David Cage is one of the worst writers in the industry

SKBPinkie

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Well, the thing about Cage's games is that they don't really do much in terms of gameplay. I mean, if the best parts of your game are things that can easily be conveyed via a YouTube video, then people will obviously nitpick on the story, plot, and characters.

Basically, if you're not using interactivity to tell a story, then its plot deserves to get heavily criticized, cause there's literally nothing else to judge.
 

Rutabaga_swe

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So basically i couldn't be arsed to read the entire thread but here are my two cents on why David Cage is the worst hack in the gaming industry:

He slags off gaming in it's entirety several times (the one that i specifically remember is him likening games to porn in terms of narrative and storytelling)after which he continues to make a several games that barely contain any gameplay, and thus do VERY little to take advantage of the medium and further compensates by filling the time up with stories that wouldn't fly on a late night television show.

Basically the guy takes a big dump on gaming, then makes games that are really REALLY bad for just the same reasons. The guy is a complete tool in my eyes and while the games he makes have potential (ie they might be good if they got a real writer and focused on making the games more interactive). In terms of interactivity i mean meaningful interactivity, drinking milk from the fridge for the novelty of it is not what i'm talking about here. All in all his previous two games just fail all over the board.

Actually that's not true, the games always look great but to me that isn't really enough to excuse the other 80% of utter mediocrity. I mean, i got a thousand times more enjoyment out of a game like Amnesia: The dark descent for all the same reasons i imagine Cage wants you to enjoy Heavy Rain, and that's with like three voice actors, a dated graphics engine and like 6 guys working on it (ok don't quote me on that i just know it's a very small team).
 

PeterMerkin69

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David Cage is the M. Night Shyamalan of video games. Actually, I think he's worse than his role model(he actually said he's a fan of Shyamalan, so that should tell you all you need to know about both him and his work). That's quite an accomplishment.

I liked the atmosphere and ideas of Heavy Rain but he didn't have the chops to pull it off. Aside from the killer's soap opera style motivation, the hokey cliches and the abject stupidity of his protagonists, Cage didn't do nearly a good enough job keeping track of the paths a player could take through the world he created.

In my play-through I let everyone die, because I hated them, except for the one I thought was obviously the killer, and I kindled a romance between him and one of the victim's mothers, because that's the kind of thing that everyone in this universe deserved. Near the end of the game, she's sent off on a train, and he deals with a few loose ends. Nowhere is it stated that he's a suspect, nor does she suspect him, in fact she kisses him before departing, and after the last child dies and the ending cinematic rolls, she appears with a gun and shoots him down in the street. How did she go from being attracted to and comforted by him to murdering him? This change was completely unexplained in my play-through and there was no reason whatsoever for her to change her mind about him. This wasn't just a bad story, it wasn't even a whole narrative.

There were other problems, like the characters' dangerous stupidity. Good writers don't make their allegedly pitiable characters behave so erratically to meet the needs of the plot; they find creative solutions that don't undermine and contradict the entire project. Cage? Cage doesn't do this. Cage has his protagonists crawl through glass instead of pushing it out of their way. Cage has men let their children run off moments after they just panicked because they ran off once already. Cage doesn't allow his college educated yuppie to Google or even try to guess the rest of the address where he'll find his kidnapped, dying son. _184 Cherr_ Tre_ Ln.??? OH MY GOD HOWEVER WILL WE FIND HIM HE COULD BE ANYWHERE I BETTER GO RISK MY LIFE THREE MORE TIMES SO I CAN GATHER THE REST OF THE CLUES DONTCHA KNOW

About the only thing he has managed to do, apparently, is tug at the heart strings of people who are easily upset and who don't pay very close attention to the media they're consuming, which is the textbook definition of cheap, lazy and godawful.

The worst, Jerry. The worst.
 

