Video Game Concepts That Need to Die : Quick Time Events.

The Dreamcast console brought about some pretty major advancements in the gaming world. First console to feature a built in modem for online game play, First console to have interactive Memory cards, and the First time I ever played a game with the now coined term QTE or Quick Time Event. The history of the QTE goes much further back to Arcade games of the past. But I want to focus on the examples and situations I’ve experienced, beginning with the first game I can remember clearly Shemue on the Dreamcast.

To start the game had alot going for it out of the gate, clear and consise revenge story, Open World Design and great cinematic’s. To break up the many cut scenes Yu Suzuki the Director  said ,”They(QTE) allow for the game designer to create sequences of actions that cannot be expressed through the game’s standard control scheme. ” I remember clearly playing this one night at a friends house, the game jumps into a cinematic scene then all of a sudden letters are poping out of the sky demanding you take action or fail. Many of them seemed quite quick requiring you to make that selection or risk starting the sequence over.

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After that, it really felt like the game industry saw QTE’s as another means of interactive storytelling. The God of War series is now famous for its many QTE events, Sony used them mainly in key sequences and Boss battles large in scope. At that time, I dont remember them being a topic of complaints from the wider gaming audience. Game Designers thought this would be an opportunity for gamers to feel like they are part of the story and not just watching a movie. As if the cutscene would cause the gamer to become bored or uninterested.

Later on when the Seventh generation of video games were released, developers now had all the power and technology to bring to life games, worlds, and design choices they never thought possible before. Games like Uncharted could now make scenes that were traditionally QTE scenes could now be played in full motion and interactivity. However even Uncharted featured numerous QTE’s.

Some gamers would write the use of QTE’s off as Lazy game development. While I disagree that this is always the case, I do believe this generation may need to be the last one to feature them. This generation most games cut scenes are ran in engine, the same engine that’s running the game. Passed are the days of blocky characters and CGI cut-scenes. Video games are only getting more advanced, and with Story telling most of the time being the focus, I feel its time to move on.

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Ever been playing a game and got to that cinematic moment where your faced with some kind of revelation only to have it break concentration and mash buttons to stay alive. Sometimes I just want to be entertained by a story, not everything needs to be interactive all of the time.

Now I understand that there may never be a time where this concept is truly 100% gone. So Im going to be positive and name a few examples of QTE’s done right.

  1. Tell Tale Games: For the Interactive storytelling series made by Tell tale, QTE’s make sense. They have chose to us that as a primary source of delivering the experience, and I cant fault them for that. Most of the time if you fail to complete an action then that could actually change the out come of the situation your character is in, Instead of being penalized and reloading the scene again
  2. Shadow of Mordor\Shadow of War\Batman Arkham: Gameplay made famous by RockSteady and the Arkham Batman series has gone on the be featured and even out right copied to other games. It features a fantastic counter system and at specific times even a QTE or two.

As it stands Im all for Story telling, and any gameplay that can enhance that Im traditionally up for trying. However I think its about time Quick Time Events rides of into the sunset, while we wait for the next best thing.

Sound off in the comments below to let me know what you think, maybe you actually love the QT Events or maybe you already have an Idea for what the next big “IT” Mechanic is next. Thanks for reading!

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