Oh yes, I remember those days well.

The cut-scene started to really come to prominence during the original PlayStation days, fueled by amazing cut-scenes found in franchises like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid .

That was when many gamers would "ooh" and "aah" over the latest amazing CGI sequence. I still remember working in an EB when Final Fantasy VIII came out. We were running a promo sequence on the TV that kept showing the dance scene between Squall and Rinoa near the start of the game. We had customers who didn't even know it was a video game. Some would just stand there, agape. It was pretty cool.

These days, though, anything non-interactive in a game seems to be automatically classified as "bad." I keeps seeing people complaining about the length of The Order: 1886 but more specifically, they're whining that there are probably too many cut-scenes. I know gamers who can't even sit through a 30-second scene where they're not pressing buttons; that's how far our attention spans have fallen.

I'm not saying cut-scenes are a universal good but I certainly understand their capability to tell a story. Most people these days apparently don't care. They want to "make their own story" or they quite simply aren't interested in the plot the developers created. They just want to play. I think if The Order had released back in the good ol' days, this backlash over cut-scenes wouldn't exist at all.

Related Game(s): The Order: 1886

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Bio
Bio
5 years ago

Cutscenes were a necessary evil 20 years ago. These days developers are finding new ways to tell a story within the game without having to cut away, and that is a good thing. At this point, cutscenes really are a hallmark of either lazy or incompetent narrative, for the most part. There are exceptions, of course, but in most cases they're not really needed anymore.

Banky A
Banky A
5 years ago

Cutscenes are the shit.

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

Cutscenes are the poo; so all the haters can take a big whiff.

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

Cutscenes are boring, for the most part. If you have to remove the game to tell your story, you're either telling the wrong kind of story or you're telling it with the wrong medium.

Metal Gear Solid is one example where cutscenes are worth it, but even then Kojima goes way overboard at times.

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
5 years ago

ok first you say:

"Cutscenes are boring, for the most part. If you have to remove the game to tell your story, you're either telling the wrong kind of story or you're telling it with the wrong medium."

Then you say MGS is an example where cutscenes are worth it… but doesnt the MGS cutscenes still remove the game to tell the story, which according to you mean that MGS is telling the wrong story or telling it with the wrong medium?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
5 years ago

Sorry, but I'm never immersed in any storyline when I'm controlling a character. That's because active interaction is wrong for all forms of storytelling and why the best stories are never found in open-world games. Storytelling involves passive attention; active participation means you're either not paying attention at all or you're attempting to change what the original writers created.

"Lazy" developers were the first ones who said: "Eh, we'll just tell players to create their own character and make their own stories as they go along. That way, we don't have to actually write…well, anything. Forget plot, character development, etc. Too hard."


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/17/2015 11:56:47 PM

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

@duo – I said "for the most part". There are exceptions to everything, including cutscenes in gammes. Even then I qualified that statement saying he goes way overboard.

@Ben – I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think if you have to cut away from the game to tell your story, you're telling the wrong kind of story. Fact is MGS would work better as a movie, or a TV series with serious money behind it. Bioshock is a great example of how to tell a story without cutting away.

And letting the player tell their own story is the furthest thing from lazy. It takes WAY more time and effort to create something like Skyrim than it does a linear game with linear plot and cutscenes.


Last edited by Bio on 2/18/2015 12:18:02 AM

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

But then Bio according to you all the final fantasy games, for example, have "told the wrong kind of stories" or have been told "with the wrong medium".

There is absolutely no way mate.

Final fantasy has given me some of the greatest gaming experiences of my life.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
5 years ago

"And letting the player tell their own story is the furthest thing from lazy. It takes WAY more time and effort to create something like Skyrim than it does a linear game with linear plot and cutscenes."

Completely wrong. The only thing that requires any talent whatsoever in such games is, as always, the part that is the underlying thread throughout; i.e., the main plot. And I'm sorry, but it's barely mediocre. Everything else is massive amounts of filler that don't have to be connected in any way. Just make up a bunch of random facts about the world to put into some books the player can find, and that's it.

