Do quick time events add anything to the game experience?

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#1 Edited by MiniPato (2747 posts) -

I don't know about you guys, but I can really do without quick time events in all my games. Having just played Battlefield 3's campaign, I have to wonder why they felt they needed quick time events. It's a beautiful looking game and I would rather enjoy the cool first person sequences instead of having to look at the bottom of the screen to see what the next prompt is. Then I wondered why any game needed quick time events, save for Heavy Rain which its only gameplay mechanic is essentially a QTE. I understand why devs put QTE's in games. They want to add interactivity in everything and give the player as much gameplay and control as possible and try to stray from MGS level cutscenes. But I can stand to see a cool action sequence without my interaction in it. I'm not going to complain about the couple seconds without gameplay if they want to show me something cool. Pressing a button to not die is not exciting gameplay and it doesn't add that much interactivity to the game. It adds frustration more than anything. I feel like this generation there are a lot of people concerned with games having as much gameplay and interactivity as possible. People no longer have the patience for cutscenes or having control taken off their hands and thus we get QTE's. But I see QTE's as nothing more than a button to trigger the next scene of the cutscene, the scene where you live. I don't feel like I'm performing the action on the screen just because I pressed one button.

Do you agree? Disagree? Do quick time events add anything to the gameplay experience? Does pressing a button to trigger a cool action sequence make you feel like you did that action? Or is it just a nuisance that distracts from what's happening on the screen?

#2 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

God of War and RE4 are the only games where QTEs felt really well done enough for me. Other than that most have been extremely forgettable.

Edit: 1,200th post :D

#3 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2998 posts) -

ill just tell you this. I was killed twice by a rat in battlefield 3. No thank you, I hate quick time events

#4 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

I dont like them, at all. They were a novel thing in God of War (yes, I know it's not even close to the first QTE game, but I feel like it brought them back), but now they are everywhere. They are repetitive and unforgiving, a lot of the time, so I would be happy if they went away.

#5 Posted by ViciousAnchovy (787 posts) -

I felt they were done well in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. If you're going to be a clone, be a good clone.

#6 Posted by laserbolts (5352 posts) -
@VisariLoyalist

ill just tell you this. I was killed twice by a rat in battlefield 3. No thank you, I hate quick time events

Yeah the rat QTE is probably the dumbest thing I have seen in a videogame in quite a while.
#7 Posted by Grumbel (910 posts) -

As always, QTEs are a tool and it can be used for good and bad. When done well they will be used to make an otherwise non-interactive sequence part of gameplay, thus leading to a more fluid experience, as you will always be in the control of the character. Done badly they will of course do the opposite, insert an completely unneeded sequence that just distracts without adding anything. And of course for every game that does them right you get ten that do them wrong.

#8 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

I don't mind them adding a little interactivity in what is basically a cutscene. It does however make it impossible to skipcutscenes, which is really annoying after the first time you see it. You know what, screw QTE's indeed.

#9 Posted by Knetic2341 (243 posts) -

@VisariLoyalist said:

ill just tell you this. I was killed twice by a rat in battlefield 3. No thank you, I hate quick time events

Only reason failing that is funny is for him flipping off the rat.

#10 Edited by Adamsons (877 posts) -

I dislike them in all incarnations - button prompts, tug of war style etc. The only ones I really hate though are ones that result in instant death.
 
//EDIT - The only QTE's I've felt that were even moderately appropriate were the ones in MGS4 (If you've played it you know, surely) - and maybe the R3 / L3 one in God of War 3 (eyes).

#11 Posted by Tesla (1939 posts) -

Just like any other game mechanic, they are fun when executed properly. It's just one step in the evolution of making games more interactive.

#12 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

Heavy Rain handled QTE very nicely, you could not "fail" QTE per-say, but would get a less then favorable outcome.

#13 Posted by CoverlessTech (749 posts) -

Witcher 2 had some really bad ones, like you said a lot of the time I'd rather just se the cool cinematic play out rather then focus all my attention on the button pop ups.

#14 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5381 posts) -

@MariachiMacabre said:

God of War and RE4 are the only games where QTEs felt really well done enough for me. Other than that most have been extremely forgettable.

Edit: 1,200th post :D

This and the MGS4 hallway.

#15 Edited by IAmNotBatman (658 posts) -

I'm pretty sure I died more in the QTEs in BF3's Campaign than the normal gameplay... and my answer is NO mainly because I feel that it's just lazy game design.

#16 Posted by MiniPato (2747 posts) -

@jozzy said:

I don't mind them adding a little interactivity in what is basically a cutscene. It does however make it impossible to skipcutscenes, which is really annoying after the first time you see it. You know what, screw QTE's indeed.

The other reason I hate QTE's. Unskippable cutscenes. Having played through RE4 countless times, the Krauser knife fight is always a pain.

