Well, this ought to generate plenty of discussion amongst the action aficionados.

If you've been following along with David Jaffe's railing against EA Louse at the designer's blog , you might've already stumbled upon this; if not, Spong stumbled upon it for you. In the comments beneath Jaffe's rant against the soon-to-be infamous EA Louse, a poster named Matthew said- "…to this day God of War series is mired in clunky, poorly automated combat (dodge on the right analog stick lol) and anyone with a clue considers Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, or Ninja Gaiden to have far superior controls and combat mechanics."

Now, that right there is enough to raise the ire of fans and one might think Jaffe would defend his creation – God of War – with great gusto. But you might be surprised at his reply:

"Matheww, you miss the point. We were not trying to go head to head with those games. ANYONE can see the pure technique involved in those games- or games like Bayonetta- blows the doors off GOD OF WAR. They are SUPPOSED to! In GOD OF WAR our goal was to get the player to feel like they were on an adventure that was easy to play, had cool scenarios, puzzles, platforming, etc.

The goal was NEVER to be some amazing combat simulator. Your reaction proves my point: you may not LIKE GOD OF WAR but you don't even stop to think that perhaps there are other goals and ways of doing things, not JUST the ones you like. And if you look at the GOD OF WAR sales compared to those games you mention, clearly- at least from a sales standpoint- we did something right."

Okay, well, here's our two cents on the issue- Jaffe's last point is the most important. While what he says is true, the God of War franchise outstrips the others simply due to better overall quality; each title is almost flawless in design and execution, which is why GoW will always stand head-and-shoulders above NG, DMC and Bayonetta . We do remember telling you Bayonetta had the deepest, most accomplished combat mechanic of the generation (which Jaffe may agree with), but we wouldn't even give the Xbox 360 version as high a score as any GoW. We doubt any critic would.

The point is that GoW's combat isn't broken. Far from it. It's actually pretty close to perfect for what it attempts to achieve. It strives to be both engaging and accessible, and allows us to appreciate other aspects of the production; aspects the developers likely put more effort into than in any DMC or NG title. This all being said, it's interesting to hear how Jaffe separates action experiences into "battle simulators" and non-battle simulators; we always thought it was relatively clear but apparently, it needed clarification.

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Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

By the way, before some people freak right out, there ARE people out there who would rather play a Bayonetta or a NG/DMC because they say such titles are "more hardcore." I.e., you can't "mash buttons" and win, and it requires patience for learning and mastery of combos.

That's what Jaffe means by "battle simulator." For those games, the emphasis is squarely on the combat and little else. GoW excels in all areas. But the so-called action purists only care about combat…I don't particularly LIKE such people, but they do exist.

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

I definitely see the GoW mechanic as a combination of the best elements that constitutes a "battle simulator" to some degree, but not in its purest form.

GoW's attraction is the tactical aspects of how to approach an enemy and slay it, using a combination of combos, positioning and reaction time. The puzzle elements adds to the "action/adventure" elements of the play through, giving the player a pause at certain points of the game, allowing for other "skills" to be used in order to get to the next point.

I think the balance is about right, even though in GoW III, some of the boss fights were pretty tough and needed quite a bit of button mashing and very quick reaction times. The demo exhausted me at times, but that is me, maybe I am just not quick enough.

Anyway, from what I have played of the title, I think the battle and action adventure elements are pretty well balanced, even though, at times, the game can be hard work…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 10/15/2010 10:28:44 AM

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

I'll say this as I always do, GOWs are the best for the first playthrough, due to the Hollywood cinematics and framed action, and NG is king for multiple playthroughs and challenge, and depth of gameplay. I can't comment on Bayonetta, as i only played the demo, but DMC is pretty much the halfway mark (between the GOW and NG in terms of production values and depth of gameplay). Dante's Inferno in my estimation is the darkest, in terms of atmosphere and mood, but still is a very competent title.

Castlevania was a real surprise to me. It is by far the most content-rich game in the entire genre, filled to brim with not only the most stages, but the best level designs, clever and well-executed puzzles, deep combat, graphics nearly on par with GOW3, hollywood-calibre musical score, production values on par with DMC, and with most over-the-top ending out of all the other games. Not only that, but it came out of no where (not very well-known Spanish studio Mercury Steam previously known only for Jericho), and is a stellar example of a port effort with the ps3 taken as the lead console.

KNG201
KNG201
11 years ago

i for one can agree about gow not being a combat simulator especially when my wife (who dont play video games like that) beat all 3.(medium diff.)@ben where do CLOS fit in this?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Castlevania is somewhere in between, although I still think it's closer to Bayonetta/NG/DMC in terms of speed and depth.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
11 years ago

There is a reason I have owned all three God of War games, and did nothing with the other three past the demo.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Same.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
11 years ago

Likewise!

telly
telly
11 years ago

These so-called "combat simulators" give me a ton of options I don't need or want. They're boring. God of War games don't fret over moronically deep combat mechanics. They are concerned with presenting a compelling adventure that virtually never gets boring. That's pretty everything I want from video games, and life, all the time. So, uh, yeah. GOW wins, and its frankly not even a fair fight.

