The creator of A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Josef Fares, is not a man who pulls his punches. He's proven time and time again that he will tell it like it is in interviews and on-screen appearances. In a one-on-one with IGN recently, he had something to say that was unexpected even for him. Fares said he would love to create a game that has an honest to goodness, playable love scene.
You're probably seconds away from ranting in the comments about how this has already been done before, but allow me to elaborate. Fares said, “Why can't we make gameplay out of a love sequence? Like really play it, and I don't mean just push 'X' and 'Y.' Those are the kinds of things I want to explore... I think you can actually make gameplay into a beautiful love scene and actually play it and control it. That would be my dream to reach at some point.” As a video game creator, it's already apparent that Fares highly values the aspect of creating unique gameplay. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was heralded as including a powerful new gameplay style. Even more recently, A Way Out has gotten great reviews from players who really enjoyed the unique cooperative play.
It shouldn't come as any surprise that Fares wants to introduce new kinds of gameplay into everything that he makes. That's sort of his schtick. Even further, it makes sense that this might eventually include mature sequences like “love scenes” or more abruptly, sex scenes. Fares has already found ways to shake up the video game industry with some interesting gameplay. He might be the right person who can change the bored, cut and dry sex scenes in video games. How exactly will he do that is the real question.
As we all know, playable sex scenes in video games are not new. We've got a bevy of examples, from the God of War games to Heavy Rain. But if there's one thing these sequences have relied on, it's quick time events. These were exciting and fun for gamers when they first became a thing, but over time they've tended to split fans into two different groups. I think QTEs are fine. They add a level of gamplay that might not exist in games otherwise. And in many cases, it's nice to have something to do in the midst of a cutscene rather than sinking further into the couch. On the flip side, I've known plenty of other people who abhor QTEs. They'd rather just kick back and let the scene play out while they take a (often well-deserved) break from the gameplay. No matter your opinion on QTEs in general, I think we can all agree that they make for pretty sterile and unrealistic mechanics in sex scenes.
There's also the fact that much of these existing scenes take place off camera. In God of War's case, it's entirely out of sight. For Heavy Rain, the lead-up was viewable, but the down and dirty part was only glimpsed from behind a motel bed. (Who has sex on a motel floor?!) It's unclear whether or not Fares wants to change this aspect of existing sex scenes. If he does, it might make for a refreshing change from the typical pan and fade to black. On the other hand, it could lead to really stupid awkward moments. Also, sequences without the stereotypical blue ball will have to be higher rated, meaning fewer people will be able to enjoy the majesty.
The concept of sex scenes in video games without quick time events is really intriguing. Quick time events are such a staple in titles that allow player to get in on the action. It's hard for me to imagine exactly how Fares would be able to pull off his dream. But I'm certainly excited to see him try. How about all of you?