The ‘Back From the Brink’ Gaming Trope Explained

As gaming has become more and more popular in recent decades, there are certain tropes that have become industry mainstays. These tropes are vast and varied, ranging from how developers create specific levels, to how characters behave in specific scenarios, to overarching events that occur consistently throughout the game. You can cover things. Some of these game tropes are obvious, but others require a little more time to analyze.

It may not be the first game trope fans think of, but the “back from the brink” trope actually exists in a huge number of games. It’s mostly common in real-time strategy titles, but it’s found across games, from beloved sci-fi first-person shooters to iconic fantasy adventure games. Once fans start noticing the expression “back from the brink”, they can’t stop watching it.

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How the “back from the brink” trope works

The trope of “back from the brink” is used in almost every video game that starts the game with a team or faction of players losing in a significant way. This can take many forms, but a prime example is when a player’s faction loses a major battle in a war and is forced to retreat. These large losses are used to show how hopeless the conflict is and that the player’s faction will definitely lose.

Starting the game with a loss this big sets the stakes incredibly high right from the start, paving the way for the “return from the brink” trope to come into full effect. With death or loss otherwise certain, the player is forced to step up and become the savior of the faction. Throughout the game, the player wins a series of important victories, eventually leading to the player’s faction winning the day against all odds.

The game’s “back from the brink” trope is often associated with the “it’s up to you” trope. This is because most of the time the player is the only character who can save the day. Occasionally, the player is assisted by her one or her two companions. In many cases, AI like Cortana can only give an enemy army a tactical overview. However, even if the player is helped, the allies are usually working for them and don’t have much power to control the outcome of the conflict.

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The best example of the “back from the brink” metaphor in gaming

A man with Commander Shepard standing as the Earth is invaded by the Grim Reaper

The “back from the brink” game trope is incredibly popular in the sci-fi gaming world, and one of the best examples of its use is Hello franchise. The Covenant, the main antagonist of the series, is a far more powerful force than the UNSC, so Hello The title features a “back from the brink” game trope.At first Hellothe game begins with the Master Chief waking up from cryosleep only to find that the Reach has fallen and the Covenant chase the Fall Pillar crew through Slipspace. Only Master Chief and Master Chief escape the Halo ring.

Halo 2 It begins with the Covenant coming to Earth and launching an invasion. The UNSC has orbital MAC cannons that help push back invading forces, but still hunt down player factions. halo 3 It takes place just a few months later, and upon arrival on Earth, the Master Chief learns that the Covenant has launched a full-scale invasion and the UNSC is unlikely. the first part, Hello reachuntil the arrival of the Covenant, the UNSC is actually the dominant force on the titular planet, subverting the “back from the brink” game trope. In contrast, the player character is Hello reach takes the opposite journey, starting the game with a full team of capable allies, and ending it hopelessly and alone.

Another franchise led by a green super soldier, Doom, also uses the “back from the brink” game metaphor. 2016 Doom Starting with the Doom Slayer waking up alone in a UAC facility on Mars, he soon discovers that the facility and the planet have been overrun by demonic invaders, and it’s up to him to push them all back. Doom Eternal Raise the stakes even higher by bringing a demonic invasion to Earth and commanding the DOOM Slayer to once again fight off hordes of demons.

The trope of “returning from the brink” is also very popular in the sci-fi RPG world. mass effect 3 is perhaps the best example of a trope used in a Sci-Fi RPG, and the game opens with the Reaper’s invasion of Earth. The rest of the game sees Commander Shepard trying to muster an army large enough to defeat the Reaper, a seemingly impossible task.

Real-time strategy games use the “return from the brink” trope more than any other genre, and again, sci-fi titles are the most common example.of home world The very premise of the series uses this trope, with the rest of humanity aboard Homeworld’s ships trying to find new planets suitable for colonization.of Command & Conquer The series uses this trope frequently. red alert 2 Force the player’s faction to go back in time to save the planet from the brink of enslavement, red alert 3 The player’s base is destroyed at the start of the mission, and the player must frequently fight off overwhelming enemy forces, and this trope is found throughout.

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