BioShock creator Ken Levine has detailed his distaste for cutscenes in story-driven games, saying he wants to interact with a game’s plot, not just watch it unfold.
no...no they dont.
Yes they do, Cutscenes are the boring-est parts of video games, it's the laziest way of trying to convey a story to the player instead of trying to tell it in the world. Games that pulled it off: Half-life, Portal, Bioshock, Skyrim. They are very rare, but those games are many times more memorable and create a splash in gaming that gives them a certain status.
Cutscenes are boring if they arent good. I play games with fantastic cutscenes. Show me the best stories in games and most will have cutscenes. the ones you listed are pretty much the only ones that do it well without cutscenes. Look at SOTC without cutscenes. It would be far more monotonous. How are you suppose to see the horseman coming without cutscenes? read it on a piece of note paper like skyrim? In fact, how is ANYTHING suppose to be conveyed beyond the player character without cutscenes. Devs would have to contrive the most retarded reasons to convey information if cutscenes were shunned from gaming entirely.
wtf theo? how is it lazy to put a cutscene? they take more choreography, more thought than just pulling a bethsdeda and having some guy standing still talking to you looking bored out of his mind. games like MGS, Uncharted, Final fantasy, Devil may cry, god of war etc make the story progress with cutscenes. it is very near impossible to make a ridiculous Bayonetta style cutscene with out it being a cutscene, so stop whining. and out of the games you mentioned that did it right....only bioshock succeeded. half lifes story was boring to tears imo, and skyrim suffers from the same (stand still) "You must go and kill the dragon....yaaaawwwn....and save the world...yaaawn" they have no emotion, no mannerisms, they are very un life like. game is epic but story fails. heavy rain is another game that obviously needs cutscenes aswell as halo
Here's the problem with a game like Half-Life and story. You can still move around, but, you're still confined to one area while characters talk on as if you're not even there, you can move away and miss the conversation but, ultimately, you often can't leave the area until they're finished, it still takes control away from you and you're basically waiting for the scene to finish so you can move on. It's not a better way to do things, just a different way.
@theo1130.... i couldnt disagree more, UC is a perfect example. the cutscenes in that game are fantastic and are often times better than half the movies coming out. with that in mind, its those cut scenes that make me want to play from scene to scene without putting the controller down becuase im pumped to see whats next. add in fantastic gameplay in between those scenes and imo you have the best and most exciting way to tell a story in a game. this guy is talking out of his *ss, if bioshock had cutscenes like UC i may have stuck around to the end. another good example is batman, your going to tell me that batman would have been better if you just sat there and watched from a first person perspective lol? also cutscenes add to the immersion if anything, being able to get a closer look at the characters facial expressions helps you really get to know the characters far better. now the way Bioshock and elder scrolls tell there storeis is not bad, just different. i prefer cut scenes though. kinda funny when you think about it though becuase SKyrim is my fav game ever and before that it was morrowind, still cutscenes forever!!!!
Have you ever played a Final Fantasy game? Particularly the ones on the PS1? Cutscenes are only boring if the game is boring. I love cutscenes.
IT TAKES MORE EFFORT TO DO A CUTSCENE THAN IN GAME! lmao! So lazy is the wrong word! Even arguing this is stupid, it comes down to what the devs want for their game, and the design they envision for it. Saying on way is better than another is just slow. Not every game needs to be the same.
They ruin it for me a lot of the time. Whenever a cutscene comes on, I put my controller down and just watch, because I'm basically just switching from playing a game to watching a pre-rendered video which looks very little like the game I was just playing (the cutscene looking much better). It just creates this feeling of separation for me, I feel like I'm swapping between watching a movie and playing a game, when I should only feel like I'm playing a game. That's just my personal opinion though.
The Naughty Dog team do this so well with Uncharted. Its hard to tell when the cut scene ends and the game play kicks back in so you pay attn to the whole thing. They really do a great job with making cutscenes seamless.
@vickers500 I just played the desert part in U3, your argument is invalid...
