controls do in a risk free way. I remember the first time I played MGS 3 and trying to do CQC. I was so nervous that I pushed circle as hard as I could. So then I'm sitting there, watching Snake slit the guy's throat. Not the best way to learn, haha.
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Re: What's important to you in a game's combat?

Post by TripOpt55 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:51 pm

You know what was pretty awesome. Dodge Offset in Bayonetta.
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