After their diffusion at the beginning of the last generation, quick time events are being treated as a menace to the gameplay. They were born as a way to make cutscene, especially those that were supposed to be longer, more interactive and reduce dead times during the singleplayer campaigns. Nowadays, on the contrary, QTEs have a bad name in most gamers’ opinion: why?
It’s hard to find the actual reasons that took gamers to hate this “evolution” of the filmed scenes between two different sections of a game. Probably, with the ending of the initial surprise effect, people have started to get tired of seeing them almost everywhere and making increasingly complicated maneuvers with their gamepads has not given a good contribution to the cause.
Anyway, industry has started showing up some reactions to the backlash of gamers over quick time events. Or, at least, a part of it. For example, Ninja Theory recently stated that there won’t be any QTE in the upcoming Hellblade, even though it belongs to the genre – action games – which somehow “invented” them. On the other hand, titles like The Order: 1886 keep pushing on this particular aspect and believe in the value of the quick time events. It’s interesting to understand why, in this case, too.
Ready at Dawn has not made a mystery of its will to produce The Order: 1886 as a cinematic experience. Everything had to look like a movie, according to Andrea Pessino and his team’s concept. They almost did it, even rendering the gameplay itself with two big black bars over the screen, like a Bluray on your TV, but they required something more.
They required something that could help them transmit the feelings which the characters were living during the game: effort, fatigue, pain, etc. Quick time events, in this prospective, are helpful enough to both developers and gamers, because they can effectively annoy or delight the gamer, they can send a message to the palyer.
So, what I think about the QTEs is, predictably, that they have to be used wisely. You cannot fill your game with them, just to make it look more interactive or cover some of its failures, but neither we as gamers can criticize too much if they become a tool in the hands of developers. Looking at that from this point of view, we can already imagine that quick time events will… quickly disappear from games that need to move on fast – such as action games à la Hellblade – while still having a good spot in adventures like The Order: 1886, which is actually not very much about pace.
Tell us what do you think about quick time events in the comments section below.