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David Cage, We Need Your Philosophy Now More Than Ever

David Cage has been quoted in the past as saying that he "doesn't really care about new technology" and is far more concerned with bringing a more mature, artistic approach to the interactive entertainment table.

Say what you will about such statements but here's an incontrovertible fact: We require that mentality more than ever.

After playing Medal of Honor: Warfighter and looking around at what is hugely popular these days, I've started to realize that Cage and other visionaries like him absolutely need to start making more waves. Warfighter is the perfect example of a mainstream genre that has hit new levels of tedium and repetition. It also doesn't help that it's being called the "dumb" genre by those who tend to revel in more complex experiences.

I'm a fan of shooters and have been for as long as I can remember. Well, probably since I first saw Heretic. Anyway, although I'm perfectly willing to accept a certain amount of staleness from an FPS, even I'm reaching my breaking point. I have to assume many others are as well. And although I'm almost guaranteed to adore Assassin's Creed III and there are new ideas and mechanics included in that game, it's not that far away from familiar. Now is most certainly the time for a Beyond: Two Souls and other games that try new things, that aren't willing to remain within that protective shell. As one other developer said, gaming has become stuck in a rut of "bravado-filled wish fulfillment."

Unfortunately and perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the same rut movies are in, and I was hoping video games would remain immune for a while longer. But the influx of mainstream/casual gamers has skyrocketed and now we're left with what that market tends to bring: The boring same ol' same ol' because it's safe and because the not-so-bright individuals always want the familiar and fear the new. At this point, even though it sorta runs counter to Cage's point, I'd take a Heavy Rain 2. Actually, now that I think about it, I think we need Bioshock Infinite, too... I'm just really disillusioned with the state of things in the industry after MoH.

That being said, I have high hopes for the future. Guys like Cage aren't going away and Beyond is coming. Other designers are starting to see the light, too. So in no way am I saying "it's all over" or something like that; in fact, I think it's only just beginning.

Tags: david cage, quantic dream, gaming, video games, gaming culture

10/24/2012 10:24:30 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 11:03:08 PM
Reply

Despite the ridiculous amount of games (and backlog) that I have right now, I do not feel like playing anything. Maybe I'm getting tired of the usual games and I need something completely fresh.

That reminded me that I probably should go ahead and buy The Unfinished Swan. Will you be reviewing it, Ben?

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DeusExMachina
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 7:19:56 PM

Know excatly what you mean Zettai Ive found that the most games Ive been playing and TRULY enjoying this gen are mostly NES/PS1/PS2 gen classics/remakes/HDupscales that I either havent played yet or havent played in a while and in contrast to MOST (not all) the current gen games, I seem to enjoy and get into the older games more and easier as well as for a longer time period.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 11:14:46 PM
Reply

That's why I'd love to see SOMEbody else try what Quantic Dream is doing with interactive drama. It wouldn't even have to be as visually attractive, just think of the incredible stories that could be told without the need of the player to constantly be eliminating targets. Yeah I love action but like when the story is just an excuse to put special effects on a screen that's often a problem.

FPS has pretty much all melted together for me, which is why I gravitate toward first person adventures for that fix instead. I hope the next generation bothers to make new strides with FPS.

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Qubex
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 11:36:43 PM

Indeed World; but I would like to ask that is it not obvious to see that one can only do so much with the FPS genre? As time goes on it will become increasingly more difficult to really innovate.

Even if we eventually end up strapping head mounted head tracking 3D goggles, to fully immerse the player; it will essentially still be the same thing. Yes, visually and immersible, the experience will be heightened, but that would probably be the same for all games probably presented in the same way.

Anyway, people can quickly forget. Fish Bowl generation - forgets immediately after looking the other way.

I enjoy my shooters for what they are. I enjoy a quick rampage; but honestly, Cage is right that without real gaming innovations and new experiences in game play, where does it go from here. More twitching...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 10/24/2012 11:37:05 PM

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 3:09:45 AM

I think that we'll see more first person adventure games going forward as the shooters are starting to be recognised for their repetitiveness. The likes of Fallout, Skyrim, Dishonored, Mirror's Edge, even Until Dawn, show that more can be done with the first person viewpoint than just shoot uglies. My hope is that we see more risks like this being taken and if we see them in the big franchises like CoD, Battlefield, it'll be a good thing for the genre as a whole.

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Fane1024
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 5:44:47 AM

The Walking Dead game is very similar to HR...a little more restricted, but in the same mold.

And excellent.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 10/25/2012 5:45:52 AM

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Temjin001
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 10:52:14 AM

World, I think you have the right idea that non-high production narrative based design is the key for a genre like this to ever take off at a widespread level. It needs to start at the grass roots, grow itself with followers, then hi-production publishers will take notice and make those risks. I pretty much see Sony as the ONLY publisher who would approve something like Cage's projects as they are now.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 11:15:31 AM

I think there's still places you can go with straight up FPS, the first place I'd go is making the experience seem like it is that of a person with an eye-level view who doesn't have snap animations but has to move their body, doesn't have unlimited clips, interacts with the environment instead of skating along it, etc...

As far as great story-based experiences hell I'd play a new PSN game with the same graphics as Indigo Prophecy, really great visuals help those kinds of games but like you say Temjin building a base up can be done without massive influxes of cash as long as the story is good and the gamer directs the outcome.

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Qubex
Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 3:21:56 AM

Some interesting points World; indeed I must agree... you are saying a far more physical experience in a virtual environment so speak. Make it feel as real and as interactive as possible.

