There has always been an interesting stigma in my mind which is to not be too offending to other opinions. I really do love to hear other thoughts and the biggest reason why I love to write and talk about entertainment is to get others to think more about what they are experiencing. If there is one subject that gets me riled up the most in the gaming community that would David Cage. My history with his works started around the time of Heavy Rain and how it made me more passive about gaming. I was legit worried that gaming was going to take this as a major route and while there are many cinematic games that came after it, it did not overwhelm the market as much as I was thinking in the past. It was soon later that a friend introduced me to Blazblue and the Persona series that soon reignited the gamer flame inside of me. Persona got me back into RPG’s and while that did not last too long, I still look forward to many of them. Blazblue being my first fighting game getting fully invested in and soon later got me to explore the genre all around. This even sparked an interest in action games since I already had a love for No More Heroes, I looked into the more complex action games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Still that little time with Heavy Rain was something, so what exactly did Heavy Rain do to me to even start killing the flame inside of me?
Well the biggest thing for me was that people were really sold on it. I know it is wrong to think that my thoughts and ideas are the only correct ones, but Heavy Rain and many other Cage games just rub me the wrong way. Starting to get interested in the movie magic, I loved knowing how movies were being made. So when seeing Heavy Rain it was like seeing a bad movie with questionable acting, poor camera control, and those stiff motions. While Quantic Dream can make pretty looking titles and that is it, they look pretty. Other than that, the character models do not move naturally compared to other games I have seen and since Heavy Rain is trying to do more movie material aspects, seeing those lanky motions just kills it. Along with that the overall screenplay for this is just horrible. People have already joked about Cage’s writing many times and it is no surprise on why people do. The characters make no sense and with how they move around just comes across aimless. Still to this day I ponder on what the hell Jason was doing in Heavy Rain before he got killed by that car. To many others though I was the wrong one and I was told that my old ways of thinking will not be getting anywhere and that hurt.
People can say that David Cage brings some strong writing into gaming and I cannot see that. This became even more apparent when I got through games like Persona 3 and 4 where there were moments that had me tearing up. Meanwhile with something like Heavy Rain I get a cheap laugh out of the whole thing. If you look at Cage’s first four games is there really anything strong being told here? Omikron was just an attempt of being a fully realized virtual reality gone wrong. In that game you just explore the area and try to understand how the hell anything works in it. Indigo Prophecy could have been an interesting supernatural crime drama (just play the Silver Case games to see that done right) if it was not for the confusing twists of aliens and magical kung-fu fights. Heavy Rain was could have been an interesting focus on depression and how one goes into dark places out of the their own control. What we got is a serial killer story with no real reason and too many characters that just muddle the plot. Beyond Two Souls is then the biggest train wreck of these four and many people did see that. The scattered story telling never helped to make anything interesting and it just made the story go all over the place. The main heroine Jodie has the most reckless love life ever and then William Dafoe’s character starts like a good father figure to a power crazed idiot all of a sudden. I thought Beyond hit so hard with its flaws that people would not bother with David Cage anymore, but I was wrong.
Detroit Become Human came out this year and I feel like this is the worst title David Cage has made yet. Omikron was an attempt of making a video game at least, even with its genre confusion. Indigo was a start to focus on narrative and the idea of characters you control being against each other is a nice one. Heavy Rain comes off as the least of the evils mostly because of the nonsense story and laughable moments from the nonsensical action. Then Heavy Rain was trying to do more with QTE’s than many have not tried before. Beyond Two Souls then had an attempt of doing a style of story telling that is hard to do. While previous games were failed attempts I can still find some unintentional fun in them. Detroit though is not only a muddled idea, it is even a boring one.
There have been games like Last of Us and the new God of War where there is too much walking and not enough action to pace it out. Detroit is so far the worst offender of this so far and still having those boring QTE prompts from Heavy Rain and the terrible controls from Beyond just makes it even worse. David Cage really had no idea what he was doing with this title too; as it just started as a short film that just got enlarged into a full story. Cage clearly went for some slavery and oppression imagery to go along his robot story which is fine, but do it right! Nothing fits with the nonsense of Detroit, sure the idea of simulated emotions coming from a glitch in androids could have been a good concept, but Detroit does not focus on that. It simply focuses on androids trying to become free. There are three stories and all of them get ruined by something, and I do mean all of them!
I got some choice words for this game.
Markus becomes independent and bands androids with him to set them free. The problem is that he does this by simply touching androids and I guess he spreads the glitch, which is that really free will. Markus never even asks them if they want to join his group, it just happens. Also you have Markus possibly having quotes from Martin Luther King and even doing the famous walk. The biggest problem that Markus’ story comes from is an ideal that was developed by white slave owners. Slave owners believed that African-Americans were literally born to be slaves by using pseudo science. The difference with the slaves and androids, one group are actual people and the others were built. The androids were built to be slaves so in actuality this just proves the pseudo science and at the same time this story is trying to promote freedom with phrases and imagery of becoming free. It also does not help that Markus never gets a human ally, I guess his owner was close, but he does not get too involved and just dies early into the story. The oppressed got to be free because there were people who helped them and those people were simply people with power that felt like change was needed.
