Hack & Slash games

Hack-and-slash genre is a bit difficult to define as it often contains elements from RPGs, action and adventure genres. Hand-to-hand combat, third-person perspective, hordes of enemies and lots of slicing and dicing are some of the key features found in these games. Most games that belong in the genre have a solid story mode with a pre-created protagonist.

While completing the story, the main character slays hundreds if not thousands of enemies, most of which are one-hit wonders, but occasionally tougher bosses appear. Since bashing countless enemies can get boring at times, games often incorporate puzzles or various modes, such as player versus player combat.

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    The term "hack and slash" was coined in an old-school "pen and paper" RPG game – Dungeons & Dragons. Back in those days, hacking and slashing referred to an intense action-packed segment of the game, where players could relieve some stress by obliterating enemy legions. Hack-and-slash games have three cornerstones that define the genre – weapon-based close combat, pre-set button system and intense pacing:

    • Weapon-based close combat – main character is wielding some sort of primary melee weapon, hence hack and slash. The weapon is often interchangeable and that means that most of the games have a long list of weapons ranging from whips to hammers. In cases where a weapon is unique to the character, it often can be upgradeable in some way.
    • Pre-set button system – simple game mechanic with usually 4 to 6 pre-set buttons or keys. A button or a key can only perform one action like quick attack or defence. Since a button is pre-set, no matter what weapon a player picks, it'll only perform a function it's supposed to do. Most common weapon strikes in HaS games are executed in three forms: quick strike, heavy attack, and combo.
    • Intense pacing – a fast-paced game style, while not a requirement is usually the norm in these games. Run around, kill a bunch of bad guys, solve a puzzle, and kill some more. This is the reason that hack-and-slash campaigns sometimes seem shorter compared to some other genres.