We’ve said a lot of times that cut-scenes and quick-time events should be avoided. A couple of days ago, we informed you about Crytek’s plans for Crysis 3 and in that story, we expressed - for one more time – our opinion about the quick-time and scripted events. And we are happy to see the developers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent backing our claims. According to Frictional’s Thomas the biggest culprit for the lack of agency in most horror games are the cut-scenes. Damn straight right.
Thomas said that it is a big waste that many horror games do not take advantage of the fact that they can make the player feel as they are there when the horror happens properly, and destroy the sense of agency in all kind of ways. The biggest culprit – as Thomas said – are cut-scenes, especially when they take away control at scary moments when the player’s actions should matter the most.
And Thomas is right. Games should offer players the complete control in epic or horror scenes. Cut-scenes and quick-time events should be overused, as they take you away from the whole gaming experience, no matter how cool they might be at first glance.
Thomas concluded that the way to go forward here is ‘to make sure that the player is involved in all actions that take place. The scenes that are so often left out (and replaced by cutscenes) are often vital aspects of the horror experience. Whenever possible, the playing should be doing instead of simply watching.‘
We’d advice you to read the complete post of Thomas at Frictional Games Blog as it contains 9 more ways to evolve horror games.