More fluid action-RPG combat?
I was watching a Let's Play of Jedi Knight: Academy (JK:A), and after just recently watching some shaky-cam footage of Skyrim at Quakecon I was wondering what do so many action-RPG makers have against fluid combat?
Sure, JK has some ridiculous acrobatics and such, and it's more often than not just randomn flailing about, but it's one of the few games where sword fighting actually has a fluidity to it. There is actual parrying of blades, albeit automatic, and you know that when you finally connect a hit it's going to hurt. I know it's mostly a conceit to make it look more like the combat in the Star Wars movies, but I always found that it worked well in that regard.
Combat in modern action-rpg's look more like fighting with baseball bats than actual weapons. It's all about smacking the enemy until it dies, the character doesn't feel like they have any finesse at all. This may be something to do with consoles though, since JK:A or JK: Outcast probably wouldn't work with analogue sticks.
Mount & Blade of course is the exception that proves the rule, but even in M&B I'm not the biggest fan of the static blocking defense. I feel it lacks a bit in responsiveness sometimes, but that's probably just because I'm crap at it!
So while in most AAA games we get cinematic cut-scenes, finishing moves, and all those crap quicktime events... why can't the actual combat, which we spend 90% of the time doing, be cinematic?
As a possible other system using automatic parry's, why not have something like a regenerating guard/energy-mater, which decreases faster if you attack and slower whenever an attack gets parried. The lower the guard/energy-meter gets, the more likely the automatic parry system will fail and you will get a possibly fatal hit.
I guess it's technically a health bar still, but I think the conceit is more important. Especially in a high-fidelity visual medium.
The queue starts here for QWOP with guns. Or since JP4 is being made, maybe we will get Trespasser 2 with multiplayer wonky arms?
Seriously though, JK:DF2 was the first experience with 'fluid combat' I had and it felt glorious.
What you've described sounds like a 'stamina' bar for melee. Reminds me of Fight Night on the Playbox364 or whatever it was, have you played that?
Lesser Hivemind Node
I very much doubt that. If anything, consoles are more suited to properly fluid control schemes - the Fight Night games are controlled almost entirely via the analogue sticks, and they are the best example of precision and finesse in any fighting game I can think of. They're very underrated games in that regard - you can and should play them with health bars switched off, because the visual and audio feedback is great enough that it's all you need to know the score. No bullshit statistics are needed - you just need to look at the state your fighter's in, how he's moving, whether he's visibly flagging. They're very well done indeed.
Originally Posted by Binho
Secondary Hivemind Nexus
I always found combat in the Assassins Creed games to be pretty good at this, so long as you didn't just use the counter to beat everyone. Forcing yourself to use a mix combo attacks, counters, dodges, disarms, throwing knives and parries during a fight made it so much more fun. My favourite move was to use the smaller sword in the first game which also equips the throwing knives, then during fights whenever there was space between me and the circling enemies I could just unleash a torrent of knives at them, always dropping a good few. In the same vein the Prince of Persia games have been pretty good at fluidity, except the 2008 one where combat become duel-based and QTE heavy.
Fable: TLC and Jade Empire weren't bad at it either, although both undermine their system sometimes by making the enemies just poorly designed to fight against - such as the Trolls in Fable and the Horse Demons in Jade Empire.