Evil Incarnate
Evil Incarnate
11 years ago

I couldn't really get into Bayonetta so I can't comment on it, but I really love NG,DMC,and God of War. I do feel they each offer something different and engaging. God of War is more of a pure action-adventure game then DMC or NG. Without good story and character the God of War series would be a failure. Without good combat mechanics DMC and NG series would be failures.

DMC and NG maybe listed in the same genre as GoW, but are very different games in what they are trying to achieve.


Last edited by Evil Incarnate on 10/15/2010 11:16:42 AM

rockervi
rockervi
11 years ago

I've played Bayonetta,DMC,Ninja Gaiden and GoW(I,II&III), so I can safely say GoW tops them all.I actually think GoW deserves a place as the Best Action/Adventure game out there.

Underdog15
Underdog15
11 years ago

There is so much wrong with this whole argument/discussion.

The first thing that comes into my mind is the fact that we really DON'T want every game to attempt the same stuff! Some games do try to copy or mimic other titles, and in my opinion, it hurts the industry! (coughsqueenixcough)

The second thing is that games should have a variety of aspects that make it great. Bayonetta had sweet combat (and it was original!) but it had screen tearing issues, the story was kinda lame, and the chicks mole was way too big. Puzzles and openness was an issue for me as well.

So I guess I kinda agree about the simplicity in the GOW combat, but putting aside my personal tastes (GOW isn't something I personally got into too hardcore) it is the whole package. And the sales show.

I just hope people don't become too simplistic with narrow horizons. I swear this desire to make one game like the other is the reason we have so much mediocrity.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

I'm not sure it's a case of too narrow a horizon, I think it's too broad a horizon where not attempt is made to distinguish between the objects on the horizon.

But as you say;

"this desire to make one game like the other is the reason we have so much mediocrity"

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I rather disagree, I say go ahead and emulate the mechanic of other games (because let's face it, they have pretty much all been imagined already) but innovate and do things to make it better. That moves genres forward.

But yeah, in the case of a straight copy like MoH and all other modern war FPS I see nothing new there and it does sink into mediocrity.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

@ WorldEnds – You gotta put your modern warfare prejudice aside and join some friends online man. I bet you'd have a good time.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I will be fully into Killzone 3 online if you'd like to play. Frankly I already get too much split screen MW action with my real life friends, its kind of tedious playing those same maps over and over.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 10/15/2010 6:41:20 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

I think that this discussion illustrates one of the problems with western gamers and their mindset. Virtually every game is now compared to some other game purely on the basis of it's combat system. Such and such a game isn't any good because it's combat system is crap compared to brand X's combat system. That just doesn;t work when the games are not really in the same genre, and don't serve the same audience or attempt to achieve the same things.

The problem is that instead of seeing the distinctiveness of individual games, game genre and sub-genre, the mindset today is to lump together anything with third person combat and compare them with each other as if they were all the same, they're not. The same is true with first person games, or sand box games, or racing games. We do not look at the merits of the individual game because of what seems to be a compulsion to compare everything against some notional benchmark.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

That's what I love about JRPGs, they somehow manage to keep coming up with new combat systems for every game.

xXxSeTTriPxXx
xXxSeTTriPxXx
11 years ago

@ the highlander well said,you hit it right on the head.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Why is Go Wiii one of the tags for this article? :p


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 10/15/2010 12:03:02 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

It means God of War III. Now go buy The Dissent of Man you silly man you.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

This Matthew sounds like a tool. God of War is way better than those games he listed especially Ninja Gaiden and DMC. I only played the Bayonnaise demo so I can't comment on the whole game but the demo certianly sucked hardcore.

I'd rather have fun than get tied down to learning tedious combos to progress in any game. God of War's combat is perfect for a fast paced action game in my opinion. I'm really liking Castlevania at the moment but the combat still isn't quite as good as God of War.

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

Wait until you start leveling up, and picking up new weapons and combos. It starts off as weak-sauce, but after the first few chapters becomes A1.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Starts out as weak sauce but turns into awesome sauce?

Nice…glad i got this game. It's great so far. The artistry is some of the best we've seen this generation.

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

Wait until you see the middle. Then wait until the end. It really is mind-numbingly amazing what they managed to fit into this game over it's short development cycle.

