Do you think the industry relies too heavily on cutscenes?

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Edited 3 months, 7 days ago

Poll: Do you think the industry relies too heavily on cutscenes? (34 votes)

Yes 47%
No 53%

...the follow up to 'Do cut scenes annoy you?' (the follow up to 'Are you a passive gamer?').

The result are in and only 1 in 10 people don't care at all about the story (I'm one of them).

But obviously every game needs a setting, and some imagery and dialogue is enough to set the scene.

But have developers got this balance right?

Do people feel their thumb is getting sore from pressing the skip button on a second play through or the stories are just too convoluted and maybe not even interesting at all but you feel compelled to sit through it out of politeness towards the developer or because you've gone too far to turn back?

Or do you feel the balance is generally good between hands off and hands on game time and a suitable amount?

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#1 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

I put yes but I haven't played a modern game for ages so really I might have just lied.

I think I just don't care for the stories in games which is probably not a valid criticism as that's really only taste in the end.

But when I see poor Lara die over and over and RDR2 drone on for ages with boring conversations I think the exposition is just a little bit forced and uninspired.

Cramming 'content' into single player experiences alot of the time for devs means long conversations using in game or pre rendered graphics where the content is in fact writing and the camera work, framing and all the other things that are traditionally the skill sets of film and tv.

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#2 Posted by RSM-HQ (8330 posts) -

...the follow up to 'Do cut scenes annoy you?'

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#3 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@RSM-HQ:Yeah I know everyone is sick to the back teeth of the cut scene subject but this is a crucial final thread.

Everyone agreed story is important (90%). But I worded the question too strongly. I don't find cut scenes annoying all the time. I might have answered no to that question myself.

But the point is, cut scenes (in game and fmv) can hurt a game which the developers feel is giving it mass appeal when really they are limiting it's appeal to fans who value stories equally to the gameplay.

Astal is an early CD platform game which is 30% cut scenes and watching stuff. The game itself is pretty slow and straight forward. I think this is the direction AAA games went. Mild pace and difficulty and lots of exposition.

The sequel to NiGHTS into Dreams; NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (2007) for Wii is 15 minutes before you start playing what is a 2.5d coin collecting game. Some demon is attempting to steal a boy's soul or something but the story is completely disjointed from the gameplay and does nothing to motivate me to collect coins.

My point. Many of these stories (not all) are simply written up in an afternoon as it's felt every game required an in depth story these days.

It's gone too far. There is a recent shoot-em-up game (I forgot) which talks to you throughout the gameplay about the various development within the relationships of the characters, whilst 300 glowing tennis balls make their way towards your ship in neat patterns and you supposed to digest the story and dodge all the balls and maybe shoot something.

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#4 Posted by Archangel3371 (27913 posts) -

No, I don’t think that cut-scenes are overused.

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#5 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@Archangel3371: you are wrong.

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#6 Posted by Archangel3371 (27913 posts) -

@jackamomo: Oh well.

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#7 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@Archangel3371: Just kidding. TBH I may have overstated the problem. I think I'm still dealing with the loss of the Sonic franchise to cut scenes and bad acting.

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#8 Posted by ByeBye2 (15 posts) -

Cut-scences are sometimes to long, and to many, but other than that they are okay!

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#9 Posted by outworld222 (2995 posts) -

It’s great if used wisely. Take Goldeneye 007. It used ~ 5 second cutscene to show you had passed a level victoriously. I liked that. Nothing too complex, yet enough to make you go...hmmm.

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#10 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

I suppose what I'm asking is.

Do you feel this storytelling technique is currently over-utilised.

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#11 Edited by outworld222 (2995 posts) -

@jackamomo: I voted no.

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#12 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@outworld222: why? They are so annoying. It takes half an hour before you can start playing Landstalker.

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#13 Edited by outworld222 (2995 posts) -

@jackamomo: that’s why I answered the q in my first post. The longer they are the more annoying. If they happen to be long, they better grab my attention.

I liked link between worlds in a way. If you wanna know more about Hyrule, (at least I think it was Hyrule) you walk up to one of 7 pictures in order.

I’m mostly about gameplay. I’m not playing games to watch short movies or be bored by any long tutorials.

I’m not too sure if I’m getting my point across. But feel free to ask me if I left any inconsistencies.

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#14 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@outworld222: OK. So I gather you feel, although you don't see the need for cutscenes in a game yourself, they are overall, not overused in general.

Fair enough.

I think I worded my question wrong again though as I was trying to quantify what percentage of players would favour the storytelling device over a ludo-narrative device.

Which I think if you were answering as I was hoping you would. It would be on personal taste, not an average of the industry as a whole, so you would have chosen 'yes'.

[edit] the above is wrong i just realised. this poll is about your overall opinion of the industry, not personal taste... sorry.

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#15 Posted by ejyqheyz (3 posts) -

thing

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#16 Posted by Pomi (5 posts) -

If the cutscenes are good it is okay.

