In the world of video games one special category has its unique place in the class and that is action games. The latter being a subclass involves a great variety of subgenres within it. All of them have something in common, though some are more popular and among them are fighting and shooting games. In fact, action games are considered to include manifold multiplayer and real-time strategy games. All games have their own style and at the same time they have similar characteristics. So generally, players take the role of a main character and direct it through games overcoming the levels. There are certain boundaries they face, so either they should get rid of the or try to avoid. Players have particular missions to complete, such as finding items or fighting opponents. Each character has its individual abilities and skills so players choose their favorite. Besides ordinary opponents, players meet main enemy in the end. Characters are not immortal and their condition should be taken into account. Their health reduces every time they are hurt. When it reaches zero game is over. As they manage to fight their way till the end they win. There exist many arcade games that have limitless levels and they are never over. So players keep on fighting and earning points and accomplishing given tasks.
Characteristics of action games
Action games challenge players to develop hand-eye coordinative ability for their goal to achieve and to make a fast response in real time. They are based on physical combat sometimes accompanied with various tools and weapons. Players cannot get bored with monotonous fighting as they always have alternative in-game tasks such as solving a puzzle or competing in a race or finding a certain item, though such missions are not the most crucial in the game. Sometimes characters should make use of some strategies and examinations at high speed. The difficulty is usually time restriction. As players are under pressure because of it they do not manage to plan a perfect strategy. In fact, missions are nor hard but time limits make them challenging.
In action games levels consist of similar concepts and design are separated by the topic. Levels have a huge number of equal tasks and players win the level when all of them are completed. A disadvantage of action games used to be the fact that when characters die and game finished players had to restart everything from the very beginning. Luckily now players are given an opportunity to begin from special checkpoints and not from the beginning. However, they may lose their points or items they have collected. An interesting approach to action games is that opponents appear randomly and not at the same places again. So the result becomes more unpredictable. Levels in action games usually not only include fighting scenes but also other minor tasks. When players should examine the place and find certain items or secrets usually they involve special doors than help them to start a new level skipping several ones or change their location in the same level. Doors are unlocked with keys that should be found anywhere. If level has a time limit and players finish it before it is over time becomes points and if they do not manage to complete it character dies and they start it again.
Generally, there are only one characters that players control and it is the only doer of several actions. He has the ability of hand-to-hand combat, searching and picking required items. It can attack or use a defense mode, shoot with a weapon or hit. So skills and abilities of characters depend greatly on the type of the game. Heroes can progress as they go through levels and obtain new capabilities or they are able to improve their own skills making them more powerful. Sometimes players are given a chance to use temporal strength that increases speed or the power of punch, or even gives a power to destroy everything around with one single attack. Heroes can protect themselves with the help of shield mode. They can collect points and buy their favorite ability as a matter of choice. Action games give characters a special package of health to keep them alive. Their health is contingent on the damage they get while playing caused by opponents. When they run out their health hero dies and they begin the level from the same place or all over again. As they are back first seconds character is invincible and players have some time to plan their way. Some games allow to add lives by doing certain tasks or picking a special item.
Action games have 2D or 3D mode. In the former form the screen is usually from a side or it has a top-down form unlike 3D that provide first person perspective or third-person and the screen is single, not divided into several parts. If there is a possibility of map usage it can be found in menu or game can provide a small one available on the screen all the time. Players have one big aim which is obvious to win over the main enemy. All action games represent a simple story and usually it does not develop over the time. Scores are also essential part of action games as they motivate players for rewards. Though players should conduct several missions during each level picking certain items is not obligatory and the final result does not depend on it. They just help to add points and facilitate to get to next level. So players concentrate mainly on fighting against the opponents.
Subgenres of action games
As already mentioned above action games may have various types which are unique in their style but have something in common.
- Beat ‘em up games include physical combat that usually takes place in urban environment with a great amount of opponents. They have rather easy gameplay that provide more than one player mode.
- Fighting games provide a group of characters facing the opponent who use martial arts. Such action games have a certain amount of abilities for characters and they die when health finishes.
- Maze games are based on the complicated puzzle where characters should escape from opponents trying to reach the finish before time is over.
- Platform action games have a unique gameplay that supposes heroes to fight against opponents from various heights and not to crash into boundaries. Characters have exaggerated power and strength.
- Shooting action games provide characters that make use of different weapons to shoot in the right direction. Players can play both from first-person and third-person perspective.
- Survival action games provides players with a location where they should find required items to survive. They need weapons to protect themselves, a place to stay and some resources. The settings of environments change from game to game sometimes reminding a horror movie with zombies and weird creatures.