As I see it, DnD was always about mindless combat. Sure, it became more complex and had more possibilities over time, but it was always mostly designed as a hackfest. It deserves acknowledgment as the first pen and paper RPG and it makes a good template for video games, but as an actual RPG it falls flat.
Actually that is where teh GM comes in. Any game can be a hackfest.
One game session I did was a murder mystery. The players were 'cops' and had a code of behavoir they had to follow and even a miranda rights they had to follow (complete with the elimianation of detect truth and such).
They found the bad guy, arrest him and claimed the reward.
Another game I did was a long running take on the Guardians of the Flame game, they were the 'Chainbreakers League' and were trying to find a way to destroy the Company of the Iron Column a group of slavers that tried to sell them into slavery at the beginning of the campaign.
It had some hack and slash, but it also has players making deals with smaller towns, consolidating them into a group that could help them bring the war to the big bads who ran the slaver nation to the west.