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34 Cliches of Christmas
What's With This Ammo Lying Around?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 01, 2007   |   Episode 10 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!



Now imagine this scene with only a few bullets and no way of finding extra grenades!
As Seen In: Doom, Half-Life, Quake, Black, Tomb Raider, Halo series, Unreal Tournament, Ratchet & Clank, Grand Theft Auto, BioShock, TimeSplitters, Metal Slug, Prey, Duke Nukem, and basically every other action game released in the last thirty years (both in the third and first-person perspectives).

What Is It? There's a reason you decided it was a good idea to go it alone. I mean, you could have brought your friends along to help you kill hundreds of well-trained soldiers protecting a huge metal robot that could change the way we look at military assault forever, but you decided sneak out in the middle of the night and do it all by yourself. But you know that you have an advantage in this war against evil, you know for a fact that there's going to be copious amounts of extra ammo and weapons lying around for no good reason. All you have to do is make sure your shot is better than theirs and dodge a few bullets (and grenades) from time to time. This should be easy, because the only thing hard about a one-man war is the fact that you always run out of bullets. But now you don't have to, because nobody seems to care that there's huge quantities of bullets and grenades all over the floor.

Is It Realistic? Just to reiterate, a One Man Army is a bad idea that should not be considered by anybody. But that isn't why

The Black cover is basically a real life version of what you see in most first-person shooters!
we're here today. This isn't about how stupid you are for rushing into a heavily fortified military zone all by yourself. Instead this is about how stupid THEY are for leaving all that ammo lying around. It serves no advantage for the enemy soldiers to leave ammo scattered everywhere; after all, they are the ones that know where to find more ammo. All it does is help you out, since you can waste as many bullets as you want because you'll just find more on the ground. I don't know about you, but I would be a little concerned about a facility that had nothing but bullets lying around, it definitely gives off the impression that they aren't very orderly and might not even be all there mentally. But then, I suppose that this is perfect for the One Man Army since he's clearly not all together, either. Maybe at the end of the day we discover that these cliches were made for each other.

Is It Overused? It's a necessary cliche. Fast-moving action games require ammo just lying around, that's how they keep you from never letting go of the gun's trigger. How much fun would Doom be if you only had a set amount of bullets? To be fair, there are games that have bucked this tradition and tried to offer a more realistic approach. Call of Duty 4 is a good example of this, for the most part the only ammo you are picking up is that from a fallen enemy soldier. But that's the exception to the rule, these days most games just allow you to pick up ammo just scattered around a level.

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