JazzJack2

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briankoontz said:
His ambition is to engage the player emotionally. The story in Heavy Rain was really good (for a game story) and the style of gameplay in Cage's games is designed to enhance the emotional connection of the player to the game world. Cage gets rid of inventory, skills, and levels, because they take the player out of the immersive state of the gameworld. Even the adventure game genre, closest to what Cage's games are, have inventory management.

None of that seems particularly 'new' to me, you could argue some of his means are different (removal of inventory management for example) but the actual end goal of emotionally engaging (which Cage must think is code for hamfisted) and 'hyper-immerse' gaming experiences has been attempted by a lot of games previously and many of them did it to much greater degrees of success in my opinion.


He has a vision for what he wants to accomplish in games and he follows logical steps to accomplish it. This gives his games a unique feel.

I agree with critics that Cage is not a master of executing his vision. The Walking Dead series, probably the closest to what Cage produces in the mainstream industry, is much better written with much better characters. But there's a great possibility within the vision that Cage has for something truly great to emerge.
'Vision' isn't enough though, I feel he lacks the competence or maturity to raise his games above the level of mediocrity and I simply don't accept the idea that he should be forgiven for his poor execution and standards simply because he has ambition or 'vision'.
Having said that I don't doubt Cage has a sincere passion for his games, and I do find the extreme hate some people have for him odd because I think there are far worse things he could be than an arrogant, pretentious, incompetent but ultimately sincere man with his own ideas, particularly when I see game companies committing acts that are basically illegal (*cough* Gearbox *cough*)


Heavy Rain is David Cage's best game, and there's no reason to think his vision can't produce even better games. So why bring the hate against him? Heavy Rain is a tremendous breath of fresh air in a very stale industry.
I am sorry but I found Heavy Rain to be anything but a breath of fresh air,(more like a stale fart masked with frebreze) it was just another game forsaking depth or meaningful player interaction and putting games further down this path of becoming bad imitations of films (specifically Hollywood blockbusters) instead of finding their own voice.

Game developers who produce just another shooter never come under much scrutiny. But gamers love doing autopsies on Cage while he's still alive, picking over his personality, criticizing every little thing they possibly can,
That's what happens when you take risks, Cage stuck his head above the parapet, miscalculated and got it blown off. Game devs who make another stock shooter don't come under the same scrutiny because there's not expectation of the game to be new or fresh where as Cage claimed Heavy Rain would be new and fresh and so people have the right to expect it to be so and were also more likely to be disappointed and angry at him when they found out it was boring contrived schlock.


and all for what? To combat the argument that Cage is an auteur, a genius? Noone is saying that.
Unfortunately there are people who believe that Cage is a genius or his ideas should drive modern game design *shudder*.
And frankly it pisses me off, while a huge portion game journalists put Cage (and other equally overrated devs/desingers) on a pedestal and praise him as a man whose ideas for games are revolutionary and elevate games to a value they never had before, the real geniuses of modern game design (like Bay 12 games, or Dennaton games) go relatively unnoticed bar passing but ultimately superficial praise.
 

Rutabaga_swe

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Also a "game over" is not a failure of game design, it's part of the feedback loop that the player needs to advance in the game (at least when done right). Cage on the other hand seems to completely miss the point of games and rather tries to deliver some sort of slightly interactive experience. I guess he doesn't understand the difference between the two things, even though they are quite apparent, i would hope, to most gamers.

Obviously the man does not understand the nature of a GAME. Losing is not the same as failing, if that was the case both Souls games would be terrible games, but they aren't. It's fascinating to me that such an obvious non-gamer is making such high-profile games. It's mind blowing really. Who let that guy be in charge? That's my big question. I'd love to see an actual game with their tech. I mean just imagine walking around and solving puzzles and collecting items like in a point and click type adventure game, only with the high def graphics, smooth conversation systems and so forth from their games? Would be awesome, but instead we are stuck with this mediocre crap that cage envisions as the future of gaming. To me he is simply lacking the knowledge of what makes gaming unique and thus great.
 

