A reader catalogues his least favourite gaming tropes and cliches, from an all powerful detective mode to explosive red barrels.
With this feature I wanted to do something a bit different with a video Reader’s Feature, which I don’t think has been done before on GC. The top 10 is in the video above but I’ve also listed the following five additional tropes that really grind my gears. They’re in no particular order but there’s for sure some that anger me more than others, but we can discuss that in the comments!
1) Detective mode
Now to be clear, this mechanic, when it was first introduced in Batman: Arkham Asylum, made sense. Batman is The World’s Greatest Detective and a billionaire so it makes total sense that he has this tech to help him solve crimes. But when a lot of other games copy this trope and shoehorn it in where it doesn’t belong, it feels like a poor copy. Most recent offender is Dying Light 2. Why do I have to scan the area with my supernatural Survivor Sense to see the footprints or the bloodstains to follow? Surely I can see them already and just follow them? But no, it has to have a version of Detective mode.
Let’s say I haven’t discovered that mission yet. If I’d have just seen the footprints/bloodstains while heading somewhere else it would’ve piqued my interest and I’d go investigate and discover the crime scene more organically. Of course, that runs the risk of the trope then becoming just footprints and bloodstains equals detective mission. But at least I don’t inexplicably have superpowers in a game where I’m supposed to be a normal dude trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.
2) Enemies going off to urinate outside so you can stealthily take them out
This one especially annoys me when it’s in a bandit camp which clearly has indoor plumbing. But no, they’re going to pee outside and are somehow ashamed to do it near their mates they have to go far away so they don’t hear you kill them stealthily. It’s barbaric, in the act of peeing outside and also killing some dude while he has a pee.
3) Locking moves that even I could do behind skill trees
I’m thinking about Dying Light 2 again but I’m fairly certain there’s been multiple games guilty of this. Simple moves like sliding on your knees while running, who hasn’t done that while having a kick about playing football and scoring an utter peach of a goal? Should I have to play for hours before I earn that most basic ability?
What about just jumping off of a roof onto someone’s head to take them out from above? Mario can do that without even so much as a special flower. Charging up a heavy attack? Surely someone who’s lived in this world for years and is proficient at fighting knows how to take the big hard swing with his weapon of choice?
4) Dialogue options not matching what the character actually says
Many times I’ve seen this and it may be in some cases where, if the developers are from other countries, there are translation issues when they’ve translated the text differently than what the voice actor has been asked to say. It still really annoys me when I choose the dialogue option though and the character says something sometimes wildly different from what I wanted to say and can be taken in a different context in the response from my choice than I intended.
Or I make my choice that says in detail what my choice is and the character just mutters ‘Yeah, whatever’. No, I want you to say what I picked, you melt. Just read the flippin’ text out loud.
5) Enemies standing next to (sometimes smoking!) near explosive barrels
Now, don’t get me wrong here I think most of us love the good old red barrel. Much, much fun to be had that never gets old, blowing a load of people up at once with them. But why are the enemies so dumb that they hang around them like flies just waiting to be blown up? Sometimes smoking next to them as well! Always conveniently placed in exactly the right place to cause merry hell with.
Dying Light 2 does make it a bit more interesting, where you can pick them up and throw or place them wherever you like. Also, being mindless, zombies are a bit more forgiving that they’re horded around them waiting for a well-placed arrow. A satisfying, however very unrealistic, thing it does as well is you can grapple the red barrels, miraculously without piercing them.
One more bonus one just to finish up: many long-time readers of these pages, including myself, love a good ladder in games. But what is extremely offensive to the Ladder Lovers’ Guild is when the game doesn’t let you actually climb that lovely ladder yourself. Oh no. There’s a mini-cut scene where it does it for you.
Probably another wee loading screen trick but still deeply offensive to the ladder community. Anyway, that’s it for me, hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I’m sure all of you will think of more in the comments and Inboxes that follow this weekend. Thanks for reading/watching.
By reader Big Angry Dad82 (gamertag)
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