Parrying in video games is an art form. A window in the middle of an enemy’s attack, which the player can use to block the oncoming attack and turn the match. Harder to pull off than dodging or evading, parrying is a satisfying mechanic that can completely turn a one-sided attack around. Very much built into fighting games over the years, the parrying trend is now commonplace in third-person action titles.
A possible reason for parry’s rise in popularity may lie in FromSoftware using the technique in their popular Dark souls franchise. These small opportunities to parry often appear as a warning symbol or flash above the attacker’s head or when the strike is about to land. Carefully watching for a specific movement or telltale sign is necessary to pull off the parry and turn the tables on the attacker. Here’s a look at some of the games that have fantastic parry mechanics.
6/6 Metroid Dread
This hugely popular Nintendo series saw many new mechanics added for its fifth entry. Metroid game star Samus Aran, and players explore strange alien worlds to fight Metroid or X parasite threats along the way. While players have been patiently waiting for Metroid Prime 4 news, Nintendo surprised fans with another 2D entry in the form of Metroid Dread.
Pursued by the relentless EMMI, these alien robots will hunt Samus across levels as she explores. The parry mechanic inserted Metroid Dread debuted in Samus returns for Nintendo 3DS. Going back to the Nintendo Switch title, the parry can be used on regular enemies as well as during finger twitches while caught by one of the EMMIs.
5/6 Arkham Franchise
Batman fans will argue for days about which is the best entry in the Arkham series. Starting in 2009 with Arkham Asylum, the series built by Rocksteady has become one of gaming’s most popular franchises. The locations in the series are set in Gotham City and range from inside the asylum to patrolling an under-besieged Gotham in Arkham Knight. Although Batman is known as the world’s greatest detective, Batman is also a very skilled fighter when it comes down to it.
The hand-to-hand combat i Arkham franchise is heavy and crunchy. Getting into a flow using rhythmic button presses becomes euphoric thanks to the parry system. On the lower difficulties, a visual warning when an enemy is about to strike will appear above their head. If you press the counter button in time, Batman will silkily slide into a parry, blocking the attack and allowing the combo to continue. This gives Arkham franchise one of the most satisfying hand-to-hand combat systems in video game history.
This spin-off to main Metal Gear series was an odd addition to the franchise. Plays as Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2, players discovered that this was not the stealth-based game they were used to. Instead, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a hack and slash game from Platinum Games.
Platinum Games is known for its hack-and-slash title Bayonetta. Bring the team to make one Metal Gear the game was a brilliant move. Combat is fast and furious, with Raiden using his sword to slice through enemies his way. It is quite difficult to parry Metal Gear Rising: Revengeancebut very rewarding when successful.
3/6 Sonic Frontiers
Sonic might be odd for a list of mating systems. Sonic Borders is in itself a strange one Sonic title; it’s a proper open-world game with combat. Sonic is stuck in a strange world and must solve the mystery while freeing his friends from captivity. Along the way, he has to figure out puzzles, as well as take out any bad guys he meets.
Throughout the world, Sonic will encounter different enemy types. Most of the enemies can be defeated by repeating homing attacks and chains with unlockable skills. However, some enemies require the use of a parry. Pulling them off Sonic Frontiers is pretty easy since they don’t have strict timing, it’s an incredibly cool feeling to be able to send a missile back at one of the end level bosses.
2/6 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
The Zelda franchise got some big changes when this open world iteration arrived. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was an incredible journey that saw Link adventure across an almost post-apocalyptic Hyrule. Along the way, Link must fight enemies who want to take him down.
With degraded weapons and all new moves thanks to the sheikah slate, the battle is on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was very different from previous entries. Parrying in the game is an advanced technique and difficult to execute. Players must time the parry accurately to get one of them. Audible signals from guardians on patrol will alert Link when they’re about to fire, and getting a perfectly timed parry can take these titans down much faster than standard combat.
1/6 Fire Ring
Parrying has never been as crucial as it is in FromSoftware’s games. Dark souls and The Demon’s Souls made the technique infamous in their third-person action-adventure games. These games are all notorious for testing players’ skills and patience, even creating the infamous “give it to God” response from players online. Fire Ring is FromSoftware’s magnum opus. It’s a sprawling open-world adventure set in a From Software fantasy adventure.
Uses parries i Fire Ring is necessary to survive even the weakest of enemies. A shield must be equipped to perform the move, and then the enemy must perform an attack that can be parried. Learning how to use parries early on is key to surviving the brutal first few hours, but once mastered, the feeling of successfully parrying is second to none.
MORE: Games That Use Damage Mushroom Enemies Well