*Just remember, when you're turning the cranks, remember not to hold R2 while doing so. It won't be a problem early on, but in chapter 8 in the clock tower, you won't be able turn a crank fully for some reason if you are holding R2 by accident. Also, in that same chapter, remember that when climbing with your cross, you can climb/pull-up and push off simultaneously which will be a necessary maneuver. These are not documented for some reason, and were of the few moments that caused me frustration. But after 15 minutes of jaw-clenching, I figured it out.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Nice. Thanks for the tips. 🙂

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

Also, other useful tips: when jumping off a ledge backwards, keep it in neutral, then press x. Took me a few deaths to figure that out. When climbing ledges, you only have to press up on the analog. Jumping sideways is sideways, x, and R2, while descending is down, x, and R2, while dropping off is down, x, and L2, i believe. Again, the annoying part is having to figure this out by trial and error.

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

*Correction: while descending down, it's just x+down except for certain places. Samething with jumping sideways ledge to ledge. However, instinctively, i'd press R2 especially when scaling Colossi (R2 is the hold button). And i noticed pressing L2 in conjunction with down and x would help if i couldn't drop from a ledge.

KNG201
KNG201
11 years ago

if they who made gow can make a bleach action adventure game with focus on story and combat it would be epic but of course its coming from me…a die hard bleach fan so im not getting my hopes up im just wishing on a star.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

Should have known you're a Bleach fan with that Kenpachi avatar.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

You're on to something friend.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

After playing Bayonetta and GOWIII, I do think that Bayonetta's combat is WAY WAY better.
But the overall package GOWIII got it covered.

Ergi
Ergi
11 years ago

Exactly, I prefer the combat of DMC because it makes me feel badass more than god of war does. But there's no way that the overall quality of any of those games comes near God of War. The best games incorporate it all!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

At least GOW has backgrounds, Bayonetta was just pieces of areas floating in space with nothing to look at.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

I don't get why you're hating Bayonetta World.
Bayonetta's combat is one of the best of ALL TIME.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

Unless there's some un-tapped or unexplored depth to Bayonetta, it absolutely doesn't hold a candle to NGS2. Pure and simple. And I'm willing to engage in an in-depth discussion to discuss the matter.

Granted, I'm still learning Bayonetta, but from what I can tell, the game totally skips over several combat conventions that NGS2 incorporates. Never have a I played an action game that offers so much to learn as NGS2 does. Even when you think you've learned it all, you'll probably find a few new things along the way.

Bayanotta excels in it's breadth of design offerings: enemy weapon-drops, concocting potions, targeting, witch-time, torture system, and a robust combo system. It's a very offensive game: it reminds me of DMC in this respect.

However, Bayanotta has completely missing or sorely lacking components of play.

To start listing a few that come right to mind.

NGS2 has wall specific abilities. That is, the game has a set of maneuvers specific for running on a vertical wall. No other game has this from what I've seen. It's not for show. A diving swallow + boosted essence absorption is a powerful ally. Bayonetta has nothing like this. Yes, there are levels that incorporate a shifted plain by running on the wall, but there is no new behavior or abilities. The only thing that changes is that you're now on a wall or ceiling.

-Bayonetta has no blocking, only evading. This is huge. Don't think that blocking in NG is only for blocking attacks. Holding down the block button in many instances of play will stop essence abortion until you desire the essence for a UT or recovery. And like a fighting game, certain attacks cause guard crush effectively breaking one's guard for a follow up hit.

-NGS2 allows you to evade/dash towards a desired direction. This is significant. You'll learn this on the very first Ratzu boss fight (chapter 1). When he raises out his long arms to grab you it's insticntive to roll backward. But, if you roll backward, you'll probably and most often get snatched by Ratzu (resulting in instant death on MN) but if you roll towards one of his sides, you'll evade the grab. Bayanotta has a simple evade/witch-time button that doesn't allow you to control direction.

-The enemy damaging is purely cosmetic. Bayonetta's enemies will loose armor to reflect their lower vitality status, but they do not change behavior.
Opponents in NG respond to their weakened state. If a limb is missing their behavior changes. A dragon gargoyle will become defensive and retreat himself from Obliteration. Enemy ninja's will become relentless in inching their way towards you for a self-destructive kill.

-counter hits are not nearly as effective in Bayonetta. A combo finisher will result in a counter hit. But in NG, stun conditions are set for when and how many attacks connect at a certain instance. Usually, in a boss fight, if two attacks connect as counter hits it'll break the attack-flow of the boss. There's a lot more to CH hits that I won't go into now.

