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Did innovations in combat mechanics (both melee and ranged) enhance your survival horror experience?
Yes. 34%  34%  [ 14 ]
No. 54%  54%  [ 22 ]
Unsure. 12%  12%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 41
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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Did innovations in combat mechanics enhance your experie
     
         
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>Did innovations in combat mechanics (both melee and ranged) enhance your survival horror experience?<

I voted no. The combat was definitely different, and was something to sink your teeth in to. but when it came down to it, I really just missed the dread of games 1-3 where you weren't always so confident to fight every single creature that stumbled at you. The combat in Homecoming felt a little too forced upon the player.

Homecoming compared to Silent hill 3 - Heather would be bombarded by 3 closers and 3 pendulums and maybe a dog on the side, it's not survival horror until you realize out of panic you've got to zig-zag away from the monsters, narrowly escaping them only to realize you need to beat down the closer blocking the stair way or something just to escape with your ammo in tact.Then while you're fighting that the rest of the monsters are behind you, and on their way. The adrennaline.

In homecoming there was rarely that kind of fun chance-taking gameplay, it's just: 'okay kill this. good, you blocked that move, ok now kill this. ok.' not as fun for me personally, as far as a survival horror gameplay is concerned. xD


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Gravedigger
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zeo wrote:
>Did innovations in combat mechanics (both melee and ranged) enhance your survival horror experience?<

I voted no. The combat was definitely different, and was something to sink your teeth in to. but when it came down to it, I really just missed the dread of games 1-3 where you weren't always so confident to fight every single creature that stumbled at you. The combat in Homecoming felt a little too forced upon the player.



The old games you win against the enemies by going into the action stance and hitting the action button. Enemy dead. You can also horde ammo for easy gun kills.

In homecoming you cannot just hit the action button. You need to dodge, counter, and attack. No hording of ammo so no easy gun kills either.

In terms of combat, homecoming caused more tension for me than the older games.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
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Homecoming was just as easy. It just took more time and button presses to kill an enemy. I guess the difficulty of the combos and dodging varies from person to person though.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Glenn wrote:
The old games you win against the enemies by going into the action stance and hitting the action button. Enemy dead. You can also horde ammo for easy gun kills.


That's very true in SH2, but not so much in SH1 or SH3. Actually, in Homecoming 90% of the time you can just spam the knife's combo for easy wins.

Glenn wrote:
In homecoming you cannot just hit the action button. You need to dodge, counter, and attack. No hording of ammo so no easy gun kills either. In terms of combat, homecoming caused more tension for me than the older games.


This was true for me at first, but the huge problem with Homecoming's combat is just that it's too one-dimensional and repetitive, mainly consisting of dodging and spamming your one combo. Nothing sucks away tension as much as dull repetition.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 21 May 2010
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This was true for me at first, but the huge problem with Homecoming's combat is just that it's too one-dimensional and repetitive, mainly consisting of dodging and spamming your one combo. Nothing sucks away tension as much as dull repetition.


This pretty much....as i've already mentioned...the combat in Homecoming was too patterned based and just felt un-natural and the enemies locked onto you with an invisible rail forcing you into the combo game mechanic. The combat felt a bit more natural in the older games and i like how it was handled in Downpour as well....

In homecoming it felt robotic in the sense that each enemy had a specific combo you had to implement in order for it to work and that became redundant and like you was just going thru the motions....


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Historical Society Historian
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I used the same combo on every monster, even on hard. The game was still incredibly easy. If the AI for the monsters had more variation, it may have been better. More unpredictable and realistic, not to mention more entertaining. They honestly should have as much as they pushed for better combat.

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Gravedigger
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Some of the monsters were relatively easy to kill such as the nurses, but whenever I saw a needler I would get badly damaged. It would even deflect away my gunshots, so I always got a bit nervous when I saw needlers. Smogs were a challenge too.

