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#1 Edited by roboculus92 (564 posts) -

As the title suggests, I'm wondering what the GB community's thoughts are on games that may have been hindered by having too much combat or by just having combat at all. To start off, I'll give my own example regarding Ico. I started playing this recently and while I enjoy a number of things about the game (such as the atmosphere and the environment), I feel that the combat does not benefit this game at all (at best it's just boring, at worst it's annoying/frustrating) and in fact I believe that it would be an overall better game without it or with very little of it. It's fine with me to have the combat be simple but don't then go and stick me in a combat situation in almost every room I go into (with the shadow guys coming in multiple times for some rooms). It breaks up the flow of puzzle solving/exploring when I have to stop and fight so damn often. It doesn't help that you take way too long to get back up when you're knocked down. Yes, I know that you can run away to the nearest door for a number of the encounters but it still takes time having to maneuver around those shadows. Having to stop and fight these guys or run around these guys doesn't enhance this experience for me at all. If they were trying to convey some sense of hopelessness/vulnerability through the combat, they did a pretty bad job since all it really does is make me feel bored or frustrated. I still enjoy enough about this game to keep going but I feel like it could have been a much better experience if it weren't hindered by it's combat.

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#2 Posted by Animasta (14905 posts) -

Deadly Premonition

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#3 Posted by BeachThunder (14689 posts) -

Mirror's Edge.

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#4 Edited by SpunkyHePanda (2123 posts) -

Well, I came in here to suggest Ico, because in my mind, that's the ultimate example, but uh, I'll say... Bioshock Infinite could have used less combat.

I also seem to remember Dreamfall having combat and that it felt out of place and bad. Oh, and King's Quest 8, speaking of adventure game series that added combat for no reason.

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#5 Posted by Dixavd (2581 posts) -

Gone Home - it was just so gratuitous.

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#6 Posted by Mike (17384 posts) -


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#7 Posted by Crembaw (894 posts) -

@animasta said:

Deadly Premonition

Seconding this. I would have enjoyed that game more with less Ghost Fisting.

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#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

Pretty much any survival horror game ever.

@crembaw said:

@animasta said:

Deadly Premonition

Seconding this. I would have enjoyed that game more with less Ghost Fisting.

Unseconding this. Every game could use more ghost fisting.

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#9 Edited by Giantstalker (2343 posts) -

Mass Effect, any of them but especially the later ones.

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#10 Edited by development (3013 posts) -

I think it would be easiest to name some games that do need combat. CoD and Battlefield... that's all I got.


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#11 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2809 posts) -

The Uncharted games.

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#12 Posted by roboculus92 (564 posts) -

@dixavd said:

Gone Home - it was just so gratuitous.

Yeah, I was pretty bummed out about that myself. All those damn turret sequences really started to get on my nerves after a while.

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#13 Edited by crithon (3979 posts) -

Mirror's Edge.

actually Mirror's Edge could have used less story.

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#14 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10492 posts) -

Every Bioshock. It doesn't really work with this thread but I'd be very interested to see a combat-less Dark Souls spin off.

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#15 Posted by BisonHero (10716 posts) -

Psychonauts had combat in the way that a lot of Mario-style 3D platformers have combat, and it's almost completely unnecessary. 3D Mario games barely need enemies, especially Galaxy, where the enemy AI is so toothless and terrible at chasing you, and you have so much 3D space you can quite easily just walk around them.

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#16 Posted by audioBusting (2528 posts) -

Seconding Bioshock Infinite, Dreamfall, and Mass Effect. Mass Effect 3 had some cool war moments, but some parts are just gratuitous (that turret sequence? Reaper boss battle?)

To be honest, I think current video games in general could do without so much combat.

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#17 Posted by Original_Hank (263 posts) -

It doesn't really work with this thread but I'd be very interested to see a combat-less Dark Souls spin off.

That would be like, a game where you walk around and listen to people tell depressing stories and then laugh creepily.

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#18 Posted by sammo21 (5463 posts) -

Uncharted 2...Uncharted 3...Bioshock:Infinite...Dante's Inferno...

Also, I don't see the point in a combat free Dark Souls game...I mean...what's the challenge there?

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#19 Posted by Zeik (4648 posts) -

The recent Tomb Raider comes to mind. I liked that game, but I think it would have been much better with a heavier emphasis on exploring, and sparser, and smaller scale, but more dangerous enemy encounters.

Kind of feel that way about basically every Bethesda RPG too, although that's more because the combat tends to be mediocre at best.

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#20 Edited by ViciousReiven (978 posts) -

None of the ones mentioned so far at least, if anything some of them deserved better combat, and there a quite a few games I haven't played because of the lack of being able to fight back which I feel is a boring trend in modern horror games.

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#21 Edited by joshwent (2897 posts) -

Every Assassin's Creed game. Since the first game, they pretty much abandoned the idea that assassins had anything at all to do with being stealthy killers. Still, I do like the feel of the combat in those games, but most of the times in the latter parts at least it just feels like a tedious obligation keeping you from completing missions.

