David Cage calls for Apocalypse Now-like shooter

Heavy Rain director says he wants to see a game that is "not just about shooting and glorifying violence"; hopes new technology used to "say something meaningful."

Outspoken Quantic Dream boss David Cage has told VG247 that he would like to see a shooter be made that focuses on the "difficulty" of war. He bemoaned games like Call of Duty, saying that even with new advancements in technology, "it's the same game." Instead, Cage said he is interested in a game that approaches war in the way that popular American war movies Platoon or Apocalypse Now do.

Cage might be the last person you'd expect to advocate for a new shooter.

"Then it would be very interesting," he said. "To not make a game just about shooting and glorifying violence by saying, 'look how great it is to have a gun and shoot at people.’ It would be interesting to show the other angle, and how difficult it is to be at war."

Cage elaborated further, saying he hopes that when new hardware arrives, it will be used to "say something meaningful. But if you use it to do another shooter--that's cool--but it's not a big step."

Last week during Gamescom, Cage called on the industry to "grow up," saying he was frustrated with the industry's reluctance to broach more mature subject material. This followed comments from July, when he said the industry will "die" without innovation.

Cage is currently working on Beyond: Two Souls, a new narrative-focused PlayStation 3 game that he claims will be emotional, mature, and unique. Juno and Inception actress Ellen Page will provide the voice and likeness for the game's mysterious young woman, Jodie Holmes.

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Discussion

254 comments
macca366
macca366

Well.. A war game more psychologically invested in the inability to sleep and constant fear of bombs going off in the distance, or the terror of seeing people maddened by having to kill, or forced with the choice to hurt a friend or let him rape an unarmed civilian etc would be mature, exciting, challenging, an innovative step in war-based games.. But, it is hard to base core gameplay around concepts like that.I really enjoyed Fahrenheit /Indigo Prophecy. Heavy Rain was the same kind of game, but refined. I actually hope Cage himself innovates a little more with Beyond, otherwise I know what to expect from him. That may take the edge off, but I still like the character centred approach, I feel like I know the protagonists of his games a great deal more than others. Probably because they have constant inner monologues ha

gilalizard
gilalizard

Yeah, sounds like he's trying to get in front of what Spec Ops did already.

 

Not saying he hasn't created quality himself.  But calling for an "Apocalypse Now" game after Spec Ops just came out, which pretty much ruthlessly skewers the entire shooter industry, is just blatant positioning on his part.

 

He wants to be seen as the big thinker in games.  Meanwhile others have already done, or taken a very legitimate stab at, what he has "called" for.

 

What he needs to do is continue to create great games, and stop trying to portray himself as some kind of visionary and leader.Lead by example, not by lecturing.

Hrodwulf666
Hrodwulf666

Pffft. Another gas bag developer trying to position himself as some kind of digital messiah. Power Creative whatever. This WHOLE form of entertainment, like any other, is based fundamentally on genre... The way Genres work in this area seems generally to be what form the interface takes and from what perspective the story is told from. This leads to games being similar, Which is good because organisms like ourselves like and respond well to things we recognize and know how to interact with... Its the reason for repetition in mediums. Now aside from attempting to do things differently what is Mr Cage suggesting. He himself is never THAT far ahead of the pack... if even ahead at all. He just seems to like the sound of his voice. 

Of course we all long to be different and break free of the mold. We all feel that. But its not Shouting "I am different" that makes someone different... Its actually achieving something different, its not posturing and forcing your opinion on people. No matter how much noise this guy makes his comments always seem to be ignorant of whats happening around him or of whats gone before. So he wants things to be different... Hows about some ideas dude!?! Otherwise you just sound pretentious. 

jark888
jark888

I think Mr. Cage called for innovation, something to excite gamer in a big way, not traditional gaming experience.

jark888
jark888

While playing Heavy Rain, I realized that the game must require extreme patience and effort to create. That's why we don't get to play or see much of such game.

Cmgizzi
Cmgizzi

The Brothers In Arms series is all of the above - do your homework David Cage.

vader501st
vader501st

Spec Ops: The Line would like a word with him.

delta3074
delta3074

ha he played spec ops the line yet? apocolypse now is an adaptation of a book called the heart of darkness which the line is based heavily on.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Let's get a shell shock simulator and then we can also blame games for post traumatic stress disorder like those caused by war. Unlikely complaints perhaps, but not impossible ones.

kryotech
kryotech

A game that is like Apocalypse Now would really change the gaming industry. David Cage really is pushing what gaming can do as a medium, so I wouldn't be surprised if he were the one to make such a game.

joeborg14
joeborg14

He would be the one to say this... But for the record I one hundred percent agree.

pip3dream
pip3dream

David Cage, I love you, and love your games; but as it has been said already, you really should check out Spec Ops: The Line.  This was a great game, that made you feel pretty shitty about killing people.

glotsbag
glotsbag

Can somene just sut this guy up? He speaks words of wisdom but he's still annoying.

bgranli
bgranli

I sympathise with your sentiment Mr. Cage, but you come off as uninformed when you fail to mention the newly released Spec Ops: The Line.