If it was so difficult to do, and resulted in these amazing stories, why aren't any of the games in the series revered as having great stories? Nobody even remembers them. Nobody cares. Such games are about the gameplay, not the plot, and the reason for that is, as I said above, active participation, which works against any attempt at an effective story.

The parts in games people remember? Aeris being laid to rest. Snake visiting the grave at the end of MGSIII. Seifer and Squall battling it out at the start of FFVIII. These are enduring because we actually SAW them and ingested them. We weren't half paying attention while roving around. The only parts I really remember from any Bioshock? The end. When it actually becomes a real story.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/18/2015 1:58:26 AM

Banky A
Banky A
5 years ago

Agreed Bio.

Na I lied.

Skyrim has a story? The lore, the world – that's why people play Bethesda games. Same case for the amazing Dark Souls.

20 MGS movies sounds cool though. Awesome high tech special effects to make flying gear cows, live action cyborg humans, Japanese humour for the world, easy to understand plot, cardboard boxes – all encompassed in a slow, amazing stealthy espionage action packed package.

Kevin555
Kevin555
5 years ago

@Banky A,

MGS: Easy to understand plot

:/

EMax
EMax
5 years ago

When I started gaming, there were people who complained that there was too much reading in the game. Now, people are complaining about the cutscenes. I think most developers purposefully include a skip option so that those who have a problem with the cutscenes could just move right along to the game. I fail to see how this affects the gameplay. Some may argue that it breaks momentum, but then so does a loading screen.
Also, there are different types of games for different types of gamers. Why hate on something that is obviously not geared towards your individual taste?

Nynja
Nynja
5 years ago

I still enjoy them, especially Final Fantasy cut scenes. Still loved them in MGS. Cal me old fashioned I guess.

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

You're old fashioned (hey you asked 😛 )

TomBradySucks
TomBradySucks
5 years ago

Maybe it was because there were a larger gap between in game graphics and the CGI tech used for the cut scenes back then? Most games this gen use the in game engine for their cut scenese, so there isn't really a "wow" factor anymore. This is coming from someone who doesn't necessarily like a lot of cut scenes though

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

Pretty much this. Back in the day you kinda had to use cutscenes. Not so anymore.

Underdog15
Underdog15
5 years ago

You still need to. Real time games while you control the characters can't show emotion well… heck, they can't even move their mouths properly.

Bio
Bio
5 years ago

No you don't, Underdog. Look at Human Revolution as an example. Yes they employ cuts but if you play the director's cut they are ALWAYS talking about 'show don't tell' in terms of storytelling and how they employ this or that tactic to deliver the world to you without you necessarily realizing it. They hate cutscenes and only used them when they had to.

Bioshock, as I pointed out earlier, is another example of world building through gameplay. Skyrim tells its story mostly through gameplay.

Cuts are no longer needed.

Underdog15
Underdog15
5 years ago

Those cutscenes are super weak, though. You can't attain what you can through cutscene. You just can't employ every tool, period.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
5 years ago

I'm not sure. I love cut scenes in linear adventures. In open world games I'm not sure they are needed all the time.

With that said I was under the impression that people were upset about the supposed length of the game including cut scenes. Not the cut scenes themselves.

I feel bad for this game. It's been the center stage for so much criticism and stories over the last few months. It's been used as an example for the reason gamers want open world games and now it's being set as an example of why gamers hate cut scenes. It's crazy. Never seen this before.

Temjin001
Temjin001
5 years ago

I'm so bored now of the Order drama and open worlds and linear this and that I'm done talking about it or reading about it until review day.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
5 years ago

I'm with you Temjin. I'm sick of hearing about this game. I want review day to come and go so we can move on.

BTW I bought The dark below expansion, and began playing Destiny again last night. My frustration towards the game wasn't enough to keep me away. I'm not going to lie I had fun with it last night. I will say I was disappointed in what it turned out to be, but it's a solid game. I realized that last night.

