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Your top 10 action games with best character movement?

Marty-McFly

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No platformers. My opinion list.

What is your top 10 opinion?

1. Dread - best sidescoller
2. BOTW - best 3D'er
3. Ninja Gaiden Black - former king but the camera is a problem
4. Metroid Prime - Legendary movement but the shooting was average
4. MGSV - Great military and creative but feels incomplete
5. Astral Chain - the duo gameplay is brilliant
6. Spiderman - Really love traversing over the city it's just a bit too automated and easy
7. Nier Automata - Fantastic character movement
8. MH Rise - It's a little long in the tooth but controls like a dream if you put the time in, a big step up in MH traversal options
9. Titanfall 2
10. Doom Eternal

Honorable Mention

Dragon's Dogma
 
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If we're talking character movement then Max Payne definitely should be up there.

 

Mozzarella

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How do you judge good and bad movement? like what is the objective criteria here beside personal feelings? I really want to know how people judge controls from smooth to slippery to clunky? it seems to me its subjective and a lot of time comes off as buzzword. Any idea how to correctly determine and differentiate between good and bad movement?
 

Marty-McFly

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How do you judge good and bad movement? like what is the objective criteria here beside personal feelings? I really want to know how people judge controls from smooth to slippery to clunky? it seems to me its subjective and a lot of time comes off as buzzword. Any idea how to correctly determine and differentiate between good and bad movement?
It's mostly to do with physics, feedback, animation transitions, moveset, timing and methods of traversal. It's something you can feel in very high quality games. Ideally fluid and diverse, as opposed to clunky and limited.
 
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Swoopsail

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Kind of on the topic, but kind of an asside. I've had people tell me that games had great combat and animation where the character rapidly teleports their moves (so you don't really see the animation). I've always hated that. I get it can kind of be a style with the 'oh he moved so fast all you saw was a flashy swipe and a teleport,' but I've always found that lazy. I'm really impressed (especially with a mutiplayer pvp) where you can really see the full movement of character animation and the success and failure of how you connect in battle really shows. There are telegraph moves and a rhythm that you can properly see the kinetics of from start to finish. It's hard to explain, but it's a must for me in a game.
 

Marty-McFly

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Kind of on the topic, but kind of an asside. I've had people tell me that games had great combat and animation where the character rapidly teleports their moves (so you don't really see the animation). I've always hated that. I get it can kind of be a style with the 'oh he moved so fast all you saw was a flashy swipe and a teleport,' but I've always found that lazy. I'm really impressed (especially with a mutiplayer pvp) where you can really see the full movement of character animation and the success and failure of how you connect in battle really shows. There are telegraph moves and a rhythm that you can properly see the kinetics of from start to finish. It's hard to explain, but it's a must for me in a game.
To me what's important is not necessarily what you are doing, but what level of control you have over what you're doing and the level of complexity you can reach as you build your flow.
 

Marty-McFly

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MH Rise a little long in the tooth?
It was released this year! ;)
I meant the series' consistently convoluted controls are getting played out. They're great when the click but wow, you need to read manuals. I like games a little more visceral.
 
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stranno

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Krome's The Force Unleashed is a blast to play in every aspect. LucasArts version is ok, but not nearly as fun. Even looking better, it feels wrong at the same time.
 

Kupfer

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Control
Half Life 2
Vanquish
GTA 4
RDR 2 unpatched
God of War (PS2 / PSP / PS3)
Halo
N+
Mirrors Edge

Also Counter Strike, since surf_ and kz_ maps are on a different level in terms of movement.
 
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fermcr

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Hollow Knight and Ori series.

EDIT: nevermind, didn't see the "No platformers"
 
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RaduN

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RE4.
Playing it (emulated on my phone 🤯) after some 18 years, and Leon's every move is still so damn classy and gorgeous.
Also, still the best reload animations ever! (...i mean, still in top5) 😋
 

Marty-McFly

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RE4.
Playing it (emulated on my phone 🤯) after some 18 years, and Leon's every move is still so damn classy and gorgeous.
Also, still the best reload animations ever! (...i mean, still in top5) 😋
Yep it's a masterpiece. I would say Leon's controls are a little bit too confined and that's why it didn't make my list, but it was handled perfectly for the game and gave a suspense and fear to the encounters where you could not run and shoot at the same time. The gunplay was also next level.
 
