What are the best aspects to God Hands combat system?
Probably the strongest aspect is the core loop. I feel really silly saying that because I generally think the method of describing gameplay as loops is kind of off-point because games mostly don’t follow such clear cut cyclical structures, they’re more like flow charts (which can have loops in them, but they are very irregular, and can frequently just go off into space).
The general idea is, you walk up to an enemy, you start attacking them, then they block, and either you react to that block and guard break it, or you keep attacking and they repel you, following it up with a frame advantaged attack on you that you need to dodge (or you could just let them keep blocking and catch them when they stop). Then when you guard break them you get a short chance to hit them for free or pull out combos or a guaranteed pummel move, and many of your moves gain additional launch properties (usually the slower ones you don’t put on the square button).
Then other enemies, usually bigger ones, have armor, so they can just attack you, though those slow moves that gain additional properties when enemies are guard broken also gain those properties on counterhit, so if you’re daring enough to try to interrupt their attack, you can launch them that way too.
Enemy Attacks are really cool in how they all control different regions of space, they have gaps between some of them to allow counterhits. You can weave dodge some, some are low, some cover the area around the enemy so you can’t side dodge them. Enemies of course have other attacks like projectiles or self projectiles that let them threaten from a range, or even combination and grab attacks. Grabs are a lot harder to avoid than others, but they give you a QTE to get out of them, which is probably one of the only cool implementations of a QTE I’ve ever seen, because it doesn’t come up in a cutscene, there’s no preset time that it happens, it’s a natural consequence of a normal part of gameplay. Some of them like the suplex QTE even have the enemy put you back in the QTE situation after you get yourself out.
Like, they set the game up so you can mash square for all your assorted low risk DPS needs, then have additional risky moves that can set you up to do big damage, either in single hits, or as part of high DPS execution based juggle combos, where the opponent doesn’t have a chance to fight back and hurt you, but you gotta be careful to keep it up and make sure they don’t escape (unless you do the high side kick wall lock). So inevitably you’re required to play in a reaction-based way at some point, and it’s far less efficient to simply spam square all the time.
And of course the enemies get juggled differently, some are easier than others, and enemies are paired together to keep you from abusing any one left by itself. And naturally different attacks you have cover different ranges and have dif. uses in crowd control.