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

I had a lot of respect to Cage and his work.... i HAD!!!!!!!!!!

kex72
kex72

Dude, Just play Brothers in arms.

emgesp
emgesp

Then make it Mr. Cage. 

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

What a slap in the face to the developers of Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 2. At least applaud them for taking a step in this direction, Mr. Cage.

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

So once again, Mr. Cage uses numerous adjectives for his latest work: "emotional, mature, and unique", but misses out on the most critical one for a game ...FUN! Granted I know squat about his earlier work, all I've played from him is Heavy Rain and it was interesting, a decent enough story, but it was not fun to play.  Hopefully his latest project will have some good gameplay to back up what will no doubt be vastly improved voice acting than his last game as Ellen Page is awesome.

isshiah
isshiah

reminds me of people go on about how modern movies should just be "better", without having ideas as to how to make it so.but he does have a point, and i think spec ops: the line answered his call.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

He throws a great deal of criticism at this industry but nor does he offer any direct solutions. How does he expect anybody to take him seriously?

Metroid345
Metroid345

From what I've heard and seen (haven't played Heavy rain because I don't own a PS3), Heavy Rain is more of an interactive movie than a videogame. It sounds like the player would have a better time watching it than playing it.

 

There are plenty of games that touch upon mature themes and content : Fallout with it's focus on survival; Bioshock with it's attempt to cling to order and power in a corrupt world away from ours; And Mass Effect and Dragon Age have some of the best character development I've seen in videogames. And these are games that are also great to play as well (VATS, Biotics, Abilities, Powers, Plasmids, etc.). I've only touched upon quite a few of the many seriously mature and great games we have in this industry.

 

Cage sounds like he wants something more along the lines of a movie (which is great for him). But I'll stick to my great stories and fantastic gameplay.

 

 

Also (just a quick tidbit), he's talking about "new hardware" arriving and changing the industry for the better (in his view). Wasn't this the same man who said in another Gamespot article that new consoles are not needed in the near future? Or was that someone else from the same studio/company?

franzito
franzito

The American "gun culture" still struggles to cope with its effects in society...

wgerardi
wgerardi

Wow- isn't this guy in the gaming industry? How does he not know about Spec-Ops: The Line? (slightly superior to Heavy Rain imo).

 

Just lost major respect for this dude.

tmacman
tmacman

Spec ops the line: the line

 

Then there are the boat load of games that have used little elements here and there from the film....sooooooo STFU.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

David Cage confirms his status as the gaming industry's own personal Captain Obvious.

 

The game he's talking about is already done and called Spec Ops: The Line. Furthermore, the new installment of Rainbow Six will revolve in the same fashion, as well as more vanilla, but nevertheless worthy of mention MoH:Warfighter

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

To everyone that thinks David cage is all talk, you haven't been there through all his work especially the first game he made Omikron the nomad soul Which is not a interactive movie.

 

The game is one of the first to have an open world environment, It had many gameplay elements, fighting, shooting, exploring. It also had story.  If you think all he's done is "quicktime events" your sadly mistaken you need to do your research before you talk.    If you want games to just be bland and have nothing new go for it but David Cage is right we need to encourage more creativity aka a little more risk for developers and publishers to tackle then just the same games over and over.

Lhomity
Lhomity

And so we set along the river, tearing through the jungle landscape like a twisting dagger. Days went by, when we were beset by a group of french video game developers. Most of my squad perished in the battle.

 

I continued alone, 20, maybe 30 miles to find a large temple in the shape of a fat Playstation 3 console surrounded by overworked, underpaid developers. They allowed me passage into the temple, and within its dark, damp walls I met a man. It was him, alright; David Cage. He was eating a tamarillo. Or maybe it was a blood orange.

 

Nestled in a pile of torn-up, soggy Official Playstation magazines with Heavy Rain artwork on the cover, he slid his palms once over his sweaty scalp and lifted his head. His eyes square upon me. My heart pounding like the Dual Shock of a PSOne controller during an Ifrit GF summon in Final Fantasy VIII.

 

He spoke; "Are you an assassin?" I stared blankly for a moment, and replied "I am a gamer."

 

Wiping the pulp of a mysterious red fruit from his dry lips, Cage refutes; "No, you are an errand boy sent by GameSpot journalists."

 

I stepped forward and handed him a copy of Spec Ops: The Line, a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Mountain Dew. I reminded him to press X to Jason.

 

Cage nodded.

 

He had found his Apocalypse Now-like shooter. The end.

hadlee73
hadlee73

David: Less talk and more work please.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

It's pretty well confirmed this man is absolutely oblivious to the industry he works in, and I do really wish he'd learn something about it if he's going to have such an ridiculously big mouth.