@JoeReno It's pretty easy for me to tell most of the time. I'd rather have the Uncharted games just use in game cinematics, kind of how the majority of mgs4 did it.
I think it just depends how good they are. I can say on behalf of most gamers that when it comes to playing uncharted games we never skip the cut scenes. In fact they were so crafted well that i would re run them and pretend i was seeing a movie. IMO the voice acting and the characters have to be top notch in order for it to work well. Another perfect example is heavy rain !
Team Ico is the best at story driven games by far IMO. They dont use cutscenes, CGI ones atleast. Come to think of it most good story games dont use any CGI cutscenes, asides from JRPGs.
I've loved good cutscenes in good games ever since Ninja Gaiden in '89/90 on the NES. What I hate are BioShock's out of order, missable, often negligible audio diaries. Fragmented storytelling aside, Mr Levine, who in the hell walks around all day talking into a tapedeck and leaving 20 sec blurbs about sea slugs and NewYearsEve Parties all over town, lol?! Hey look, another Suchong secret in an ashtray! Did Einstein leave his theory of relativity fragmented on tapes in cash registers and whiskey barrels too? It's absurd, Levine. Especially when Fontaine records himself turning into you-know-who and apparently left it at an orphanage. Wtf.
Its always better to have in game events where you can still move (like in hl2)
But one thing I have to say about HL2 is that when I had ability to move around while those important parts of story were given, I did something else (like teleporting objects in the beginning) and missed some parts of the story.
As much as I like the guy and his games I can't agree, don't get me wrong I don't want a game that has more cutscenes that gameplay but I like them.
Yeah it depends... Are we talking God Of War , uncharted which I really enjoyed -or- are we talking Metal Gear Solid 4 OMG this could have been in a movie cut-scene's LoL... it just depends on how it's done - if you start getting much more cut-scene's then game time, then something is seriously wrong.. IMO .____........___...____ .____||......||.......____|| ||.........___||.......____||
I would of liked uncharted much better if they dropped some of the cutscenes and let us play through stuff. God they are always talking about stuff during gameplay anyway, why not just flesh it out more? But I suppose people want the cutscenes... Uncharted games also look much better in cutscenes for the most part...
In cutscenes they can use cinematic techinques impossible during gameplay....in cutscenes for example you get familiar with the characters' faces, now imagine it without cutscenes...at least I would have a much different image of Elena....
I agree, in a medium like ours where interaction is the key to immersion and thus success in many cases (particularly story and setting focussed games), taking the player out of the game to watch some exposition every few minutes is not the best way to accomplish your goal. I can appreciate and enjoy cinematics/cutscenes to a degree, but they do often have the effect of removing me from the experience, often just when you were really getting into it. It's like they're drawing you further and further in, asking you to do things and be a part of the story, until a larger plot development comes along and they basically wrestle control from your hands and say "STOP, put that controller down, it's our turn, you'll ruin it with your interaction, our way is better", like a bratty child who has to have it their way. I can also appreciate that certain game directors fancy themselves as film directors for a modern age, but they're not doing it in a way that specifically targets the strengths of their medium; they're trying to direct the game like it's a movie. Except it's not a movie, it's a game. I can say I definitely prefer the approach that companies like Valve, Bethesda and some others (too few, IMO) use when telling a story. They have more impact on me because I feel more like it's MY story, like I'm involved in it somehow. It's like the game extends a hand to you and says "come with me, we're going to do something great together." Whereas a game that is heavily laden with cutscenes and is more cinematically presented says "come with me to the next bit, then STAND THERE AND DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING, JUST LOOK."
i think theres a right way of doing it, and a wrong way of doing it. i know a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but MGS1 on ps1 did it the right way, MGS4 did not.
