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

The Dreamcast console brought about some pretty major advancements in the gaming world. The 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 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. A clear and consise revenge plot, Open World Design and great cinematic’s. To break up the many cut scenes Yu Suzuki the Director  said ,”(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.


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 uninterested.

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 using the in-gameengine. base-exterior-4

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 use 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.

Gameplay that can enhance that Im traditionally up for trying, isnt that the most important part afterall? In conclusion, the current technology can allow game developers the luxury of delivering a cinematic experience in brand new ways. Games like Uncharted, God Of War and Horizon have done a fantastic job of a uninterrupted Story telling that I believe is the future for game development.

Thanks for reading!

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