I finished the single player for the new C&C3 Expansion ‘Kanes Wrath’ the other day, and I still play skirmishes every now and then. I started thinking about WHY I still play it, and I have a few points I think are valid. It kind of lends weight to my arguement for hack’n’slash as a genre, even if C&C wouldn’t fit under that name. I don’t know what to revise it’s name to though, possibly something like “Comp Stomp”.
If I have 20 mins to kill, I’ll usually open up Warcraft 3 or, more recently C&C3, and have a 1v1 with a computer that I know I’ll win. In some ways I treat it like a sandbox game; ‘turtle’ till you are impervious the the enemies attacks, then just muck around sending different unit combo’s straight into the enemy base to see what’s most effective (or in my case usually the most fun or annoying).
This style of play is the same behind playing games like 99 Nights or Dynasty Warriors on your own. It’s different in multiplayer ofcourse, but for single player the thought process is the same: I have some time to kill, I dont want to think too much, I just want to kill lots of dudes or toy with an easy computer enemy for a while.
Back in my Starcraft games, there was actually a term for this – it’s a Comp Stomp. Sometimes you’d play a 2 or 3 player comp stomp (i.e. 3v1 computer of varying difficulty levels), but mostly it was just to kill time or toy with an enemy – it makes you feel good at the end though, almost like you’re teaching the computer a lesson for killing you so many times in this or other games or at higher difficulty levels.
So yeah. I revise my ‘hack n slash’ to ‘comp stomp’ as a genre.