When a strong idea and faultless execution come together, they can turn a fun game into an all-time great, and a single gameplay mechanic that sees the marriage of those things can lift the core loop of an entire game to unimaginable heights. In an industry that’s as reliant on iteration and imitation as this one, we don’t often see mechanics that stand out in memory, but thankfully, talented developers shine through every now and then to deliver something truly special. Here, we’re going to talk about some of our favourite gameplay mechanics from recent years.
LEVIATHAN AXE (GOD OF WAR)
Replacing the Blades of Chaos with an entirely new weapon in 2018’s God of War was a bold move, but more than anything else, it was a statement- a statement that the series was going in a completely new direction, untethered from the past. And to back up such a strong statement, SIE Santa Monica had to ensure that the new Leviathan Axe would be an equally iconic weapon in its own right. They chose to do that by essentially turning it into Thor’s Mjolnir, with Kratos having the ability to throw and then magically summon his axe, and it was an absolutely genius move. In both combat and puzzles, God of War leveraged this genius mechanic to great aplomb, allowing the Leviathan Axe to carve out a place for itself in the hearts of all series fans.