10 Gaming Tropics We Love

Though they get a bad cover, a trope is just one element often found in fictional works. It can be anything from the way certain characters behave, to certain plot developments, to regular game mechanics. As a medium, video games often use storylines from other types of fiction, but have also built their own library.

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Gamers will often recognize these tropes from at least some games, and they can generate eye rolls and snide comments. However, some tropes are not only common but beneficial to the games they appear in, serving to enhance the player experience more often than not.

10 Incredibly lax laws about looting rewards for player exploration

In real life, property and what a person can do with it are the subject of huge chunks of the law. Who owns something, what rights they have in it, what rights others have in it, and much more, are all contained in page after page of ancient laws. In many video games, property laws tend to be a little more relaxed.

Players can often loot their way through the world and grab anything that isn’t stuck. Whether on the ground, in the pockets of a dead enemy, or in someone else’s house, it can be taken. Some games simulate some items owned by others, but often to a much lesser extent. This rewards players for exploring the world and is a great way to get new items as you play.

9 Environmental hazards are a change of pace

A common way to add threats to video games, in addition to enemies, is to use environmental hazards. Ranging from spikes and bottomless pits to explosive barrels and poisonous gas, these are areas of the map that are harmful to the player if they get too close – and often harmful to the enemy as well.

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It may be unlikely that the villain will cover their secure lab with explosives, or that soldiers will be happy to fight near a pit that literally never ends, but gamers often appreciate seeing them all the same. They add a bit of variety to the dangers of the world and can often serve as a more fun way to take out enemies.

8 Multi-stage boss battles are truly epic

Most video game enemies – and the player – die when their health runs out. Even most bosses do that. Really important bosses, such as story-critical or intentionally challenging bosses, often see losing all their health as a sign that they need to work harder. Challenging bosses are often fought in multiple stages, with each stage becoming more and more powerful.

These are so common in video games – especially in RPGs – to approach a cliché, but they still remain popular. This is because they serve as a way to create a long-lasting fight without it getting boring, and because fighting a boss after showing the game pulls out all the stops, creating an appropriately epic atmosphere.

7 Guards lose their suspicion levels and engage in stealth

Stealth is a popular activity in video games, even games that aren’t explicitly based on it. Rather than detecting all-or-nothing, games often have the guards that the player sneaks past operate on a number of levels of consciousness, from completely unaware, to suspicious and watching, to downright hostile.

However, if left alone, guards will eventually return to their normal behavior even if they were injured in combat. While this may break some players’ immersion, it serves to create exciting escape sequences, without making infiltration completely unfeasible after the first enemy has been warned.

6 Two-player fighting characters have a special impact

A trope that’s less common, but still very much present in games like NieR: Vending MachinesThe Last of Us Part IIFire Emblem: Three Houses and more, is that two protagonists or groups of player characters end up fighting each other. This is in stark contrast to many video game attacks, where the characters team up to fight enemies.

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Especially if the game gives the player a choice of who to control in the battle, it can provide a uniquely thrilling experience. Both are likely to be likeable and likeable, and the player may not want to lose either one. As such, they can be some of the most emotional battles in an entire game.

5 Being the only one who can save the world is a fun power fantasy

A common figure of speech in all fiction that gets exaggerated in gaming is that the main character is the only one who can do what needs to be done. Whether they are the only super soldier strong enough to fight the enemy, have a God-determined destiny or are only in the right place at the right time, only they can stop the great evil or save the world.

Obviously this is very exaggerated in all fiction, especially if the main character is the “chosen one”. However, it serves a useful purpose, especially if it’s cleverly written. Part of the appeal of many games is power fantasy, and many players would like to be more important than just any soldier.

4 Smashable Pots are good, cheap fun

Often combat mechanics are a big part of a video game’s controls, so it can be a way to give players something to get into the environment to let them interact with the world. These are iconic in the form of jars, but can also be boxes, crates, shelves and more. Nevertheless, many games contain furniture that will break if the player hits it.

While this is very antisocial in real life, it has a bizarre appeal in a game. Destroying the furniture systematically is something many players have done uselessly, and it can be even more fun when the game rewards their efforts with a little bit of loot.

3 Telling environmental stories enriches the world without boring the player

Video games are certainly not lacking in exposition, with many NPCs eager to tell the player in detail what is going on in the world and who everyone is. Similarly, the story of most video games is done through cutscenes, which play out just like a normal scene in a different medium.

However, games are increasingly making use of environmental stories: visual or audio elements in the game’s world that tell their own story. Able to create a more subtly impactful form of storytelling without having to come out and tell the player, well-executed bits of environmental storytelling are always popular.

2 Major deaths that only happen in cutscenes create impact without frustration

Something players have often mocked is that, despite zero hit points that usually mean death, a player character or their companion will bounce right back up after a fight that should have killed them. Conversely, they can die in a cutscene from much less damage than they take during gameplay, and this death is final and permanent.

This may pressure suspension of disbelief, but it serves a purpose. It allows games to have the impact and suspense of a character’s death without the player having to diligently guard his companions in battle. Games with in-combat permadeath exist and are often very popular, but they also create a very specific atmosphere that players may prefer to keep optional in their games.

1 Super-hard optional content rewards skilled players, but doesn’t block others

Difficulty in games is becoming more widely discussed, with discussions about what difficulty is acceptable, what difficulty is fun, and how accommodating developers should be to players who want more or less of a challenge in their gameplay.

A common compromise is to put incredibly hard content in a game, but make it non-mandatory to complete the main story. This serves to give power gamers and challenge seekers something to battle against without stopping those who just want to experience the story from doing so. Plus, these super-tough battles and challenges often become one of the most impressive or standout parts of a game.

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