Aztez – A Game of Conquest and Brutality

Mechanic Analysis: Now In Video Form!

David Rosen over at Wolfire (creators of Lugaru, Overgrowth, and the Humble Bundle) suggested that I make an analysis similar to the ones I usually do here on the blog except in video/spoken format. I figured it was worth a try so I ended up making a couple in the last week: one for Warhammer 40k: Space Marine and one for Darksiders 2. The response was good so I'm sharing them here now and opening it up for feedback. Keep in mind that because of the short video format, I can't go into nearly as much depth as I do in my written analyses, so the videos take the form of a mechanic analysis, where I evaluate the game's mechanics in an open area without enemies. I always do this whenever I get my hands on a combat heavy game for the first time, and I've found this exercise terrifically useful.  Anyway, here they are! Let me know what you'd like to see from videos like this in the future.

I will continually update this entry with new videos as I make them. Hit the jump to see the rest!

  • Id love to see you analyze Dark Souls. I have personal opinions of love and admiration- but I guess- if anyone can tear it down with any weight, that might be you… on the other hand, how could anyone do that?

    • Dark Souls is fascinating to me because it (and Monster Hunter, which Dark Souls combat philosophy stems from) is built on intentionally high risk mechanics. As much as I love those types of games (I call them Grind ‘Em Ups; I’m actually about to publish a post about them) I don’t think an analysis would be very compelling because every attack operates on this principal. It would just be a very short and to-the-point video. Haha!

  • Ideas

    Whoa great videos Ben! I totally wrote off DMC4 when it came off and never gave it a chance, but I think you sold me on it.

    If you ever get the chance I’d love to see you do a video for Bayonetta. I liked your write-up for it but I’d really like to see some of the stuff visualized.

    • Awesome! That’s exactly what I was hoping would happen. :)

      And I would LOVE to do a Bayonetta video but I don’t have a TV capture solution and still need to make that happen. Once I do I TOTALLY will.

  • Ideas

    I’d also love to see you do a video of Arkham City.

    • Ahh! I should, those are hugely fascinating combat systems!

  • Chuck

    Great videos, looking forward to more :)
    I’d be interested in an analysis of Zeno Clash if that counts ;)

    Also perhaps once you can capture TV and if any of these look compelling to you:
    Dragon’s Dogma
    God Hand
    Metal Gear Revengeance (if you have access to the demo)
    Urban Reign

    • Yeah, I think I have Zeno Clash lying around.

      Ahhh, Dragon’s Dogma. I would been seriously in love with that game and sunk a lot of hours into it if it didn’t make me run back and forth across its huge world all the time. Completely unacceptable! But the combat was solid.

      There is nothing I can say about God Hand that hasn’t already been said. ;)

      MG:R is fascinating and I would definitely do that as well.

      I didn’t know about Urban Reign! It looks awesome! I just ordered it off Amazon.

  • Daniel Fox

    Small orks? The nerd in me is crying…

  • Space Marine’s actually a fair bit more interesting once it opens up. The chainsword and power axe have much flashier attacks, and the different stun attacks do have various properties (the power axe has a ground slam one that stuns in an AOE, which is invaluable!). I personally found the dodge much more useful against ranged attacks than in close combat – it’s a very different kind of game than other beat’em’ups, a bit of a mishmash.

    I hadn’t noticed the “getting hit from behind” thing, good call there, although enemies do generally crowd around you so it’s kind of to be expected. The game’s harder than it looks; you die easily, and the trick appears to be to make sure you’re always on the offensive by mixing ranged and melee attacks, especially the Vengeance launcher, which plants remote-detonated mines. The Orks will happily surround you otherwise, and without much by way of defence you get crushed unless you crush them first. Executions are actually your only way of regaining health, and you’re a bit vulnerable coming out of them, so they’re a bit less OP than appears at first glance.