@Tillerman- I almost never used the knife. I mostly used the axe and I think there was a steel pipe weapon that I used. I thought the knife was too weak, but in my next playthrough I'll try the knife more.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
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The knife is pretty game breaking. The best way to kill a smog is to just use the pistol and wait for it to open it's rib cage. Otherwise, just strafe behind it and knife it. The needlers, I can't think of much else other than watch them closely so you can dodge safely and time your combos.
They are harder than normal monsters, but still nothing i'd call threatening.
If you use the knife, you should do fine considering you used the axe.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 10 Sep 2012
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I didn't like the combat system. It made me more angry at the game than anything. Couldn't get taken in by the atmosphere, story, or sound effects because the combat system seemed a bit clunky. Alex is a military man. He should be able to swing a damn weapon and do some basic hand to hand combat stuff.


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Missing since: 03 Jan 2005
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Brispir wrote:
Alex is a military man.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
No he's not. :P
Remember the stuff his dad said in the church?

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Did innovations in combat mechanics enhance your experie

Missing since: 20 Oct 2012
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Quote:
This was true for me at first, but the huge problem with Homecoming's combat is just that it's too one-dimensional and repetitive, mainly consisting of dodging and spamming your one combo. Nothing sucks away tension as much as dull repetition.
It's objectively far less repetitive than the combat in the old Silent Hill games. Those games barely gave you any combos to begin with.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
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Combos =/= less repetitious.

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Missing since: 03 Jan 2005
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It was more repetitive for me. In Homecoming, I do the same damn combo with the knife for each monster (I mean, the combos I use sometimes differ slightly between types of monsters, but I re-use it for each monster of that type each time). When compared to running, dodging, swinging and/or shooting like crazy in past games... seems MORE repetitive to me.

Not saying I outright hated the combat or anything, but I'd say it was definitely repetitive once I knew what I was doing. Kinda mixed feelings about it.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Did innovations in combat mechanics enhance your experie

Missing since: 20 Oct 2012
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It's going to seem repetitive when you keep using the same weapon over and over. That's like knocking SH1 just because most people use the hammer the most out of all the other melee weapons. You can do all the things you listed in Homecoming. It only seems more repetitive because, like SH4, it emphasizes melee combat more by putting a limit on how much ammo you can carry.


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Honestly, I don't think it has much to do with emphasizing melee combat. I've always preferred and mostly used melee in Silent Hill games.

I stick to the knife in Homecoming because otherwise, the combat pisses me off so badly I wouldn't even want to replay the game anymore. To me, the knife is the only way to reasonably deal with Homecoming's combat.
Once in a while I still try to switch it up with other melee weapons, but quickly become enraged and switch back.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
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stonecoldsteveurkel wrote:
It's going to seem repetitive when you keep using the same weapon over and over. That's like knocking SH1 just because most people use the hammer the most out of all the other melee weapons.


Well, if the same is true for the earlier Silent Hill games, then how is it any less repetitive? The point is that with any given weapon in Homecoming, there is usually only 1 useful combo you can do. Then there are charged attacks, that's 2 kinds of attacks with each weapon (but you won't be able to do charged attacks very often.) You get 2 attacks per weapon in all the other Silent Hill games, also. So the combos don't add any variety to make it less repetitive.

However, there are some things that make Homecoming feel more repetitive than the older games. As you said, it tends to emphasize melee combat more. Also enemies take a lot more damage than they did in the older games, so not only are you fighting more, you're doing those same combos over and over more often. If you consider these things, Homecoming is probably the most repetitive combat system in the series, and the dial-a-combos don't really add anything except button mashing.

If you wanted more variety in combat you'd have to add more depth to the combos, but then you're just turning Silent Hill into more of a fighting game, and I think that's exactly the wrong way to take it. A better inspiration for combat would be to look at something like Dark Souls, where it's not about button spamming and combos, but rather heavy hits that do big damage to both you and the enemy, and it's more about timing and positioning. One of the brilliant things about Dark Souls is the huge variety of weapons and how they all have different movesets and feel very different from each other... that's the kind of thing that could actually add some worthwhile innovation to Silent Hill.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Did innovations in combat mechanics enhance your experie

Missing since: 20 Oct 2012
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Whereas SH1 & 2 only gave you a couple of basic combos. SH3 gave you a few more moves along with a block ability. Then SH4 ditched SH3's fighting system by going back to a bare basic combo only adding in a charge ability to make up for it. The previous games had button mashing combos as well. It's only less noticeable because they only offered you up to two to three hits at the most.

Meanwhile Homecoming adds weak and strong attacks on top of a charge attack and the ability to combo between the weak and strong strikes. Not only that but you have the dodge ability at your disposal and a new aiming system for firearms.

