Why is there no block?

#1 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

Condemned Criminal Origins is a first person melee game that came out in 2005. I played the original Condemned about a month ago, and you can watch Kessler and Steve play through it on their Fear Gauntlet. One of the big things in the first person melee combat in that game is timing your blocks and counterattacking. The enemies will try feints and weaves to get you to mess your timing up, blocking with the proper timing is big. You could also pick up guns and use them, with effective results.

Zeno Clash is a first person game focusing heavily on melee combat. that came out in 2009. Beyond just allowing you to punch, they added several gameplay benefits like dodging, multiple attack variations, and lock-on targeting. You could also pick up weird ass guns and use them.

Oblivion is a first person RPG that came out in 2006, and the same devs released the similar Fallout 3 in 2008. These games had both melee combat and shooting.

The point is, every one of these games, even Fallout which almost no one played using melee weapons, featured a block button. So that the player could actually play defensively instead of just mindlessly hopping around as enemies sprinted at them. The block introduced timing and player intelligence, reading the enemies' behavior. So why does a first person melee combat game that came out in 2011 not have the same functionality as one that came out 6 years ago? What gameplay reason is there to not allow players to block attacks? If they think popping in and out of range, hoping that the hit detection will work for once and register your attacks, they'd be woefully ignorant of what constitutes fun. Maybe they aren't, maybe this is my fault, maybe there's a block button not listed on the controls screen, and I'm just crazy. But considering we have a button for "Drop weapon" but no block, I have to doubt it.

To quote another nerd who plays video games that make him angry; "What were they thinking?"

#2 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

block = kick (well, I use the kick for blocking anyway)

#3 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@Laketown: I've resorted to that, it just doesn't work very good. There's really no 'counterattack' involved in the kick, since most zombies beyond the Romero-types recover from a kick faster than your player character can get into an attack animation.

#4 Posted by EthanielRain (582 posts) -

I think they wanted the dodge to function that way; not just mindlessly hopping around with it, but dodging at just the right moment to open up a window for a counter attack.  But yeah, now that you've mentioned it...it would've been nice.  Make the combat a little deeper.

#5 Posted by sirdesmond (1223 posts) -

I think the lack of blocking and the necessity to kick appropriately and navigate in and out of your attack range and the ran of the enemy is what makes the combat so delightfully tense to me. If there was a block button, you could just hold them down, let all the zombies smack on you, and then attack before they recover and just repeat that over and over. It could be alright if they added in a block feature similar to that in Condemned where you are kind of ricocheting their blows since that would feel a bit more realistic in the zombie context because if you were just standing there with your weapon on front of your face that zombie is just going to be groping and gnawing at your fingers and arms and such since they aren't usual standard weapons like human enemies do in other games.

Until you mentioned it in this post, I had never even thought about how there wasn't a block button.

#6 Edited by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

Even if there was a block function, I can't imagine how useful blocking with a weapon like a bat, hammer, katana, etc. would be when zombies are attacking you from all sides. I understand that blocking in video game is quite contrived compared to how blocking works in real life but still blocking with a weapon really only makes sense when you're being attacked with a similar weapon (i.e. sword blocking another sword). But it doesn't work well when you're getting plowed into by an undead horde (not to mention thugs and other tougher variants). Maybe against some of the zombies that use melee weapons that would make some sense, but the majority of the zombies in the game are trying to grab you/tear into your flesh, not cut you with a blade/pummel you with a blunt weapon.

#7 Edited by Getz (2955 posts) -

@spazmaster666 said:

Even if there was a block function, I can't imagine how useful blocking with a weapon like a bat, hammer, katana, etc. would be when zombies are attacking you from all sides. I understand that blocking in video game is quite contrived compared to how blocking works in real life but still blocking with a weapon really only makes sense when you're being attacked with a similar weapon (i.e. sword blocking another sword). But it doesn't work well when you're getting plowed into by an undead horde (not to mention thugs and other tougher variants). Maybe against some of the zombies that use melee weapons that would make some sense, but the majority of the zombies in the game are trying to grab you/tear into your flesh, not cut you with a blade/pummel you with a blunt weapon.