I could go on much more like, UT levels, weapon differences, forward momentum jumping attributes etc. but it's time consuming. I seriously hope that when people look at Bayonetta's combo list they aren't generalizing the combat system as "deeper" because it seems so by the list alone (that's not to say that NGS2 doesn't have the widest assortment of weapons and many combos of it's own)
I'm not saying Bayonetta doesn't have a lot of combat depth. It does. But compared to NGS2, there really has been no equal.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

btw, Master Shams. Feel free to add anything that I've missed 😉

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

Haha, you broke it down and said it best, Sensei Temjin. There is no question in terms of depth of combat and replayability NGS2 is king.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

Thank you, Master Shams.
Yeah, when thinking about it more Bayonetta has nothing dynamically momentum based.
In NG conditions change while running and attacking (or jumping or on a wall etc).
Notably. Shurikens. From mid to close range when closing the gap on a rocket launcher enemy, while running and upon throwing shurikens it will cause Ryu to dive forward. Allowing him to safely close the gap while momentarily stunning the enemy with shurikens. This effectively prevents rocket volleys.
There's also the dynamic while landing conditions too =)

Man, it's so dang deep!

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

Tell me about it. I always learn something new. For example, you just taught me thing about holding block button to avoid absorbing essence, Sensei! I did not know that before! And one of the subtle things i learned in my last playthrough is that shuriken throwing is not only useful for stopping some enemies in their tracks, but especially important for keeping delimbed enemies from sporadically latching on to you as you approach them. It's all depth and no fluff.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

Awesome, Master, and thank you. Yeah it's really cool. It gives you more control over the battle.

BTW, I have to correct an error.
Bayonetta does, in fact, allow you to evade in a desired direction. By default you evade backwards, but holding in a desired direction will allow her to evade.
She also has a double jump, that can change attack properties.
It's not quite like the universal dynamic based system that NGS2 has in place. But it's nice seeing some dynamics of this sort in Bayonetta.
This discussion has got me curious to continue mastering Bayonetta's play mechanics. I'm testing it out now.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

If GoW was a combat simulator I'm absolutely positive I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. I found it rather refreshing to not need fourteen fingers to get the job done.

Jaffe knows what fun is. Why would he make some crazy hard combat simulator anyway? How is that any fun?

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

"I found it rather refreshing to not need fourteen fingers to get the job done."

Exactly. LOL!

telly
telly
11 years ago

Right. I'll take fun over "simulation" any and every day of the week. I don't know why some people feel the opposite!

gumbi
gumbi
11 years ago

Well now. I'd say Jaffe handled that like a silver tongued politician. He stuffed Mathew's comments back in his face and defended the GoW franchise while actually complimenting the other franchises Mathew mentioned.

Well done Jaffe, well done.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

This is funny, I was thinking something very similar the other day. It really isn't fair at all to compare titles like GOW, DI, and LoS to DMC and Bayonetta. They may be action, but the gameplay is really vastly different in my eyes.

Think about it, in GOW you are slashing and slaying through long levels and while you sometimes need to kill all the baddies to continue, DMC and Bayonetta really pin you down into a small area to do your battles. GOW puts an emphasis on accessible flash and that feeling you get when you put together an epic combo and execution without trying too hard, in DMC you get your satisfaction by pulling off a difficult combo with precise input.

It's kind of like how Soul Calibur and DOA have a deep fighting mechanic, but you can usually do well by button mashing, yet that won't fly in Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter.

My hat is off the the NG fans, those games are definite battle simulators and are damn hard.

Ergi
Ergi
11 years ago

I just want the best of both worlds, don't we all?

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
11 years ago

I love the crap out of GoW and NG. Each does things a different way and they both work. No need to get all angsty about it.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

I think Jaffe is selling GoW short (also, Jaffe only did the first GoW).

While GoW3 does have the slowest combat, it's quite robust overall. Having completed both the Challenge of Olympus and Titan mode your average gamer-joe won't have the patience or desire to learn the play well enough to do so. Like any good action game of this sort. The more you know about the mechanics the easier the game becomes.
The game does have a number of in-depth elements that keep it in a tier competitive with the majority of action game types.

Personally, I don't like using the r-analoge to evade. But it still works well enough, especially when considering that it's a slower game. I think I preference the PSP GoW's evade mechanic in this regard.

Most games today have a "hold block and press towards a direction to evade" mechanic. NG, Castlevania, Darksiders (Bayonetta, too, if you consider that when evading in a desired direction you hit both a button input and a directional). Even lesser combat oriented games like Enslaved use this, but with an extra step of pressing an execute button (a total of 3-inputs is usually a no-no in my book) to initiate the evade.

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

I think they figured since there was no free camera, the right-analog stick should be used for something. But i fully agree, since one is either traversing or dodging but not at the same time, it doesn't make any sense to have them mapped to seperate joysticks other than to free a button for something else, which i think they did for using L2 for magic (which was kind of annoying as one was more likely to graze that button accidentally to waste a magic than it was to graze triangle and circle at the same time in NG's case).

DMC had a fixed camera at times, but allowed you control during others with the right stick. And i think in Castlevania's case, they probably dropped the use of free camera in the end to eliminate screen-tearing, so the right stick is idle.

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