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Mozzarella

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It's mostly to do with physics, feedback, animation transitions, moveset, timing and methods of traversal. It's something you can feel in very high quality games. Ideally fluid and diverse, as opposed to clunky and limited.
Can you explain the bolded ones? I get the moveset being how many different buttons you can use to move around like slide, jump, do a spin or whatever, and i get the timing is if the moment you click the button if it takes some lag to register or if its ultra responsive. And i get the methods of traversal being how can you move around from one place to another using your characters movesets, which is something im not sure if i will consider part of character movements but maybe on its own, but then i remember Spiderman and it uses this method as traversal by character movements, but not all games can do that i suppose.

Also another question, i get its fluid and diverse opposed to clunky and limited, so here we are talking about timings and moveset. Don't you think that when it gets too fluid it can get slippery or it doesnt matter?
Another question, are limited always bad? what if the game tries to be grounded in realism?
Another question, Bloodborne movements are fluid but they are limited, you cant slide behind big bosses you have to circle around, the jumping is messy and not reliable during combat, is that bad?
Based on what you seem to describe i concluded that 2D games have the best movements, Metroid, Hollow Knight, for example. They check all the boxes you wrote.
One final question, does what you wrote apply to First Person only games? or its mainly for third person and 2D?
Thanks
 
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Marty-McFly

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Can you explain the bolded ones? I get the moveset being how many different buttons you can use to move around like slide, jump, do a spin or whatever, and i get the timing is if the moment you click the button if it takes some lag to register or if its ultra responsive. And i get the methods of traversal being how can you move around from one place to another using your characters movesets, which is something im not sure if i will consider part of character movements but maybe on its own, but then i remember Spiderman and it uses this method as traversal by character movements, but not all games can do that i suppose.

Also another question, i get its fluid and diverse opposed to clunky and limited, so here we are talking about timings and moveset. Don't you think that when it gets too fluid it can get slippery or it doesnt matter?
Another question, are limited always bad? what if the game tries to be grounded in realism?
Another question, Bloodborne movements are fluid but they are limited, you cant slide behind big bosses you have to circle around, the jumping is messy and not reliable during combat, is that bad?
Based on what you seem to describe i concluded that 2D games have the best movements, Metroid, Hollow Knight, for example. They check all the boxes you wrote.
One final question, does what you wrote apply to First Person only games? or its mainly for third person and 2D?
Thanks
physics - how the protagonist interacts with the environment through momentum.

feedback - Input consistency, no lag, smooth camera movement, generally feels good to play, does the game take away control from the player?

animation transitions - Animation transitions through different traversals, move sequences ect.

It applies to third person, 2d games and fps (Doom Eternal is a great example), but it's often more immediately visible in 2D and third person games as the protagonist is visible.
 
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Jennings

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DOOM 2016
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
City of Heroes
Tribes: Ascend
Ori and the Blind Forest
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Dead Cells
Battlezone 1998
Quake 3 Arena
Forza Horizon 4
 

Neff

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Metal Gear Solid V
Bayonetta
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Ghouls 'n' Ghosts
Super Metroid
Super Mario 64
Resident Evil 6
Metroid Other M
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carlosrox

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I put BOTW at the top actually. There's just something about the way Link moves you can almost feel every step he makes. It's perfect.

It's so fun just moving anywhere in that game! His weight feels perfect, the way he clambers and climbs, steps over everything, etc. It's perfect!

Samus in Metroid Dread deserves a very honorable mention as well. Flash Shift in particular feels so damn good.

I think Dead Cells also feels brilliant.

Max Payne 2 feels great as well. So smooth.

Control is excellent as well.

Mario Odyssey and 3D World also feel great in their own way.

I wanna give Half-Life a mention as well.
 