Also, not that anyone cares, but the less action focused LEGO games too (Harry Potter, Indiana Jones). In the first play through it's usually an aggravating mess that causes you to loose studs for no good reason, and on the free play playthrough, you've unlocked extras that render you invincable making combat just a time waster between breaking shit and solving puzzles.

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#22 Posted by TowerSixteen (554 posts) -

Planescape: Torment

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#23 Posted by l4wd0g (2373 posts) -

The Last of Us. The killing served a purpose, but I could have done with a lot less.

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#24 Posted by ikristoffer (4 posts) -

Alan Wake.

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#25 Edited by BambamCZ (163 posts) -

@original_hank: Dear Esther: Prepare to Cry edition?

edit: I think the recent RE games could do with a lot less encounters. Played the older games back to back last weekend and it is surprising how much of the time they focus rather on the ambience and puzzles rather than combat and when it comes to combat it is usually a last resort, where you'd rather run away anyway. More puzzles, less combat for RE games would probably be my choice.

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#26 Edited by deactivated-57d3a53d23027 (1460 posts) -

Bioshock Infinite DLC episode 1. The combat was actually pretty good and a good challenge for me, but I was enjoying it more before the combat started. Games seem to need to add combat just to get sold. If the industry collectively brought out some narrative-based games set in reasonably believable environments then more people would play games that don't often do so. It would cut further into the movie industry's market. Games also need to have their protagonists talk. I'm usually a quiet person but I talk to people. In some games your character doesn't say shit, which is weird when another character is talking straight to you and facing you. That doesn't really happen at all in real life. Some people tend to repeat themselves in real life, but not to the degree that is done so in games. In linear games repeated dialogue is even worse a sin than it is in large open-world games, since the designers have a greater degree of control over the experience. Reading the thread there are numerous good examples mentioned that would do better without mindless killing (it's not offensive, it's just stupid and has been done to death).

Hollywood (and foreign movies even), tend to follow tired cliches too but there are still many films with compelling stories and I think it has little to do with the ages of the mediums. If the console makers keep marketing crap (every game the x1 and ps4 came out with), they won't expand their audience and their current audience will slow their consumption as they are getting bored. That doesn't mean that we won't keep buying the same experiences over and over, but we will limit our choices. For example, I used to be very interested in every shooter that came out, but now I don't care about any of them. Many of my games have shooting, but they aren't "shooters", and they would be better without the shooting. Jumping up and down in front of the TV does not count as a meaningful attempt at expanding audiences, it's a short-lived gimmick. I'm talking about "rich" narrative experiences. That doesn't mean shitty action sequences with a fixed camera (looking at you Uncharted), or running backwards and forwards across a room to find some random thing to progress the story (adventure games), nor does it mean reading a screen-full of text to explain the story (Blaz-Blue). It also doesn't mean space marines. The narrative should not be passive. No unskippable dribble (xcom). Quick-time button mashing is also not the answer.

Make the story human, relatable, make the character start the story by doing everyday things. Why would you want to play a game doing what you can do in real life? Well that's just the start of the story. Many movies start quite civilian, then they expand from there and show you a perspective that you probably have never experienced.

I'm not advocating destroying what we have, just shaking things up and not letting crap be the status quo. It's not all about voting with our wallets as consumers either. If you make it, and market it, more people will come. "The new game we are going to make is exactly like all the other games on the market with nothing memorable or unique" "Great, now get to work!"

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#27 Posted by geirr (3386 posts) -

To me I guess it'd be a lot of Japanese games. I like some of the story telling they do but I often don't like the fighting, especially if it's grindy or JRPG-esque. I would've loved to play through Ni-no-kuni for example but the fighting could, I swear, put me to sleep on both settings. Then again there's Dark Souls where the fighting has kept me entertained for 200+ hours.

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#28 Posted by Reisz (1623 posts) -

@animasta said:

Deadly Premonition

Mirror's Edge.

Alan Wake.

Yep, you guys nailed it in three. Everyone of those I had an "Ugh, again?" moment.

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#29 Edited by ImmortalSaiyan (4748 posts) -

Bioshock Infinite.

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#30 Edited by Blommer4 (287 posts) -

@l4wd0g said:

The Last of Us. The killing served a purpose, but I could have done with a lot less.

This. I'm actually quite surprised I had to scroll for so 'long' before it got mentioned. Now, truth be told I am one of those who didn't care TOO much for this game, but still. I know a lot of people has gone out and said the combat/gameplay was fairly bad and the only thing that made them finish it was the sick story.

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#31 Edited by NTM (10027 posts) -

Hm. I can't really agree with people here. For instance, the closest game I can get with people on this is Infinite, but it's not the fact that there are so many, it's in which the combat scenarios are used, which made it feel a lot more combat heavy because it seemed more of a focus. I had a hard time determining which I would say, but one game that has come to mind is Max Payne 3. It's not necessarily that it just has too much of it, the problem is that the game is pretty much all the game is, so it would have been nice to have more variety in it. There didn't need to be less of it, just more of other stuff.

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#32 Edited by Fattony12000 (8313 posts) -
No Caption Provided

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#33 Edited by probablytuna (4981 posts) -

If the Last of Us had half as many combat scenarios/encounters, it would've been much better. Still have yet to finish it because playing through the game is such a drag at times.

