Imagine a dynamic action RPG, where you constantly need to use your reflex to avoid bullets and fight against hordes of enemies. What would be a best way to incorporate other team members? I can think of several ways but all have disadvantages:
- Giving them orders manually is out of questions when there's so much going around that you need all your attention just to make sure your main is not hit by any incoming attack
- Using a dynamic pause like in classic cRPG such as Baldur's Gate makes the game slower and interrupts action that ideally should be quick, dynamic and engaging
- Making them autonomous is difficult to balance. If they're too weak or ineffective, then the player will constantly gets annoyed at them, that they can't get anything right and die constantly. If they are too efficient then they can ruin the game because player could just sit back and watch them defeat all the enemies. If they just pretend to engage the enemy to left the action to the player this can happen
Most action RPGs seem aware of these difficulties and prefer to have a single character for the player to run and control. This simplify things greatly but I don't want to lose the party, for plot related purposes, banters, interactions etc. What would be a good way to have the best of both words? How can I best include side characters in a fast and dynamic gameplay?