QTEs are Evil?

Found this article on Rock Paper Shotgun on why Quick Time Events are balls.

I can’t say I completely agree, but their reasoning is sound. The fact is that QTEs are a design/implementation cop-out. BUT, and this is what the aforelinked article misses, if the result of putting in a QTE is sufficiently noteworthy, it can be worth it. For instance, in God of War, it would be silly to have the player master a new set of controls for the brutal boss finishes. The fact that they were so climactic made the QTE okay. I didn’t enjoy them on the normal baddies – killing the cyclopes, for one. Repetitive for the reasons mentioned in the article.

But here is another realm where they can be okay: sports games. In actually playing a sport, one has control over their limbs and head and possibly some extension of those (hockey sticks, golf clubs, etc.) To have a QTE for breaking a tackle or doing something where the player would need some incredibly fine granularity of control over the avatar’s motor functions, I believe this could be advisable. The key to this is whether you are taking control away from the player in order to extend their move set or giving the player more control while extending their move set. God of War’s cyclopes are the former – there are many other ways in the normal control scheme to off them. A broken tackle in a football game is the latter as long as there aren’t other more direct ways to initiate the action.

Where I think the linked article fails is using the “it takes me out of the game” excuse. Yes, it is certainly true, but we put up with a lot of elements that take us out of the game: UI, button memorization, repeated dialogue, loading screens, achievements, save states. Indeed some of these things we find vital to a gaming experience. So the point of the analysis should be if reminding a player that he is in a game and taking control away is worth it in that situation. Saying QTEs are evil is as silly as saying button combos are evil.

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