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Horse riding mechanics

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1 Horse riding mechanics on Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:39 pm

Birdman


Moderator
I'm making this post because I'm playing Shadow of the Colossus remake at the moment and just like many years ago, a new wave of complainers has arisen to cry about the horse controls, often making comparisons to other games with horse riding mechanics.

This got me thinking about other games I've played like The Witcher 3 and the old Dynasty Warriors games. Use this topic to discuss any games with horse riding mechanics. List what you can do and how they control. I'm mainly talking about movement but I guess if combat is possible you can throw that in.

I'll start with SotC and DW.

There's actually nothing wrong with SotC's controls. They are more advanced than others I've played, and more realistic. I think people are confusing this with actual bad gameplay. In SotC, when you run into a wall, the horse will stop and rear up then try to turn away. This can happen over small obstacles too.

I've seen this compared to DW horses (I can only speak for DW3&4) where they can just keep running and grinding a wall or obstacle without slowing down. This, to me, is not better than SotC. It looks awful, and is a sign of bad design more than anything. They either couldn't be bothered, or weren't able to implement proper turning so they just removed any form of collision on horses. This might make it easier to get around, but it doesn't define better by any stretch.

What is does define is how people aren't willing to learn or improve. SotC has advanced and realistic horse behavior and a set of mechanics that once learned allow you to manipulate the horse perfectly.

Here's a list of what you can do in SotC.
http://teamico.wikia.com/wiki/Agro

There's some stuff not noted here.
*Holding down on the left stick will cause Agro to slow down and eventually stop.
*While standing still, holding down on the left stick will let you slowly reverse.
*When standing up of hanging from the side, you can't accelerate, but you can still use quick stop and 180 turn.
*You can fire arrows from horseback in any direction. What's cool about this is Agro can be running forward at full speed and you can be turned in the saddle firing directly behind. You cannot steer while doing this.
*You can fire arrows and use the sword light while standing.
*You can jump from Agro while sitting or standing.
*On rough terrain like rocky ground, Agro can't run full speed.

In DW 3&4, you simply hold the direction and the horse runs full speed, but can also strafe in a way completely impossible for a horse and look hilarious. Basically the horse controls like your character.

There is no collision and they can't turn sharply at all. It's very simplified to make it easy to get around, which isn't a bad thing, but visually it looks terrible.

I've seen comparisons to D-Horse from MGSV. I've seen a video and the controls look quite good but also looks like it isn't affected by terrain or obstacles much. Could be wrong because I haven't seen that much. Can anyone comment on this?

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2 Re: Horse riding mechanics on Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:02 pm

The first time I actually experienced horse-combat was in Twilight Princes on the Wii. It worked, and had some great setpieces, but - like the Witcher 3 which I also played - it was also very annoying. Attacks on a horseback were generally really powerful but landing a hit seemed nearly impossible at times as you had to account for the horse's speed.  

One thing I do like about it being present is if the situations are suddenly reversed. I vividly remember a fight in The Witcher 3 where I got knocked of my horse, which ran away out of fright immediatly after, and was surrounded by horsed up thugs. They had a clear advantage and could kill me really quickly with just a few hits. But their attacks were, due to the nature of their horse, predictable. It was an engaging and fun fight.

I have MGSV but haven't played it yet. Got it for 'free' with PSN+. I forgot if it was a think in the Elder Scrolls games. Was it?

I feel the biggest problem games face with horse combat is the turning and motion coming from a full stop. You feel very clunky and wooden in most cases. Though DW3&4 sound very 'gamey', they also sound much more interesting to play to me.

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3 Re: Horse riding mechanics on Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:36 am

Birdman


Moderator
Even though I played The Witcher 3 not that long, like early last year, I can't remember how the horse deal with obstacles. Isn't there a jump button, or does it auto jump things like fences? Overall I remember it being very easy to control and getting around was no issue.

It also has a similar mechanic to SotC, which is when running on trails, Roach will automatically follow them. In SotC, when on narrow paths, all you need to do is hold the run button and Agro with navigate them automatically, albeit much slower. I remember early days on the PS2 version I would just dismount for such places before I knew about this.

The fear mechanic in TW3 is interesting. I never really looked into and my meter never fully drained because I would either dismount to fight or outrun the enemy.

I can't remember how the horse in TP controlled but I barely played that game.

though DW3&4 sound very 'gamey', they also sound much more interesting to play to me.
Their combat is hideous but yeah gamey in the word with the way they just slide of of walls. I think the only thing that could stop a horse was trying to run over a higher ranking officer, which would cause the horse to rear and throw you off.

Anyway, the original point I wanted to discuss, what makes horse controls bad? A lot say SotC has bad controls, but I call them advanced. They work perfectly when you know them. Just because getting around is more difficult that others, doesn't mean the controls are bad.

I recently saw some DW9 footage and the horses look like they control really well and they way you can dismount at fullspeed and plow into a crowd looks really smooth and cool. I imagine you can do running mounts as well. Might rent this to see if it's finally worth playing. Really gave up on the series a while back.

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