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Alx

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Some may have aged badly, but I was very impressed by the mobility in original Prince of Persia, Flashback and Tomb Raider. (I haven't played much of the Max Payne games yet, but they'll probably be good contenders in that category)
In the "wall running/sliding" category, Warframe and the "Respawn Trilogy" (Titanfall 1, 2 and Apex). Sunset overdrive was fun mostly for the easy traversal and aerial moves, but I guess it counts.
Crackdown games are up there too, but mostly because of physics.
 

Soodanim

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It's mostly to do with physics, feedback, animation transitions, moveset, timing and methods of traversal. It's something you can feel in very high quality games. Ideally fluid and diverse, as opposed to clunky and limited.
To expand on this a little, I think it's not just about having those things but also knowing when to stop. People complain about Rockstar's movement, particularly in RDR2, and that's because they make the animations and transitions so realistic and smooth that the game feels less responsive as a result. The balance is shifted the other way, and it's a detriment if you prefer responsive controls over visuals.

To use broad strokes that someone somewhere will miss the point of and cry about, Japanese games tend to be more about responsive controls than Western ones, at least traditionally. It's part of what made Nintendo first party so strong for so long. Mario 64, the first attempt at 3D Mario, nailed it and set a high standard.
Krome's The Force Unleashed is a blast to play in every aspect. LucasArts version is ok, but not nearly as fun. Even looking better, it feels wrong at the same time.
I never knew there were noticeably different versions. I'll have to look into this. Gameplay over visuals, so I'm interested to play it.
Resident Evil 6
I think the opposite about RE6. To me it felt way too loose and unrefined. I didn't like it at all. They lost the solid feeling 4/5 had, but luckily RE2R doesn't suffer from its flaws at all.
 
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Tschumi

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I don't know what an action game is.. i mean fps, rpg, many rts, they're all action games..

But i dunno hm.. i think the Arkham batman games should get props for their smooth combat...

Prince of Persia Sands of Time..

... Assassin's Creed 1...

Mgs2...

Sly Cooper...

Banjo kazooie...

Sekiro.
 
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Agree with the Max Payne 2 and Sekiro comments among others. But I'll add one that highlights how actually BAD the game structure is that it was able to ruin such sublime movement.

Anthem
 

Elder Legend

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Last of Us 2 combat movement, animations and realism is just on whole another level of realism. Don't think I've played a game with such insane animations.

Installing mods is fun because it looks so real in that game.

Easily a generational leap from TLOU Part 1 animations, detail and game play specifically.
 
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Wildebeest

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1. Warframe
2. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
3. That John Woo game that wasn't Max Payne
4. Control
 
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01011001

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Last of Us 2 combat movement, animations and realism is just on whole another level of realism. Don't think I've played a game with such insane animations.
those animations are not good video game animations whatsoever, attacks lack punch and the loose semi random nature make them feel disconnected from the player's input. but then again... most of them are only used in highly semi scripted/context sensitive actions. so basically they aren't even gameplay animations really
 
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TexMex

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Few games feel better to play to me than Dead Cells.

I think Returnal is a good call.

Also for me, Donkey Kong Country. Something about the forward momentum of the characters in those games felt so good and tight.
 

Butch_0451

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There’s a lot of bad in MGSV but man did they they not nail the movement. It’s very snappy and responsive.
 

Shadowstar39

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Control
Half Life 2
Vanquish
GTA 4
RDR 2 unpatched
God of War (PS2 / PSP / PS3)
Halo
N+
Mirrors Edge

Also Counter Strike, since surf_ and kz_ maps are on a different level in terms of movement.
Whats with the rdr2 unpatched? what does patch do? I played rdr2 on ps4 until it died and bought it for steam but haven't really gotten into it. Should a patch be avoided?
 

Elder Legend

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those animations are not good video game animations whatsoever, attacks lack punch and the loose semi random nature make them feel disconnected from the player's input. but then again... most of them are only used in highly semi scripted/context sensitive actions. so basically they aren't even gameplay animations really
Not sure if serious...