Walk from here to there, but do it at a turtle’s pace please.
When games do something successfully and effectively, it only makes sense that they will continue to do more of it. That is, after all, how any medium gets better- by building on past successes. Without these recurring themes, tricks, and mechanics, developers would always be caught in a loop of trying to figure out how to do even the most basic things, much less move on to the advanced stuff.
However, in several cases, ideas start becoming falsely viewed as necessary, and as being so effective that other games feel like their best course of action is to use them themselves. There are several such tropes in our industry that have taken root in the games we play over the years, and in this feature, we’re going to talk about fifteen such tropes in single player games that we’ve just about had enough of.
A note before we begin: we’re not calling out any of the games that we mention here as a whole. Throughout the course of this feature, you’ll see several games being mentioned- we like almost all of them. Many, we even love. We’re referring only to the tropes that they make use of- which we don’t love quite as much.
FORCED SLOW WALKING
Don’t get me wrong- for cinematic purposes, or to add tension to certain dramatic situations, or as a storytelling device in specific situations, making a video game character walk purposefully slower can be effective. But it’s the sort of thing that can ruin a scene’s momentum. Games are a unique form of medium because the players control their action themselves. They dictate what happens, and how it happens, which is why moments when that control is abruptly taken way from us feel so jarring. Nothing kills the pace worse than making it out of an adrenaline-fuelled shootout, only to being forced to walk through a corridor at a crawl’s pace. Here’s a very recent example. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an absolute masterpiece, and one of the best games we’ve played in ages, if not ever- but Arthur, please, for all that is good in the world, could you walk a little bit faster?