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Submitted by BIoodmask 2251d ago | article

Opinion: The Problem of the Cutscene

Martin Herink is a University of Oxford graduate student, and a freelance gameplay designer for Cotopia Wireless. In this editorial, he delves into the role of video game cutscenes - not from a standpoint of structural appropriateness, as is often discussed, but from a narrative and cinematic point of view (Culture, Dev)

Condoleezza Rice  +   2251d ago
Not bad
More Devs should really take a page out of MGS4 and look at how the Cutscenes are done,wouldn't hurt them to learn a Camera trick or two now would it.
Breakfast  +   2251d ago
Cutscenes are done well, in MGS4....but there's too damn many.
socomnick  +   2251d ago
way way too many. we dont need 4 cutscenes of the beaties moaning and crying. Problem is those cutscenes are like 4 minutes each.
Breakfast  +   2251d ago
"Problem is those cutscenes are like 4 minutes each. "
Not Act 3's...lol
socomnick  +   2251d ago
I know breakfast some of the cutscenes are way too long. Im just talking about the annoying beauties cutscenes that just showed the beauties lieing on the floor while snake stares at them confused and cautiously for 4 minutes. Those scenes were completely unnecessary. Cutscenes that are any longer than 30 minutes fail.
FantasyStar  +   2251d ago
The MGS series have always thrived on its cut-scenes.
I'll agree that there's alot from a standard perspective. However, that characteristic alone defines MGS. When you think of 'alot of cut-scenes' you think of MGS. It's what MGS is and always did since 1998. To detract from that is to kill the series' roots.
radzy  +   2251d ago
who the hell makes a so-called "game" : gameplay 40% - cutscenes 60%
totally rediculous if you ask me !!!!

me and 2 of my buddy's all stopped playing it , and i doubt we will finish it before it hits ebay.
DarthTigra  +   2251d ago
@socomnick
yeah i will agree with the bb corps cut scnenes those were completely not needed i just skipped them on my 2 play through all the other cut secens i can live with though
thesummerofgeorge  +   2251d ago
I'm a cutscene fan... It gives games a dynamic, so gameplay doesn't become tedious. It's not just cutscenes that do this, mini games and switching up gameplay etc also help to keep the experience a rollercoaster with peaks and valleys rather than a flatline of similare experiences throughout. The cutscene does need to be paced properly, and has to serve a purpose, but generally for me it helps get me pumped up to start playing again, and gives you a moment of awe so you can stop and smell the roses, appreciate the talent behind it. It' a matter of perspective I suppose.
ape007  +   2251d ago
guys,cutsceens are important

it shows you the story,the places,the characters,the names,just everything
so you could play knowing everything(that make the game much more enjoyable and serios)

in mgs4 ,you can't seprate between cutsceens and gameplay because each one depends on the another to creat an ultimate gaming expereince

and that's what makes mgs the ultimate storytelling game

people just want to find anything just to complain about mgs4

well whoever said that, he doesn't understand the game and just want to play straight forward mindless games that has zero attention of what's going on

go away haters
Breakfast  +   2251d ago
Its not the cutscenes that are bad...its the length (i wanted to shoot myself every time i had to talk to Drebin.)

Just wait till you play Bioshock in a couple months. You will be fully immersed, in a shorter amount of time.
fenderputty  +   2251d ago
@ BREAKFAST
Yes and no. I don't think you can tell the story of MGS with short cutscenes. There's just tooo much going on as far as plot is concerned.

Honestly ... the only cutscenes that I felt dragged was the last one. Even then its forgiven since there's so many ends that are being tied up.

Kojima needs to work on editing some of the useless stuff better (IE moaning beaties), but ultimately, a lot of people could learn a lot from the game. The cutscenes that didn't fall into the useless category kicked total arss, yes ... even the ones that were longer then 30 min.

It all comes down to personal preference in the end though. To each their own you know?
#2.2 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
okcomputer  +   2251d ago
Nice to see I'm not the only one who found Drebin annoying. The first Drebin cut scene was especially horrible, it was way too long, and cut off the action right after one of the best parts of the game. After he explains the gun laundering mechanic I just wanted him to stfu already and let me get back to the game.

The bb corps cut scenes were also pretty unnecessary. The first time you see it with laughing octopus it's awesome, and moving, but there should have been some differences instead of the same exact thing for the others. A handful of the other cut scenes take a little too long, but those are the main two. Other than that the cut scenes were great, and I didn't have much of a problem with them.
ape007  +   2250d ago
@2.1
man I've beat bioshock multiple times and earned 920 out 1000 achievment points and it's a great,great game,one of a kind

any ps3 only owner owe himself to buy this classic

don't miss it
#2.4 (Edited 2250d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Spike47  +   2251d ago
Bubbles
for ape007.

