On the Ball: Like God of War, But ?

beemoh

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Rack said:
It was the first polished entry in the genre, Doom wasn't the first FPS either but it got the tag. I don't even know if the tag is really that sticky I always say "Like DMC but" even after I've tagged Bayonetta as "Like DMC but much better"
This is nearly what I was going to say, so I'm going to quote it and ride on its coat-tails. And now, exactly what I was going to say:

I'm wondering if it's because we haven't really come up with a 'proper' name for the genre beyond "third-person brawler" which is very broad and doesn't really describe what GoW or DMC or whatever is- Shenmue is arguably a third-person brawler, but you'd hardly put it next to either of the other games.

I'm thinking this because I've got a handful of mid-90's games magazines that, when pressed for a genre to fit what we now call First Person Shooters, they use the term "Doom clone" or "Doom game". Are we just waiting for a better name to come along? And should we use Yahtzee's "Spectacle Fighter" name, or is that something else still?
 

Wolfram23

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I still really like the first action game of this genre I ever played: Spartan - Total Warrior. The one thing it did better than GoW was weapons. Once acquired, there was a sword and shield, dual swords, a warhammer, a polearm and each one had a unique special ability. The sword and shield could turn your enemies into stone (medusa style) the dual swords allowed you to quickly zip between targets and deliver a lethal jab, the hammer I sorta forget but I think it did a big explosion thing sending people flying, and the polearm... um I think it just became super lethal or something. Anyway, that was awesome. And they had arena battles as a side feature to the main game, somewhat Batman: AA style but much bigger. Speaking of Batman, I really like and even prefer it's method of freeflow combat to God of War button mashing. GoW combat is really quite simplistic which to me is only ok.

Either way I'll probably be picking up GoW3 sometime soon as it should still be an epic adventure.

On the topic of genres, maybe we just need a formula like perspective - main gameplay element - secondary gameplay element. So you might get "3rd person shooter adventure" for Uncharted 2, or "1st person shooter action" for CoD, and "3rd person role playing real time combat" for FF XIII. We should come up with something like that.
 

Casual Shinji

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John Funk said:
Because God of War took it and made it good?
Tadaa! See children, short and simple answers do exist.

DMC pioneerd the hack n' slasher, but as we saw with DMC4 the gameplay concept doesn't really hold up very well anymore.
I GoW the combat isn't very deep and complex, but it doesn't need to be. It only needs to give you enough options to deal with any situation the game throws at you. Plus, the combat always keeps reminding you of what kind of character Kratos is while at the same time being fun and simple.

And ultimately it shows Greek Mythology the way I've always wanted to see it; dark, violent and with colorful characters.
 

Leviathan902

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It makes me so happy to see Spartan: Total Warrior appear in a couple of posts here. That is one of my favorite games in this genre. Great weapons, the combat was better (it was more a strategic, boxing-like, back and forth with each enemy), and the HUGE battles were awesome (hundreds of allies and enemies all killing each other independently, in real time).

Seriously, if you like God of War, check out Spartan: Total Warrior. It rocks, but be warned, it can KICK YOUR ASS. It's about 10x harder.

On Topic: Why is God of War the paragon of the "Spectacle Brawler"? Is it because it's better? Maybe. I would argue that Spartan is better though.

No the truth is that it's because of the game's massive popularity (sales figures), unanimous critical praise, easy accessibility to the casual-core crowd (halo/madden-ites) (the game is pretty easy), and familiar setting. Almost every other game mentioned in this thread lacks some component of this list.

Afterall, history is written by the victors. And when it comes to popularity, God of War is the victor of the 3rd person brawler.
 

rynocerator

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I take issue with the fact that the industry uses the moniker of "like GOW but" for games that it is completely inappropriate for. Bayonetta is not like God of War. The only similarities is the third person perspective. That's about it. Yet I read a few reviews for what I would consider a valid outlet (IGN, GameInformer, and the like) that slap that in the intro paragraph. Darksiders is not like God of War. Now Dante's Inferno: that's like God of War.
 

omegawyrm

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I think if we're honest it's not that hard to say why GoW has become the brawler standard and it's not that complicated.

The game uses western combat and character design sensibilities. That's it.

A lot of people are saying that GoW did what DMC did but made it "good", stating this like it's a fact. Personally, I disagree, as both DMC3 and Ninja Gaiden came out before GoW and I enjoyed every aspect of both of those games more than God of War.


