Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Quick time events (usually referred to as "QTEs") have a long and very mixed relationship with video game design. From Dragons Lair in the 1980s to Viking (and very soon Asura's Wrath) QTEs are a fairly common feature. I'm of mixed feelings when it comes to QTEs though. On one hand the stuff happening on screen is usually pretty cool, but on the other hand the player isn't really doing all that cool stuff. Rather it's just a "push button to continue cutscene" deal and frankly I find that rather archaic.

It doesn't have to be that way though. I would be more than happy to see greater flexibility in QTEs. It's embarassing to think that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis back in the PS1 era did a better job in some ways than more modern counterparts. Rather than simply having one choice why not give the player two or three? I'm not talking about simply changing up button prompts. What I'm talking about here is having several prompts simultaneously popping up onscreen each having a differing results depending on which the player inputs. This might make it more of a choose-your-own-adventure than a true QTE, but I think it would be a lot more fun.

I should clarify that I'm not a atychiphobic, I don't have a crippling fear of failure. That said I don't have some kind of crypo-sadistic agenda either. If players can't make up their mind then they deserve to have the flow of their gaming experience come to a sudden and brutal halt. What I would like to see though is more options, more variably and most importantly more replay value. No need for Kratos to kill cyclops the same way time and time again. As the proverb goes "There's more than one way to skin a centaur" after all. I might have misquoted that but you get the idea.

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