I totally agree
-Maverick-  +   2251d ago
Dude not every game is MGS. That just the game style and the series has sold more than 20 million copies EASY. I LOVE MGS's style. There's nothing even REMOTELY close to MGS in cinematic quality.
socomnick  +   2251d ago
cant wait for you to play bioshock this fall. You will then see how crappy mgs 4 is cinematicaly.
MetalProxy  +   2251d ago
^^^^WoW
I cant beleive you just compaired Bioshock to MGS4. And then you say MGS4 is crap? Bioshock has NOTHING on MGS4.

Acheivement unlocked: Dumbest comment EVER -10 points
#4.2 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Clinton514  +   2251d ago
Pretentious Nick
I don't believe you're adept enough to even sit through putting the MGS4 disc into a PS3. It's hard to believe you're competent enough to compare Bioshock and Metal Gear Solid 4 in regards to cinematics.

Any logical person can tell you that both games have COMPLETELY different approaches to story telling.
Diugu  +   2251d ago
I've played both...
... and the cutscenes in MGS are far better and more immersive.

You just cant be better than MGS4. Bioshock is great for what it is... MGS4 is simply epic, there is no comparison.
juuken  +   2251d ago
socomnick...you can't be serious...
Boooy, you need to put down that acid before it fries your brain any further! While Bioshock seems like a good game, MGS4 is a pure masterpiece. Developers *should* take a page from Kojima and his team. They did an amazing job with this game.
Closing  +   2251d ago
This place is overrun by people like Nick on all sides of the fence who make up the most outlandish claims with absolutely not an ounce of credibility. Actually this whole world really is overrun by stupid people. Stupidity breeds.
#4.6 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Mr Fancy Pants  +   2251d ago
the thing is that's only an opinion. there are things that you don't like but that i like... example: i loved every minute of every cut-scene but here is this guy from the article saying that they sux...
socomnick  +   2250d ago
My comment might sound a bit controversial right now but come november and you ps3 only owners get to experience the master piece that is bioshock you will truly see what a good game is. Not that overrated mgs 4.
Closing  +   2250d ago
Unlike you I've actually played, and beat both, and Bioshock is good, but MGS4 is on a whole much higher level than that game.
#4.9 (Edited 2250d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
juuken  +   2250d ago
socomnick unless you've played MGS4, then you have no right to judge. Don't be like the morons who float around here, bashing MGS4 when they haven't played the damn game.
Frulond  +   2251d ago
meh...
imo cutscenes are very important in games and I love em, all of those who think MGS4 cutscenes are long they obviously haven't play MGS2 or 3 (they weren't long in MGS1 for me at least)
#5 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ban fans  +   2251d ago
Totally agree
Cutscenes are very important to story telling and I don't like games with no story. I have never really understood the idea of "but it takes you out of the action and ruins the flow" type of mentality. I always feel more connected to the story, as long as it is good. Without cutscenes, I think a lot of games would be emotionless. I've found myself laughing, angered, or even teary-eyed at some cutscenes. Done well and applied correctly, cutscenes are a vital story telling tools for video games.
highdro  +   2251d ago
mgs4 cutscence is lovely but half of them is to long and boring as fcck, i dont know y most people do not want to admit it...no game is perfect but it still deserve 10/10 because the lovely gameplay makes up for the long cutscence.
Sangria  +   2251d ago
There are two kinds of cutscenes:

- those which are useless and show nothing interesting. Cf Final Fantasy VII : Crisis Core, where you have a cutscene at every screen. It breaks totally the rhythm of the game, classified as a "cool and energized action-RPG".

- those where you learn from the game. MGS4 use perfectly cutscenes because first the game is not "shoot at sight" but infiltration, so the rhythm of the game is slower than a classic action game. But also because every cutscene has its importance and where you earn a lot of informations.

It's not that kind of cutscenes "Oh look! Enemies!" or "Oh look! Maybe the answer of the enigma is here!". Those are boring and useless, trying to develop a mise en scène that have a failure potential.

Length of MGS4's cutscenes could be a problem if they was boring, but they are not and that's why it's hard to blame them once you've played MGS series.

Some people would say "*yawn* MGS cutscenes are boring". Yes, boring if you think that MGS is a "fire in the hole" game, where you keep running and shooting. But it's not. You cannot pretend to sneak if you don't have necessary informations.