It's hard to argue or disagree with that surely. MGS4 had a 90minute cutscene! Xenosaga1 also did it wrong. But that's not to say cutscenes are bad. Levine should play Vagrant Story and then tell us that it would have looked better without its cutscenes.
lol they add to the story! it's the few 100% story focesed aspects where theres important dialogue etc
Ingame scenes like HL2 are lazy and boring. There is not cineamtic direction, there's no well timed music and quite often from the first-person angle, you don't have the best angle to see something happen. They also mean your player character will never, never be able to appear like a cool well formed character. Mass Effect handles story scenes and conversations much better than Skyrim because it takes control of the camera. As another example Assassin's Creed 2's story and characters were far better shown with proper cutscenes than Assassin's Creed 1's leave the player standing in the middle like a helpless bystander. It's not involving, it's not clever, it's just lazy.
Lazy? I think you'll find it can take a lot of thinking to ensure that the player is involved in all of the elements presented. I think taking control of the camera away from the player is the lazy approach.
What??? There is a sequence in UC2 where Nate hugs Elena after they have a close encounter. He hugs her and talks to her. You want that to be a gameplay sequence? You want to actually go to her and press square for hug? What diff does it make. Some sequences just cannot be done without cutscenes. You call your Valve's, Bethesda's of the world and they still will not be able to make that sequence without a cutscene.So no its not lazy. It varies from genre to genre and from story to story.
But the player is Never involved during HL2 style cutscenes. Sure you can move around, but you're not interacting with everyone else. And again cutscenes require tons of work and resources - HL2 requires nothing apart from the VO - most of the time they don't even move around, but just stand rooted. Being able to crouch, or punch or run around during a dramatic moment breaks immersion far more than taking away control ever does.
A nice cutscene at the end of a level that develops the story in a way the gameplay cannot. i.e Showing a flashback or something that going on in a different part of the world. Also, some genres need cutscenes more than others.
Bioshock is an amazing game that worked well with the way it told its story. Del Toro has his view too, they are opinions but I can't help but feel the only series that gets it right is MGS (excluding 4 which was way over cooked) 3 especially was the pinnacle for me, along with the dense story it makes sense for the game to have extended cut-scenes, interactivity (ie heavy rain) would have broken the beautiful flow of a predetermined path, a perfectly constructed one. Why do we all have to adhere to the notion that a game must be a game in the most "gamiest" sense, essentially being one or the other? Why can't we have the best of both worlds?
I dont think it ruins games, as some of the most immersive games ive ever played have had a lot of cutscenes (Uncharted, MGS 4, Halo 3), but I understand what he is trying to say; immersion can be so much stronger if done right without cutscenes (Half Life 2, Bioshock, Elder Scrolls games, Portal 2). It all just depends on the game and how the developer makes them/what they want to deliver to the player. Cutscenes wouldnt work well in a Bioshock game, but a game like Uncharted wouldnt work well without them.
I disagree! cutscenes are the best way to tell a story, cutscenes are one of the most important elements in games to me. imagine games like mgs, final fantasy or DMC without cutscenes?! that would be NIGHTMARE!
I completely disagree. Cutscene are importanting for story driven games. Some scenes can not be done ingame and have a bigger impact as a cutscene. Do you expect the camera to just zoom into a caracter's face (While you still playing) just to show the emotion on his face. People who looking for story based games usually expect cutscenes. The other people are just looking for action, that why so many games are adding Quick-Time event.
Alan Wake and Final Fantasy are the perfect examples of games WITH cutscenes that have incredible storyline
How people are 'immersed' into Half Life I will never understand for the life of me. For me it's hard to feel immersed when all thats going through your head while playing is: Someone is talking to you, asking you questions, you are not a def mute, why do you not respond !?!?!?!? Meh, I'm gonna go run around, shoot my gun in the air and crouch so I can watch Alyx snatch while she's talking. She won't mind, seeing as how she's not responding to my actions. Immersion in Half Life. HHMMPPHH don't make me laugh !!! Cutscenes may not be the answer but no way in hell does Half Life get it right. Can't wait to play you game mister Levine but getting immersed in a story is more than just listening to talking heads. A book has no visuals so you can feel immersed using your imagination. Games have visuals and audio, no room for imagination an playing pretend that Gordon Freeman is talking back. Bioshock: Infinte doesn't look like it needs them, but dismissing them all together is just wrong IMO..
