3 thoughts on “Open for Discussion: Freeflow Combat

  1. My opinion is that what makes free flow so much fun is because it is used in so few games. I think far too many games just look to copy each other because they don’t want to take the risk of something new. Dynasty Warriors was a ton of fun when it first came out some what ten years ago. But people have done that for multiple games and not just the DW franchise. It is like a sequel, you crave it but after multiple games you get bored with it and want something new and different. Free flow combat is a nice change up, but if every game does it it will be real boring real quick. Great job guys!

  2. Personally, I’m a big fan of freeflow combat, but only if it’s done well. As you mentioned, Arkham Asylum is probably the best example of an excellent freeflow fight system. The thing that absolutely sets AA apart from the rest is the way it rewards players in an easy to see fashion for not just machine gun pressing X to get through enemies. Pause for that brief second to get your timing just right and you’re rewarded with a heavier strike that not only does more damage, but is also visually represented in the animation.

    The main problem I see in freeflow combat surfaces when combat turns into a button mashing marathon and takes zero skill. I quickly lose interest in games like this. Your mention of Dynasty Warriors is spot on as an example. I played two different DW titles about three years apart, and they felt identical. I did’t play either of them for long as I got bored pretty fast and returned them to rental store.

    Overall, I would say it’s the subtle differences, tweaks, and changes between different titles’ freeflow systems that keep me most engaged. I loved the countering in AA, and how smooth their transitions worked (though the enemy’s warning lines still make me thing of Spider-Man’s spider sense, ha!). Also, one part of these types of systems I think you failed to touch on is the mobility. With Assassin’s Creed and Arkham Asylum, your movement is typically not hindered unless it’s by a natural obstacle like a wall that is actually part of the level versus an invisible collision box stopping the player. This makes a HUGE difference and allows the player to catch a breather and reformulate a new plan of attack.

    Nice video guys!

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