Implementing Dynamic Close Combat Animations: Responding to Specific Attacks

Hello Unity community,
I am currently working on a close combat system for my game and am seeking guidance on implementing dynamic character animations that respond appropriately to specific attacks. I want to achieve a realistic and engaging experience where characters react differently based on the type of attack they receive.
For instance, when an opponent executes an uppercut, I would like the targeted character to realistically react by being lifted off the ground. Similarly, for a lower kick, I want the character to bend down and fall convincingly.
I am using Unity for my project and would appreciate any insights, suggestions, or guidance on how to approach the implementation of such dynamic close combat animations. Are there specific Unity features, assets, or techniques that can help achieve this level of responsiveness? Additionally, any advice on integrating these animations seamlessly into the gameplay would be highly valuable.
Thank you in advance for your expertise and assistance!

I think it is important he's re to ask, what is you expwriance so far with Unity.

Based on questions, I can deduct and assume, that you are new to Unity, if not programming.

What you are tasking is complex mechanics. From movement of characters, input system, via collision detection, to animation.

Do you have any of these solid experience in Unity?
I am asking, since you will need these components, to be able move into that project.

But if you are new to Unity, or even game development, unfortunately but you need scope project down. In fact, start with something much simpler.

You need to check how unity animation state machines work.

Basically what you're describing is typical fighting game feature, but making two different characters move in a choreographed tandem is not exactly simple. For example, let's say one character grabs another and throws by the waist. But you have several characters. In this case in the animation of throw would need some sort of marker indicating where the waist is supposed to be, and ALL characters must have an animation of being thrown which would be the pose. And your script would need to make sure that the pose is placed at the right spot.

Like Antipodish said, if you're new, easier to scale down. See Battletoads or Double Dragon's approach, where precise movement connection is uncommon, enemies have simple "pain" animation.

Or you could tinker with ragdolls. Where the animation drives a ragdoll, and a strong punch will make the ragdoll move away. But. This is again, not very trivial thing to do in unity and it can look strange.

That's the rough idea of it.

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