Speaking of Resident Evil, RE5 did it really poorly I felt. RE5's problem with QTE's is that they were inconsistent. You'd have a cutscene or two with QTE's, then have long stretches without QTE's, or even cutscenes. Then they toss a button prompt at you and you aren't ready.

I also hate the "tap the button to open chest, door, vent grate." type things. I don't mind button mashing, but every time I have to do it to do any of the thing stated there, it's annoying.

#17 Posted by subyman (654 posts) -

Nope, the only thing it does for me is makes me start over when I jump up to get a drink because I think it is a cutscene and miss the first button press. I'd rather just watch a cutscene play out than have to jam on buttons and then be forced to REWATCH the cutscene if I happen to miss one.

#18 Posted by NickLott (793 posts) -

I think when I first came across them in Shenmue, I really enjoyed them as a means to keep you on your toes in a very story driven game. I think they've since become overused as a means to show off flashy action that isn't part of the core gameplay.

#19 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

RE4's knife fight scene justifies the existence of QTEs imo but most games just do them poorly.

#20 Posted by EmuLeader (558 posts) -

@MiniPato: @MariachiMacabre said:

God of War and RE4 are the only games where QTEs felt really well done enough for me. Other than that most have been extremely forgettable.

Edit: 1,200th post :D

This. When done in a good way, which is usually done best in survival horror games, they are fine and a cool mechanic. But in shooters especially, I agree, and would MUCH rather just see the character do the cool thing himself. I don't feel I am more "a part of the action" just because i press a button prompt. This is tenfold when failing kills you, making you restart a sequence. I love seeing characters doing awesome stuff, and I am perfectly content with them taking the action out of your hands for a couple seconds to watch it. As long as they don't over use it.

Also, this is perfectly OK with me:

#21 Edited by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Dagbiker: Thinking along those lines, they should make a game where all the QTE's that take place acts as forks in the road or branching paths. So depending on if you "fail or pass" the QTE, it changes things up. 
 
For example. If in uncharted there was a QTE where you were being chased by a boulder and ur running towards an open pathway in front of you, if you pass the QTE you run through the pathway just missing the boulder and continue on. If you fail the QTE, instead of running through the pathway or getting crushed and having to do it over again, he just dives to the side and now the pathway you were running towards is now blocked off/destroyed so now you have to find another way around.  And of course they could make those branching paths as menial or game changing as they so desire
 
If QTEs were handled like that I think that'd be fuckin awesome. Not to mention it'd be far more interesting then the standard "pause and wait for the player to pick either option A or option B"
#22 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

They can be alright when used sparingly and properly. When you get them all the time, it starts to feel more like an interactive movie than a video game.

#23 Posted by mazik765 (2316 posts) -

When done well I think they're great. Heavy Rain was basically a game of QTEs but I had lots of fun with it.

#24 Posted by mpgeist (642 posts) -

Honestly I'd rather just watch the scene play out.

#25 Posted by xMP44x (2193 posts) -

I think that QTEs are useful in some situations, due to the fact they're designed to let you have moments in gameplay which you couldn't normally have. If they're overused then no, they're not to my taste. If they are done well, on the other hand, then I can welcome a small number of them. As long as it isn't a case of "press button to not die", because you should be able to avoid death as a player rather than as a form of one-button input.

#26 Posted by Marz (5667 posts) -

it's either a quicktime event or a full blown out cutscene that you can't control.... which do you prefer?

#27 Posted by artgarcrunkle (970 posts) -

No, I'd rather watch a short cutscene than pound x for no reason other than fake gameplay.

#28 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2406 posts) -

@Liquidus: That part of RE4 is the one I hate in the entire game. One fuck up in that entire sequence and you had to start over from the beginning.

#29 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2406 posts) -

@Marz: Cutscene that I can't control only because it may be skippable.

#30 Posted by morrelloman (608 posts) -

I am going to get like 9 copies of Need for Speed: The Run

Does that answer your question?

#31 Posted by phantomzxro (1583 posts) -

I think they can and there are good uses of quick time events and bad uses of it. Battlefield 3 was poorly done and i could have done without it in that game. But there are games that have done a good job with them such as god of war, RE4, and heavy rain. I feel i can be an easy out for some who don't use it the right way. But when it works it can be a fun ride and change of pace.

I would like for games to use it more like heavy rain where it is not an instant fail all the time and you can continue after the QTE is done even if you failed it. It would also be cool if you can have more then one outcome depending on what you did right or wrong.

#32 Posted by krazy_kyle (715 posts) -

Quick time events to me just feel rubbish and I don't feel like I accomplished anything. Heavy Rain was the only game that made it work pretty well imo.

