Action/Adventure as a genre is a rather nebulous. What counts and what doesn’t? But in the grander scope of things, there are certain tropes—certain clichés that repeat over and over in games that have action and have adventure. You see them so much to the point where your eyes glaze over and what you see is tally sheet clicking off it as example #5622 of video gameness. They are annoying, boring, stupid, infuriating and laughable all because they get used because developers either think they have to be used or can’t think of anything else. We wish they stop using them for the simple fact they’ve been used so much and so badly.
Here are the top 10 Action/Adventure clichés.
10- Meaningless collectables that are hidden just off the beaten path
With the advent of achievements and trophies, every game now seems to have some version of a useless thing that you have to get 100 of, or 500 etc. They serve no purpose, are common enough that you pick them up every so often and are hidden enough that you have to act like a map surveyor to get them all. The thermoses in Alan Wake, the treasures in Uncharted, the classified documents in every military shooter ever. Why are these here? Why would you pick them up? What is the point of them? But most of all, why do we waste our time trying to find them all for a lousy ding in the upper right hand corner of the screen?
9- Useful collectables that are hidden just off the beaten path
Slightly or infinitely more annoying, depending on the game is the collectable that you have to get X of and they are hidden so you have to act like a map surveyor to find them all. Slightly, because while all the same silent nagging the back of your mind, it’s offset that you are getting a benefit for the collecting like power ups, extra health or money; infinitely, because to get all those power-ups, extra health or money you have to act like said map surveyor. Whether the power orbs from Crackdown, the energy shards from inFamous or the Light Seeds from Prince of Persia (2008) they are in the way of getting better at the game or progressing at all. These games are supposed to have action and interesting visual worlds to explore and instead you’re searching every dark little corner.
8- Tapping a button repeatedly in a QTE to make a character run
This cliché has fallen out of favor recently, but I bring it up because of how stupid it is. We know how to run. We’ve been doing it the whole game. QTE are supposed to be there to accomplish actions we couldn’t do otherwise. They’re for the super impressive fighting acrobatics or ultra gory finishing moves or putting a baby to sleep. They’re not to make a character run away from something. We can do that on our own. Resident Evil 4 did this repeatedly ever time a bolder or walking statue started coming after you and it turned into a QTE. Resident Evil 5 and Jericho did this as well. And (quite hilariously) did Spider-Man 3. Though that was more jumping than running. My point stands.