Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 8.11: Abnormal Psychology
This trope is a conflict resolution trope. A character is given a choice between fighting, talking or sneaking past obstacles. This trope is not limited to video games. It also applies to any narrative. Most stories will have a pre-set mode, combat for war stories, diplomacy in the police procedural (its more than showing up with a Italian suit to the U.N.) or stealth in the heist story. But if you want a quick change of pace or heighten the tension a change of approach where in the character(s) are out of their league works. Or it could highlight a characters secondary abilities.
Having said that, it is best to avoid having a bit character exist for the sole purpose of doing whatever the other characters can’t do in that one scene, never to be heard from ever again.