I don't really get what the big deal is, GoW doesn't do anything amazingly well really. My main problem is the combat, which is pretty important as that is the focus of the gameplay in all of these titles (the puzzles are distraction and we all know it). The enemies in GoW are big, but I don't get how they're called "epic" so often. The QTEs take pretty much all of the rush and excitement out of the fights because the designers say the fight has to end with a big gory special move that totally takes control away from the player. Nero's bosses in DMC4 and Bayonetta both have this same problem too, but they both compromise with the mechanic (with Nero you don't have to do them at all, and Bayonetta's allow the player to change the animation by extending the attack and some later boss' climaxes make the player manually control the attack with a new control scheme instead of just flashing up QTE's). Also, on the whole, everything is just too easy. The games doesn't really pose any challenge unless cranked up to the highest difficulty.
 

Shjade

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omegawyrm said:
The enemies in GoW are big, but I don't get how they're called "epic" so often.
The massive overuse of the word "epic" could probably be a thread and article all its own. I don't know if the reasoning behind it could be neatly laid out in some form to resolve this confusion here.

I'll try anyway: somewhere in the progression of gaming (particularly online gaming) something new and impressive in scale and design was described as "epic," a number of people found the word fun to say and started using it to label things that they liked and it simply spread from there until its meaning degraded to the point of describing anything "cool" or "big" or "somewhat shiny when placed under fluorescent lights," the end result being that now you will see things called epic for no apparent reason if you think of the word in its original context.
 

theultimateend

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GamesB2 said:
After all, we've watched developers create new iterations of pretty much the same first-person shooter for the last 15 years, but no single title or series has risen up to claim the title of "FPS Archetype."
Just to nitpick... but after doom came out for several years all FPS games were deemed "Doom Clones"

Apart from that excellent article :D
Which is funny because quite a few FPS's after Doom were exceptionally better. (Though in its time I LOVED Doom)

Modern FPS's though have been so painfully stagnant.

I liken them to swimming in the olympics. You put in just as much work as everyone else but get WAY more credit.

Anytime a FPS gets 'game of the year' it stings my soul a little because of how little effort anyone (besides the graphics team) puts into them anymore compared to other projects.
 

Noone From Nowhere

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Maybe there is more than a remote probability that this article overthinks God of War's appeal. It could be that the gameplay is just a pleasant (though compared to other entries in what loosely passes for a genre it is related to, it is looking pretty rough these days)bonus to the real main attraction.
What is that main attraction? Kratos is Tyler Durden.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92ZE62jnW28&feature=related
The makers of the Fight Club game can only dream of so perfectly capturing the essence of a wish-fulfillment figure of Tyler's ilk as Sony did and they had the blasted licensing rights to actually use the likeness of Tyler himself!
After so many years of either selfless paragons,mute protagonists flawed,conflicted heroes/anti-heroes,lots of players just wanted a protagonist who is everything that everyone,whether they have ever played a game or not, always imagined that videogame main characters are supposed to be.

He's ruggedly handsome yet he still has enough scars and tattoos to give players the impression that he isn't some pain-averse dandy. He's so smooth with the ladies that he doesn't even need to waste a second with trivialities such as foreplay or dialogue. He doesn't take guff from anyone, not even the gods themselves and he's more than tough enough to do something about it. He has a backstory filled with gory glory, establishing him as one of the ultimate tough guys among tough guys but not so soft that he looks like some whiner who is pouty because his charmed life hit a minor hitch.

If Dave Jaffe had any shame about putting his ideal self into a game*,Sony of America wouldn't have their Western equivalent to the giant sword weilding pretty boy that works so well in the East.
*Watch the making of God of war video to hear it from Jaffe himself. tropes aren't bad, right?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MartyStu

That leads to the question: why don't other action-adventure videogames just give players what they want instead of forcing the director/designer's vision down their throats without even waiting for the button prompt to appear over the players' heads?
 

TETSUOrocks

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For the record, First person shooters where origonally referred to as "Doom Clones" before finally establishing the FPS title. Doom was the first extremely popular 1st person shooter which many other companies tried to emulate. I think it might be of been around the time Half Life came out that the FPS title was set in stone since there where so many of them.

I saw someone retardedly refer to the first wolfenstien game as a "Doom Clone" despite Wolfenstien coming out about 3 or 4 years prior to it.
 

TETSUOrocks

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Halo Fanboy said:
FPSs are all now considered "like Halo but.."

Any objections?
I object. Halo is considered a First Person Shooter, a genre which as been done and done better many many times before.
 

Shjade

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TETSUOrocks said:
I think it might be of been around the time Half Life came out that the FPS title was set in stone since there where so many of them.
I could swear I remember the early Quake games being referred to as first-person shooters...but that was a while ago. I might just be filling in blanks in my memory.
 

Leftyshu

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Mar 19, 2010
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Nice article, thanks:)

I've always thought that as gamers we liken games to other games in order to communicate our ideas better. We use a difining series of games like GoW because it's attributes are so far reaching. In useing such a widely popular model we are making our ideas more accessible.

I'm really impressed with GoW3. The level design is sencond to none.
Does anyone remember the level design in Soul Reaver? With it's gothic towers and warping scenary.