LAGG

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II2 said:
In defense of emotions:

I think his weaknesses as a creative director and writer could be forgiven more easily if he wasn't so damn smug about them. Kinda smacks of 'real art is immune to criticism' while the rest of gaming less than art. That said, let him keep making what he makes. It's different, at least. If he hits anything truly worthwhile, better qualified people will incorporate the ideas into more accessible formats.
What else in gaming can be more accessible than click-flicks?
 

aguspal

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Jeez.

Some people over analize stuff WAY too much.

Farenheith was a fun, interesting game. I liked how varied it was in both its story/gameplay elements. It was... chaotic. It had its own, weird charm...

Who the fuck cares if theres some plot holes here and there. Enjoy the game for what it is. I certainly look forward to seem more of this one guy...


Then again, I dont value the "history" element in videogames as much as some people religiously do... althougt if there is a good history in a game, I will take note. But, GAMEPLAY FIRST! (Then sounds/musc, then visuals, then other stuff.... THEN history. Maybe).
 

Dirty Hipsters

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aguspal said:
Jeez.

Some people over analize stuff WAY too much.

Farenheith was a fun, interesting game. I liked how varied it was in both its story/gameplay elements. It was... chaotic. It had its own, weird charm...

Who the fuck cares if theres some plot holes here and there. Enjoy the game for what it is. I certainly look forward to seem more of this one guy...


Then again, I dont value the "history" element in videogames as much as some people religiously do... althougt if there is a good history in a game, I will take note. But, GAMEPLAY FIRST! (Then sounds/musc, then visuals, then other stuff.... THEN history. Maybe).
Funny how you yell "gameplay first" while defending Indigo Prophecy, where the gameplay was essentially just pushing the button prompts on the screen to continue watching the cutscene.
 

aguspal

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Dirty Hipsters said:
aguspal said:
Jeez.

Some people over analize stuff WAY too much.

Farenheith was a fun, interesting game. I liked how varied it was in both its story/gameplay elements. It was... chaotic. It had its own, weird charm...

Who the fuck cares if theres some plot holes here and there. Enjoy the game for what it is. I certainly look forward to seem more of this one guy...


Then again, I dont value the "history" element in videogames as much as some people religiously do... althougt if there is a good history in a game, I will take note. But, GAMEPLAY FIRST! (Then sounds/musc, then visuals, then other stuff.... THEN history. Maybe).
Funny how you yell "gameplay first" while defending Indigo Prophecy, where the gameplay was essentially just pushing the button prompts on the screen to continue watching the cutscene.
Thats true...

Does it really need something else thougt? The game was essentialy an interactive movie. Theres not really much else to add I am afraid...


I dunno, I think it gets the work done. Obviously it is not getting any awards or anything, but the goal of the game focuses on other stuff methinks.


I just belive it had its own charm... I personally like the last third of the game, its so fucking random that its awesome, I LOLED hard time when I got to that last part...
 

michael87cn

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Eh, no ones perfect.

His games are fun. That's good enough for me.

I don't really like to 'learn names' of people behind things, that way I can't make expectations for them and then revile them on the internet... which is kind of sad.
 

BleedingPride

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Personally, while these are good criticisms that I share, I still like his works. I'm pretty excited for Beyond Two Souls, and all it's emoshunly goodness.
 

Childe

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Dirty Hipsters said:
So, since Beyond Two Souls is coming out people have been talking a lot about David Cage's other two games, Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain. These are two really polarizing games, there are people who think that they're absolutely brilliant, and there's people who think that they are the dumbest garbage ever.

In the case of people thinking that the games are good, they always point to the stories, and talk about how engaging and emotional they are, and how they're well written.

Those people are WRONG.

I've decided to put together a list of all the ways in which David Cages stories make absolutely no sense. How? I'm going to go through both games, and point out as many of the inconsistencies and stupid plot holes as I possibly can. I might not get all of them, there's A LOT, but the rest of you out there who have played these games can fill in the blanks.

