31/31 Day 6: Quit QTEing Me To Death - Demon Ragnarok Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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31/31 Day 6: Quit QTEing Me To Death

I'm pretty well worn out mentally and physically after working 10 1/2 hours with a heat index of 103. So my blog tonight is a little bit on the short side tonight. However, it is about an issue that has been bothering me with games I have been playing recently.

I've been a gamer for more than 20 years. I've seen nearly every imaginable control scheme, play mechanic, or interactive sequence games have utilized over the years to bring a game to life. Yet, I have to tell you, there is one that has popped up in the last 10 years that irritates me beyond belief. That mechanic is the QTE, or quick time entry, sequence.

Now, don't get me wrong, the idea of what QTEs are meant to do is fine by me, and that is to keep the player involved in extended sequences and give the player a sense of having control of what happens. However, this mechanic is one that only works its magic in small doses, where its use does not become the focus, rather an enhancement to what is occurring. A good example of QTEs being implemented in a good way would be Mass Effect 2 and 3, where options for paragon or renegade sequences present themselves in cut scenes and allow the player to change what transpires. I can handle minimalistic usage such as this.

The problem I see is that every developer seems to be utilizing this mechanic nowadays. It first picked up in popularity with Shenmue, then into other action oriented games such as Resident Evil 4 and God of War. Later, it made its way into Call of Duty 3 and caught fire with the FPS genre, with several games utilizing it. Now it seems that I cannot escape the usage of QTE sequences. In fact, of the five games that I am presently playing through (Lego Batman 2, Spec Ops the Line, Bayonetta, Tomb Raider: Legend, and Lollipop Chainsaw) only one does not place a high emphasis upon QTEs.

Again, this wouldn't be such a bad thing if these sequences were nuanced and failure only meant taking a little bit of damage, but in three of the five games, failure in a QTE means death and having to restart a section over and over again until the sequence is completed to perfection. Not only is this a dreadfully annoying experience, but now QTEs are detracting from the game because I am unable to watch the cool action sequences since I must watch for the stupid input command to flash and hope that I can quickly enter it before it's too late.

I honestly could care less about having "control" over how bad ass my character is as they make some Hollywood style jump across a massive gap and need to utilize their surroundings to complete it, or if an enemy is attacking me and I must avoid their attacks in a beautifully scripted manner. The fact of the matter is, the completion of the sequence is the inevitable outcome, so why can't the sequence just play out, avoiding crappy input sequences and allowing me to enjoy the scene that has been so intricately choreographed?  If my playing has no real effect on the outcome has no effect, is there a reason for me to be doing it? When did it become taboo for an awesome scene in a video game to be allowed be nothing more than an awesome scene?

I just feel wish that developers would re-examine this mechanic rather than spamming it every chance they get within games. I feel like many games would benefit from a streamlined process rather than extended QTE sequences. Perhaps it could just be me, but I feel as if I am being QTE'd to death.

What is your opinion on QTE sequences?

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