The video game industry has come a long way. As the industry keeps flourishing with mainstream spotlight and worldwide adoration, it is only normal to expect innovation and breakthroughs in the field. But sadly what we get, the majority of the times, these days is the rehashing of the same old tropes making the new releases feel stale.
That is certainly not the entirety of the industry, but it definitely describes most of the major releases these days. So here are some common overdone and clichéd tropes that the developers should move on from.
1. Open World: Remember the sheer delight of cruising the streets of San Andreas in the world of Grand Theft Auto, enjoying the endless possibilities and side-activities that only a great open world can provide? Well we all do, which makes it all the more surprising to see this fantastic setting go so stale, so fast. Developers have this flawed idea that the bigger the world is, the better it has to be which couldn't be more wrong. The open world in titles like Just Cause 3, Shadow of Mordor, Farcry Primal ended up feeling so empty and tedious. If you create a big sandbox, litter it with collectibles and bases to liberate, and give no other incentives to explore it then that can never be an engaging game. I would rather play through a well structured linear level design than yet another unfulfilling 'open world' that every game seem to dish out these days.
2. “RPG”: RPG is one of the most engrossing genres in games. The feeling of creating your own character, being immersed in its world, seeing the story unfold around you as you grow stronger, it's absolutely mesmerizing. However, it loses its meaning when every title feels the need to slap the RPG label on every game they release while including some barebone mechanics that simply do not fit the game at all. This neither makes the game a true RPG nor a fun experience. A perfect example would be The Division. If it stuck to the third-person-shooter tag and built the game around having solid gunplay, it would have been a far better experience than the current pile of mess that it currently is. Another false RPG labelling to me is Fallout 4. I know this is not a popular opinion but Fallout 4 is barely an RPG. It does have its moments making it shine but the poorly implemented RPG aspects are not it. So why bother calling it an RPG to begin with?
3. Interactive Story: Interactive storyline, if implemented correctly, can make a game worthy of multiple walkthroughs. It gives the gamers a sense of choice and consequences. However if you throw a dialogue wheel at the gamers which have little to no consequences, then it's simply a slap on their face. What is the point of giving the false sense that the dialogues you are choosing have an impact when they do not whatsoever? Many modern day games are guilty of this. Perhaps the worst example of this is the extremely poor Mass Effect 3. All the decisions that you have made so far in the trilogy get thrown out of the door as you choose your ending by walking to a light of certain colour. Give us a well-structured story. We'd take that over dialogue wheels where your decisions don't matter.
4. Stealth: Sneaking around in the shadows and silently taking down your opponent instead of going all guns blazing is a fantastic feeling. Shoehorning stealth in every single game however, is not. Stealth is not only forced into these but also given a higher reward for its execution. While I do agree with it to some extent, but it means a perfectionist will have to go the stealth route instead of the other path all the time. A good example is Dishonored. The stealth mechanics here are fantastic. But the fact that you have to take the non-violent stealthy route if you want the best ending makes zero sense to me especially since this game has some of the most innovative combat there is. In games like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Mafia III, Prototype the option of stealth made even less sense. I want stealth mechanics in games like Hitman or Splinter Cell, not in games that run on a higher tempo with frantic level of action.
5. Zombies: No. Just. No. Stop. This has been done so many times that it's not even funny anymore. We get it. Zombies are interesting because you get to experience the primal joy of brutality without feeling the guilt of killing because, well, they were dead all along. But after the umpteenth early access survival horror set in a post apocalyptic zombie filled world we all are a bit tired of this. I'd rather take a world filled with murderous leprechauns who shoot rainbows out of their eyes instead of zombies, thank you.
Nuren Iftekhar is your local stray cat in disguise; he interacts with people for food and hates bright light. He got Hufflepuff 3 times straight in Pottermore so no walking around that one. Send him obscure memes at firstname.lastname@example.org