QTEs: Press X to post blog. - Destructoid

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Quick Time events have an extensive history, dating back to the 1970s, first featured in Kansai Seiki Seisakusho Co's The Driver where the player is tasked with matching the movements of the steering wheel, gas pedal, and brakes to the indicators shown on the screen. But in modern gaming our idea of 'Quick Time Event' is pressing Space to execute an enemy or the infamous 'Press X to Jason'. So when did QTEs simply turn into Pressing X to Win for so many people and do they still have a place in video games?

Do QTEs serve a purpose?

The core argument against QTEs is that they reduce the difficulty to such a degree that it cheapens the game play, it also becomes repetitive to see the same QTE appear throughout the game. It isn't fun to mash the A button until you rip an enemies head off in an execution style mechanics, in fact execution style mechanics as a whole are getting over played with video games trying harder and harder to be more 'visceral' while ignoring the core aspects of game play and instead just giving players something to gawk at. But it is understandable why game companies would want to implement QTEs, they are by far one of the easiest game play mechanics to program, simply have the player go through an animation if they hit a button at the correct time or another animation if he doesn't. But with games like Ryze being released in the near future and reports that not only can you not fail the QTEs, you can actually shut them off. Is that a developers idea of a game play mechanic? How much does a developer lack confidence in how fun their game is if you can turn off an entire sections of game play?

So the question remains, 'Do QTEs have a place in video games?' and the answer is, 'Kinda'. Games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are exclusively QTE and they were immensely popular, but unlike FPS or Strategy games, no one really plays them anymore. People got bored with matching their feet and fingers to symbols on the screen and the genre slowly died out until the point no one makes those games any more. What happened to Guitar Hero, guys? I don't know, you don't know, nobody knows, nobody cares.

QTEs have a place, but only within their our genres. If we're playing an FPS, we want everything that is expected with an FPS, the ability to aim and shoot as the core mechanic. If we're playing an RPG like The Witcher or Elder Scrolls, we expect all the game play mechanics respective to that series. Point being, QTEs should remain in their own separate genre like they do with DDR or Guitar Hero, but when you try to shoehorn them into games like Bioshock then QTEs become nothing more than 'Press X to not die', and no self respecting gamer thinks that's fun. Of all the QTEs I've been tasked with, none have offered significant challenge or entertainment and all of them become repetitive after very few completions. As far as I can tell, QTEs only serve as an easy way for developers create boss battles. I mean, what would be easier, having the player fight an extensive battle with multiple phases and mechanics or just having them press a button and going through a death animation? They're detracting and they take you out of the experience. How am I supposed to think I'm playing an actual character or enjoy the scene in progress with giant symbols slapping me in the face?

So. Do you think QTEs belong in video games? And how would you like them implemented, if at all?

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