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David Cage: ‘I’ll be dead before game stories rival movies’

David Cage: ‘I’ll be dead before game stories rival movies’

Heavy Rain. Beyond. Fahrenheit. David Cage might be making games that tell interactive cinematic stories and look to advance gaming as a narrative art form, but the Quantic Dream pioneer doesn’t seem confident that the rest of the development world will follow his lead any time soon.

“My opinion is that we have nothing in games that gets anywhere near to a good film in terms of narrative, characterisation or emotion,” he says in an exclusive interview in Play issue 244. “Games focus on simple themes and target a teenage audience. They could become meaningful – they could have the power to move a larger audience. But it would take new paradigms, a shift to privileging meaning over action and a lot more power given to talented people for that to happen. And the more things go on, the more I doubt things will change. To be perfectly honest, we are very few people in the world, thinking this way. Maybe incremental changes, small step by small step, could make a difference, but I will probably be dead by the time it happens.”

In a world where action-heavy triple-A blockbusters are king, he’s probably not far from the mark. The indie scene is doing its bit to bring narrative back to the fore, but few big-budget releases have even come close to Cage’s finest moments. And he implores the industy to do more. “Emotion in games is currently very marginal and we tend to focus on the same things: stress, fear, excitement, power. Playing with different emotions in games – empathy, discomfort, sadness and so on – is what interests me most. We can do much more than we currently do.”

You can read the full interview with David Cage in Play issue 244, available now from newsagents and supermarkets, as well as digitally for mobiles and tablets.

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  • icuntbelifeitIslamRULES

    The fucking arrogance of this man. Assuming that it’s only HIM trying to write high brow stories for video games. Which, he has failed miserably at so far, by the way.

    Has he played The Last of Us ?

    Has he played Telltale’s : The Walking Dead ?

    Both have FAR superior writing and character development than he has ever achieved. They ARE worthy of Hollywood adapt-ions, especially when comparing them both to the ridiculous man-child influenced, neck-bearded, superhero stories that have flooded the film world now.

    Sure the above two examples are going to fall short of Kubrick, Kurusawa or Hitchcock because they are somewhat hyperreal horror stories. But the writing and the characters are believable. Nothing Cage has done has achieved that. Plus, think about 98% ofmodern movies. It’s all child like, spoon fed nonsense for the armies of dudebros and youtube whores to “shut off their brain” to on a saturday evening. Like that’s a good thing. Nothing worse than being challenged by art is there sheeple ? If Cage’s games can’t even reach the over hyped and ultimately awful standards of The Dark Knight or fucking V For Vendatta ( lol ) then i think he should give up now.

  • born_naughty

    I agree with you. Except that Heavy Rain is the best written video game out there. Yes, even better then the walking dead. Haven’t played The Last of us.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Play The Last of Us you won’t regret it.

  • born_naughty

    I’m not sure if it’s for me. I’ll give it a shot when it’s cheaper.
    Problem is that I also sold my PS3 so I’ll wait until the PS4 version.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Yeah just get it on PS4. If he don’t end up enjoying it like I did, I will respect that.

  • born_naughty

    I like to try out every kind of game. But when I doubt if I like it I’ll wait for a good deal. If I remember, I’ll let you know what I think 😉

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Yeah ditto. I don’t like my money being wasted either. And cool I’ll he waiting for when you do

  • Dirkster_Dude

    Where did he say it was only him and how has he displayed arrogance? All he has done is offer his opinion and why does it matter if he has played a game or not? Previews, Reviews and psychoanalyzing every bit of every game is already out there sometimes months before we get to even play it. Also the tone I read in this article is that he was talking in generalities not specifics, which is far different than a critique of an individual game.

  • Hates bad writers.

    BS. Mass Effect 1 EASILY rivaled any of the Star Trek films.

  • Guest

    Especially yours David, ESPECIALLY yours. Arrogant $0N¥ Pauperidiot!

  • McToasty207

    The Star Trek films wern’t as good as the show though so that’s moot.

  • McToasty207

    Honestly much as I appreciate story telling in games I think cage is right games won’t be as good as films but they can still be meaningful. Problem is allot of really good stories don’t translate to an interactive medium, but if developers cherry picks stories that do I’m sure the Industry will improve.

  • tricksterhuaun

    How is Heavy Rain best written game, when IT FREAKING LIES TO YOU!

    Yes, it lies to you! Especially at the twist that makes no sense because we can READ his minds! So it was just impossible for that twist to happen!

    It’s the biggest reveal of the game, and it’s a huge plothole, that’s AWFUL writing!

  • Emperor_Z

    Heavy Rain was enjoyable, but I find it ridiculous to say it’s the best written video game. It has tons of flaws, but here are two HUGE ones.

