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Argh!! When will developers learn! Cutscenes are bad and irritating!

JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Games and Technology
1. Cutscenes pull you away from playing a game.
They turn a video game into a movie. Games are interactive entertainment.


2. Cutscenes are a lazy way to do extra work
They take animators to create these scenes, just so they don't have to create a scene in-game. Recreating the scene in-game would be easier, and far more to the point of a video game. An interactive media.


3. They get used way too much. Especially in the goddamn intro.
I'm just playing Crysis: Warhead and Legendary. How many other games give you a goddamn 45 minute intro cutscene before you can even play the game. And how many of those games (probably almost all) had cutscenes in situations that the play could have easily done himself.
Legendary specifically just has an opening cutscene where he breaks into a room, and opens a box. It would have been a much better intro to throw the player straight into the action and let him open the damn door. So simple an action, why even bother with a cutscene? It's gratuitous and silly!


4. Cutscenes are generally gratuitous and stupid, showing scenes the player could have done himself, which would only have served for a better game, and more interactive experience.




Now, I know not all cutscenes can be replaced by gameplay, and not necessarily all should. For instance, Bioshock's opening cutscene was short and tasteful, just fine.


But they are far overused in a media where they, by their very nature, don't really even belong. Imagine in a really good book, where every 15 pages or so, the author cut out like 7 pages and just put in a couple pictures instead, to tell the story.

Maybe herein we'll just discuss good or bad uses of cutscenes in game, but more importantly, the ways in which bad cutscenes could have been made better through gameplay. Or what could possibly happen in the future.

Smaller or non-existent UIs have been a recent trend, and one that, on the whole, I agree with and appreciate. Maybe putting down the cutscene crutch and relying more on gameplay to tell your story, will be the next step.

JamesKeenan on
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Posts

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Eh. Here I was just annoyed at Fallout 3's lack of cutscenes. There are a few instances where having to manually do shit was just tedium and not the least bit immersive.

    Though the 45 minutes to play our game wait time is a problem. I just don't think cut scenes are completely evil.

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Have not played those two games you mentioned.

    but I love FMVs. I can't remember a game where there were to many, to often, or too long of an FMV was contained.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Have not played those two games you mentioned.

    but I love FMVs. I can't remember a game where there were to many, to often, or too long of an FMV was contained.

    Final Fantasy was good about having quality cut scenes. But they are far too heavily relied on for silly things in games.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Tell that to the Metal Gear Solid series.

    0WBv0.png
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Eh. Here I was just annoyed at Fallout 3's lack of cutscenes. There are a few instances where having to manually do shit was just tedium and not the least bit immersive.

    Though the 45 minutes to play our game wait time is a problem. I just don't think cut scenes are completely evil.

    Maybe. I loved the fact that Fallout 3 actually had the player play the game, instead of a pre-rendered animation. However, I could see wanting very, very short cut scenes where in the palyer's character walks over an flips a switch... maybe. I still don't see how it's any better than just actually playing the game yourself.

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    You mean in-game cutscenes right, Keenan? I totally agree that in-game cutscenes are bitches, especially when there's no way to skip it - which developers often use in conjunction with an near impossible game segment afterwards. So you have to see the damned thing over and over and over - which takes time and makes you loose all interest in the game itself.

    Cinematic cutscenes are great between for examples campaigns in strategy games where you often get ejected to menu any way - and when used moderately!!!

    All cutscenes should be made skipable in any case.

  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Godfather wrote: »
    Tell that to the Metal Gear Solid series.

    That doesn't refute the point though. I hardly said they are all universally bad, no exceptions.

    Oh, and Metal Gear Solid's cut scenes are too long, and too irritating, since you asked.

  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Honk wrote: »
    You mean in-game cutscenes right, Keenan? I totally agree that in-game cutscenes are bitches, especially when there's no way to skip it - which developers often use in conjunction with an near impossible game segment afterwards. So you have to see the damned thing over and over and over - which takes time and makes you loose all interest in the game itself.

    Cinematic cutscenes are great between for examples campaigns in strategy games where you often get ejected to menu any way - and when used moderately!!!