I think that is coming...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Temjin001
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 11:51:29 PM
Reply

I dunno. Weren't XCOM, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, and Journey something beyond the ordinary of game offerings that don't necessarily fit a gaming cliche? I think it's cool Cage is going for interactive drama and all, but I pretty much see his efforts as a lone one. His stuff just looks real expensive to produce with a seemingly limited segment of gamer who happens to be looking for software that isn't quite a game but more a story. I think this neither here nor there approach with interactivity and quality storytelling may be a hard sale anytime soon. I think of comic books actually. They're not quite fine art and they're not quite sophisticated literature. WHat you have is something somewhere in between. Videogames I believe are games first and will succeed that way best. Stories will always be told best in words or motion picture. The interactivity part is better left for VR, I'd say. No real story being told, just recreating a world as if you're there.

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Highlander
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 12:02:59 AM
Reply

Admit it Ben (and everyone else)...you long to play something different. Something fun for the heck of it that doesn't involve kill sprees or dismemberment.

You need to play The Idolm@ster 2, it's that simple. :)

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 12:18:15 AM

That game looks to boring, I don't how will end up liking that game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 1:16:19 AM

When HAVEN'T I admitted that? LOL

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Qubex
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 1:19:57 AM

Quite right Highlander... quite right :)

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 1:39:58 AM

I can't afford or understand that!

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tes37
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 1:46:03 AM

I want something different, because I get tired of seeing game after game that makes me sound like a broken record. Pass...pass...pass. I want something to challenge my mind or deliver a unique experience like what David Cage makes.

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Highlander
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 2:19:44 AM

Alex, you just do. What more is there? Cute anime girls, dancing, j-pop. It's awesome. :P

Worlds, the price is a little annoying, but the understanding is easy with a guide.

Tes, understanding Japanese isn't challenging enough? ;)

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tes37
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 2:45:31 AM

Okay, you got me there. Understanding Japanese would be challenging enough and not something I would frown upon, but unfortunately the price is a tad high. How did you hear about this game? Did you download a demo from the Japanese psn?

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Highlander
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 2:54:17 AM

My wife watches Anime via Crunchy Roll and got into the Idolm@ster anime. Then decided to take a chance on the game. Then I followed her path.... ;)

It's a lot of fun, and not really like anything you'll find here. (Review in User review section... )

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 11:16:44 AM

moe moe moe!

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 1:44:46 PM

I could change my mind if I had a few people I know in the house who enjoys watching anime.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 3:17:47 AM
Reply

I concur. Y'all should know that I'm a fan of great stories and those are sadly lacking in the realm of video games. I can't deny that I'd love to see more developers creating games with truly engaging stories, even if it does fall into the same tired genres that we are so familiar with. On the other hand, I think that fresh experiences are just as essential. We're seeing more games eschew the typical in the digital realm, like The Unfinished Swan or Journey, while we're seeing somewhat unique products like XCOM and Dishonored, and that's cool. I like that, but there is still so much untapped potential.

Yeah, we need auteurs and visionaries. People like Cage, Levine, The Housers, Nagoshi, Price, Chen, Kojima, Ueda. These are the types of people that we should look to, rather than all those design-by-committee studios. Too bad the latter get the sales, so we see few people truly willing to follow their vision.

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wolfsinner
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 8:51:37 AM
Reply

While I agree with most of the premises, I have to admit that this "not-so-bright" mentality that is attributed to fans of COD and shooters in general is a bit annoying.
It has nothing to do with smarts or refusal, it's all about fun. If people have fun, then they're worth it. It's that simple.
And I don't even play FPS's, as I find them boring in general.

Looking at these games like enemies is the wrong approach. There are still great games (some of them incredibly innovative) coming out there.

Honestly, David Cage won't shut up about the same subject and that's also a bit annoying. I mean, he's right to some extent but it's like he wants every developer to change ships and that would be awful. I personally need these games that are familiar to me because they are FUN. And that's what games are all about.

/rant

EDIT: As a disclaimer, I do love Quantic Dream games, and games with more mature themes in general. I'm not standing against them.

Last edited by wolfsinner on 10/25/2012 8:57:15 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 11:14:49 AM

I wasn't referring to all FPS fans, because I'm one of them. I was referring specifically to the mainstream "followers" who simply flock to anything flashy and violent, per the mainstream masses that continue to make those idiotic action blockbuster movies so popular.

Unfortunately, very often in any form of entertainment, the more popular something is, the dumber it is. Doesn't say much for the masses but I don't think it has ever been any different down through history.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 11:19:47 AM

You should know Wolf that when Ben asked us users to write two articles, one a criticism of Call of Duty and one a Defense of Call of Duty, the "Defense" articles were so terribly flawed in every way they were unpublishable.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 4:42:19 PM

A sad example, but an apt one.

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 12:01:17 PM
Reply

Agree with pretty much everything. I'm one of the bigger FPS fans and I'm even at the point of over-saturation.

Next years line up (Beyond, Last of Us, Bioshock, etc) looks like it'll keep things fresh. Regardless I imagine that most people still have a backlog of games to play, and there are still plenty of titles coming out this year. No one should really be hurting for games.

Also. I'd like to see more David Cage-type games, less of David Cage talking about himself.

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Gordo
Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 4:39:00 PM
Reply

I think the FPS genre is pretty stale at the moment. What about a FPS in the Demon Souls genre? Give us some ownership of the character and direct consequences for foolish bravado. Also, how about an FPS about being a foot soldier at Waterloo or on the Crimean? Bayonet, cannons, stand in square formation repelling cavalry charges. Crouching, firing, reloading and hand to hand combat! That would be astounding! We might be approaching the technology to have 20,000 soldiers in a large muddy field.

Modern warfare (no pun intended) is so 2009...

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PHOENIXZERO
Sunday, October 28, 2012 @ 11:57:26 AM
Reply

Are you trying to get a job at QD?

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