Awesome Game Mechanics – Free Flow Combat

In the past I’ve spoken of Annoying Game Mechanics, of those that we find in games and after so many uneven implementations we instinctively groan when we see them again. But not all game mechanics are annoying, not all have good and bad moments. Some mechanics are just freaking AWESOME!

These Awesome Game Mechanics don’t need further tweaking. They’re the pinnacle of innovation and refining. Sure, you can build on them and add new features, but there is nothing left to fix about them. They are nearly if not completely perfect.

The first one of these I’ll talk about is Free-flow Combat:

Best Examples: Shadow of Mordor, Batman Arkham Series.

What is the free flow combat system? In simple terms it means that fights flow naturally and dynamically. You can go from one enemy to another while dodging a third enemy’s attacks and countering a fourth’s. Locking-on an enemy is unnecessary as there is no need to focus on just one combatant.

Combos aren’t a combination of moves as they are in Devil May Cry or God of War games, where timely presses make the characters perform pre-set attacks. Instead you create a combo by consecutively striking your enemies and countering their blows. While in other games a combo is pressing X, X and then Square (or A,A, B or Click, Click, Space), in Free Flow Combat games you’re only using your regular attack button, just directing it at another enemy and fluidly working your special items and abilities into each strike. From a Batarang to a spectral arrow, you can add your own spin to your combat flow, thus making your fighting style unique. Each player will fight differently in free flow.

Is it realistic? Oh Hell no, not even close, but it is great fun. Fights aren’t grueling encounters but fast and fun ones. Even the difficult ones where one hit will end you are extremely fun. In fact, the faster they are and the more enemies around you, the greater the fun to be had with Free Flow Combat. Shadow of Mordor and Arkham have made that point clear when they send hordes of enemies after you. In any other game, such a number of enemies might make you run, but in Free Flow Combat games, you just grin and say, “bring it on!”

I leave you with this amazing video by DarkhorseAgentGamer!

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I love everything readable, writeable, playable and of course, edible! I search for happiness, or Pizza, because it's pretty much the same thing! I write and ramble on The Mental Attic and broadcast on my Twitch channel, TheLawfulGeek

6 thoughts on “Awesome Game Mechanics – Free Flow Combat”

  1. Great post! The “regular” version of combos always driving crazy. I’ve recently gone back to SWTOR and getting reacquainted with all the different classes and specializations’ abilities. They have ditched the skill trees to go for “disciplines”. In the end, I find it makes progression more intuitive and allows for better work with the combat mechanics for each character, especially when you enjoy most classes.

    1. I’ll have to go back and try them. The skill trees were a bit dull for me. They lacked power and character. Hopefully the disciplines are better 😉

      Glad you liked the post! And thanks for the share!

      1. One thing I love about the disciplines is how you can choose DPS ones for a specialization that also offers healing (I suck at healing but love all specializations). For example, it made my high rank Operative much funnier to play and I’m already loving my Sith Sorcerer that I made very Force lightning skills oriented. You’re welcome for the share!

  2. I love those games where they shine on both fronts: full frontal combat and stealth. Both games you mentioned here in post have these abilities. As a player you will not regret any of the gameplay style. But I love Deus EX:HR as I can build the character in both extreme and both play excellently.

    1. I love the Deus Ex series in general. Can you imagine if HR had fluid combat as well? I don’t think the world could handle it.

      I’m doing a Let’s play of HR right now, you can check it now on the YouTube channel

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