Kara is an android that has been abused to the point of becoming broken. She is repaired and starts to do her usual tasks. Kara begins to witness that the small girl Alice is being beaten by her Saturday drug PSA father. This father character easily takes the cake for one of Cage’s worst characters ever. He is just on drugs and that is it! Everything else just makes no sense with this man, he says he hates robots and yet has not only one, but two! Sure one can just say he is crazy because of the drugs, but that is just lazy story telling. Either way, Kara soon breaks free of her programing and takes Alice away as the two look to be together somewhere else, like Canada. For some reason Canada has no problem with androids, even though a border guard’s decision is affected the people’s view on android, a Canadian guard to be accurate! There are even border guards that openly shoot at androids, if they really have no issue with androids, they certainly have some wicked humor. The major problem with Kara’s story is that she starts to be a mother for this little girl and she turns up to be an android as well. Like why did this had to happen? Again why did the father have two androids? He became in debt because of them and blames them for ruining his life. Then why does it matter if Alice was an android or not, Kara cares for Alice regardless so why have this twist, it has no purpose.
Then there is Connor who I will say his actor was extremely good. Along with that he even gets a partner character by the name of Hank and these two steal Detroit. The story literally could have been just these two and focus on android crime stories. Connor and Hank had stellar actors and its funny that these two actually improvised most of their lines, take that Cage. Still there are many glaring issues with this story and the biggest one for sure rests in here. First off there is Hank who is a man who hates androids and we find out that an android killed his son. Okay that is a perfectly good reason for hating androids, so why does Hank get mad at Connor for killing androids who are clearly killing people? Oh wait, Hank’s son was killed by a human being the whole time, then why hate androids?! That nonsense is bad enough and in the end Hank is on Connor’s side regardless, so even more pointless twists. The biggest problem lies with an ending Connor can have when he becomes leader of the deviant androids.
Connor’s task was to take out deviants, simple enough, but in one ending he was being used to be the leader of deviants on purpose. So that means all the other deviant androids like Markus and North are useless to the story! If Connor just becomes the leader for some reason this goes according to plan. Then why did the creators for Connor even try to stop other deviants in the first place? What makes Connor so special when you have Markus who can make deviants just by pointing at them, like seriously explain that! Either way with deviant androids, this company can control a new race of beings in this world and remember when I talked about that pseudo science thing before? Well this just brings it back because the androids being deviants is just a trick and hence they are still not free beings. I know it is only one ending, but my goodness why was this here? It literally ruins the whole entire story and just destroys the message this was trying to aim for. How can people call this good writing?
This really starts to make me mad because there have been many games with only text at best doing better stories. The Zero Escape series simply started out on the original DS and that story is complex. 999 dives deeps into some real philosophy and many famous theories that people experimented with. All at the same time being a completely engaging puzzle game where even story details are important to the overall escape. I mentioned about Persona 3 and 4 and those two games had the Social Link system where you interact with people and not only do you help them in their troubles you gain not only more traits of becoming a better person, but even more badass summons. Cage has been out done many times by other titles and even one last year already out did his story about androids.
Literally the Zero Escape series comes off as the best visual novels ever!
That game is Nier Automata, what I say is the best game of 2017. It is a story about androids and it does ten times better than what Detroit tried to do. Nier Automata is fully engaging along with some rich combat experiences. The excitement of Automata can quickly turn into anger and depression. The emotional roller coaster was real with Nier before, but Automata made that even better. The best part about Automata’s story was that the androids were already experiencing emotions and for a good reason. Through their military like system though they are prohibited from showing these emotions, even though many end up not doing so. It makes these characters already engaging and thanks to the awesome combat you feel you are part of them in the action. So real game play does not mean you have to cut story content, so Cage has no excuse for not trying to have actual game play.
For the final thing to talk about Cage as a whole is how awful he is. Not only does has he been accused of overworking and sexual harassing workers, there is a real story of when he made a nude model of Ellen Paige’s character in Beyond Two Souls without her permission. With his first two games he did have game overs in them, but for some reason he makes this nonsense up about how “game overs are the failure of the game designer,” BULLSHIT! One of the biggest elements of learning from a video game is by losing at certain points, this is why lives are a thing. You can lose one and then continue on with new knowledge, the Megaman series has been the best with that. It even creates a problem with many of his titles where you technically win no matter what. Sure people can focus on the moral code for all of these endings, but in the end you beat the game no matter what you do. There has even been a recent development where the actor for Connor loved the line where the android shown his love for dogs and Cage was not happy about hearing that. Wouldn’t a writer simply be happy that one of his actors is happy to be saying his lines? Why does it matter if their favorite was not yours? So not only does this guy have had issues with people he personally works with he even insults other game developers.
David Cage is the biggest hack I have ever seen in gaming and possibly in entertainment in general. He found a way where he can live out his reality of being a movie man without being in the movie business. High chance the real movie people laughed him away. Again if you are one of the people who love his writing and stories, good for you. If you hate my guts for what I am saying, good for you as well. The biggest reason why I am writing is to get people more engaged into thinking more and if I have to stimulate some anger into you people to do that, so be it. David Cage is one of the few subjects where I truly get cynical because of my history with his titles. They are nothing, but rivals to The Room if they were actual movies. For as much I can laugh at a David Cage game, he just needs to stop.
Then for a little shout out, go watch Mother’s Basement’s video on Detroit. Not only did his video got me to open up my anger with David Cage, his many thoughts about this game I truly agree with. Along with that he got to show me that one can be a bit cruel to certain pieces of entertainment and possibly even the fans of that. Just because I am being cynical towards opinions, it does not mean I will think less of them. It simply means I want others to think more about these things. I am not saying I am here to prove those fans wrong, it is simply having debates to help ourselves open our minds. It’s just there are times you have to bruise your hands to do so. PS: Just play Nier Automata for not only an engaging story, but again for some of the best action possible in video games (this is a jab at Detroit and the new God of War).