RPG Elements in Everything
Back in 2009, Cliff Bleszinski (creator of the Gears of War franchise) predicted that the future of shooters would be RPGs, and he was right. It was, apparently, also the future of action-adventure, platformers, racing games and any number of other genres. For the past five-years or so the quickest, laziest way to give your game the illusion of depth was to throw some XP and leveling into the mix.
RPGs are one of my favorite genres, but I am sick and tired of having to navigate a skill tree in every second game I play. “It’s a shooter/platformer/fighting game, but it’s ALSO AN RPG” impresses precisely nobody anymore. If you want to make an RPG so badly, just make an RPG.
Super X-Ray Vision
Okay, so technically super x-ray vision was first introduced two generations ago in Metroid Prime, but it was this past generation that really glommed onto the mechanic in a big way. Assassin’s Creed, the Arkham series and countless other games have relied on some sort of visual filter that turns everything into a glowy wire-frame.
Super x-ray vision actually worked in Metroid Prime because those games only used it to find secrets and extras, but in games like Arkham Asylum it’s so essential you may as well leave it on the whole game, which might be fine except it’s visually confusing and eye-straining, so you end up having to switch back and forth constantly. Super x-ray vision is supposed to make you feel smart and perceptive, but at this point it mostly just makes my head hurt.