Temjin001
Temjin001
5 years ago

I'll probably come back to Destiny once the other expansion pack drops, or the one thereafter. That way there's some more meat for me to sink into when that time comes.

Rachet_JC_FTW
Rachet_JC_FTW
5 years ago

they've fallen very far in the last 10 years since i was a kid which is sad but thats partly due the fact of these mobile games that don't require the asme level of attention that games back in the did or maybe i'm wrong i'm merely suggest one reason for the lapse but i don't think they are a bad thing, i've had cases where sometimes they too short or too long. idk thats just me. also theya re partly for character developement i think.

and not they don't care anymore its just let me play,let me play,let me play and thats it.

and ur comment ben "They want to "make their own story" or they quite simply aren't interested in the plot the developers created" is quite true as is "I think if The Order had released back in the good ol' days, this backlash over cut-scenes wouldn't exist at all."

that'll be all

happy gaming

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
5 years ago

I dont know about everyone else but i STILL think cutscenes are good. If i wanted a game that was all gameplay and no small breaks inbetween to tell a GOOD story…. I still have an NES, SNES and Genesis

not to say that only games that had cutscenes told stories… as plenty of games pre 32bit era told stories without cutscenes or spoken dialog but every game that fit that description was an RPG.

As for them not being interested in the plot… thas the thing i AM interested in teh plot. I use em to show the "adult" naysayers that claim "video games are for kids" that a video game can tell a story thats just as good (or bad) as any book, movie or tv series theyre watchin on tv right now. If we kept making games like Mario then that would only further prove to "validate" their opinion


Last edited by duomaxwell007 on 2/17/2015 11:16:05 PM

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

I shan't ever forget FFX's beautiful cut scenes.


Last edited by kokoro on 2/17/2015 11:15:50 PM

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
5 years ago

My favourite is when Tidus was sleeping or mentally preparing for the Blitzball game.
Being my first PS2 game, I was literally in trance watching it.

Banky A
Banky A
5 years ago

Dude.

Them using that for the adverts of the game was the best decision. We knew we had to have it. So fantasy yet so futuristic, so edgy, gritty. It was amazing.

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

'twas magical

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
5 years ago

Gaming has changed.
Time has changed.
War has changed by Old Snake 😛

FFXIII has some beautiful CGI cut-scenes but the game itself was so ugly that it was ignored……

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

Yeah~ too bad it was just a pretty shell.

Ignitus
Ignitus
5 years ago

I remember when cut scenes were prerendered well beyond the graphical capabilities of the hardware and that made them really cool. Nowdays cut scenes are just rendered in engine using the regular game assets so there is nothing to get excited about them now.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
5 years ago

That's not entirely true. Using the in game engine is true, but the cutscenes still look better. Cutscenes are like a studio's take of any given game. Leave the point of view and there's nothing. All excess is crushed so all of the detail, focus, and post processing can be directed at the scene. In game cutscenes still look better than in game graphics.

Underdog15
Underdog15
5 years ago

Even with the kill-tube linearity in the first FFXIII… you gotta admit…. them cutscenes were still very "wow".

No one… NO ONE can accomplish that beauty in real time. Even on current gen. Even on PC.

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
5 years ago

Truth.

FAREEZ
FAREEZ
5 years ago

I loved cutscenes, but if you interrupt the gameplay with cutscenes every 5 minutes that not cool. I pay to play not to watch…

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
5 years ago

Like in most things in life, balance is key. Cutscenes are awesome and are a great way to move the story forward, create character depth, or just pull off some cool, well choreographed fight sequences that would make John Woo jealous (the beginning of DMC4 comes to mind on this one).

Do too much and you risk turning people off. Too little and you risk not portraying the story you want to tell. Balance.


Last edited by SaiyanSenpai on 2/18/2015 1:06:00 AM

Gordo
Gordo
5 years ago

Always love a good cut scene but they have to be integrated correctly into gameplay.

Don't mind if they are frequent but they need to be at least skippable. Nothing more infuriating that having to watch a cut scene 10 times in a row because of a badly placed check point.

