When did cutscenes start getting out of hand?

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#1 Posted by taiwwa (251 posts) -

Cutscenes are terrible.

They take you out of the action. Since the story of games usually aren't good at all, you have to sit through several minutes of mediocre story.

When did this start? Xbox generation? It used to be in games that there were cinematics which were sort of treats after gameplay. Now in many games you have in-game cutscenes which don't even give you the treat of computer animation.

#2 Posted by Bigboi500 (29951 posts) -

They started getting extended with the introduction of the disc format. You can thank the PSone for bringing about the "movie games".

#3 Posted by thedarklinglord (662 posts) -
Metal Gear Solid 2.
#4 Posted by Ilovegames1992 (14221 posts) -

I like cutscenes.

To answer the question though, possibly MGS 1.

#5 Posted by ristactionjakso (5726 posts) -

Cutscenes are good if done right.

#6 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

as for what i think of cut-scenes, i'd say that as a rule i'm against them. video games are a medium dependent on interactivity, cut-scenes take out meaningful interactivity, and i'm sure everybody has heard something like that. that said, you can't really put rules on a creative medium. there are some cut-scenes that were meant to give a sense of helplessness by taking away interactivity and can work sometimes. there are others that work sort of like an overture to get the user in the right mood and that can work sometimes too.

but really, it's always a fine line. my biggest pet peeve is using the cut-scene as the vehicle for telling the story. it diminishes the gameplay by saying "we don't think it's possible to get this idea across through gameplay," but it also diminishes it by simply taking all the context out of interactivity itself. if the game is meant to tell a story and all the story is in the cut-scenes, the gameplay is basically worthless.

as for when they got out of hand, it's hard to give any definite answer. FFVII was a big deal for consoles and everybody raved about how good the cut-scenes looked and how great the pre-rendered backgrounds were. i'd say western developers really took to cut-scenes and that sort of thing this generation due to hardware troubles (which, actually, effected some japanese developers too). but even then, there had always been stuff like dragon's lair floating around.

#7 Posted by GhettoBlastin92 (1147 posts) -

Cutscenes are good if done right.

ristactionjakso
Exactly, just ALWAYS allow a skip option. Kingdom Hearts one, dragon queen boss.....
#8 Posted by CUDGEdave (2590 posts) -

Max Payne 3 has some pain in the but cheeks cut secenes

#9 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

I do not mind them. Having well made cutscene draws me into the game.

I hate those say in the character view and show what is happening style of cutsences. For example you stay in first person view when the enemy appears on a screen in game. I hate those moments.

#10 Posted by Articuno76 (18823 posts) -

They started getting extended with the introduction of the disc format. You can thank the PSone for bringing about the "movie games".

Bigboi500
Back when disc add-ons where trying to be the next big thing (I'm thinking Mega-CD) many games filled the discs with terrible cheap CG or badly shot live-action clips.
#11 Posted by GhettoBlastin92 (1147 posts) -

Max Payne 3 has some pain in the but cheeks cut secenes

CUDGEdave
Yeah it does. Still loading, still loading, still loading.
#12 Posted by Archangel3371 (15657 posts) -
I imagine that they got popular along with the introduction of the disc format. Personally I love them with the gorgeous and highly detailed pre-rendered ones being my favourite.
#13 Posted by Ilovegames1992 (14221 posts) -

How can anyone honeslty say they do not love this glorious FMV?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guKX_h0twek

#14 Posted by Lulekani (2216 posts) -
Square Enix is so good at cut scenes that they actualy took the time to make 2 animated Films. Infact the top Japanese Studios specialize in animation.
#15 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

When it gets to MGS4 then it is getting out of hand. Most of the cutscene have nothing to do with the story but more of a monologe about some other ideal.

#16 Posted by Ricardomz (2329 posts) -

Cutscenes are terrible.

