The game director of Arkane Lyon recently revealed that Deathloop originally had a parry system for attacks, which has since been replaced with the much more popular kick move. This move would have mimicked one that Arkane has put in its games before, but the difference, in this case, is that the developers would have had to account for online play, which inevitably favors one player over another.
As stated, Dishonored 2 had a feature that allowed users to parry incoming melee attacks with the correct timing. Given that neither Corvo nor Emily (the game’s protagonists) was great shakes at combat, this feature probably saved more than one player from death. This feature would also open up enemies to a counter-melee attack. And, according to the director Dinga Bakaba, the block and parry system was originally going to get into Deathloop.
Bakaba mentioned this on Twitter in response to a player booting an enemy off a balcony accidentally (she’d been aiming to push, but sent the enemy flying instead). According to Bakaba, the reason they scrapped this feature was apparently that it was a very timing-sensitive feature and the timing would inevitably favor the player who was hosting the game due to latency issues. “When we made the first player versus player prototype, we had a parry like in Dishonored… Timing for a successful parry was too different from when playing in either role and vs NPCs.”
Bakaba would go on to add that the block and parry system was just too slow and methodical for a frenetic game like Deathloop: “But just attack and block was boring, and that actually it felt like fencing fights, not machete rampages. So we said hey, fuck defense, let’s replace it by a boot kick in the gut.” As he is a capoeira teacher, he said he got a big… kick… out of players using the move as often as they did.