Shauneepeak
Shauneepeak
5 years ago

I love cutscenes when they are done well as you mentioned Final Fantasy and MGS are perfect examples. For both FFXII and MGS3 on the PS2 it was about 15 minutes before you even gained control of a character at the beginning of the game.
I don't mind playing a game that is 50-60% cutscenes when it is actually a long enough game to have extended sequences of gameplay.

Kevin555
Kevin555
5 years ago

If the story is interesting and the game is good to play, then i don't mind a few cutscenes here and there to tie it altogether. Metal Gear Solid series has the best cutscenes in the industry imo. They're very long but most of them are just incredible to watch.

The first cutscenes that truly amazed me though was that train sequence in The Bouncer only to realize that it was actually in-game. Phenomenal for it's time, that game will always be special to me.

kokoro
kokoro
5 years ago

Does anyone remember how in FF8 you could move the character models during some of the cut scenes?

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
5 years ago

Honestly, no, I wasn't gaming then, but I will weigh in on the debate anyway. 🙂

If I'm being completely honest, I don't think, with the technology found in modern gaming consoles, that cutscenes are strictly necessary in the telling of a great story. And I'm not talking about a game like Gone Home where the narrative comes entirely from environmental storytelling, but in traditional AAA-oriented games, too.

It wouldn't be easy to tell a story such as The Last of Us without cutscenes, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. I mean, the opening scenes **SPOILERS** where you, playing as Joel, have to carry Sarah to the point where she's shot **END SPOILERS** is a fine example of how a developer can evoke emotion through the use of carefully controlled gameplay mechanics without delving into the use of QTEs. Uncharted is another example of this type of thing with the dynamism of some of the gameplay scenes that create tension to great effect. The Chateau, airplane and cruise ship from UC3 are all fine examples of that.
Furthermore, you have Mass Effect, Catherine, and Heavy Rain as examples of how you can "game-ify" dialogue, and then you have the implementation of novel game mechanics in the likes of Remember Me, Journey, and even GTAV that provide the ability to tell different stories in different ways without ever removing player control.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that cutscenes need to be excised from every game. I actually really enjoy seeing the way that developers use them to enhance the emotional and narrative quality of many games, but if they're nothing more than framing for one action scene after another, it's pretty easy to lose interest and see them as "lazy" game development. In general, though, I see them as an accompaniment to games, not a hindrance.

Anyway, I have stuff to do, so I'll leave it at that.

Peace.

Banky A
Banky A
5 years ago

That's a really good testament to Naughty Dog and thatgamecompany's skills and their visions.

Kevin555
Kevin555
5 years ago

One day i hope i get to play a Tekken that looks as good as the Tekken film Blood Vengeance.

One day….

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
5 years ago

Being fair, as much as I dislike the gameplay in modern Tekken (Juggling -_-) the graphics are phenominal and probably some of the best I've seen. TTT2 looks sensational.

MrAnonymity
MrAnonymity
5 years ago

I still love cutscenes.

Breadlover
Breadlover
5 years ago

So ironic that you would post this article Ben. I've been watching a 3-hour long YouTube video on Dead Space 3. Basically all the cutscenes, and gameplay rolled into 1 to make it look like a CG movie. Why would I do this you ask? I'm scared sh*t of thriller/horror games.. but I do love watching them.

I agree with your points. Thank goodness for cutscenes (thumbsup)

JackieBoy
JackieBoy
5 years ago

I always was a fan of cutscenes and I still love them but only in certain games and certain amount, when not taking like 80% of playtime. C'mon we all know that TloU, MGS, FF and GoW couldn't be what they are without those beautifull cutscenes.

Sigh…FFVIII intro was "the shit", I watched it like 100 times:)

Banky A
Banky A
5 years ago

About 102 times here.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
5 years ago

I still regard that Final Fantasy VIII introduction as the best within the industry – That or Tekken 2's. It's pure class and I remember just watching it again and again on the PS1 official demo 😛