They take you out of the action. Since the story of games usually aren't good at all, you have to sit through several minutes of mediocre story.

taiwwa

That's why cutscenes should always be skippable. I don't buy many games, those I buy have good stories because I like the way that a videogame tells a story, so I never need to skip cutscenes, but games that let you skip them like Assassin's Creed and Uncharted are cool.

#17 Posted by ristactionjakso (5726 posts) -

[QUOTE="ristactionjakso"]

Cutscenes are good if done right.

GhettoBlastin92

Exactly, just ALWAYS allow a skip option. Kingdom Hearts one, dragon queen boss.....

Ya, and allow us to pause cutscenes too. I hate when something important comes along in the cutscene and the phone rings or something dumb happens you need to take care of at that exact time.

#18 Posted by Lucky_Krystal (1730 posts) -

[QUOTE="GhettoBlastin92"][QUOTE="ristactionjakso"]

Cutscenes are good if done right.

ristactionjakso

Exactly, just ALWAYS allow a skip option. Kingdom Hearts one, dragon queen boss.....

Ya, and allow us to pause cutscenes too. I hate when something important comes along in the cutscene and the phone rings or something dumb happens you need to take care of at that exact time.

Agree with both of you.

Also, it seems to me that cutscenes got more and more abundant as the tech got better. So perhaps it started during the Playstation 1 era. I'd imagine that games way back when only had cutscenes at the end because the technical limitations wouldn't allow them to put in several full motion or animated cutscenes.

#19 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

There is a diffeerent between being in middle of a fire fight and getting a cutscene and having your character just standing there when the cut scne start.

#20 Posted by ZombieKiller7 (6255 posts) -

I hate cutscene especially when it is more than the actual gameplay.

Example of this is Mass Effect 3, where you watch 5 minutes, play 2 minutes, watch 1 minute, play 2 minutes. It's like the whole game is built around interrupting the gameplay.

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

Cutscene used to be a small treat that they reward you with.

But "business" mentality in the gaming industry says "If a little cutscene is good, ALL cutscene must be better" and they turn the whole game into a movie.

#21 Posted by Justforvisit (5047 posts) -

I hate cutscene especially when it is more than the actual gameplay.

Example of this is Mass Effect 3, where you watch 5 minutes, play 2 minutes, watch 1 minute, play 2 minutes. It's like the whole game is built around interrupting the gameplay.

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

Cutscene used to be a small treat that they reward you with.

But "business" mentality in the gaming industry says "If a little cutscene is good, ALL cutscene must be better" and they turn the whole game into a movie.

ZombieKiller7



DOCTOR! WE NEED A DOCTOR! QUICK!

#22 Posted by Kevlar101 (6144 posts) -
I don't like them when there is no player interaction. See, there is a simple solution to it. Interactive Cut-scenes. Problem solved.
#23 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

I hate cutscene especially when it is more than the actual gameplay.

Example of this is Mass Effect 3, where you watch 5 minutes, play 2 minutes, watch 1 minute, play 2 minutes. It's like the whole game is built around interrupting the gameplay.

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

Cutscene used to be a small treat that they reward you with.

But "business" mentality in the gaming industry says "If a little cutscene is good, ALL cutscene must be better" and they turn the whole game into a movie.

ZombieKiller7

Mass Effect 3 is not where near that bad.

Half-life is the worse when it comes to it story telling. Trapping the player and just leaving you with poor angles to see things. It is worse when you are watching the screen to watch a smaller screen. I hate how Halt-Life does it and I do not want any game to do it that way,

#24 Posted by tempertress (567 posts) -

My least favourite thing about certain cutscenes isn't when they're long but when my protagonist starts doing all kinds of cool **** and fighting guys and I sit back wishing I was playing it instead of watching it.

#25 Posted by Ish_basic (4019 posts) -

.

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

ZombieKiller7

The first HL doesn't really have much in the way of narrative. I think HL2 does a great job of letting you experience the story from the standpoint of the protagonist, though. Most books are 3rd person omniscient, so you always know more than the characters in the story about what is going on. In HL2 it's almost like playing a single character's experience in a larger narrative and the only info you get is what you come in contact with either through eavesdropping, conversations, and direct or multimedia experience. In other words, you're experiencing the story in the way that someone living the event would, and I think that's pretty cool, not to mention fairly unique.

