The Top 7... trendy game-design crutches

What do developers love? Falling back on these new-school clichés

Why do they love it? No group of people on this earth is more fond of digging their own graves than temperamental game designers. This is not precisely a rare bird; whether it's Denis Dyack going off on his latest tirade, or Peter Molyneux telling us all that his latest masterwork is going to be so powerful it will make grown men commit Natal pedophilia with Milo, we've certainly no shortage of daytime drama here in the videogame industry. And yet developers continue to run their mouths faster than their teams can work, with the end result being disappointment and skepticismafter too much hype.

Case in Point: Peter Molyneux

"I reckon that Project: Ego [Fable 1] is going to be the greatest role-playing-game of all time, which is insane. I could say the second greatest, I could say quite good, I could say, ‘Hmmmm, it's quite nice,’ but I'm going to say greatest game of all time."

–Peter Molyneux, in an interview with Xbox Nation, July 2003

1. Sequels

Why do they love it? So what if most sequels demand you spend the next few years of your life developing something soulless just for the money? It's so freakin' easy! Use the same engines and art assets from the last game, throw in a few more characters onscreen, add some zombies, and BOOM! Payday! That said, it's hard to blame the developers for this, considering it's the gamers who continue to purchase this stank-ridden swill. Seriously, who is it that's still buying Dynasty Warriors?

Case in Point: Halo 3: ODST

We don't know how good Halo 3: ODST will be, but what we do know is that it's blatant brand-name sequel filler that's being pushed out onto the market for the sake of filling another fiscal quarter with a Halo game. It may turn out to be a fantastic game, but let's all be realistic: this is a cash-in title that exists for the sole purpose of keeping the seat warm for Halo 4.

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