Indigo Prophecy:

1. The oracle is a Mayan guy with Mayan mystical powers, yet none of the imagery associated with his powers is in any way Mayan. He attacks you with giant head lice, angels, etc. Hell, he has to use candles and pentagrams to do his Mayan killing ritual. There isn't a unified theme to anything, it's like David Cage just took all the symbolism and imagery he could think of and shoved it into the game with absolutely no meanings attached to it.

2. There is never an explanation for why the world is freezing over. There's no lead up to it, nothing. In the last chapter of the game David Cage just goes "oh, by the way, apocalypse."

3. Why does Lucas Kane have the same powers as the Oracle when their powers come from two completely different places?! The Oracle has magic Mayan powers and Lucas Kane got his powers from Aliens.

4. It's explicitly stated by the Mayan studies professor that the reason the Oracle has to control Lucas Kane to kill people for his ritual is because the Oracle is not allowed to kill anyone himself, otherwise he loses his powers because he becomes impure. Approximately half an hour later the Oracle kills Lucas and his ex-girlfriend, and his powers do not disappear.

5. Now back to the aliens. Why are there aliens? Why are there aliens? WHY ARE THERE ALIENS?!

6. Carla believes everything Lucas tells her about having magic powers, and being controlled by a mystical Mayan Oracle, when she has seen absolutely no proof of any of that. All of the evidence she has points to Lucas Kane being the killer, and yet when he says "I didn't do it, I was being mind controlled by the Oracle" her response is "yup, his story checks out." Not only that, but she has sex with him and falls in love with him within an hour of actually meeting. WHAT?!

7. Why do the two cops play basketball outside, in nothing but shorts and jerseys when it's 2 degrees Fahrenheit out and the world is apparently freezing over? WHY?!

8. Lucas Kanes hair changes color for no reason and is never explained in the plot. He starts out with brown hair, then after he escapes from the police using his alien martial arts powers he has blond hair, and then after he dies and gets resurrected his hair is black. No mention of this, no explanation, nothing.

9. The Indigo child has absolutely no point, she may as well have been a magic item or something, considering the fact that she's a person never plays into the game, what with her not having a single line of dialogue, and no one caring about the consequences of what will happen to the child after they complete their magic rituals with her.

Heavy Rain:

1. Throughout the game Ethan has random black outs where he loses consciousness then wakes up hours later without knowing where he is or what he's done, and with origami figures in his pocket. Every time this happens he gets a little closer to believing that he himself is the origami killer, and that he kidnapped his own son when he was unconscious. This is not the case, since Shelby is the killer, but the game never explains why Ethan was having blackouts, or why he had origami figures in this pocket afterward. It's a plot thread that comes out of nowhere, and then gets dropped just as fast with absolutely no explanation. Not only this, but the black outs are also the main evidence that the police have against Ethan.

2. Why the hell does anyone believe Ethan when he says he isn't the Origami Killer? Madison helps him, find his kid, patches him up, has sex with him, falls in love with him, helps him escape from the police, and why? He never gives her any real explanation, he's really just some guy to her. This is the same problem as Indigo Prophecy, women having sex with the main character and falling in love with him for NO REASON, just because he's the main character.

3. Why does Jayden help Ethan escape from the police department? Again, it makes absolutely no sense. Even if he's innocent, like Jayden believes, with absolutely no proof, Jayden has no reason to help him escape police custody. Especially not when it's incredibly obvious that Jayden was the one who helped him escape, and yet Jayden never gets caught, never gets fired or reprimanded, nothing.

4. Why does Shelby call the police on himself after he kills the old guy in the type writer shop? It's like he leaves behind evidence that he killed the guy purposefully and then really hopes that the police are incredibly incompetent.

5. Speaking of the police being incompetent, why doesn't Shelby get arrested after the shootout in the mansion? He killed 20 guys, that's a lot of dead bodies to cover up.

6. How the hell does Shelby set up the trial for Ethan that has the tunnel covered in broken glass? Ethan is a skinny guy and can barely fit in the tunnel, how does Shelby manage to do it being twice Ethan's size?