    All cutscenes should be made skipable in any case.


    Dammit... where were you when I was writing the thread? Yes, you brilliant Honky. that's what I meant. Thread title change, perhaps?



    As for cinematic, again I wholly agree with your points. They are great, in moderation. Again I say that the Final Fantasy series has always been great about this. FF9 comes to mind.

  • riposte101riposte101 Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I agree, I hate cutscenes.
    DeadSpace had cutscenes only from the player's camera. That was pretty cool.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Hey man, i'm with you; i'm not a fan of the series, and the whole "push a button, watch a cutscene" thing irks me to no end.

    0WBv0.png
  • ChanceChance Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Someone needs to play Uncharted.

    Assassin's Creed's cutscenes, on the other hand, can sucka dank.

    OuFrYk0.jpg
    'Chance, you are the best kind of whore.' -Henroid
  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Honk wrote: »
    You mean in-game cutscenes right, Keenan? I totally agree that in-game cutscenes are bitches, especially when there's no way to skip it - which developers often use in conjunction with an near impossible game segment afterwards. So you have to see the damned thing over and over and over - which takes time and makes you loose all interest in the game itself.

    Cinematic cutscenes are great between for examples campaigns in strategy games where you often get ejected to menu any way - and when used moderately!!!

    All cutscenes should be made skipable in any case.

    Now this is my problem with games.

    I love FMVs, but let me skip them if I so desire. Make it a button combination to ensure I don't accidentally skip it, but let me skip it if I dont want to watch it 88 times in a row.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You're confusing the method of delivery with the quality of delivery. In-game cutscenes are not inherently bad and can often work incredibly well.

    What you should be getting annoyed at is bad developers.

    scarab you have mental problems
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I like cutscenes just fine..... except when they would have been more fun to actually play than watch. Or when cutscene time rivals gameplay time.

    3DS Friend Code: 0817-5033-8184 // Nintendo Network ID: AbsoluteZero
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    You're confusing the method of delivery with the quality of delivery. In-game cutscenes are not inherently bad and can often work incredibly well.

    What you should be getting annoyed at is bad developers.

    Yes, yes. That might be the supposedly right way to do it. But we have a tool here that is prone to overuse.

  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Godfather wrote: »
    Tell that to the Metal Gear Solid movies.

    Fixed.

    SC2 EU ID Klyka.110
    lTDyp.jpg
  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Honk wrote: »
    You mean in-game cutscenes right, Keenan? I totally agree that in-game cutscenes are bitches, especially when there's no way to skip it - which developers often use in conjunction with an near impossible game segment afterwards. So you have to see the damned thing over and over and over - which takes time and makes you loose all interest in the game itself.

    Cinematic cutscenes are great between for examples campaigns in strategy games where you often get ejected to menu any way - and when used moderately!!!

    All cutscenes should be made skipable in any case.


    Dammit... where were you when I was writing the thread? Yes, you brilliant Honky. that's what I meant. Thread title change, perhaps?



    As for cinematic, again I wholly agree with your points. They are great, in moderation. Again I say that the Final Fantasy series has always been great about this. FF9 comes to mind.

    Why thank you! :P

    I'm sensing a great thread here, was just playing Gears 1 on hardcore for the first time yesterday and this tiny segment of an unskippable in-game cutscene (that plays a while after you get up that staircase after the helicopter ride) was killing me!

    This scene was probably just around 5 seconds long, but I was close to screaming when I had to see it the seventh time!

    Also in Mass Effect I remember when you first face a Juggernaught (maybe not the correct name, but i mean the quadruped Geth). That was a pretty long cut-scene, unskipable and was beaten into my retinas about 10 times! I nearly lost interest in the great game that early, it's good that I continued anyway or I would've missed out!

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Final Fantasy 10 was horrible regarding this.

    There was this one fight against Seymour in the snow mountains with this really long and boring cutscene right before the fight, completely unskippable and ridiculously long. What's worse is that this boss fight was hard, so I had to watch this again and again and again and again.

    0WBv0.png
  • korodullinkorodullin What. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    A few years back, weren't we all bemoaning the ubiquity of pre-rendered cutscenes as opposed to ones done via the in-game engine?

