Hardcore Action RPGs: From Dark Souls to Monster Hunter (Topic)

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Hardcore Action RPGs: From Dark Souls to Monster Hunter


The hardcore Action-RPG genre is now experiencing a real peak in popularity: first in 2011, Dark Souls came out, which became a hit and spawned many clone games, and now Monster Hunter: World is storming the sales charts.

The impressive success of hardcore projects is an interesting phenomenon in itself. games of this genre were originally designed for a small audience of players. In this article, we will look at what the features of hardcore games are and how they appeal to gamers.

How it all began

Of course, it was Demon Souls who introduced the fashion for a little masochistic gameplay in RPG games, where you could watch the death of your character hundreds, or even thousands of times during the entire passage, but many forget about a game like Severance: Blade of Darkness ... This cult toy was released in early 2001 and boasted high-tech graphics, RPG elements, and a combat system that in many ways resembles the beloved Souls series. In Severance, every battle, even with an ordinary enemy, could end in death in a few seconds.

Combat system

Challenging RPGs
Photography Even one orc can humiliate a hero

The use of bounces, a thorough study of the timing of attacks of opponents and the selection of weapons required for each separate type of enemy - this is the most accurate description of the combat system in Severance, as well as in almost any modern Action-RPG that loudly proclaims its hardcore. In all games of this genre, the combat system is as close as possible to standard slashers, where the outcome of the battle is most often determined not by the characteristics of armor or weapons, but by the player's reflexes.

A wide variety of weapons and different combat techniques, as well as strong opponents make the combat system diverse and tactical. Do not even hope that you will be able to pass Monster Hunter or any part of Souls just by calling opponents, you probably will not go beyond the first boss, break your gamepad / keyboard and after another defeat, seek the services of a psychotherapist.

Learn more about the history of the Monster Hunter series in our article

Death to the Dark Souls
Photography Death is just the beginning and the engine of progress

If you look for an approach to each opponent, then ... You will still die at least a hundred times in the game, but paradoxically, complexity is one of the main features of this genre that attracts players to it. Each enemy is a puzzle and the more effort and time you put into solving the problem, the more you get pleasure from victory.

It is worth noting such an important characteristic of the gameplay as the balance of difficulty, in which the game should challenge the player, but without fanaticism and be passable with due diligence. In this regard, the MH and Souls series can be distinguished, but as a negative example, we will cite the recent Lords Of The Fallen game from developers from Poland. The game took all the main mechanics from the Souls series, but due to the unbalanced difficulty it is simply not interesting to play it, already in the middle of the story campaign it becomes too easy.

Role elements

Role elements
Photography Role-playing elements in such games are sometimes just for show

Hardcore Action RPGs have a large number of role-playing elements, such as leveling a character and equipment, the ability to craft and sell things, communicate with residents, take quests and much more. Unfortunately, many games of this genre, like the same MH and Souls, cannot boast of a complex and non-linear plot, this is not the Witcher 3. Games of this genre are more focused on battles. Of course, there is the same Lords Of The Fallen, where you can choose answer options in rare dialogues, and even there are episodes where you can make one or another choice in the plot, but old-fashioned RPG fans are unlikely to be delighted. All the choices that are made by the players change almost nothing in the plot.

Almost all hardcore RPG games have an open world, or large open locations like those seen in Monster Hunter.

Hardcore Game Rules

Hardcore Game Rules
Photography You either accept what you have to try, or go to casual games

Difficult opponents are not the only challenge players face in hardcore Action RPGs. The developers are trying to make the game even more complex using other techniques. So, in the Souls series, you will not have casual pointers where the quest character is located, and in Monster Hunter, the maximum stamina is constantly decreasing, which significantly increases the difficulty of the game.

The Topic of Article: Hardcore Action RPGs: From Dark Souls to Monster Hunter.
Author: Jake Pinkman