Over Used Game Plots

Games/Toy/ Hobbies - Video Games
By: muetora    
16-Jan-2011

Introduction: It's no secret to anyone who has attempted to write a story that the basic plot will always be similar to stories that came before. Stories have been around from the birth of our species, and because of this almost every " plot device" has been put to use. Video game story is just as prone to this as any other medium. Yet with so many games there is an over use of several " basic plots" that echos in almost every game. These are some of the most ravaged plot lines.

  • 01

    Amesia

    Amnesia is by far one of the most, and often most poorly used plot tool to date. Sure you may say " It worked out great in games like KotOR." That would be one of the few times. Anymore the whole concept of a protagonist having amnesia seems stuffed in there to pad an already thin story line. And worse yet, many of the times the player is fully aware of the " truth" of the character with it from the start. This is when the concept of a forgotten past gets annoying, and somewhat tedious. Developers like to think they are crafty, and want to drop hints that the character in question is some iconic hero of the past, or a former super villain who has a chance on a fresh start. However it's often written with the subtlety and grace akin to an intoxicated elephant locked in a room full of expensive china, and a floor covered in mice. Sure the end result may still be quite fun, but you already know exactly how it's going to play out from the start.

  • 02

    " Oh No! She's Been Kidnapped!.....Again"

    It does not matter if it's the main characters love interest ( or someone they are trying to win over.) A family member, or even their pet dog. The mere concept of having to rescue someone is one of the most commonly used pieces of story telling in games. In fact, it's the only plot some characters ever really get a chance to know. With that said, there is a point when the same princess has been kidnapped for the 2000th time, and you find yourself wondering " why bother? she's just going to get kidnapped next week. Does she even bother with Security anymore? Why always me? does her royal escort, and military forces hate her that much to not care? Is this actually some secret Fetish?"
    The concept may hold solid if its thrown into an epic story, and your given a reason to care and feel as if saving this individual is well worth it. Sadly, many developers fall into the mindset of the early 80's when a rich story were not important because they were already too limited in technology anyway. With that you get offered the chance to save a character you have no drive as a player to want to save. A few flashes of memory perhaps at most to try and establish the importance of the person needed to be saved... but in the end does anyone really care anymore? Mario really should just get over this whole peach thing and date that lovely lass Karen from down the street. She works retail at the local mall and has never been stalked by over grown turtle dragons. Something tells me that would be a much healthier relationship.

  • 03

    Night of the Living Repeat

    There is an evil curse upon the land, and or Mad scientist. And now the dead have risen to walk the streets, and feed on all those living. While the Zombie craze ( for whatever reason) has a cycle of coming and going every 30 years or so in pop culture, it's become overly annoying as of late now that video games are there to sink their rotted teeth into the fad.
    The basic concept is always the same. Don't get eaten, aim for the head. There really is not much else you can do with these. Sure some try and write in a detailed science story of corrupt corporations and plagues, others like to dive into the feel of off the wall 1970's b-movies, but lets be honest how is it possible that you can write a reality in which nobody knows what a zombie is anymore?. Games often reflect our current world, even down to fads. This unhealthy obsession with a zombie apocalypse is one of the most noteworthy, should the same not have formed itself in these game realities? Are we to assume that folk lore and myth has never formulated the idea of the undead?. Sure you can give the argument based around quantum theory stating that there is a reality for any possibility to exist, including one where zombies were unheard of. No matter how you want to look at it however the fact till remains that Zombies are quickly approaching the same commonality as insects in the world.

  • 04

    Mega Super Dooms Day Device of Doom

    Bad guys have a super weapon of some sort, and for some reason or another your character is the only one that can stop it. If your lucky you may even have a friend or two to help you... you know, because the other several billion people on the planet can't be bothered to get up and be of any use in saving the planet they call home.
    It's not exactly a " bad" concept, just one overly used. Sometimes its a death star like mega laser, sometimes it's a plague, or perhaps it's a device that sends the earth spiraling out of the solar system. Whatever the device is, you have to stop it. The only real down side to this besides the outstanding heroics of the general population to aid you, is the fact that in most games the device is pretty easy to locate, and destroy. So easy in fact that it often instantly takes away from any earlier worries that there may have been an actual threat.

  • 05

    You Killed My Dog!!!!

    While revenge is one of the oldest tales in the book, it's also conveniently the oldest and one of the most heavily used motivators to a game. Sometimes it's the main point of the story. Sometimes it's tied onto any of the above said plot tools. Most often it's just thrown at you in the hopes that you as a player have reason to actually care. The worst offenders of this tend to enjoy opening the story with a short cinematic depicting the events you're supposed to be all bent out of shape over. Sometimes it's worse than that and the character is idly talking about it. It's one of those things that every human alive has had some understanding of. Pay back is a bitch, yes it's true. The major difference is in life you tend to have a real connection or reason to want revenge. Games rarely give you more than a pat on the back, and point you in the direction with little more than a " you're mad, go that way" with no clear understanding why. When revenge alone is the main plot you can always expect hours of pointless unrelated side quests and errand running before you are even allowed to think of killing that bastard that poisoned your beloved goldfish. When you run around so much you tend to forget, or even stop caring about the whole revenge part, and the game has to try it's hardest to remind you of your goal by casually throwing out some off handed and out of place comment like " Gee you sure seem different ever sense that fish of yours was killed" This usually coming from some twit you have never met before in your life.







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