Denis Dyack Writes for Edge

Denis Dyack writes:

"There are some people out there that have a complete and utter disdain for the cut scene. Many developers knock the cut scene because it takes away interactivity, the key component of interactive entertainment.

We've seen games like Half-Life never enter a cut scene. Meanwhile we have Metal Gear Solid, which uses lengthy cut scenes to convey a story.

So who's right and who's wrong? First of all I think any extreme is generally flawed. When people say they want to banish all cut scenes, they don't seem to understand that such a move does make it more difficult to tell your story. Story is very important for videogames, and as graphics become a commodity, storytelling becomes evermore important."

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clintos593712d ago

This is what I been trying to tell a few of these numskulls who try an bash MGS4. I mean even though the cutscenes are a bit lengthy, I have stated this all along. If the cutscenes are done right and tells a great story, what is the problem with that? I totally disagree with those game sites who underscored MGS4 and took points off just because of cutscenes.

A good example of what he is talking about is games like halo and gears which have cutscenes but these cutscenes werent needed just for the fact that the story in halo 2, halo 3, and gears were mediocre at best and cutscenes are suppose to be used for these sole reasons of telling the story and also trying to get u to know more about the character u are playing as. MGS Series is a good example of this and is a big reason I will always love cutscenes aslong as they are done right just like Denis Dyack is pointing out.

Also wanted to add that there was no way that us fans of MGS4 would have ever fell in love with the MGS series if Kojima were to just try an tell the story of solid snake and every character with out these cutscenes. It is the only way u can actually make the person who is playing the game feel like not only that he is watching a cinematic movie but also feel so close to the character u are playing as which in my mind is taking gaming to the next level of gaming.

For example watching a movie like braveheart was such an awesome movie which made, u happy, laugh, get angry, and also get u emotional but also gave u an amazing ending. And playing a game like halo or gears will never give u all this in there single players and is why I have said, why even make a single player if the story is just mediocre. This is why fans of the MGS series has loved the MGS series because from what ive explained about the movie braveheart, u dont only feel like u are watching a movie that is cinematic, but u also feel like u are a part of the cinematic movie just for the fact that u are playing the game and your role is to take this journey with solid snake and lead him through his destination. Its kind of hard to explain it but hope that helped out a bit with just what denis dyack is trying to explain with cutscenes and what I totally understand what he is saying with that expirience brought to me from Hideo Kojima with the MGS Series. :)

Superfragilistic3712d ago

I didn't think he was criticising Halo, in order to praise MGS4 and in his personal experience Too Human.

What he was really getting at was that there are two distinct camps in game story telling, but that extremes in either are not necessarily in his opinion a good thing.

There's the Half Life "interactivity" model which Halo largely follows, and the MGS "cut-scene" model which Dyack supports and is pushing with Too Human.

He puts it best when he says:

"Although there are some parties that are strictly anti-cut scene, and others that are pro cut-scene, when you think about it, it’s not a matter of whether there should be cut scenes or not.

Really it comes down to the basics of content and Aristotle’s Poetics. In movies or any kind of literature, the basic rule is, if something doesn’t mean anything, don’t put it in. Adding content for no good reason is only going to hurt what you’re trying to do."

That's well put, and argues that whether you take the Half Life or MGS approach to storytelling, the key is that there is no fat and that whatever you add is to enhance and drive storytelling.

WIIIS13712d ago

The line may not always be clear as to how much of cut-scenes are a good thing, but with MGS4, in which you get the feeling you are watching a movie more than playing a game and the movie watching experience is so much detached from the game playing experience, the "game-defining" cut-scenes clearly become an affront to the whole idea of gaming.

PwnShop3712d ago

No matter how amazing MGS4 cut scenes were, with the technology and voice acting implemented into them, i still thought they were some what flawed and poor. Too much of the story telling in MGS4 was one character lecturing another character and to me that is a poor way of story telling. Also i thought the dialogue writing was just bad and cheesy. This is just my opinion, i still enjoyed the game but i feel that it gets tons of praise from gamers while they ignore the flaws.

clintos593712d ago (Edited 3712d ago )

I was just using halo and gears as an example of what I was trying to point out in what he means. And believe me its just not those 2 franchise games, there are alot of other games on all three platforms that have these type of games, "Denis Dyack" is talking about.

I was just using Halo and gears to explain my point. Does this make those games bad? In my opinion for the single player expirience yes it does because people like myself want a great story to go with there games especially if these are blockbuster titles. I mean seriously its a shame to see such huge titles like these have such a mediocre story because already that tells me that the devs made these games thinking of one thing in mind, and that was to just make these games the best multiplayer expirience people will ever have but forget that not everyone is all about multiplayer. Alot of us love a immersive story to go with our games, I mean this is how games began and still is the main thing to us gamers. I mean yes gameplay is of course the key factor to all games but if u are going to add a story to these games dont u want the fans to understand more of these characters just like MGS4 has done with its fans?

