It doesn't matter in which era or setting a game takes place, you're always going to end up in a situation that makes you say 'well damn, I've seen this before'. Clichés are not just a thing in movies. Guaranteed you ran in half of these 10 clichés in your career as a gamer.
1. Explosive barrels
Enemy AI takes huge steps forward but there is 1 cliché they just cant seem to get used on: the explosive barrel. These much used barrels seem to be something enemies love to take cover behind. Extremely effective to take out a group of enemies but actually this cliché isn't logical anymore.
2. Double jump
This one is older than the most people who read this text. This year the Double Jump has its 28th birthday! First seen in Namcos game Dragon Buster back in 1984, this trick gives you the opportunity to make a jump during a jump, on air.
3. Ammo boxes
'Hey look, some ammo. Even a med pack? How lucky!' 9 out of 10 times you walk into a boss fight after this situation. You're never empty handed when going head to head with a big boss with these nice boxes.
4. Switches and levers
The genre doesn't matter; in almost every game at some point you'll have to pull a lever or turn a switch. Running into a lever or switch always means 2 things: 1. It's now in the wrong position, and 2. You'll have to pull it in a sec, why would it else be there? Won't take long before gamers start to look for levers and switches in real life to access unreachable area.
5. Sidequests while the world is falling apart
The world is falling apart! You're the only one who can save it, no time to waste.. but first go look for a missing cat or gather some animal skins. Especially RPG let the fate of the world wait for as long you need to complete your quests.
6. Boss fights in stages
After a tough, heavy fight the boss finally goes down, but you're afraid to let the controller rest for a while. Most bosses have the habit to evolve or somewhat become stronger after you thought you nailed them. A boss who just has 1 life with 1 health meter is unique these days.
7. Rubber banding
A lot of racing games are victim to this cliché. No need to worry after your car went in a spin just crashed into a wall or something. You'll be back in the action in no time. But getting away from your opponents after that is impossible with this technique. Rubber banding keeps the race exciting till the end. Great feature when you just crashed your car, but a pain in the ass if it prevents you from taking a lead.
8. The silent hero
There wont be a lot of people who get things done without saying a word, ever. In video games it's nothing but normal. Multiple times the world has been saved by characters who never speak a word. Isaac Clarke in Dead Space and Gordon Freeman in Half-Life rather use their skills instead of their voice, and no one in the game seems to bother.
9. The weak spot
Whether its an enemy you need to take down or a ship or anything, there always is a weak spot. Often highlighted in red or another prominent color. Also often a continuing patron of a boss can be seen as a weak spot.
10. Death is just an inconvenience
Most game characters are really tough when you look at everything they go through, but they often have something is common: death is just an inconvenience, not a tragedy. Potions, spells or med packs bring you back to life in no time.
That is my top 10 which comes up when I think about video game cliches. How about your cliches you keep running into? Let me know :)