David Cage is talented. He works as a musician, writer and video game designer but is best known for being the founder of the game development studio, Quantic Dream, which has brought us some remarkable titles such as Heavy Rain and The Nomad Soul. Added to that list is Beyond, Cage’s last game which was in many reviewers opinions and ours, a bland game that placed graphics over engaging gameplay. Cage is possibly the most interesting modern-day game developer, but can he now use the Xbox One and PS4 to create games that not only look good, but play well?
Qauntic Dream’s describes its titles as “interactive movies” rather than games as the company feels that most games follow the same recipe. And it wants to place the player into a position of power where they take part in a struggle between good and evil. “There are so many other stories to tell, so many other emotions to trigger. This is a fantastic new medium, we can do much more than we currently do with it.” says Cage in an article where he claims that he is “fed up with modern-day shooters,” and “the same things.” Why then, did his last game have very little in the way of gameplay innovation, much like the shooters he lambastes?
Cage’s vision it seems is a controversial one. Some praise it while others feel that real storytelling and video games can’t mix. Steven Spielberg (E.T., Jurassic Park) opposes Cage’s vision and believes the two mediums cannot mix: “I think the key divide between interactive media and the narrative media that we do is the difficulty in opening up an empathic pathway between the gamer and the character – as differentiated from the audience and the characters in a movie or television show”. He described gamers as having a “great abyss” of empathy and that when someone starts playing a game “something turns of in the heart.”
But Cage isn’t interested in making the next GTA or Modern Warfare. He feels the main obstacle is that gaming is presently aimed at a “limited market” and that the “potential mainstream market” still needs to be “convinced” of the merits of gaming. “Personally, I believe that it is possible to convince a wider audience to embrace games by creating experiences that are different, by reconsidering our paradigms and not being afraid to taking risks and innovating.” says Cage.
We’re getting there
Cage believes with the evolution of next gen-gaming technology, he is coming closer to the ideal he is striving for. He does not only focus on the narrative aspect of the games he is designing but also the photo realism of the visual imagery. Although he says that such high graphical quality isn’t something he aims for, he feels that it is necessary to tell the story in the way he wants it to be told. In a sense, he is trying to build a bridge between the movie and gaming industry.
Currently, Cage is working on a new title that is set to be launched on the Playstation 4. Beyond that there isn’t much more to know except that he says his new game is “incredibly exciting, it’s one of the strongest concepts we’ve had at Quantic Dream and we’re all very excited about it.” But a sequel to Beyond: Two Souls should not be expected as, in the past, Cage has expressed his dislike for sequels, stating that they only “kill creativity”. We don’t want a sequels either David, just great games with incredible graphics and the gameplay to match.