While making Dismantle, we've experimented with a lot of things that haven't worked out, one of those things was a combat system that allowed for directional attacks and parries.
The system took some inspiration from games like Nidhogg and Dark Souls, and allowed the player to choose the angle of their strike using the right thumbstick.
Players were able to parry by correctly identifying the direction of the incoming attack and using the right thumbstick to angle their parry. A well timed parry was capable of stunning the enemy, although the parry window was small.
Fitting in the system required a few changes, we needed to implement lock-on, break down attack animations further and slow down attacks significantly.
We managed to get the system mostly functioning, but it hurt game flow by slowing down combat significantly and play testing convinced us it was too complicated.
We were unable to balance the fun, complexity and speed of the system so we decided to scrap it. Although it's certainly something we might come back to in another project.
Below is a GIF showing some next level parrying....... (in Maya).
Thanks for reading and see you next time.