"Immersion in Half Life. HHMMPPHH don't make me laugh !!!" Your gaming license has been revoked. You may no longer participate in rational discussions about gaming, it's industry or it's concepts, as you exhibit a clear lack of understanding of the medium. @Creepjack: SYSTEM SHOCK 2? FREEDOM FORCE?
Cutscenes help to tell the story...nothing wrong with that im my opinion
No they dont. Why does anyone care about what this dude says now. They made one good game, very over rated, but good, and now the gaming media acts like he is some kind of gaming god now. What a joke.
Well when anybody makes a ridiculous claim like the one Ken Levine just made, people are going to report on it.
system shock games were also epic, stop being ignorant. Cutscenes usually do ruin the story for most people, show dont tell. Let us play through epic stuff, not watch it.
yes 9 times out of 10 they do for me because of over use. The cutscene is a dated game element, should of stopped using them by now. Sure I liked the cutscenes in metal gear solid 4, but that was on a different level altogether compared to the crap we usually sit and watch.
"I dont think it ruins games, as some of the most immersive games ive ever played have had a lot of cutscenes (Uncharted, MGS 4, Halo 3)," there are certain games (mostly on consoles) that do requires cutscenes, BUT, immersive games for me are HL2, Deus Ex, FEAR, Quake, from the golden age of gaming. And these games didn't have cutscenes. Hell even MW3 don't have that much cutscene. On the other hand I love games like Max Payne, Mafia where the cutscenes are crucial.
but that is utter bollocks. I'd elaborate, but why even bother? It's clear as the sun in the sky: if the script, voice-acting and direction is up to snuff then a cut-scene will bring the player deeper into the action and make him care more for the characters. Give me a well-executed cut-scene over the Half Life/Bioshock aesthetic any day of the week. At least Infinite has you actually controlling a protagonist with personality this time; not just a disembodied pair of arms.
depends...cutscenes that go from gameplay to cg or some other format ruin it completely...if its kept at gameplay and the action is good then i dont care for cutscenes...ken levine knows, hes way ahead of carmack in creativit, intelligence and knows how to write a good story
Uncharted manages to pull it off....funny he says that and the guys top three favorite PS games is Uncharted 2.
Some work some don't....they work in U3, but not in Bioshock...I just can't imagine Bioshock with cutscenses
Formula needs to change. I think we are very close to the day when game developers tell the game's story as opposed to outsourcing it. I find cutscenes to be intrusive sometimes, but for the most part they are so "loved" because thats all we know. If Levin believes it, lead the pack and try to change the industry through action and influence. Cutscenes are what we know, but I would always take scripted events over them. Cutscenes exist from a time where we couldn't do such visuals in game, the techs increasing and the creativity from the artists needs to increase with it.
I have to agree with Mr. Levine. Technology has improved enough where all cutscenes do is take you out of the game, just like QTE's. They're both examples of dated mechanics.
I agree, I personally do not feel the desert sequence in UC3 would have had the same impact if it were a cutscene.
By the same token the facial-reaction bazaar scene of Marlowe toying with Drake over his parents and Sully, and Drake laying his head in Elena's lap as they share a moment over their failed relationship...wouldn't have had the same impact as a HalfLife crotch cam, expressionless Elder Scrolls, BioShock audio diary "interactive" immersion breaker. @CaptTuttle QTE's are not dated mechanics anymore than Skyrim constantly reminding you you're playing a videogame with puppets, as invisible hands open doors and gently float pots and pans onto oblivious NPC heads while you talk to them, lol! http://www.youtube.com/watc... That "control" is some broken $#%* only gamers could try to defend.
You do realize Uncharted isn't first person, correct? I would argue that it would be possible to do such things in in real-time scripted movements. Hell, don't you remember when Cutter and Drake were squeezing through the rocks, the close-up detail on their character models were cut-scene quality.
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