Read this, OP, and be edified. It doesn't make any sense that you could "block" someone who is trying to grab you or is flailing around like a madman. Kicks and dodging work just fine as a substitution; maybe you're just not doing it right. A well-placed kick or knock to the head gives you plenty of space for a follow-up, unless you're fighting one of the special types. In those cases, each has their own specific strategy (i.e. crippling a Thug's arms first, or playing matador with the Rams).

#8 Posted by MrKlorox (11186 posts) -

I find myself trying to pull the left trigger to block every once in a while, even though I know it just doesn't work. I think the way Logan readies his arms to prepare for a wind-back is what's faking me out.

#9 Posted by Chrisjp (33 posts) -

@EthanielRain: @EthanielRain said:

I think they wanted the dodge to function that way; not just mindlessly hopping around with it, but dodging at just the right moment to open up a window for a counter attack. But yeah, now that you've mentioned it...it would've been nice. Make the combat a little deeper.

You mean just moving to the side while a zombie charges you, or is there a dodge button?

#10 Posted by Green (19 posts) -

If you blocked, you'd just be giving the zombies something to bite.

#11 Posted by clovy (155 posts) -

I like using the jump kick as my block.

#12 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -
@sirdesmond said:

I think the lack of blocking and the necessity to kick appropriately and navigate in and out of your attack range and the ran of the enemy is what makes the combat so delightfully tense to me. If there was a block button, you could just hold them down, let all the zombies smack on you, and then attack before they recover and just repeat that over and over. It could be alright if they added in a block feature similar to that in Condemned where you are kind of ricocheting their blows since that would feel a bit more realistic in the zombie context because if you were just standing there with your weapon on front of your face that zombie is just going to be groping and gnawing at your fingers and arms and such since they aren't usual standard weapons like human enemies do in other games.

Until you mentioned it in this post, I had never even thought about how there wasn't a block button.

While I haven't played the game, I think you're totally right, man.
#13 Posted by AlexW00d (6061 posts) -

If you dodge to the side and then back-attack them you'll do extra damage. If you've specced accordingly.

#14 Posted by JusticeCat (113 posts) -

blocking in a zombie game... lol

#15 Edited by deathstriker666 (1337 posts) -

You can't block in games like L4D or Dead Rising.The types of zombie games were you're murdering hundreds of zombies and don't have time to block.

#16 Edited by Morien (159 posts) -

@Cbouncerrun: Press jump and back/left/right at the same time (direction slightly ahead of jump) to hop in the desired direction. Useful for dodging. I think a counter type block would've been nice in this game, maybe as a skill unlock, similar to the head stomp.

#17 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

No Block Dojo Bro!

#18 Posted by SamFo (1511 posts) -

dash back instead of block

#19 Posted by Valames (726 posts) -

Oh my gosh! Was there anything better than running up to a lone walker and jump kicking him, and them jumping on his head?! Man I love this game.

I second Kick = Block... or fifth it, whatevs.

#20 Posted by Subjugation (4693 posts) -

You don't really block a zombie. You want to do anything but let it touch you because those dudes are ferocious. I mean anyone who has played the game knows that quite a few of the zombie types can send you flying several feet if they land a hit, so what good would putting up your sledgehammer or machete do? I can understand your frustration, but I just don't think it would have fit. Unless they let you pick up trash can lids and block with those .... nah!

#21 Posted by aldo_q (124 posts) -

Like others before me have already said. While game-technically it would be nice to block it makes little sense vs zombies. As such I think the kick was introduced. It more or less serves the same function and fiction-wise makes more sense. Also all the enemies have ways to avoid being hit by them if you do it right. It requeres not being surrounded, etc. Al through I myself still have quite some issues with the thugs :p

#22 Edited by Edwardryu (437 posts) -

well, there is no real block button. but you can use both 'E' and 'space bar'. space bar is sort of dodge attack. Sam B character has actually ability to tackle while he runs. he tackle all of zombies including ram, floater, suicider, and butcher. I don't know why other characters don't have this.

#23 Posted by byterunner (290 posts) -

from what I can tell (only played as sam b), the jump kick will knock down any infected or walker. not so much on thugs and rams and such.

#24 Posted by Dany (7886 posts) -

because when a zombie comes to bite your arm off, you are not going to place your arm in front of your face.

#25 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

Blocking wouldn't really work against a zombie.

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