Sergeant Johnson: “You beat the Halo demo.” “Not bad, soldier, not bad at all.” “BUT ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?!” “In the FULL version of Halo?” The Halo: Combat Evolved trial is something I used to play every day after school with my older brother. Blood Gulch was the only multiplayer map, so we’d jump on LAN with the other kids at school and there was a lot of screen peaking, a lot of bullshit, but most importantly, the game got me hooked on It’s also incidentally a good example on some of the most important elements such as online casinos accept Trustly Ireland in every game.
♪ Strategy ♪ ♪ and Mobility ♪ ♪ and maybe Graphics or something? ♪ I don’t know. You can take to the mountains, right, and stealthily snipe for kills or you can fuckin mow everyone down in a Ghost until your older brother steals it from you. These two elements coexist and rely on each other to create a fun experience. However, every game finds its own balance of strategy and mobility. Rainbow Six: Siege, for example, puts a heavy focus on the tactical elements of gameplay.
Setting traps, creating openings, verbally abusing Tachanka for picking Tachanka. “Our lord Tachanka coming in clutch.” And while there’s important elements like rappeling on buildings, for the most part, mobility won’t be playing too large of a role in the average firefight. Contrast this with a game like Quake Champions, where your mobility is often a deciding factor on the pacing of an encounter.
With enough speed and map memory, you can grab the big armor packs and tank up, and just be an all around douche! You can initiate every fight! And if necessary, escape on low health without dying. Your movement here is equally, if not more important than your gunplay. So we have two titles, with vastly different gameplay, and yet, Quake Champions, like many of it’s predecessors, is struggling to maintain relevancy. Why exactly is it so difficult for movement games to sell?
Champions seeks to bridge the casual-competitive gap by turning it’s mechanics into class skills. Bhopping, Air strafing, Double jumping, all now unique champion abilities. Unlike it’s ancestor games, where everyone has access to an even field of mechanics, now there’s counter play, which dilutes the raw skill of every matchup. Additionally, the game runs on Saber Engine trying to imitate Id Tech, which means instead of a half-decent engine, you get stuff like this: “…savage exchange.” [sounds of disbelief] That’s alright, that’s fine.
It’s only a million dollar tournament, it was probably a fluke anyway. “…their prompt, but there’s the drop into the armor but cooller was kind of waiting for it…” Yeah, that seems fine to me. At the same time, it’s a hard sell for new players. Despite a class system, it’s still intended for high level play, and if you’re inexperienced, you inevitably find yourself being curb-stomped on every step of the Penrose Stairs. by the way. The result of all this is a more accessible Quake title, but a divisive one that doesn’t really strike… …a chord… with any audience enough to retain them.
Number 1: It has to resonate with a broad enough amount of players to have staying power. …is to the FPS genre like Smash is to the Fighting genre. It clearly takes it’s own liberties on the formula, but makes for a really engaging party game. To further connect the two, Sky Noon, in my opinion feels like a spiritual successor to TF2’s Smash Brothers mod. The objective is to knock your opponent out of the zone, and with the addition of grappling hooks and objectives, it’s really FAST OH MY GOD- Guns have this poofy air aesthetic to them that makes them fun as heck to shoot. And items give you an array of recovery options so you aren’t completely boned if you get hit.
It all sounds fun on paper, it plays fun in practice, so why then, does it have less all-time players than I have Twitch subscribers? Other than a short form tutorial, there’s no single player, and without the luxury of a free-to-play model, it’s hard to justify the purchase when the servers are so empty. Sky Noon?
because it’s almost empty. It needs a platform of exposure to reach an audience. That means advertisement, coverage, etc.
Lawbreakers had exposure, but it was like the middle child of the genre. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but it didn’t have anything to make it stand out. Futuristic sci-fi shooters were out of season when it rolled around. If you want your movement game to sell, Number 3: You need to offer something new, or do what’s been done even better.
Dirty Bomb was dope as hell. This came out in 2015, so the class shooter craze hadn’t taken off yet either. It had much more toned down mobility compared to the other examples, the extent of which being a few wall jumps and sprinting. On the other hand, this made for a pretty cool middle ground between your mechanical games like CS: GO and your momentum games like Quake Live. Just having a single wall jump opened up a lot of routing options.
Some of them being intuitive ones anybody can figure out, some of them being… …excuse me, WHAT- Using your surroundings as a part of your strategies is what makes these mobility options so cool, so it’s a shame that the release was followed by four years of skimpy content updates and questionable at best balance philosophies. Fuck the shotguns in this game. Fuck the snipers in this game. Fuck the shotguns and snipers in any game, ever.
But ESPECIALLY in this one. Number 4: It needs long-term support through good balance and fun additions. initially struggled for many of the same reasons Lawbreakers did.
But unlike Cliff Bleszinski, Hi-Rez was willing to stick this one out and keep supporting the game. It’s changed a lot over the last few years of development, and ironically, part of this involved heavily nerfing the mobility across all champions. Early on, vertical movement was hyper exploitable, and while on it’s own, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, the game itself is already watered down with MOBA designs like huge hitboxes and card builds, so they elected to dial this mobility back and leave whatever remained as horizontal focused, save for a few exceptions. And while movement still plays a large role in the game’s balance, flanking options have been highly neutered. What remains of movement is short bursts and safe, and even the interesting abilities the game has to offer are hard to appreciate when the game is still so forgiving with it’s aim.
Despite this, Paladins managed to climb it’s way up to a respectable playerbase. While it may not be high on the top of Steam Charts, the fact that it lands on this list at all may as well be a sign of moderate success in itself. Overwatch hit every marketing tactic it needed. It offered something new.
It had a large platform of exposure. And it was appealing to both inexperienced players and competitive players. But despite this acclaimed success, you’d find it difficult to not hear even the most devoted players passionately complain about the game.
At one point, Genji could dash at an edge and gain insane mobility, but it was tricky to pull off. This made for a cool strategy, and that’s exactly why Blizzard removed it, because new players couldn’t use it the same way an experienced one could. Each hero is intricately designed to be a one-size-fits-all solution to skill gaps. In Quake Champions, to rocket jump, you acquire a rocket launcher, fucking shoot yourself, and trade off one rocket plus your health for a brief boost in mobility.
In Overwatch, you hit Shift. This makes mobility accessible, and in a genius way, actually sucks in new players by convincing them that they can pull off the same crazy plays they saw on Reddit, which ironically, were not that impressive in the first place. You’d think this was the detriment, but there’s a mass market of players, both on PC and console, who want the thrill of these movements without having to master an engine to do so. Overwatch was the answer to this market demand, and that’s why despite it’s struggle with competitive play, it retains a core playerbase. Now I bet you’re wondering, And that’s a stupid question, it’s an EA game, it never stood a chance.
But you’re also wondering, And you’d be right, that’s an important distinction. There’s still some hope to be found. DOOM came in like a motherfucker, and while it’s multiplayer mode is more deceased than a demon who had the misfortune of mistaking Doom Slayer for a travel directory, it’s proven that there’s still a market for single-player FPS games. If you think you’ve seen everything, sit down and watch a speedrun of this game.
Does clipping count as a movement mechanic? I don’t know. I don’t even know what’s happening right now. I don’t remember what my point was.
Fuck, Eternal looks so god damn cool! It has this grapple mechanic, and- [sigh] Alright, back on topic. And yeah, I know it’s ironic. Which is why I want to see this design philosophy flourish in the industry. Complex mobility makes for more skill factors in matches, compelling gameplay for impatient people like me.