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#17 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@pomi: Do you feel overall the majority of cutscenes are good?

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#18 Posted by GNS (321 posts) -

Depends on a game... no, wait, scratch, that, it depends on my personal preferences. If I like the story and characters, then I will like the cut-scenes in it. So, no, not overused. On the other hand, if I don't like it, then I will say, yes, they are over-used, and then uninstall the game lel.

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#20 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5091 posts) -

@jackamomo:

Cutscenes are used just fine. If the game requires such an amount then I think it would be appropriate to do so. But this issue(if you can call it one) is on a case by case basis. Not every game relies on alot of cutscenes. And I've seen what people complain about and most of those are exaggerated.

The only videogame I have ever played that used so many cutscenes to the point where you would get sick of it, was Metal Gear Solid 4. It was basically 1-2 hours of cutscenes and 30-40 minutes of gameplay per mission. But Metal Gear Solid was always a story-centric game, so it was necessary.

Rpgs like Persona 5 and Hyperdimension Neptunia also have lengthy cutscenes but again, they're rpgs. Rpgs rely on strong story telling. The other genres are a non issue. Aside from the constant hate cinematic games like Uncharted, Last of Us and Tomb Raider Reboot get, the games themselves don't actually have "a ton of cutscenes." Unless you have ADD and can't hold still for a 4-5 minute cutscene. Same thing with Red Dead Redemption 2 or GTA 5 and so on. It's not an actual issue.

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#21 Posted by Robbie23 (343 posts) -

I just finished God of War. I heard many people complain about the overuse of cutscenes and calling it a "movie game" which I think is a ridiculous term.

Did people even play the game or they just bashing it for no reason? because I did not feel like the cutscenes impacted the gameplay. (There was not even that much cutscenes)

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#22 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@robbie23: I don't think GoW is a main offender.

I'm pointing to games which should be action packed but slow the pacing down by making you watch things.

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#25 Posted by Sevenizz (3827 posts) -

Less cutscenes, more videogame - that’s always been my mantra!

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#26 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7:Persona 5 and Hyperdimension Neptunia also have lengthy cutscenes but again, they're rpgs

Those are adventure games. A genre spearheaded by Lucasarts Studios and Sierra Online.

A cut scene includes in game cut scenes as well as fmv as the result is the same, which is to stop you playing to tell some story.

Unless you have ADD and can't hold still for a 4-5 minute cutscene. Same thing with Red Dead Redemption 2 or GTA 5 and so on. It's not an actual issue.

I have ADD (just kidding) but anything over 5 seconds and I get twitchy. I would no way have the patience to sit through the dreadful writing of RDR2. I know this because I tried.

In my mind it's all about dev's giving you the illusion of content. Making puppets talk to each other in machinima scenes is far easier than crafting a compelling gameplay experience which takes skill, talent and effort.

RDR2 forces you to sit and watch as it peels of it's hackneyed western style drama in the slowest way ever conceived in an entertainment medium and for me is genuine torture. If I want to watch episodes of The Lone Ranger I'm sure Youtube would oblige and the writing would no doubt be much, much better.

When the CD was invented devs started getting ideas. Ideas of doing less work and claiming more 'hours to complete'. The idea pre rendered cgi is exciting to a modern gamer is pretty much insulting to me and the in game scenes are just even lazier versions of pre-rendered cgi, because they're not pre-rendered thus cost less.

So now gaming is aimed at casuals and not the super serious (I actually want to play my game) old skool types like me. Much that is released is of no relevance to me at all.

Hyperdimension Neptunia: it must be a very warm climate in the Hyperdimension
Hyperdimension Neptunia: it must be a very warm climate in the Hyperdimension

Child bondage game looks interesting though.

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#27 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5091 posts) -

@jackamomo:

None of those girls you showed in that Hyperdimension Neptunia pic are children, btw. Don't talk shit about games you don't know anything about.

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#28 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7: sorry, I was just assuming because thats what they look like. I suppose creative license can just explain that away with logic like. 'They may look like children, but they are not.' OK fine.

I see they prescribe to the Bayonetta school of feminism where undressing is the way in which they express their empowerment. I also like how she says something sassy. Every. Time. She. Attacks. *theatrical anime WINK*

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It is clearly an rpg and not an adventure though as it is using the tried and unchanged battle system first seen in Final Fantasy (NES, 1987).

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#29 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5091 posts) -

@jackamomo:

Actually, no. Hyperdimension Neptunia commonly uses an actual turn based fighting system. Final Fantasy was ATB, where enemies can still attack after they already had their turn.

The other part I don't really see how you even came up to the conclusion that they were children. Especially from the pic you showed. How many kids do you see THAT well developed?? That's not even a troll question, I'm actually curious. Their normal form is a different story though, but they're covered up.

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#30 Posted by Plaguecrafter (33 posts) -

They are a good tool if used correctly. Use them too much and your players are passive and might not want to play the game anymore. Use them too little and your players might not be invested in the setting of the game.