My least favourite thing about certain cutscenes isn't when they're long but when my protagonist starts doing all kinds of cool **** and fighting guys and I sit back wishing I was playing it instead of watching it.

tempertress

Definitely. Breakdown is a great example of how letting the player play these moments is just so much more satisfying. That game pretty much changed the way I look at cutscenes. Used to love them, now I think they're the crutch of lazy devs.

One example I always point to of cutscenese killing the moment is the original Tomb Raider. When you first meet the T-Rex. That has to be one of my favorite all-time gaming moments. I don't know how other people reacted, but I heard those thunderous footsteps and I just stopped in my tracks like "what's, that." Started walking forward real slowly with my guns drawn as the footsteps get faster, louder. Then, BAM, out of the darkness comes this huge polygonal mess. I just turned around, ran my ass off and climbed out of there. And i'm standing there on the cliffside just laughing, still excited by the moment. So then they do a remake this gen and they turn your encounter with the t-rex into a cutscene. Worst decision in gaming ever.

#26 Posted by JayQproductions (1685 posts) -

Yea, I'd say you mainly have Sony and maybe the Metal Gear and Final Fantasy franchises to thank for movies with a little gameplay.

#27 Posted by tempertress (567 posts) -
It feels like the game just wrangles control from you. It sucks.
#28 Posted by SoNin360 (5483 posts) -
Yeah man I hate when games try to tell a story and show interaction between characters and whatnot when I just want to mindlessly shoot stuff without interuption.
#29 Posted by slimjimbadboy (1731 posts) -

Reading these comments make me think most of you never gamed on NES, let alone the SNES. The original Final Fantasy game had cutscenes all over even if you don't include dialog :P

#30 Posted by tempertress (567 posts) -

Reading these comments make me think most of you never gamed on NES, let alone the SNES. The original Final Fantasy game had cutscenes all over even if you don't include dialog :P

slimjimbadboy
I was deprived D=
#31 Posted by Primordialous (1276 posts) -

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

ZombieKiller7

Yup. That's why Half-Life 2 will always be one of my favorite games.

#32 Posted by slimjimbadboy (1731 posts) -

[QUOTE="slimjimbadboy"]

Reading these comments make me think most of you never gamed on NES, let alone the SNES. The original Final Fantasy game had cutscenes all over even if you don't include dialog :P

tempertress

I was deprived D=

If I recall correctly, there were 4-5 cutscenes in Final Fantasy on the NES before the first major boss battle. The intro after crossing bridge, the boat you get from the pirate, the canal being blown out and meeting the vampire IIRC. I'm sure I missed a couple.

#33 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

[QUOTE="ZombieKiller7"]

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

Primordialous

Yup. That's why Half-Life 2 will always be one of my favorite games.

Too bad Half-Life 2 cut scenes are the worse I seen in any game.

#34 Posted by nooblet69 (5162 posts) -

Don't have too many older examples but MGS 4 was rediculous... 3/4 of the game was a cutscene.

#35 Posted by slimjimbadboy (1731 posts) -

[QUOTE="Primordialous"]

[QUOTE="ZombieKiller7"]

If you make a game right, you don't need cutscene to tell the story.

Look for example Half-Life series, do you see a cutscene? Not 1 line of dialogue from Gordon Freeman but unfolds the whole story in gameplay.

wiouds

Yup. That's why Half-Life 2 will always be one of my favorite games.

Too bad Half-Life 2 cut scenes are the worse I seen in any game.

Never as bad as 20 mins of old man ass crawling through a vent. Oh wait, that was gameplay.

