Ghost of Tsushima Combat Analysis PT. 2

Hi! This is the 2nd part of this series. I didn't want to make the post too big, so I split it up.


Find the first part HERE!


Video: Ghost of Tsushima - Khotun Khan Boss Fight


1:23 - 1:28 The player performs an attack combo on the boss who staggers, but eventually recovers and counterattacks



Why did the boss stagger?

Because if the boss doesn't stagger, the player could never perform a complete combo without it being broken or taking damage. Players would have to do 1 attack, block, attack, block etc etc. if they wanted to avoid taking damage


The Boss’ Reaction Animation that triggers when receiving damage is longer than the player’s window to perform the next attack. This is why the player is able to perform an entire combo on the boss without being interrupted by the boss’ own attack.


Why did the boss counterattack?

Because if he continued to stagger, he would be stuck in an infinite lockdown loop and would never be able to attack the player back. Making it too easy. Players can perform their full combo, but they have to learn how long each boss can be staggered for before a counterattack is performed.


It appears as though the Boss’ Reaction Animation timing to the player's final combo slash is much shorter compared to the window that allows the player to attack again. And by the time the player got their next attack in, it was too late to stagger the boss because the boss was too far into the Anticipation for his next attack.



1:26 - 1:28 - Boss performs an unblockable attack marked with a RED x



Context:

The player possesses the ability to hold up their sword to block an infinite amount of 'normal' enemy attacks. So why did the devs introduce a new category of attacks that are unblockable that forces the player to dodge roll?


My Reasoning:

To disincentivize players from safe, but boring behaviour. Will players have more fun when they’re constantly holding up a shield and only dropping it to attack when the time is right? OR will they have more fun constantly attacking and timing their blocks and dodge rolls at the right moment? I definitely had countless hours of fun with the latter gameplay. It definitely feels like one of those moments where the devs are protecting players from themselves


Although the unblockable attacks undoubtedly increased the game’s difficulty, the devs implemented it in a way that doesn’t feel unfair when you get hurt by it. There’s a massive anticipation animation before the attack comes out and there’s a big red particle effect that comes with it. So when you get hit by it, you don’t feel cheated


There's also a Slight Hit Pause that occurs every time the player receives damage from the boss to help convey the impact and danger to the player.


NEXT PART

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