The New Combat Paradigm, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dodgeroll

by Isaac Smith As an early Christmas present, I got my dad Witcher 3 (GOTY edition, what kind of son do you think I am?). He loved the heck out of Skyrim but isn’t a “gamer”, per se. In spite of that, he dug it immensely and, now that he’s my Steam friend, I get to see…




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5 minutes

by Isaac Smith

As an early Christmas present, I got my dad Witcher 3 (GOTY edition, what kind of son do you think I am?). He loved the heck out of Skyrim but isn’t a “gamer”, per se. In spite of that, he dug it immensely and, now that he’s my Steam friend, I get to see him log on to play it most evenings, even though I’m 450 miles away at grad school.

I tried it out myself, however. I thought that “Story and Sword” was a good difficulty setting for me. Some challenge, but mainly I’m there for the awesome, immersive experience I have heard so much about. Rarely do I foray into the world of AAA games, but this was a time where I had to make an exception. Head over online to also experience the thrill of the best 카지노 games! And if you would like to venture into the best and exciting gaming world, then you may want to klikk her for de beste bettingsider på nett!

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I died a lot. I mean, a whole lot. I died in the tutorial area. I died just wandering around. I died doing a quest that was supposedly for my level. I died doing quests that were below my level! I began to ask myself what I was doing wrong with this game. Was I missing some fundamental part of how the game was to be played? Did I misunderstand the mechanics? Go to to play legal casinos.

But then I began to think. I recall the first time I played Halo on the XBox. Looking around with one stick, while moving with the other? Madness! I got trashed repeatedly until I gained some semblance of control over the movement. Then I had to learn which buttons did which thing, so I punched and jumped when I wanted to, instead of swapping weapons or reloading. Once this was mastered, I had basically gained competence in one of the most widely used combat paradigms in gaming history: that of the twin-stick FPS.

A similar experience happened with the exact same game in an internet cafe a couple of years later. I thought I was tough stuff, so I played my buddies on the Beaver Creek map with only rocket launchers. “How do I move?” I asked. “WASD and mouse,” they replied, before blowing me up. Another combat paradigm I had to master, which opened up tons of other games that I could learn with relative ease. This includes games even as recent as Skyrim.

Somewhere, however, a dark and troubling force was growing: The Souls series. What began as the Mount Olympus of hard games with Dark Souls has now gained a following, and with it, a love for its peculiar style of combat. In Souls games, the key is to get hit as infrequently as possible, managing your stamina to alternatively attack and defend. Enemies heavily telegraph their attacks, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll die. When you juxtapose that against the combat system in Skyrim and other similar games, the differences become stark. In Skyrim, you can power through enemies, mitigate damage, and heal basically forever, so you end up getting hit a lot more. The combat is designed for you to take damage, and taking damage is usually not a sign for alarm.

Not so in Souls games. One swing of a particularly nasty axe can end you faster than EA kills successful franchises. Your damage mitigation never really removes the danger but make it more survivable, and your Estus Flask, while the most effective source of healing, is still deeply limited.

(insert Photo of Estus Flask with the caption, “The only inanimate object you love more than the Companion Cube.”)

The Souls combat paradigm has begun to infect other games, most notably Witcher 3. Dodging and parrying is important. Managing your position, keeping track of multiple enemies, and using all of your powers effectively is the only real way to triumph over the game’s many baddies. If you try and plow through them like a heavily armored Dragonborn, you’re going to get utterly demolished.

And therein lies the revelation. The next big combat paradigm is that of the Souls series. People like it because it feels dangerous, and possesses a depth and variety that its twin-stick predecessor never had. While the FPS genre isn’t going away, of course, the Souls system enables melee combat to be as engaging and interesting as its ranged companion. It feels somehow heavier, more tactile, when you see an enemy wind up for a devastating attack, only to narrowly avoid it by dodging away (or maybe you just get hit, heaven forbid). It also brings a bit of the fighting-game mentality with it, that the type of your attack matters as much as its timing.

It’s brilliant and complex, and I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable with it. But I’d better get started, because if Witcher 3 is any indication, there are going to be many, many more games that follow in its footsteps. If you’re considering Gamstop gambling online, it is worth checking out what is an is not covered before making a deposit to avoid disappointment.

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~Isaac Smith