#36 Posted by Kravyn81 (9438 posts) -
I don't mind them. What I do mind is those cutscenes that occur right before a big boss fight or some other big moment, and if you die, you're forced to watch the entire scene over again. That is just an egregious error and developers who make that error should be kicked in the nuts. I'm all for cutscenes and I think they should be skippable as well, because when I'm playing through a game multiple times those same cutscenes that I enjoyed the FIRST time aren't as necessary the second, third, etc. time. They end up just killing the momentum when all I want to do is play.
#37 Posted by c_rakestraw (14682 posts) -

One example I always point to of cutscenese killing the moment is the original Tomb Raider. When you first meet the T-Rex. That has to be one of my favorite all-time gaming moments. I don't know how other people reacted, but I heard those thunderous footsteps and I just stopped in my tracks like "what's, that." Started walking forward real slowly with my guns drawn as the footsteps get faster, louder. Then, BAM, out of the darkness comes this huge polygonal mess. I just turned around, ran my ass off and climbed out of there. And i'm standing there on the cliffside just laughing, still excited by the moment. So then they do a remake this gen and they turn your encounter with the t-rex into a cutscene. Worst decision in gaming ever.Ish_basic

Yeah, that was a great moment. I remember dreading it the first couple of times I went through there. The scale of it all was impressive for its time.

#38 Posted by nutcrackr (12604 posts) -

I guess the question is "when did it become widely accepted" and there is no easy answer. I don't mind cut scenes, but those that substitute or interrupt gameplay are horrible

It's a combination of things I think, again. Part of the drive for cut scenes is the consumer. The casual audience who more frequently watches movies than plays games. Lots of movies (cut scenes) can bridge the gap and get that audience to come to the ballpark. This also means trying to create bits where an audience can watch games and not just see gameplay. Publishers want a game that the family can "enjoy"

Games like Uncharted 2 use heavy cut scenes to tell a story but do it superbly. It's often the implementation that is crucial and many developers forget that.Part of it also comes back to making sure the player sees something awesome. Which in turn leads back to the whole "push button for awesome" mechanic. Many developers these days seem to lack the skill to direct player vision and action so they decide for a non interactive cut scene.

Another reason, certainly the most cynical, is that it is a fairly easy way to pad out game length particularly if you are forced to rewatch cut scenes and have checkpoint loads. Now the issue with this is that it's more costly to produce a 5-10 minute cut scene than it is to produce 1 hour of gameplay. And of course that leads into the problem of game budgets which are getting ridiculous.

#39 Posted by o0squishy0o (2757 posts) -

I think there is a alot of ignorance on behalf of gamers on what is possible via "gameplay" to tell a story. A really easy way to demonstrate this by films or TV shows. They give you shots of looking at peoples faces, their reactions, or vista shots of armies marching in so you can see the vastness of it all. With games, such as an FPS, if you are stuck in the head a bit like Half Life 2, the story has extreme limits on what is possible, and even then still relies on taking away some interaction. If you are there being able to shoot a guy in the face but the bullets dont kill him, then it breaks the imersion ever more so; than not being able to fire at all.

The cutscenes allow for better control over the story telling, it lets them display things that gameplay simply could not. Final fantasy for example has some amazing pieces of CGI, you try doing that with the game engine and it will look terrible. I personally think, nice looking CGI tells a story better than game engine or gameplay ever could. Nobody looks at Blizzards gameplay and says "MAKE A FILM!!!!!" they see their CGI ah go "OH MAWH GAWDDDD MAKE DAT FILM!!!". So yeah, without wanting to offend anyone, I think alot of you seem to think that game engines can tell story just as well as well done CGI. I think certain parts of Gears of War would have been less awkward to watch if they used CGI to not make certain people look really bad.

#40 Posted by Jackc8 (8500 posts) -

When they stopped being about "we've got some important story information / character development stuff we need to convey" and switched to "everybody else has tons of cutscenes so we better stick a bunch in too".

#41 Posted by jdc6305 (3881 posts) -

I don't mind a few but some games go overboard when trying to create a cinimatic experiance. I play video games for the gameplay not cutscenes and cheesey story. If I want to watch a movie I'll do so keep it out of my games.