#33 Posted by MiniPato (2747 posts) -

@Marz said:

it's either a quicktime event or a full blown out cutscene that you can't control.... which do you prefer?

Full blown out cutscene. Cause I can skip the cutscene, I can't fail the cutscene, I don't have to rewatch the cutscene if I fail it, and I can actually see what's going on in the cutscene instead of worrying about what button to press next. Having cutscenes is not a negative to me, if you have to take control away from me to show me something cool or to give exposition, by all means do it. Why would I want to have control over a cutscene when the control they give you can't even be called "control" at all.

And I'm in the camp that enjoys Heavy Rain as well for the same reasons. You don't have to ever redo anything, the game does not grind to a halt. It branches out to another path. It is literally a cutscene you can control and influence more than the typical "live or die" sequences.

#34 Posted by huntad (1958 posts) -

Yes, it can add interactivity to something that would just be a cutscene or a lame firefight. I think the end of BF3 was pretty cool as was MW2. I think they are slightly overdone in BF3, but work in some spots.

#35 Posted by Marz (5667 posts) -
@MiniPato said:

@Marz said:

it's either a quicktime event or a full blown out cutscene that you can't control.... which do you prefer?

Full blown out cutscene. Cause I can skip the cutscene, I can't fail the cutscene, I don't have to rewatch the cutscene if I fail it, and I can actually see what's going on in the cutscene instead of worrying about what button to press next. Having cutscenes is not a negative to me, if you have to take control away from me to show me something cool or to give exposition, by all means do it. Why would I want to have control over a cutscene when the control they give you can't even be called "control" at all.

And I'm in the camp that enjoys Heavy Rain as well for the same reasons. You don't have to ever redo anything, the game does not grind to a halt. It branches out to another path. It is literally a cutscene you can control and influence more than the typical "live or die" sequences.

I'm not arguing that i like quicktime events, i'm just saying this is the two options designers are left with when they want to make a flashy scene... some gamers prefer QTE's and some like cutscenes.    Personally i like cutscenes myself, hell i played all 3 Xenosaga games and sat and watched through all those 30 minute cutscenes and was fine with it.
#36 Posted by Joeybagad0nutz (1438 posts) -

I liked them only when they are brutal like in the gow series.

#37 Posted by HatKing (6062 posts) -

They make the game frustrating as fuck when you fail what would otherwise be considered a cutscene. The games that do it right are the games where you don't 'fail' but just get hurt or have to retry that single button press. Games that kill the player and ask you to reload and replay the entire thing are the games that make QTE one of the worst concepts in modern gaming.

It's gotten to the point where I can't even sit back and enjoy watching a cutscene in a game because I fear a random button prompt will flash on screen.

#38 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

I have no opinion on QTEs, I really don't care if a game has them or not.

#39 Posted by qraham (64 posts) -

The real problem for QTEs isn't more or less interactivity, but how abstracted the actions of the character become for the player. Someone mentioned the R3/L3 press in GOW3, which I think illustrates this perfectly.

Compare Mass Effect 1&2's handling of hacking. ME1 uses a QTE, whereas ME2 uses a simple minigame. It's not like the minigame is some incredible piece of interactive entertainment, but it has much more in common with what Shepard is ACTUALLY doing than arbitrarily hitting buttons on the controller.

In the cases of Heavy Rain and GOW, they go a step in the other direction and establish QTEs as integral to the gameplay throughout the experience. It feels natural within the context of the game as a whole, rather than a tacked-on afterthought.

@Marz you seem to be implying that any interactivity is better than no interactivity. I'd rather watch an ok cutscene than play a crappy QTE, just like I'd rather watch a good movie than play a bad game.

#40 Posted by blackbird415 (777 posts) -

quick time events are a way to bridge gameplay and cutscene. Its designed to keep you from putting down your controller. Valve has a design philosophy of never using cutscenes because in a way it takes you out of the experience and reduces the immersion factor that gameplay tries to hard to build up.

Quicktime events are designed so they can put in a story element or a series of elaborate animations for a kill (god of war). In many ways its a way to try to keep the player engaged when normally it'd be a time to sit back. Cutscenes give developers more ability to put in story elements they couldnt figure out how to do otherwise, but it takes the player out of the experiece of playing the game and being that character. Quick time events give player limited control to try and circumvent this problem (which is how to tell a deep intricate story without taking anything away from the player) and while it may not be the most effective or enjoyable, that is the purpose.

I do enjoy cutscenes and at this stage of where games are in terms of design its not the worst thing someone could come up with, but id rather "be" the person im playing while playing the game rather than have essentially part movie, part game.

#41 Posted by NostalgicShakedown (132 posts) -

With QTE. The whole point of it is to feel as if you are performing it. Whether it's God of War or RE4, as long as you feel like you are a part of the action. Other examples include No More Heroes and Madworld I personally liked as well. One bad example I've ad was sonic unleashed where you jump and you have to press a button for the sake of pressing it. Actually doesn't Ashura's Wrath have this as well? Well more like a timed QTE but still.

