“Press X not to die!”
If words like these are familiar to you, then you know exactly what a quick time event (QTE) is. A QTE, very simply, is an interactive cutscene. Players watch a scene that they have no direct control over, and are prompted to press a button or two in order to “win” the event. Failing to press the correct button in time will lead the player to “lose” the sequence. If it sounds like an interactive movie to you, then you're not too far off.
These quick time events were huge in the '80s. Games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace gave players back then their first taste of the “cinematic experience” of video gaming. However, the gameplay mechanic quickly lost its popularity once players realized what they were doing: pushing a few buttons to watch some animation. Lame!
Thankfully (or not, whatever), QTEs have resurfaced once again in modern games, and are used in many popular titles like the God of War and Resident Evil series.
Typically, quick time events allow players to do amazing feats with the simple push of a button. Press “X,” for example, and the character can dodge a bullet, dance, or make love. Unfortunately, there continues to be examples in which this gameplay mechanic is used in silly and ridiculous ways. Here are a the top silly uses of quick time events in video games.
10. Beat Up a Drunk Guy (Shenmue)
Sega's cult classic Shenmue is the game that actually started the term “quick time event.” Throughout the game, examples of the QTE gameplay mechanic force player to quickly press a specific button to do a large range of tasks. Anything from asking strangers if they speak Chinese to beating up a drunk guy, the diverse use of quick time events is definitely illustrated perfectly in Shenmue.
9. Run Through a Hallway, Punching Everyone (Die Hard Arcade)
8. Crawl Through a Giant Microwave (Metal Gear Solid IV: Sons of the Patriots)
(Warning: Metal Gear Solid 4 spoilers!)
During the final moments of MGSIV, protagonist Old Snake uses every once of strength in his wrinkly body to crawl through a long microwave hallway. During this dramatic sequence, the player has to rapidly press the “X” button for close to five minutes without stopping. This creates a bond between the player and the character, most likely you'll be exhausted by the time Snake makes it through the other side. Unfortunately, this climatic moment of the game doesn't excuse how silly the situation is. We just crawled through a microwave.
7. Brutally Murder a Human Being Using the Wii Controller (Manhunt 2)
Anyone who thinks that the Wii is for only for kids needs to think twice after watching this game in motion. How cute would little Suzy be as she's pretending to slaughter a human being using the Wii remote?
6. Throw a Motorcycle at a Giant Slug (Ninja Blade)
It's a shame that Ninja Blade didn't get the recognition it deserved. Where else can you ride a motorcycle on top of falling debris before throwing it at a giant slug? That's what Ninja Blade is all about–doing the things we've always wanted to do by simply pressing a short sequence of buttons.
5. Throw a Church at a Two-Headed Dragon (Bayonetta)
In Platinum Games' Bayonetta, we play as an almost always naked witch who fights a two-headed dragon inside a church as it plummets to the earth. To think, modern video games allow us to do all of this with a single button!
4. Dance to Booty Luv's “Boogie 2nite” (Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony)
Dancing using the QTE mechanic isn't too far off from Dance Dance Revolution. It's hard to imagine this is coming from a game that simulates theft, drugs, and prostitution!
3. Have Sex (God of War 2)
A long day of mythological creature-slaying can tire a man out! Luckily, all Kratos needs is to press a few buttons in order to satisfy two women at once. If only it were that easy.
2. Give Leonardo Da Vinci a Bro Hug (Assassin's Creed II)
As a lone assassin caught in a conspiracy that transcends even time itself, there aren't too many people that our protagonist Ezio can trust. That's why his friendship with Leonardo da Vinci was so precious in Assassin's Creed II. When Leonardo gives you that bro hug, you'd better be damn sure you press “X” in time.
1. Change A Baby's Diaper (Heavy Rain)
Private Eye Scott Shelby had to endure so much during the course of Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain. Not only does he escape from a sinking car in order to murder a dozen security guards, but he also had the daunting task of changing a baby's diaper. Poor guy.