#42 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

I think there is a alot of ignorance on behalf of gamers on what is possible via "gameplay" to tell a story. A really easy way to demonstrate this by films or TV shows. They give you shots of looking at peoples faces, their reactions, or vista shots of armies marching in so you can see the vastness of it all. With games, such as an FPS, if you are stuck in the head a bit like Half Life 2, the story has extreme limits on what is possible, and even then still relies on taking away some interaction. If you are there being able to shoot a guy in the face but the bullets dont kill him, then it breaks the imersion ever more so; than not being able to fire at all.

The cutscenes allow for better control over the story telling, it lets them display things that gameplay simply could not. Final fantasy for example has some amazing pieces of CGI, you try doing that with the game engine and it will look terrible. I personally think, nice looking CGI tells a story better than game engine or gameplay ever could. Nobody looks at Blizzards gameplay and says "MAKE A FILM!!!!!" they see their CGI ah go "OH MAWH GAWDDDD MAKE DAT FILM!!!". So yeah, without wanting to offend anyone, I think alot of you seem to think that game engines can tell story just as well as well done CGI. I think certain parts of Gears of War would have been less awkward to watch if they used CGI to not make certain people look really bad.

o0squishy0o
that's limiting all of storytelling to only the visual aspect, which is obviously not the only way a story can be told. by that standard, books can't tell a story either. a visual story in a video game will never be as good as a film anyway because films don't need to be interrupted by gameplay. however, films will never tell a truly interactive story like video games can.
#43 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

[QUOTE="o0squishy0o"]

I think there is a alot of ignorance on behalf of gamers on what is possible via "gameplay" to tell a story. A really easy way to demonstrate this by films or TV shows. They give you shots of looking at peoples faces, their reactions, or vista shots of armies marching in so you can see the vastness of it all. With games, such as an FPS, if you are stuck in the head a bit like Half Life 2, the story has extreme limits on what is possible, and even then still relies on taking away some interaction. If you are there being able to shoot a guy in the face but the bullets dont kill him, then it breaks the imersion ever more so; than not being able to fire at all.

The cutscenes allow for better control over the story telling, it lets them display things that gameplay simply could not. Final fantasy for example has some amazing pieces of CGI, you try doing that with the game engine and it will look terrible. I personally think, nice looking CGI tells a story better than game engine or gameplay ever could. Nobody looks at Blizzards gameplay and says "MAKE A FILM!!!!!" they see their CGI ah go "OH MAWH GAWDDDD MAKE DAT FILM!!!". So yeah, without wanting to offend anyone, I think alot of you seem to think that game engines can tell story just as well as well done CGI. I think certain parts of Gears of War would have been less awkward to watch if they used CGI to not make certain people look really bad.

LoG-Sacrament

that's limiting all of storytelling to only the visual aspect, which is obviously not the only way a story can be told. by that standard, books can't tell a story either. a visual story in a video game will never be as good as a film anyway because films don't need to be interrupted by gameplay. however, films will never tell a truly interactive story like video games can.

There is time that stories are told better when it is not interactive. Half-Life 2 was a perfect example of when cut scenes would have been better.

Also, even today video game stories are not that interactive.

#44 Posted by The_Last_Ride (71845 posts) -
i don't think cutscenes are bad as ling as they tell a good story
#45 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"][QUOTE="o0squishy0o"]

I think there is a alot of ignorance on behalf of gamers on what is possible via "gameplay" to tell a story. A really easy way to demonstrate this by films or TV shows. They give you shots of looking at peoples faces, their reactions, or vista shots of armies marching in so you can see the vastness of it all. With games, such as an FPS, if you are stuck in the head a bit like Half Life 2, the story has extreme limits on what is possible, and even then still relies on taking away some interaction. If you are there being able to shoot a guy in the face but the bullets dont kill him, then it breaks the imersion ever more so; than not being able to fire at all.

