QTE. Quick Time Events
. It stands proud as one of the most annoying video game design clichés in use today. You might remember them from games like Resident Evil 4
and the original God of War
, described by game developers as a device that makes you feel like you're playing
a cutscene, as opposed to watching it. It was so cool when we first saw it -- but when every single game ever
decided to add QTE, it became less ... welcome.
So, how did God of War II
trick us into having so much fun with its QTE-riddled cinematics? Probably because the game remembered exactly what made these sequences fun. There was the all-important feeling of empowerment from these moment, where every button pressed felt like it had consequence. When we cracked Theseus
' head open by slamming it into a door over and over again, we felt the same blood thirst that Kratos must have undeniably felt. We weren't pressing buttons simply because the game told us to. Rather, we pressed buttons because it intrinsically made so much sense. We were one
with Kratos. RARGH!
Some may argue that God of War II
doesn't innovate enough to warrant any GOTY accolades. Hey, it's not like the first one really broke new ground either. (And that didn't stop the original from winning
GOTY.) Instead, God of War II
so finely executes what has already been done before. Giant boss battles are nothing new to video games, but those found here are exceptionally well placed (and paced!) throughout the game. Even the first level's backdrop is a giant animated statue that you ultimately go sword-to-face with. Each battle is filled with a ferocity, a viciousness that reminds you that these are very powerful gods and demons you're fighting.God of War II
shows that the PS2 is still capable of producing wonderful gaming experiences. It highlights the true value of excellent design over pure technology
, and offers so much of that all-important commodity we seek from games: fun.