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#34 Posted by Canteu (2968 posts) -

All games need more combat, imo.

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#35 Posted by nok (393 posts) -

@roboculus92: More fucking violence to your wall of text motherfucker! Like yapow! Fist to the paragraph....ungh! It's late....I have no idea what I'm saying right now......uh Walking Dead?

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#36 Posted by Bollard (7663 posts) -

Bioshock Infinite. The first 20 minutes of that game were fantastic. Then it was boring as hell.

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#37 Posted by MikeW1980UK (133 posts) -

Persona 4.

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#38 Edited by AlexW00d (7520 posts) -

Absolutely Alan Wake. That game could have been a decent creepy pseudo horror thriller whatever if there wasn't so much of that awful ghost shooting. Every time it came along it completely took me out of any sort of atmosphere it had created prior.

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#39 Edited by BoOzak (1853 posts) -

Metro 1&2, LA: Noire, (there wasnt much but there still should have been less) The Arkham games (the combat was decent enough but they relied on it a bit too much, there should have been more to the games than simple combat and simple stealth) F.E.A.R. 2&3, and thats all I can think of right now. I actually didnt mind The Last Of Us having so much combat, they felt like puzzles not twitch fests, so it didnt feel that repetitive to me.

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#40 Posted by BatmanBatman (561 posts) -

Yep.. Alan Wake comes to mind

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#41 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (1978 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

It doesn't really work with this thread but I'd be very interested to see a combat-less Dark Souls spin off.

That would be like, a game where you walk around and listen to people tell depressing stories and then laugh creepily.

Haha, quite right. That's a game that's practically defined by it's combat. Odd suggestion.

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#42 Posted by Humanity (16690 posts) -

@blommer4 said:

@l4wd0g said:

The Last of Us. The killing served a purpose, but I could have done with a lot less.

This. I'm actually quite surprised I had to scroll for so 'long' before it got mentioned. Now, truth be told I am one of those who didn't care TOO much for this game, but still. I know a lot of people has gone out and said the combat/gameplay was fairly bad and the only thing that made them finish it was the sick story.

Surprisingly a lot of people found the clunky gameplay really entertaining. I wrote a user review for the game, sang praises about the story, mentioned how the gameplay part was a bit lackluster and gave it a 4/5 because hey, at the end of the day you're supposed to be playing a great game and the "playing" part wasn't all that - and a couple of people downvoted the review.

So yah, that game could use a bit less combat, especially near the end because it just wasn't all that great.

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#43 Posted by Karmosin (347 posts) -

I kinda liked mirrors edges combat when it was brief. Like when someone stod in your way and you just took his weapon hit him with the butt of it, threw it away and kept running. Hated when there were tons of guys and you more or less had to use guns to get further. It looks like mirrors edge 2 won't do away with it so I really hope they'll make it better there.

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#44 Edited by Nodima (2031 posts) -

All three of the Uncharted games. By Uncharted 3 they finally had a system that felt responsive and comparable to other third person shooters, but the gunplay always felt just a little strange and enemies were way too spongy. The first hour or so of Uncharted sticks with me more than it does for most just because it sets a great atmosphere without any need for enemies (that first main combat stage from the demo is pretty fucking great though).

I disagree with The Last of Us generally, but the final hospital fights seemed to be breaking the game's A.I. and led to a lot of frustrating trial and error after a death due to enemies sprinting in random patterns or staring directly at me from spawn.

I also disagree with Bioshock Infinite other than the ghost battle. That game had some truly amazing FPS combat IMO, the first first person game I've really sunk my teeth into since Killzone 2.

Also, Binary Domain's basic combat was cool but anytime they tried to throw in a wrinkle like rail shooting or a boss battle it turned to complete shit.

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#45 Posted by bluefish (864 posts) -

Personally, I think Uncharted 2 and the first two Bioshock's had a pleasant amount of combat.

I do agree that Infinite and The Last of Us should have dialed it down a bit but were still terrific games.

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#46 Posted by sunbrozak (2257 posts) -

I'm in the process of playing through Metro: 2033, and the combat is beginning to bore me. It's pretty clunky. If there were more "run away from that thing", or "sneak past that thing" parts, I'd like it more.

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#47 Posted by Nux (2798 posts) -

Mirror's Edge.

I agree 100%. That game was so fun but the combat really sucked. It's a good thing you could just avoid it most of the time.

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#48 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2254 posts) -

The Walking Dead (should have none), Uncharted series (less) A lot of games would benefit from less combat but those two stand out the most to me.

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#49 Posted by Draxyle (2019 posts) -
@animasta said:

Deadly Premonition

Finally playing it for myself.. and yea, for certain. Makes it all the more tragic when you read that it was never supposed to have combat. I can't think of any other game where you could strip out all the combat and lose absolutely nothing, if not gain something out of it.

The broad spectrum of gaming could stand to have a lot less combat in general. Every individual combat scenario in a game should, ideally, be entirely unique from one another, or else you're just wasting the players' time (with room for exceptions).