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Everything-Is-Smashable Area
Sometimes game makers want to show how epic a battle is by having the arena you're fighting in slowly fall apart as enemies (or you) launch attacks or get tossed around. Sometimes they want to show off their awesome physics engine, and sometimes... sometimes they just think being able to blow everything up is really, really cool.

Enter the Everything-Is-Smashable Area , a location where environmental and structural objects can be shot, smashed or blown apart just as easily as the mooks guarding them. Usually this is done for the purposes of collecting points or items, but occasionally destroying objects or walls en masse is necessary to progress or, in more cathartic instances, the whole point of the game.

See also: Rewarding Vandalism, Everything Breaks. A video-game version of Kung-Shui.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Game 
  • Blast Corps is made of this, except for the trees.
  • Most of The Force Unleashed is like this, until the Disappointing Last Level. The Kashyyyk prologue is especially notable, though, crammed full of trees you can cut down with your lightsaber and throw around with the force, and grass that ripples as you blow things over it. Also Wookiee-tossing.
  • Every level in the 2009 Ghostbusters video game. But especially the hotel level, which is a Continuity Nod to the movie, where they destroyed goddamn everything in a hotel.
  • More or less the entire point of Space Invaders Get Even: Every destroyed building and enemy increases your timer by varying amounts, which also doubles as your lifebar. As might be expected, abducting cows and visiting Stonehenges (yes, it's a plural, for whatever reason there's one in pretty much single level) increase it the most.
  • In The Matrix Path Of Neo in most levels you can punch, kick or throw enemies into walls to smash them. You don't get anything for it, it's just fun to do.

    Action Adventure Game 
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
    • The storehouse just outside of Hyrule Castle Town in child Link's time. An NPC in the room hangs a lampshade on it by mentioning how Link can "let off some steam" by destroying the jars.
    • You can maneuver the final boss into smashing the various bits of rubble around his arena, releasing item pickups for you. Handy.
  • The Overlord series of games allows you and your ravenous horde of gremlins to smash just about any and every inanimate object aside from trees, bushes and rocks. In fact, doing so is often necessary to find treasure. Plus commanding a ravenous horde of gremlins to tear apart a tranquil village including burning down the houses is immensely entertaining.

    Action RPG 
  • Downplayed in Kingdom Hearts II. There's a minigame wherein you have a room full of boxes to smash, but you have to be strategic about it in order to get any sort of reward.

    Arcade Game 
  • This was the entire point of classic arcade game Rampage.

    Fighting 
  • There's a game-mode in Godzilla Unleashed where you get points for...well...destroying a major city. Certain buildings are worth more points than others and famous landmarks (e.g., the Tokyo Tower) are worth the most points.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Half-Life has a few rooms filled with nothing but smashable crates.
  • Half Life 2: Episode 1 features a duel between Gordon Freeman and a Combine gunship in a large, rickety wooden building which is slowly reduced to rubble by surface-to-air missiles and heavy machine-gun fire. The fight gets progressively more difficult as available cover is destroyed. Or easier, depending on your playing style. After all, if a part of the roof covers you from the gunship's fire, it covers the gunship from your fire too.
  • Left 4 Dead 2's Swamp Fever had a level where the survivors must make their way across a rickety, highly destructible bridge. The structure is slowly chipped away at by gunfire and zombie attacks, and god help you if you throw a Molotov. Lots of fun on Versus on the zombie team.
  • Red Faction and Red Faction 2 live on this trope, such that it shocks you when you finally come across a surface that you can't blast your way through.
  • Later on in the game, in Serious Sam III BFE, you go through some Egyptian ruins where all the pillars, archways and most of the walls are destructable. Very fun with crates full of infinite rocket launcher ammo and C4.

    General 
  • Many games that advertise themselves as featuring destructible scenery will have a few of these and make sure they're prominently featured in the trailer. The rest of the game? Not so much.

    Hack and Slash 

    MMORPG 

    Platform Game 
  • Earthworm Jim 2 has the level "Lorenzen's Soil", where Jim has to shoot a path through dirt.
  • One of the castle levels in Wario Land II consists of Wario smashing through a bunch of walls.
  • The bamboo forest in the second part of the fight against General Tsao in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla ups the ante even further than its FPS predecessors by setting the game on an Everything Is Smashable Planet.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The main way of getting studs in almost every LEGO Adaptation Game. And the best way of handling puzzles. When in doubt, attack the scenery.
  • The Japanese game Hakaioh - King of Crusher is based on this trope. Your character usually has violent rampages in which he smashes everything in the room, brought on by some kind of a weird talking flying demonic beetle with bat wings. Taken Up to Eleven in later levels when the main character is turned into a werewolf of some kind, a dinosaur, a Godzilla expy and finally a dragon, just so you can destroy bigger stuff.
  • Incredible Hulk Ultimate Destruction lives up to the name: if you can see it, you can destroy it. If you can't destroy it, you can pick it up and use it to destroy other things.


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