Bulletstorm. I purchased this the day it came out and just got around to finishing it off over the weekend. For such a linear FPS game, its been one of the most thought provoking games I've played in the last few years. The game was short and and the story was mindless. The kick, slide, and leash abilities, however, made Bulletstorm profound. I was able to run right at an enemy, bash them with my boot, and slide over to the next helpless sap bound to be thrown into a spiky overgrown cactus as I collided with him.
It made me think.
Throughout the entire game I was moving forward down a very narrow path, but thats the thing. I was moving forward. During combat I rarely backpedaled or remained behind cover for long. As soon as I recovered I was able to aggressively head directly into battle. In a game like Fallout 3, thats not quite how things flow. You don't have the ability to run at something and knock them away, akin to Bulletstorm, Left 4 Dead, or Halo. Without a quick melee strike to fend off those around you in games like this, the player always ends up running backwards. Ultimately, they're always having to run away.
Players should always be able to move forward.
Numerous enhancements were implemented in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood to make combat faster and more dynamic for the series. The games tend to encourage you to run away, but Brotherhood allows you to use offense as a defense, chaining various killing blows and employing numerous new ranged attacks in order to keep things moving forward. In the first games I constantly find myself waiting for battle to end. If I'm not waiting for them to stop chasing me I'm waiting for an enemy to attack in order to counterattack (which usually means they die).
One of the most exciting elements of Guild Wars 2 is the element of movement in the game's combat system. In most popular online games, numbers are the only thing responsible for determining a successful 'block' or 'evade'. With the responsibility in the player's hands, skill overrides the need for the numbers, resulting in an undoubtedly more enjoyable experience. Dodging that arrow or blocking that flame breath is up to you, the player. With dynamic AI, this heightened involvement can play into the concept of flow extremely well, maintaining an appropriate amount of stress by balancing incoming challenges and the player's skill level.
I want to see more of an emphasis on forward-movement and dynamic elements in the future.