So we're finally getting some more details on David Cage's upcoming title, "Heavy Rain," and already we're hearing the predictable complaint. Like Indigo Prophecy before it, Heavy Rain will feature a very familiar gameplay mechanic that has become dreadfully unpopular over the last year or two.
Ah, the Quick Time Event.
I never have figured out exactly when we began to hate the QTE so much. I know that it can certainly be a frustrating feature when not implemented properly. The "cool factor" of certain Resident Evil 4 cutscenes is diminished somewhat after seeing the first half of the scene eight times because you suck that much. Some titles (Tomb Raider: Legend, for example) only throw a few QTEs in the entire game, so they pop out of nowhere and you're never expecting them. Some games make the "PRESS THIS" cues too quick or too difficult to see.
Suffice it to say that Quick Time Events have been done poorly in quite a few games.
But it frustrates me that some gamers would dismiss an entire game over this feature. It's become another one of those words that gamers hear and immediately roll their eyes: "Quick Time Events", "Linear", "Motion Controls." I think we get so caught up in our bandwagon of cynicism that we begin to forget the potential these features have when used properly.
Think back to the game that started the QTE craze: God of War. The boss battles in this game were already epic set pieces, but it was the inclusion of Quick Time Events that took the fights to the next level. These sequences took the battle beyond the stock set of fighting animations and static cameras and gave the fight a brutal, cinematic flair. I don't see any way those battles could have been nearly so engaging, brutal or satisfying without using the Quick Time Event.
This feature does have potential. Rather than demanding that developers STOP including this feature, I suggest we start asking that they use it BETTER.