    Its twist is only achievable by lying to the player. On a second playthrough, you’ll notice that the killer’s thoughts don’t make sense in the context of the twist.

    Ethan’s blackouts are completely unexplained. Originally, the game was going to say that Ethan had a psychic link to the Origami Killer, but they excised that plot element because it was silly. Now it’s just a plot hole

    You can find more if you look. Articles have been written about the flaws in the game’s plot.

  • born_naughty

    I don’t consider flaws and plot holes (that I didn’t even notice) to be the most important thing in writing.
    Okay, so 2 years ago I said it was the best written game ever. That by itself is a obviously a stupid remark because there’s never one game that can ultimately be “the best ever”. It’s one of the rare instances where I let my emotions do the talking without really thinking it through.
    But my remark came from the heart and that’s exactly my point. I’ve played the game twice and it still pulls on my heartstrings. When I think about heavy rain now, it still plays with my emotions. That’s what I call good writing. I have no technical knowledge and I don’t want to so I’m sure you’re gonna say that’s not just because of the writing but I don’t really care.
    About those two huge flaws:
    I don’t consider the killer’s thoughts to be an important plot hole. First of all, when you play as “the killer” he’s not the killer, he’s a detective and his thoughts resemble that. It could be easily explained as sort of a split personality. While you may consider this lying to the player I really don’t have a problem with that even if it was, it’s called artistic freedom.
    Again I don’t consider the blackouts to be a plot hole either. Not everything has to be explained in detail. After his sons accident Ethan was obviously never the same again, he was an emotional wreck. This emotional trauma could surely cause blackouts like that and there’s nothing in the game that contradicts that.

  • born_naughty

    I was here to reply Emperor_Z and then I read our previous conversation 😛
    I played The Last of Us some time ago but gave up on it. I’m sure the story and writing or good, at least the intro was very good. The problem is exactly what I expected: You see, I’m not a very good gamer at all. I play games like Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead or visual novels like Danganronpa not only because of the stories but because it’s impossible to really be stuck there. I’m easily frustrated and a terrible stealth gamer as well, a game like The Last of Us is unplayable for a guy like me :-P.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    I see. Yeah The Last of Us really did ramp up difficulty, especially since it’s more about the survival than the action so I can see if you’d and others would have trouble with that. I managed to beat it 4 times, one of which was on Survivor difficulty, and I haven’t even played the Remastered version I got yet to do grounded.

    Trust me: you don’t wanna know how hard it was, and I’ll get to relive it again haha. But yeah it takes a lot of skill and strategy to be able to play through it so I can see how that’s an obstacle. I can understand where you’re coming from. I love stealth games, but because I actually rarely play them, didn’t get into them much until I was older, I tend to not fair as well myself sometimes. Not my strongest suit, but I’m definitely good at it.

    I don’t know maybe you can play with a friend or something so they can help and you see how far you get. Or if you have PS4, do Share Play with a friend so you can have them do some of the hard parts for you. Play Uncharted 🙂 Yeah I get frustrated at times too; I usually don’t give up unless it’s near impossible. I’ve played games harder than The Last of Us; I know what it’s like to endure frustration.

  • born_naughty

    Exactly. And there’s nothing wrong with difficult games, it’s just not for me personally. I really want to relax when I’m sitting in front of my tv.
    Uncharted was cool 🙂 but after two games I have no real interest of going back to it. I had fun with it while it lasted though.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Yeah most of the time I just play for fun, and have times when I do play seriously and wanna get through my games. Well the 4th one is supposed to be the last one, you’d be missing out if you choose not to play it. Yeah that’s true, better to share the experience together instead of taking turns to begin with.

    I’m playing through Nathan Drake Collection to refresh and be ready for Uncharted 4. Though I probably may not get it at launch, I’ll possible own it soon after it releases. Then I gotta do FF X/X-2 HD Remaster, Type 0 HD to prepare for FF XV, and also The Last of Us Remastered, but I probably won’t end up playing until Summer since I’ll be too busy doing college. It’s a hard knock life man.

  • born_naughty

    Yeah, gamers have it so hard 😉

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Yeah it’s a struggle, but it’s all worth it in the end 😀

  • Ron Baron

    Ha ha ha. Most AAA games I’ve played have far superior stories to David Cage’s. Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls are awful awful stories. Maybe Beyond is better, but I couldn’t tell because it was told out of order for who knows what reason. This man thinks graphical fidelity means greater emotions. Ridiculous.

  • Ron Baron

    Heavy Rain’s writing is complete garbage and besides all the little inaccuracies, most of it just makes no sense.