Another point is that MGS has one of the deepest scenario in game universe, and if you can make a deep-scenario game without cutscenes, then you should try to develop perpetual power. We love MGS because it's a scenario, a gameplay, a background, a particular sense of humor and cutscenes. We cannot do a MGS without cutscenes, and cutscenes are also why MGS is an epic series.
#7 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
InMyOpinion  +   2251d ago
I prefer games that are capable of telling the story without alienating the gameplay. Like Half-Life 2, Mass Effect or Bioshock. MGS4 is a great game, but IMO(!!!) it would have been even better if they had handled the cutscenes differently.
fenderputty  +   2251d ago
It would not have
been MGS then. I know it's all personal preference, but this is what the game is known for. On top of that, its the final game which ties off all the loose ends.

I agree that some of the scenes needed to be edited down some, others with the B&B corps could have been edited out entirely. For the most part though, I enjoyed every cut scenes that I saw. Some of those cutscenes were beyond epic.
nycredude  +   2251d ago
@ Jenzo
I agree halflife 2 told a great story without super long cutscene. As far as Mass Effect and Bioshock I don't know yet. However, I don't think that Halflife has as complicated a story as the MG universe. I just don't think it would be possible to tell the MG story the same way but if they did I think that would be insane!

BTW Kudos to everyone in this thread for conducting a ridiculously civil conversation regarding a very touchy subject!!!

Edit: Fenderputty I agree the B&B Corps cutscenes were a little redundant but damn they were hot!
#8.2 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
InMyOpinion  +   2251d ago
I get what you say. Sometimes things aren't possible to present in any other way than with a cutscene.

I don't mean that any of the games I mentioned are better than MGS4. It's just their way of approaching the story that I like very much.
okcomputer  +   2251d ago
Bioshock did the story telling better, although the tape mechanic was a little clumsy, since sometimes you'd be listening and wander right into a fight and have to either run away to keep listening or turn it off and go back after. Either that or just stand still every time you find a tape, which would just make it into a little audio only cut scene and defeats the purpose.

Mass effect though, not as much. Yea sure you can kind of guide the conversation with choosing what you want the person to talk about, but in the end mass effect also has hours and hours of dialog, but instead of watching a cinematic cut scene to progress the story like mgs4 in mass effect you're just watching some person's face.
DICK  +   2251d ago
mgs4 is death to the gaming industry
soon we will have to wach games instead off playing them all thanks to mgs4
DICK  +   2251d ago
juuken u need to stop smoking crystal meth bioshock is the masterpice you play bioshock unlike metal gear solid 4
juuken  +   2251d ago
D1CK, you need to stop being a d*ck!
Mr Fancy Pants  +   2251d ago
well said juuken. MGS4>>>>everything else... people here think that because we like the ps3 more then the crap60 we haven't played anything from that console. i don't like the art style of bioshck and in top of that the perspective; first person.
#10.2 (Edited 2251d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
karlostomy  +   2250d ago
Yeh d!ck i agree
Juuken has been sucking on the crack pipe for far too long...

And please stop upbubbling your account, Juuken, you lowlife...
and stop denying it too - show some character for god's sake.

(Trust you to deny your dirty secret like a cowardly c0ckroach)
juuken  +   2250d ago
karl man...you stop being a d*ck too!

How many times do I have to say that I'm not bubbling up my account? How is it that 360 fanatics such as yourself alwaaaaaaays blame Sony fans for bubbling up their own accounts or *trolling*?

Now run along and go back to sucking MS's fat c*ck.
karlostomy  +   2250d ago
Juuken
Stop upbubbling your account.
and stop lying. It's not proper for a lady like you *cough*
juuken  +   2250d ago
Stop accusing people of wrongdoing. It's not gentleman-like of you.
Tsk, tsk.
Run along now little boy.
karlostomy  +   2250d ago
Stop trying to have the last word, like a spoilt little brat
and stop upbubbling your account with your multiple fake ones otherwise I'll need to spank your bot bot again. :)

*Karlostomy wins*
#10.7 (Edited 2250d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
juuken  +   2250d ago
Stop being a d*ck before I put a foot in your ass.

*juuken wins*
kewlkat007  +   2251d ago
I only cut some cslack to MGS4 because it is the Final one and
the fans deserve to see more so what has been going on with the story and such.

If you are new to the genre or the game, then yeah I could see why you'd get bored or complain, which is valid.

I'm able to understand a lot because of these cut-scenes the first time through. There is a lot of cut-scenes tho.
steck67  +   2251d ago
IMO I dont really like cutscenes, but MGS4 shows cutscenese that are worth watching, even my friend which played MGS for the first time said that he does =nt like cutscenes but MGS is an acception because it's that good.
Rockxy  +   2250d ago
The problem with MG4s cutscenese is that it felt to Soap operaish! The graphics were the best ever but acting and story corny as hell. It was like the japan 'Days of our lives'.

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