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A Hack and Slash game resembles a Third-Person Shooter, but instead of blasting away enemies with a gun, the main hero of the game wields more primitive, close range melee weaponry. This genre resembles a third-person Adventure Game whereby the hero has a goal to accomplish. But the real goal of the mission level is just to kill as many enemies as possible.

To increase the hero's casualty potential, the setting may include hero serving in an army. Most of the enemies encountered on the field will be one-hit-and-they're-dead grunt soldiers, but occasionally, tougher bosses will show up, usually officers and generals.

Since randomly killing large groups of enemies can become boring, most Hack and Slash games will often incorporate other genres into their gameplay. For example, the game may include a multi and single-player Fighting Game mode wherein players can pick characters from the game and have them square up against each other in a tournament setting. They can also incorporate story modes which provide more of an Adventure Game feel.

Meanwhile, Role Playing Games with a Hack and Slash component have been around since The Elder Scrolls Arena and it is a mainstay of many Wide Open Sandbox games.

Action Adventure games can have levels that are purely Hack and Slash built into them to mix up the game play a little — and oftentimes, just to help the gameplayer relieve a bit of stress.

A related genre can be found in the Beat'Em Up, where the action is more oriented towards punching, kicking, headbutting, and so forth.

Not to be confused with the comic Hack Slash, Those Two Bad Guys from Re Boot, crappy slash fic writers, or Guns N' Roses.

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