Both of these games have massive, terrible, incredibly stupid plot holes, and everything that is wrong with both Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain is tied directly to David Cage writing and directing those games. Even if we disregard the fact that a lot of us hate quicktime events, and the controls of the games, which are subjective criticisms, objectively speaking the games fail on the most basic levels of storytelling, and this is unforgivable for games whose primary, and only purpose is good story telling.

Now, are there games with worse stories out there? Yes, in fact, most video games have bad or even terrible stories, and plot holes, but that's really not the point here. The reason those games have bad stories usually is because the story is an afterthought, an excuse for the game mechanics. With Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain David Cage did his best trying to craft a good stories for his video games, almost completely sacrificing game mechanics to make way for his cinematic stories, and for all that work, the stories are still utter nonsense. This is why David Cage is one of the worst writers in the industry. He is given all the tools, everything he could possibly need or want to craft a good story, and that's all that's exacted from him, and yet he still fails all because he is a bad story teller.

Stop defending his games.

TL:DR - David Cage is a horrible writer and you should get unhyped for Beyond Two Souls. The entire plot structure of both his previous games is completely destroyed if you think about any of the characters' actions for more than 5 seconds.


All this means is that in your opinion David Cage is a horrible writer. Whether people like someone's work or not is entirely up to the person watching/playing/reading that work. The Phantom Menace is still my favorite of the 6 Star Wars even though everyone hates it.
 

DrunkenMonkey

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dunam said:
DrunkenMonkey said:
Two indigo prophecy came out a while ago, it was one of the first games to do the whole cinematic angle. Not counting Shenmue, etc. So it deserves a pass on that, and cannot be compare to the likes of the walking dead. Overall it was a good attempt, and doesn't deserve the hate that some people give it. Strangely IP is very comparable with Suda 51, killer 7, but yet people don't praise it for its incoherency. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it wasn't intentional..
I think kareteka and defender of the realm were much earlier better examples of pioneering cinamatic angle.
I was referring to the blending of cinematic narrative with QTEs
 

King Billi

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Alex Dimmock said:
Fuck David Cage and fuck you for defending him.
Your first comment on this entire forum and you use it just to tell someone to go **** themself?

The first discusssion you felt you actually needed to contribute your opinion to and you use it to tell someone to go **** themself?

Your one chance at making good first impression and clearly expressing your point of view on a contentious issue and you use it just to tell someone to go **** themself?
 

DrunkenMonkey

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dunam said:
DrunkenMonkey said:
dunam said:
DrunkenMonkey said:
Two indigo prophecy came out a while ago, it was one of the first games to do the whole cinematic angle. Not counting Shenmue, etc. So it deserves a pass on that, and cannot be compare to the likes of the walking dead. Overall it was a good attempt, and doesn't deserve the hate that some people give it. Strangely IP is very comparable with Suda 51, killer 7, but yet people don't praise it for its incoherency. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it wasn't intentional..
I think kareteka and defender of the realm were much earlier better examples of pioneering cinamatic angle.
I was referring to the blending of cinematic narrative with QTEs
Were QTE's ever used for a non-cinematic moment?
I'm not sure I understand, let me reiterate my statement.

I was pointing out that Indigo Prophecy should get some breathing room from scrutiny because it was the one of the first games to be a collection of cinematics. With QTEs as the main method of controlling the action on screen. i.e. along with games like shenmue and dragon's lair. This does not mean QTE's are one of the features of the game, i.e. RE4, uncharted, etc.

Alex Dimmock said:
Well to be fair Indigo Prophecy did have a dark and disturbing story (matrix shenanigans aside). It's not Cage's fault that his audience has seen so much of "dark and disturbing" that they had become desensitized to the concept in video games.

Additionally, why do people go for extremes. Can a person defend Cage, and not love every single thing that he does fanatically?

edit: had a misadventure in quoting, apologies.