The Top 7... Least-irritating quick time events


From: the God of War III demo

God of War probably deserves most of the blame for popularizing quick time events among lazy developers who use them as a crutch, true. But focusing on that means ignoring all the ways God of War has made QTEs awesome. When you’re playing as Kratos, a quick time sequence is a kind of reward, because it means you get to participate – however tenuously – in something really elaborate, violent and/or cool. These are always memorable, and have ranged from killing massive bosses in creative ways…

... to helping Kratos get his freak on with pairs of ancient-world bimbos.

Above: Unh. Yeah. Tap that Circle, baby

But while nailing offscreen prostitutes and yanking out Cyclops eyeballs each have their unique charms, the best use of the feature we’ve seen is in God of War III (or at least the PSN demo). Specifically the part where Kratos straddles injured sun-god Helios, beats him up a little and then graphically tears his head off.

Instead of distracting you from the action with a bunch of floating onscreen buttons, this sequence keeps it simple: in the first part, all you need to do is hammer on the Circle button, which eventually gets him to stop resisting.

After that, it’s just a matter of quickly alternating between presses of the L1 and R1 buttons…

... and you get a keen head to show off to all your friends!

It’s quick, it’s unobtrusively simple and it’s one of the most elaborately gruesome things we’ve ever seen in a videogame. And somehow, we can’t imagine it being nearly as fun if Kratos had just sliced Helios’s head off cleanly during combat, or if we’d just watched it as a cutscene.


From: Heavy Rain

We’ve leveled a fair amount of criticism at Heavy Rain, mostly for its disappointing writing and acting. But the game does some things extremely well, and suspense is one of them. Because it’s possible for the four playable characters to die and be taken out of the story permanently, there’s a palpable sense of dread and danger in every tense moment and every dark corner. For once, “game over” doesn’t mean “do-over.”

While there are plenty of tense moments, though, things don’t get really terrifying until the chapter known as the Bear. Desperate to find his missing son, distraught father Ethan Mars is forced to undertake a series of Saw-style trials in order to save him. The first one requires him to drive down a freeway for five miles at 60 mph… directly into oncoming traffic.

With the threat of permanent, high-speed death breathing down your neck, what might otherwise be a ho-hum, Choose Your Own Adventure game of chicken becomes several minutes of wide-eyed, white-knuckle tension. Survival means being able to immediately spot and respond to every prompt, and each twitch of the analog stick or twist of the controller means dodging a potentially lethal head-on collision.

Above: Which way? Quick, decide!

In short, tackling the Bear – especially for the first time – will have most players too tense to even realize they’re just twitching their thumbs in response to onscreen prompts, much less be irritated by it. And that’s the right way to handle a quick time sequence: using split-second decisions to heighten immersion, rather than jolting us out of it with a reminder that we’re just playing a game.

Feb 22, 2010

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Top 7


  • CLEIP - March 25, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I think the QTE with Payne and his truck in RED STEEL 2 fits into this article... not anywhere near nr 1. though, but it was still pretty awsome.
  • FakeKisser - March 8, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    The Shenmue games used QTEs extensively, but they are still two of my favorite games of all time. I would put those games at number 1 (having not played Heavy Rain or God of War).
  • Geckomayhem - March 3, 2010 5:26 a.m.

    Wow, a friend and I used to play Die Hard at the arcade. It was so much fun; and I remember the action sequences, where you had to press a button during one of the QTEs. XD
  • chriscp97wii - February 27, 2010 4:25 p.m.

    Hahaha: there is the bitch in yhe red suit! I loved that part.
  • ranzatsu - February 27, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    @ xboxrulez: "Broother"...I'm a girl. And I wasn't giving advice.
  • soren7550 - February 26, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    I have to say that my vote for the best/most epic/etc. is ripping out a knife out of Soap's chest at the end of Modern Warfare 2. (don't get why everyone keeps saying the story makes no sense though.)
  • Cyberninja - February 25, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    @xboxrulez read this if you think it will have extra graphics. and if where did you read about a gift? i know in japan they had a ps3 bundle and here there is a xbox bundle but i checked and there is no gift secert or other wise just a preorder bonus for BOTH systems.
  • DriveShaft - February 25, 2010 9:05 p.m.

    Heavy Rain owned.
  • noobeater - February 25, 2010 8:52 p.m.

    the pulling the knife out in MW2 was great it made me angry and want soap to survive, kinda like i would be there, however the RE4 was cool but pain in the ass to keep repeating
  • Skykid - February 25, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    WOAH, What about CoD 3's rifle battle sequences and the river crossing? Do you consider them QTEs?
  • Skykid - February 25, 2010 2 a.m.

    If you get the chance GR, maybe you might include for the new version of the article, Halo Reach assassinations
  • dante1924 - February 25, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    Is it me, or is xboxrulez getting stupider with every comment he makes? The bear trials sound really cool. I now want heavy rain.
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - February 24, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    What does xboxrulez have to do before he gets banned. I'm starting to think he's Chris and is just baiting PS3 owners.
  • Pocotron - February 24, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    @xboxrulez But you'll still ignore this advice when you post you next comment, am I right? Oh, wait. You already have.
  • jackthemenace - February 24, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    wow, there are some rubbish QTE's out there. some of the ones in dantes inferno got on my nerves, but some of the kills in bayonetta were also pretty bad
  • Phasmatis - February 24, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    Da hell number 6 was awesome. I could probably find worse quick time events then that. Like any that is dropped on you all of a sudden.
  • ranzatsu - February 24, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    Had fun with the GoW demo...even though I'm a girl. The ripping-off-Helios's-head was shocking, at first. And BTW, no one has to listen to an Xbox-sass's comments. It's quite interesting to read what he says, but it's all damn annoying when you actually READ it. Never liked Xbox, but it has my respect. And "idiots" has no E. Learn from that, Mr. Xboxrulez.
  • QWERTYCommander - February 24, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    Kinda funny. XBRulez told me to "go eat plop plop" when I said the PS3 was better. I was literally laughing out loud.
  • FriendlyFire - February 24, 2010 4 a.m.

    I'm now sure xboxrulez is either brain damaged or the smurf of someone who wants to make fun of fanbois by making the most extreme example possible. Maybe even GR staff? :P Stop playing with our minds guys!
  • Vitoruss1 - February 24, 2010 3:48 a.m.

    The knife fight with Krauser may single handedly be one of the best moments in all of gaming. Ripping off Helios' head was disgusting... that made me cringe more than the Manhunt kills. Did anyone else notice that Helios' glowing head looked a LOT like a street-fighter character? I mean, I haven't ever played Street-Fighter, but the art style was so similiar. Urgh... I want Heavy Rain :(

Showing 1-20 of 61 comments

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