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#31 Edited by VFighter (4890 posts) -

Cutscenes are fine, your post and threads are the real annoyance.

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#32 Posted by heljar (116 posts) -

@vfighter: Thumbs up! That's what I've been thinking. He didn't get the response he wanted from his other cutscenes posts so he rephrased and tried again. He just wants many people to agree with him that cutscenes are bad. I just don't understand why.

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#33 Posted by SuperfluousReal (361 posts) -

This depends heavily on what you are playing.

Final Fantasy? i expect to be told a story, it is it's purpose, a fictional fantasy story.

Counter Strike? all skill no story, competitive.

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#34 Posted by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7: child faced porn stars then.

This is different to my other post about cut scenes where I asked if people felt, personally that there were too many cut scenes.

This is stupid though because people wouldn't be playing games they didn't like or were cut scene heavy if they didn't like cut scenes so the answer is always going to be no.

This one is about the industry as a whole and asks you to consider, not just the games you enjoy but the industry overall.

RPG you might expect cut scenes, but you still might think they are too heavily relied upon on some cases. You don't need to tell a story within a scripted sequence. Dialogue boxes and scenery, music etc can be just as effective without making you sit and watch idly.

I will admit it was the Metal Gear games that I was like, 'I thought this was an action game.' But no apparently those games have always been like that.

The first poll had 1 in 10 people feeling cut scenes are overused but this poll is much closer.

RDR2 for instance and new Tomb Raider games are boring sauce to actually play. But then you are forced to listed to Dan Houser's adolescent cowboy fantasies being acted by professional voice actors and the disconnect between the skill of the actors and the level of the writing is one of the weirdest spectacles in gaming.

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#35 Posted by Raining51 (1012 posts) -

No they are generally fairly minimal so it's not a big deal.

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#36 Edited by nepu7supastar7 (5091 posts) -

@jackamomo:

Well then, I take it that you're more into those arcade-centric games, huh? It's not a bad thing since everyone likes their own thing.

The way I see it is that the industry's demographic has evolved with the games. To the point where the whole term of what it means to be a game is muddied. It can be basic, point and click or arcade. Anything interactive passes as a videogame these days and that's really what it comes down to. The majority of gamers enjoy storytelling now! It doesn't mean that you have to but it is what it is and we're happy with it.

I've been gaming since the SNES era and my taste in games has expanded alot over the years. You may hate the direction of heavy storytelling that newer AAA games have taken but from my perspective, all the gameplay is still there and they're actually more fun to play than before! Thanks to the modern tech and programming mastery.

I find GTA 5 better than old GTA. I think the Tomb Raider reboot plays better than the old ones and Red Dead Redemption 2 is 1,000 times better than RDR1. Hell, I'd go as far as to say that Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of THE BEST videogames ever made! In gameplay and storytelling. Most of these games have interesting stories too. As long as they're great, I got nothing to complain about.

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#37 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7: I like all genres. Apart from jrpg in which case is it strictly Phantasy Star, or orpg in which case Shroud of the Avatar

As far as gameplay goes. The ZX spectrum has many games which are more fun and have lower latency than PS4 games do.

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#39 Posted by heljar (116 posts) -

I love cutscenes in games. I play mosty story-centric games and cutscenes are key to tell the story. It might be because my first foray into games and why I became a gamer was that I discovered point-and-click games on PC many years ago. I have widened my horizon and play all sorts of genres, but I need a good story to drive the game forward.

P.S: Even I thought that the cutscenes in MGSIV was too long.

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#41 Posted by pook99 (835 posts) -

It really depends on the game. If I am playing a game like Spider-man, where I really enjoy the story, then I have no problem with cutscenes and even look forward to them.

However, I certainly agree that there are many games where cutscenes are not necessary and just serve as a distraction. In general if I am playing a platformer/schmup/beat em up etc(mostly retro style games) then cutscenes any longer than the intro to double dragon or ghosts n goblins severely annoy me, and it seems more and more retro games are putting needless story elements into their games.

So even though I did not vote, I would say that yes, cutscenes in gaming as a whole are over used, jackamomo gave some great examples of needlessly long cut scenes that have no business being there(nights, sonic etc), but in the right setting can be very enjoyable.

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#42 Posted by pyro1245 (4996 posts) -

Nah, not as a whole.

Plenty of game-ass games out there.

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#43 Posted by RSM-HQ (8330 posts) -

Not relevant to the thread but more the OP @jackamomo. Anyone else notice less aggro on GD overall? something just didn't seem right. . .

Then noticed he has ten forum karma, ouch

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RIP

he's with his Sega Genesis now.

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#44 Edited by Dragerdeifrit (614 posts) -

When they try to cramp an RPG worth of cutcenes and dialog into an 10 hour action game like Uncharted 4 did, then, yes, it really annoys me. i swear that game must have less than 40 minutes of actual shooting gameplay.

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#45 Posted by Speeny (1632 posts) -

Voted yes. Especially for JRPG's.