Zaika
Zaika

Cage's self-contradictions really helped him dodge a bullet :)

 

 

wencelaus
wencelaus

The game he is looking for is Spec Ops: The Line. The final stages are like something out of the world of Apocalypse Now but set in the desert. And it works. One of my favorite games of the past five years......

Dudeinator
Dudeinator

I'm going to put aside Cage's products and just focus on what he is saying.

 

He is advocating for a different approach to FPS, and it's an idea worth exploring. I think it's feasible to have a game about war that emphasizes the fear and difficulty without making the game "not fun". 

 

Let's take the standard horror game. Many people say a successful horror game can  incorporate excellent atmosphere as well as a sense of "helplessness". Imagine if a First-Person Military shooter focuses on those aspects. An atmosphere that doesn't unnecessarily glorify war as "rah rah rah", and a sense of helplessness in controlling the death that's happening around you.

 

If done right, it could incite fear into the player. Not the fear that you would usually experience in horror games that involves ghosts or zombies, but fear like "what exactly are we fighting for and why did the guy that I met back at boot camp have to die for it?"

 

Food for thought. It would definitely be a game that takes violence more maturely.

I_are_Cake
I_are_Cake

 @gilalizard Spec Ops: The Line is more in relation to the original book material, Heart of Darkness, than anything else. The actual gameplay failed to show the horrors of war with it's regenerating health, cover system, slow motion kills, & linear levels; that said, Spec Ops: The Line is still an amazing game.

Nibroc420
Nibroc420

 @Hrodwulf666 Wow, someone's raging for no reason.

Guy's a game director, who's got some pretty awesome games under his belt. Games such as Heavy Rain that got great ratings, while being innovative and not just rehashing the same old titles (Call of Duty anyone?)

 

Not only that, he's completely right. These days most games are not innovative, but we get the occasional one, or some indie title that changes things up. Want a shooter? We've got COD:MW2,COD:MW3, COD:BO, BF2:BC,BF3, all released in the past year, and if you've beaten those COD:BO2 is going to be out real soon.

Racing? Well ever year there's a new NFS and a new Gran Turismo, only changes being updated cars.

 

Every so often we get Demon Souls, The Witcher, Heavy Rain, World of Goo, or some other game made by developers who aren't afraid to put their own spin on a genre. Because that's really what innovation is about...

krafty_pk
krafty_pk

 @Cmgizzi doesn't exactly bring tears to the eye, or make me terrified....... like im sure being in an actual friggin war would do

jark888
jark888

 @Serpentes420 Not fun? Really? More than 10 reputable critics gave this game, Heavy Rain, the average score of 90%(Wikipedia.org). Meaning it's one of the must-play games. I believe most high schoolers and younger people including dumbs couldn't find this game very enjoyable because of adult contents. I enjoy playing this game from its interesting plot that made me wanted to find out what would happen next, like the way you enjoy watching your favorite TV series. Other example would be the joy of being able to acquire desirable outcomes in the game or find out what's the alternative outcomes are.

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

 @Serpentes420 He has done actual gameplay before Omikron the nomad soul.  Its one of the first open world games were he focused on more then just one element of gameplay; shooting, exploring, fighting, exc. People act like heavy rain is the only game he has made. Really people are either ignorant or really jsut want to play the same boring games again and wants nobody to make anything new and different.

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

 @Metroid345 He has done actual gameplay before Omikron the nomad soul.  Its one of the first open world games were he focused on more then just one element of gameplay; shooting, exploring, fighting, exc. People act like heavy rain is the only game he has made. Really people are either ignorant or really jsut want to play the same boring games again and wants nobody to make anything new and different.

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

 @Lhomity He has done actual gameplay before Omikron the nomad soul.  Its one of the first open world games were he focused on more then just one element of gameplay; shooting, exploring, fighting, exc. People act like heavy rain is the only game he has made. Really people are either ignorant or really jsut want to play the same boring games again and wants nobody to make anything new and different.

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

 @Lhomity._. Have never read anything better than this on GameSpot... I liked it so much

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

 @Lhomity How can this only have nine likes? It deserves every like in GameSpot history!

TonnFool23
TonnFool23

 @Lhomity This by far it the best comment I've read in gamespot history.

Dudeinator
Dudeinator

As many in the comments have pointed out, it seems like Spec Ops: The Line took the step in that direction. I'll have to go check it out.

Metroid345
Metroid345

 @Albelnox0 I was being ignorant. And I apologize for it. I should have done some research before rushing to a quick post.

 

But he doesn't just talk about games being "stale" and stagnant. He talks about them not being able to touch upon mature content in the same way some great movies have. And he's wrong; There are many great games that have mature themes and content through their entire series. Either he's not looking hard enough for mature games, or he's being to vague and non-specific about what he expects from a good game.

 

Again, I apologize for my rude comments on Heavy Rain and Mr. Cage.

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

 @Metroid345 I know what you mean your comments aren't rude but true too.   Im just pointing out he's done actual gameplay before. Lot of people act like Heavy Rains the only game he's made