Like it or not, Homecoming brought the most to the fighting mechanics and offered the most variety of any combat system within the series. Whether or not people like the combat system of Homecoming is a personal matter. But don't let nostalgia override your judgment.

Quote:
One of the brilliant things about Dark Souls is the huge variety of weapons and how they all have different movesets and feel very different from each other... that's the kind of thing that could actually add some worthwhile innovation to Silent Hill.
I agree with this sentiment and Homecoming didn't exactly go that far, but the weapons did differ from each other. You have to adjust your strategy with the crowbar or axe since they're slower than the knife. But they're equally as capable of taking down monsters provided you don't try to fight with them like you're using the knife. If you do, then you'll open yourself to a world of thrash. I find it odd you bring up Dark Souls being about timing and positioning when that's exactly how Homecoming's combat is. Combat in Homecoming is all about the timing. It's been that way throughout the entire series, but Homecoming makes it the most crucial by not giving you hundreds of rounds of ammo to mow down anything in your way.


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Historical Society Historian
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Except, here's the thing: Dark Souls is about the combat, first and foremost. Of course, great attention would be given to the mechanics, timing, equipment balance, etc. Both the developers and players pay attention to these things because the thrill of clashing blades is the centerpiece of the experience.

Should combat likewise be the focus of Silent Hill? If you think so, then appropriating a more complex combat scheme makes sense. If you think not, then a complex combat system that requires attention and care both from the developer and the player will distract from the core experience.

Take Homecoming. It's fun. It's probably the most fun I've had in a Silent Hill game. Is that a good thing, though? For my part, the thrill of beating an enemy (and, in Hard Mode, fairly strong enemies) drowned out that characteristic unease that previous Silent Hills were about.

There's a definite feeling that the first two games scraped by with barebones combat systems because the developers couldn't solve the problem of how best to tackle monster encounters, so they opted for something simple and unreliable, yet didn't require much attention from the player. Yet, even then, bashing in a monster's head brought a sense of relief and a release of the tension that the environment had been building up. It never really worked, but it worked better than the increasingly complicated combat mechanics we've had to deal with (and were often forced to use), ever since.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Did innovations in combat mechanics enhance your experie

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Immersion is a subjective concept. Deliberately holding back on balancing and improving combat for the sake of a immersion is not a good idea and you can do so without making it the forefront of the entire game. Just do it in a manner more similar to Downpour. But keep the ideas Homecoming brought up. Keep the dodge mechanic, weak and strong attacks, charging attacks, the gun aiming system, the block from Downpour, and the weapon breaking system from Downpour. Brings the best ideas of both games while addressing the fear of overpoweredness that too many people complain about.

Other ideas to balance things out include better level design to avoid the narrow hallways you saw so much in later Silent Hill games like SH3 and Homecoming. Multiple difficulty levels with distinct differences between them also help. Those are all fantastic ideas to freshen things up without stripping it all down for presentation's sake.


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Historical Society Historian
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Yeah, it's subjective, but too much complexity is too much complexity, and as overcomplexification increases, the ratio of subjective experiences begins to infinitely approach 1. It gets to the point where we can reasonably begin to call it "objective."

Downpour is actually a pretty good example, because it's far worse than Homecoming in this regard. Homecoming's combat engine was built from the ground up for one-on-one duels. Like I said before, it's a lot of fun. Downpour, on the other hand, is an unholy union of Shattered Memories's flight-based system (which I think I can reasonably suggest was designed thus on the Wii for simplicity's sake) "surrounded" by a combat system built around weak, strong, block, and throw (almost sounds like a brawler, when put that way).

It's awkward to begin with and, as I found recently, easy to forget and frustrating to reacclimate to, to the point where I said "fuck it" and went back to playing Dark Souls and Nocturne. Integrating encounter systems that are preferentially designed to be mutually exclusive was a bad idea, and so Downpour becomes a game that gives you all kinds of options you can't reasonably use.

Point being, you have to design the game based on what you want the player to focus on. If you add playing cards to a game of chess, how much does that detract (because it'll add nothing) from playing a game of chess? Turning Silent Hill into a brawler only works if that's the effect you're shooting for.

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