#42 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

"Hey, guys. We have this totally underwhelming, cookie-cutter, clichéd to fuck singleplayer campaign for BF3. How can we fuck it even further? I know: let's completely interrupt the flow of the action with poorly-thought QTEs! Fuck, this is genius!".

In other words, no. Not when they are used arbitrarily just to add more "immersion" to the game. I liked the way they were used in God of War (from what little I have played), just enough to end a battle or cause major damage, but never to get in the way of the proper combat.

#43 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

Reviewers like them because they know developers and they know how easy it is to just throw in a quick time event rather than actually come up with gameplay, but people who actually play games think of them as garbage.

#44 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

If it feels natural to the player or if it creates the opportunity to take another path... Sure, why not?

#45 Posted by MiniPato (2747 posts) -

@blackbird415 said:

quick time events are a way to bridge gameplay and cutscene. Its designed to keep you from putting down your controller. Valve has a design philosophy of never using cutscenes because in a way it takes you out of the experience and reduces the immersion factor that gameplay tries to hard to build up.

Quicktime events are designed so they can put in a story element or a series of elaborate animations for a kill (god of war). In many ways its a way to try to keep the player engaged when normally it'd be a time to sit back. Cutscenes give developers more ability to put in story elements they couldnt figure out how to do otherwise, but it takes the player out of the experiece of playing the game and being that character. Quick time events give player limited control to try and circumvent this problem (which is how to tell a deep intricate story without taking anything away from the player) and while it may not be the most effective or enjoyable, that is the purpose.

I do enjoy cutscenes and at this stage of where games are in terms of design its not the worst thing someone could come up with, but id rather "be" the person im playing while playing the game rather than have essentially part movie, part game.

But do you feel that the cutscene QTE's achieve that purpose? I feel it doesn't. Pressing a button does not give me that feeling of control, it does not feel like I'm doing the action. It just feels like I'm hitting the play button to continue the cutscene and when I don't hit that play button, it automatically rewinds. Simply put, quick time events during cutscenes do not achieve that level of immersion that devs aim for, it doesn't provide immersion at all. There's embodying the character and then there's immersing yourself in the story. Games can be a role playing experience, but mainly they are a story telling experience and thus I find QTE's unnecessary to make it feel like you have impact on the sequence playing out because it offers such a minor, nearly non-existant sense of interaction on your part. I think the Uncharted series is a good example. When there are cutscenes there are no quick time events whatsoever. But when there are, it is purely in the context of gameplay and you're not hitting some random arbitrary button to do an action. If you have that split second to jump off the train, you run and hit the jump button, you're not following a prompt on the screen. Quick time events should stay in the realm of gameplay and not cutscenes, but even then qte's in-game are hit or miss.

What difference does it make if a cutscene has a qte or doesn't have one? A QTE is just an excuse for the exact reason you stated. A way to say "hey we gave the player control" by offering very little. I would rather enjoy the cutscene and get immersed in the story instead of being on edge waiting for a quick time prompt just so I can very barely feel like I'm in control of the character. QTE's are not worth what little they offer.

Never taking control away from the player certainly is a design philosophy, but it isn't the golden standard for every game.

#46 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1194 posts) -

Yeah RE4's knife fight was pretty amazing. Thats the first game I can think of that did QTE's like that.

#47 Posted by Nightriff (5257 posts) -

I've noticed that fewer games have QTE recently, unlike 3 or 4 years ago where if a game didn't have a QTE it wouldn't be made. I feel few games have done them well, most are out of nowhere button pushing so the first time you experience it, it's automatic death which is awful. The games that did it right are the MGS series, God of War series, and RE4, that's it, THAT's the list

#48 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1194 posts) -

@Nightriff said:

I've noticed that fewer games have QTE recently, unlike 3 or 4 years ago where if a game didn't have a QTE it wouldn't be made. I feel few games have done them well, most are out of nowhere button pushing so the first time you experience it, it's automatic death which is awful. The games that did it right are the MGS series, God of War series, and RE4, that's it, THAT's the list

I didn't like GoW's. Constantly mashing to open doors. Even to finish off enemies it seemed kind of dumb.

#49 Posted by ProfessorEss (7469 posts) -

I'm not a fan, not even when they're done right. 
 
I'd rather just watch a little finisher cutscene as opposed to watching for prompts.

#50 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1194 posts) -

@ProfessorEss said:

I'm not a fan, not even when they're done right. I'd rather just watch a little finisher cutscene as opposed to watching for prompts.

Pretty much this. Even the games that do them well have me wishing it was just a regular cutscene.

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