I mean if u are just going to throw a mediocre story into your game and make the multiplayer your main focus, I dont understand why even make a single player if the story isnt going to even be told the way it should be weather it is interactive or using cutscenes, just aslong as the story is awesome and told right, I could careless if u do it half life style with interactive or using mgs style with cutscenes to tell the story, just aslong as u bring a good story to go with the game, ill be happy. I dont want to play a half a$$ single player story and find out I have to go buy the book to read on more about masterchief or marcus fenix. I shouldnt be forced to go buy these books for that, this should be in the game I spent 60 bux to play to know these things. This is an example why Kojima is so praised around the industry because he doesnt bring out half a$$ work. He works on his games trying to please his fans and makes us know when we go to buy MGS4 we already know the story is going to be amazing and Kojima isnt cutting no edges. He is delivering his best work with his heart and soul. Something Bungie and Epic need to take notes on.

Superfragilistic3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

Bubbles for an excellent rebuttal and civil argument.

I think you rightly point out the different points of focus of Halo and MGS, and they excel where they were intended to, but are lackluster in areas of less focus (Halo - single player story, MGS4 - multiplayer MGO).

But as much as I loved MGS4, I would argue that whilst it exceeds any other cut-scene driven story and certainly leaves Halo & Gears in it's wake, it at times goes perilously close to the extremes Dyack is talking about. Personally I don't need to know every last detail, as pacing and efficient storytelling are more important to me and I feel that had Kojima embraced a cinematic editor and increased the interactive elements of some scenes I would regard MGS4 not only as the greatest story in next-gen gaming, but quite possibly the best ever told.

I love the fact you've insisted on the single player experience as important despite this increasingly multiplayer focused industry. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments.

As for Gears, it's story was atrocious and exactly what Dyack is talking about as bad, inconsequential use of cut scenes at the end of each level/checkpoint. Hopefully Gears 2 will redeem that... although I wouldn't bet my house on it! lol

clintos593711d ago

That is the funny thing is MGS4 was a great single player expirience and I agree prolly had the best story in a game this next gen but on the online aspects. Konami ruined it. Ill be honest I enjoy MGO but the service and lag fest in konamis's servers and website is prolly the worst ive ever seen in my gaming life. MGO had so much potential and I like the way they made it but do to the lackluster servers and Konami ID's forcing people to sign up with such a lousy ID just to play MGO only to take us to some crappyness servers just killed MGO. And we see all the problems going around the net. Hopefully Kojimas next game he makes, if it does go multiplatform that he learns not to let Konami handle his games for the online and just let MS or Sony handle it or with sony maybe ask them to dedicate servers which I think sony does owe kojima alot of respect for bringing alot of success to there platform which they can help him out by doing him that favor just as they run there own exclusive title servers.

As for halo 3 and gears of war these games couldve been easilly 10's across the board if they wouldve just added an amazing story to there games, because they already had the gameplay down and graphics and every other area covered. I am banking on gears 2 to deliver again an amazing gameplay expirience but im with u, I doubt they will bring a strong story to the table but hey who knows if they do deliver in that area that would be awesome for us gamers and also for them. Even if they dont bring a strong story though from what ive seen, I am sold already on just how bad a$$ the gameplay looks, and im sure it will be even funner this time around online. Should be an awesome year for gaming for all systems. :)

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3711d ago
Harry1903712d ago

above.I felt like I completed a mini-novel. Lighten up. I'm going to have some fun with MGO now,with friends.

I concur with what Dyack said/wrote.

Rock Bottom3712d ago

that was a good read, and he wasn't flaming or asking to be flamed for a change.

SL1M DADDY3711d ago

I have no problems with cutscenes although I know several folks that can't stand them. It seems to me that those who do not like them have little patience for a good story telling and just want to get into the action. That's fine and I won't argue with their preference. Me personally, I enjoy the cuts. And with MGS4, Kojima utilized a key element in making a great cutscene. No, not the graphics... He used boobs. Now those are assets to any cutscene.

IQUITN4G3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

Although the story in Gears isn't really expanded on in any way, i can still recall what it was - you piece together what a story is half the time.It wasn't overdone is all

Even Gaiden has a story but it's a very thinly spread one.

Some people like the approach of say Gods of War or Metal Gear take, while others get just as much from something like Halo or Gears.

The idea that Halo doesn't actually have a story people care about is absurd.

TheDesperado3711d ago

Cutscenes DO NOT BELONG in video games. Neither does half-life's sh!tty storytelling.