10 Storytelling Clichés In Video Games That Need To Die

10. Kill The Cutie


Prime Offender: Titanfall 2, Final Fantasy VII

Need a quick and dirty emotional punch? Easy. Kill the super-loveable character - the one that audiences have grown to love over the course of a few hours.

It’s sad, when you think about it, that the only way developers think we can connect with a story is by offing the cutest character in the game. There are so many ways to create an emotional bond, to stir investment in the plot, that this just feels like the easy way out. It requires zero thought.

Zero effort. Just pick the best sidekick and write him or her out of the script – preferably with a death scene that callously plucks at all the emotional chords without ever putting in the hard work.

Typically, this occurs to show you just how evil the bad guy is (as if we hadn’t guessed), or to force the protagonist to act. Or both. This is base-level storytelling; the emotional equivalent of waking up and discovering it was all a dream.


Word-wrangler and video gamer on the rocks. Once completed the original Resident Evil in 1 hour 4 minutes. Prefers Irish coffee over any other kind. Former movie trailer writer, now rehabilitated. Wrote the viral videos for the movie Watchmen. Likes sarcasm, cynicism, smoking and you.