Hack and slash, which literally means "cut and slash", refers to a type of game that is primarily emphasized in combat. The term hack and slash were used in its beginnings to describe a style of table-role-playing game, from which the different MUDs, MMORPGs and role-playing video games were derived. In action genre video games that have an arcade/console style, the term has a different use, since it specifically implies a focus on real time combat with melee weapons rather than the use of guns or fists.
Beat 'em up, Metroidvania, Roguelike, RPG
The term is used to refer to games of a violent nature that do not have a specific plot or an important objective. It is then based on melee fighting using weapons rather than guns or fists.
Golden Axe in 1989 was acclaimed for its visceral hack & slash action and the use of cooperative mode and was influential through its selection of multiple protagonists with different fighting styles. It is considered one of the strongest beat ’em up beat titles for its fantasy elements, distinguishing it from the urban environments seen in other ’em ups beat’. The games are based on tridimensional combat in the third person.
Looking back in history, hack and slash is a term that has its roots in ancient “pen and paper” role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. It was initially used to describe the campaign in which players would be involved, which as its name describes it, one with a minimal or no story, but with a lot of battles. The first quote from this can be found in a D & D Dragon magazine, an article published in the 1980s by the editors, Jean Wells and Kim Mohan.
Later, the term hack and slash moved from board games to video games, as many of the previous video games had visual features and game styles similar to D & D games. The term was often coined to refer to the early 2D beat-em-ups that included optional weapons in them, as well as action games such as Golden Axe and Final Fight. It should be noted that beat-em-up games were games where the player’s characters only used martial arts with fists or kicks as in River City Ransom. Only if the game has weapons for players to use is the appropriate term in its description.
Some characteristics of this type of game are:
The origin of this genre to the genre evolved from the classic beat ’em up, but with the characteristic that the character controlled by the player carried a sword, axe or some other sharp-edged weapon to face waves of enemies.
Some of their most outstanding games in the market are the following:
Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Hack and slash. Recovered on 10 June, 2023, de Euston96: https://www.euston96.com/en/hack-and-slash-en/