Considering that video games are regarded as the fastest-moving entertainment medium, far too often do they revert back to tired clichés when the ol' well of creativity is running a bit dry. The following list details some of the most overused ideas that we see in today's video games.
Heavily choreographed action set-pieces
Ever since Call of Duty 4 made us drop our collective jaws with its infamous nuke sequence, first-person shooters have been keen to hold our hands through a selection of heavily choreographed set-pieces, the gaming equivalent of being escorted through Oxford Circus but being told that you can't enter any shops, and that you can only look at what your ADHD-suffering tour guide tells you to look at. This trend has endured right through to Black Ops II, where it continues to frustrate us by taking the control out of our hands during the game's most exciting moments.
"In order to obtain the [blank] you must first find me the [blank] which is hidden in the [blank] by the [blank]. Only then will you [blank] the [blank] and will I allow you to [blank] my [blank]." At this point we have embarked upon so many fetch quests in RPGs that they're almost as synonymous with the genre as big hair and androgynous protagonists,. But that still doesn't stop us from groaning whenever we're sent on our travels by another lazy villager who is far too enthusiastic about you risking your life in order to retrieve them a miscellaneous valuable item.
Every attractive female character must be a love interest
No matter the circumstances, if your protagonist spends a short period of time in the company of an attractive female character, he will inevitably end up successfully making a move on her. Regardless of whether their personalities are compatible or if they have any chemistry whatsoever, the law of video games states that they WILL eventually do the no-pants dance, because attractive females are to sex what handsome males are to ensuring the safety of the earth. We long for a day where a female video game character can be good-looking without her sole purpose in the narrative being to sleep with the hero.
Inconsequential morality systems
Nowadays it isn't uncommon for video games to offer the player the choice of whether they want to be the good guy or the bad guy. Games such as The Walking Dead and Mass Effect 3 task players with making tough moral decisions which will determine the relationships you have with your peers, with the different paths you choose to take during the game ultimately making your experience unique. However, The Walking Dead and Mass Effect 3 also featured endings that completely contrasted the multiple-choice gameplay that preceded them, making many of the decisions you had previously made feel saddeningly inconsequential.
Ever since Shenmue on the Dreamcast, quick-time events have divided opinion. Games such as Heavy Rain have shown us that a title can prominently feature QTEs and still remain enjoyable, but far too often are they used as a way for lazy developers to overlook actual gameplay in favour of throwing together an action sequence in which the player has to unenthusiastically press buttons in order to progress. The much-maligned 007 Legends is a prime example of this, as each boss battle featured within the game forces the player to engage in a QTE but, unforgivably, each boss bottle is a repeat of the SAME QTE. We can tolerate QTEs if they work within the context of the game, but honestly, when does that ever happen?
Paul Tamburro is the UK Editor of Crave Online. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTamburro