Creator's Pet: Hurk as a character seems to exist as the biggest connection point of the games as a recurring character, but the playerbase has gradually grown more and more sick of him as the years go by. His appearance in the Mars DLC for 5 is usually called the tipping point for when people began to utterly hate him.
For short range, it's syringes that allow one to tag enemies through walls. Auto-tag everyone, distract an enemy with rocks, and takedown them when they investigate. Primal nerfed this by having no auto-tag, while 5 made it a lot more resource-heavy and reduced the range enemies can hear rocks from.
For long range, it's any silenced sniper-rifle, preferably one with armor-piercing bullets. Throw in the abovementioned auto-tag and you're set. Nerfed in 5 by making elite enemy headgear inpenetrable even with AP bullets, but New Dawn then reversed this.
Or the various rocket launchers, which generally one-hit kill anything in the game. Taken even further by the special ammo available in some versions, which will fly up into the sky before splitting into a half-dozen cluster munitions or firebombs, that are capable of plastering an entire outpost in deadly fire in 1 or 2 shots.
Evil Is Cool: In contrast to the first two (numbered) games, where they promoted The Hero in the covers, from the third (numbered) game to beyond, the developers went out of their way to make the villains this if featuring the Big Bad in the cover instead of the game's protagonist is any indication, not to mentioned the villains' charismatic performances by their actors in the games themselves.
Homegrown Hero: A staple of the series, as almost every protagonist is an American citizen abroad, regardless of where the game takes place.
Averted in Primal, which takes place long before America (or any other modern country) was founded, and in 5, which features an American citizen in America.
Also averted in the 6th game, which features a local guerilla who is fighting to overthrow his island's dictatorship, as the main character.
The First of these is not like the Others: An odd example where every game from 2 onwards is relatively grounded in reality, being about an everyman embroiled in some plot by a normal big bad and his mooks (and the local wildlife), but the first game and its remake are about an everyman, who is facing off against a bond style villain and his mooks, and his mutants, the remake takes it even further where said everyman ends up with superpowers, Justified, as the first game and it's remake were made by Crytek, whereas 2 onwards were made by Ubisoft.
Vanilla Protagonist: The series is well known for having memorable villains at the expense of personality for the protagonist, with Blood Dragon being the notable exception and 3 potentially scraping by. 2 and 5 outright have the main character as a Heroic Mime, with the former allowing a choice from a list of twelve mercenaries, and the latter going with Character Customization.
"Food guy" Emillio for being an unfunny comic relief.
The tourists looking for whales, as they are another case of annoying comic relief.
WHAT ABOUT THE WHALES, GEORGE?
Strangled by the Red String: The main characters share a bed and have sex on their first night together, while barely knowing each other.
Video Game Movies Suck: The staple for Uwe Boll video game movies, and the gaming studios became dead-set on never letting it happen to another one of their games again after this attempt. The video game movies Boll has directed since 2008 are sequels to the earlier films.
Plot Tumor: The Detective Cordons investigation of Heathers death. Its not badly written per se, but it goes on for too long, with little progress or significant character development. The eventual revelation that Lee was partly complicit in her death and was responsible for covering it up just doesnt elicit much emotion.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Will Grayson. His superior makes a very good point that his obsession with Mitchell Roberts is destructive and the methods he used to gather evidence were deeply unethical. Sadly, once Roberts escapes, he is treated as being right all along in his methods and he never gets confronted by either Christine Fell or someone else.