Feel. An enigma when it comes to talking about games. We often struggle for the right language to describe it and rely on overused terms like ‘visceral’ and ‘clunky’, but it’s such an important part of the overall experience that it’d be irresponsible to not try to talk about it. When you grip a controller or place your hands on a keyboard, you’re getting a sense for how a game feels. How do we describe this sensation, and how do we quantify it?
The truth is, when a game feels good, you just know it. A game’s feel is the sum of several things, often barely noticed. It might be controls that feel tight and responsive, a button layout that feels natural, a difficulty curve that feels satisfying, animations and sounds that make your actions feel weighty and real, or a wide range of settings you can adjust that allow you to make the game feel just right for you.
Or perhaps it’s something greater - games that feel great can be the most immersive or captivating. The world melts away. We forget about ourselves, and are transported to a place where we can be who we want to be. Powerful, agile, intelligent, caring, with the agency to affect the world around us. The game becomes an extension of ourselves. The impact we have, and how that impact feels, are core to an experience that only games can deliver.
With all of that in mind, what were the games that had your favorite feel? And even though it may be difficult to explain, what is it about them that makes them feel so good?