The cutscenes allow for better control over the story telling, it lets them display things that gameplay simply could not. Final fantasy for example has some amazing pieces of CGI, you try doing that with the game engine and it will look terrible. I personally think, nice looking CGI tells a story better than game engine or gameplay ever could. Nobody looks at Blizzards gameplay and says "MAKE A FILM!!!!!" they see their CGI ah go "OH MAWH GAWDDDD MAKE DAT FILM!!!". So yeah, without wanting to offend anyone, I think alot of you seem to think that game engines can tell story just as well as well done CGI. I think certain parts of Gears of War would have been less awkward to watch if they used CGI to not make certain people look really bad.

wiouds

that's limiting all of storytelling to only the visual aspect, which is obviously not the only way a story can be told. by that standard, books can't tell a story either. a visual story in a video game will never be as good as a film anyway because films don't need to be interrupted by gameplay. however, films will never tell a truly interactive story like video games can.

There is time that stories are told better when it is not interactive. Half-Life 2 was a perfect example of when cut scenes would have been better.

Also, even today video game stories are not that interactive.

plenty of video game stories are interactive. demon's souls is built around using the player's urge to level up as a way to convey the feeling of an addiction to power while braid uses puzzles to give the feeling of getting stuck and then having a revelation. they're really gamey.
#46 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

[QUOTE="wiouds"]

[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"] that's limiting all of storytelling to only the visual aspect, which is obviously not the only way a story can be told. by that standard, books can't tell a story either. a visual story in a video game will never be as good as a film anyway because films don't need to be interrupted by gameplay. however, films will never tell a truly interactive story like video games can.LoG-Sacrament

There is time that stories are told better when it is not interactive. Half-Life 2 was a perfect example of when cut scenes would have been better.

Also, even today video game stories are not that interactive.

plenty of video game stories are interactive. demon's souls is built around using the player's urge to level up as a way to convey the feeling of an addiction to power while braid uses puzzles to give the feeling of getting stuck and then having a revelation. they're really gamey.

Their stories are not interactive. Even the story heavy games like Mass Effect have very little interactive with the story.

#47 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"][QUOTE="wiouds"]

There is time that stories are told better when it is not interactive. Half-Life 2 was a perfect example of when cut scenes would have been better.

Also, even today video game stories are not that interactive.

wiouds

plenty of video game stories are interactive. demon's souls is built around using the player's urge to level up as a way to convey the feeling of an addiction to power while braid uses puzzles to give the feeling of getting stuck and then having a revelation. they're really gamey.

Their stories are not interactive.

this is like having a conversation with a toddler. stop having fits and defend your point.
#48 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

[QUOTE="wiouds"]

[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"] plenty of video game stories are interactive. demon's souls is built around using the player's urge to level up as a way to convey the feeling of an addiction to power while braid uses puzzles to give the feeling of getting stuck and then having a revelation. they're really gamey. LoG-Sacrament

Their stories are not interactive.

this is like having a conversation with a toddler. stop having fits and defend your point.

I am not the one taking game play and say that to use that show the story of the game is interactive.

#49 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"][QUOTE="wiouds"]

Their stories are not interactive.

wiouds

this is like having a conversation with a toddler. stop having fits and defend your point.

I am not the one taking game play and say that to use that show the story of the game is interactive.

those stories are about the themes explored in the gameplay. demon's souls is about the characters' addiction to power and braid is a game about reflection. there's no other way to show that a story is interactive than to use gameplay. gameplay is interactivity.
#50 Posted by wiouds (5207 posts) -

[QUOTE="wiouds"]

[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"] this is like having a conversation with a toddler. stop having fits and defend your point. LoG-Sacrament

I am not the one taking game play and say that to use that show the story of the game is interactive.

those stories are about the themes explored in the gameplay. demon's souls is about the characters' addiction to power and braid is a game about reflection. there's no other way to show that a story is interactive than to use gameplay. gameplay is interactivity.

I do not concider that game play as part of the story's plot. There are many things you can not do for the story during the game play. I have yet to see anyone get across key plot points during the game play it self.