    Oh, how times change.

    impale.png
    Steam
    3DS: 1822-0538-1100
  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Honk wrote: »
    You mean in-game cutscenes right, Keenan? I totally agree that in-game cutscenes are bitches, especially when there's no way to skip it - which developers often use in conjunction with an near impossible game segment afterwards. So you have to see the damned thing over and over and over - which takes time and makes you loose all interest in the game itself.

    Cinematic cutscenes are great between for examples campaigns in strategy games where you often get ejected to menu any way - and when used moderately!!!

    All cutscenes should be made skipable in any case.

    Now this is my problem with games.

    I love FMVs, but let me skip them if I so desire. Make it a button combination to ensure I don't accidentally skip it, but let me skip it if I dont want to watch it 88 times in a row.

    A good example of a stupid kind of thing: Intro movie that you can't skip when playing the game the first time after install. I guess they do this to guarantee every customer watches their sometime brilliant animations.

    The Heroes of Might and Magic series is guilty. I probably re-install Heroes 3 four times a year, every year since it was released. I've seen that movie tens of times because they make me do it before I'm able to get to the menu - I know every pixels movement in it by now!

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Godfather wrote: »
    Final Fantasy 10 was horrible regarding this.

    There was this one fight against Seymour in the snow mountains with this really long and boring cutscene right before the fight, completely unskippable and ridiculously long. What's worse is that this boss fight was hard, so I had to watch this again and again and again and again.


    Now, stop right there.

    You can not badmouth Final Fantasy 10.

    What if Square hears of the badmouthing?

    They might release another Final Fantasy X-2 to punish us:cry:

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    korodullin wrote: »
    A few years back, weren't we all bemoaning the ubiquity of pre-rendered cutscenes as opposed to ones done via the in-game engine?

    Oh, how times change.

    Yes, and now that developers have gotten into the habit of doing things in game, it's time for a little more progress, because right now they're a crutch. A poorly executed crutch.

  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    In game cutscenes are often to mask loading times.

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  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    You're confusing the method of delivery with the quality of delivery. In-game cutscenes are not inherently bad and can often work incredibly well.

    What you should be getting annoyed at is bad developers.

    People do this all the time.

    "QTEs suck"
    "Cutscenes suck"
    "FPSs suck"
    "One Race will ruin starcraft 2"
    "Linearity sucks"
    "Open-world sucks"
    "Cover systems suck"
    "A non-speaking main character sucks"
    "A speaking main character sucks"

    Bad things will be bad. Anything that developers do can be done well or poorly. Yes it's a truism. But it's still really aggravating when people assume that x possible facet of a game makes it bad.

  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I usually play single player games for the story and the whole experience anyway, so I don't mind control being taken away to show me some better camera angles

    When I want full and complete control at all times I'd play multiplayer.

    bar-cc-1.jpg
  • korodullinkorodullin What. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    There are games - RPGs even! - that allow you to skip in-engine cutscenes. More developers just need to let you skip them in more genres. Blame the developers who insist you must view their hard work in its entirely forever and always rather than the delivery method.

    impale.png
    Steam
    3DS: 1822-0538-1100
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    You're confusing the method of delivery with the quality of delivery. In-game cutscenes are not inherently bad and can often work incredibly well.

    What you should be getting annoyed at is bad developers.

    Yes, yes. That might be the supposedly right way to do it. But we have a tool here that is prone to overuse.

    Kind of like italic text, right?

    Cutscenes are just a tool. They can be used to fill in backstory, create context for the coming mission, build suspense, or illustrate something that the play mechanics wouldn't allow the player to do.

    Like all tools, they can be used poorly. Don't blame the tool, blame the mechanic.

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I thought Devil May Cry did cutscenes fine. "Here is the ridiculous shit that we wish we could have allowed you to do in-game. Haha look at that he still has the pizza."

    I like ones that are simply "Okay look, here's something that basically has to happen this way for the story to progress, so we're going to make it pretty to make up for the non-interaction." The key is to make them the appropriate length, and to make the content interesting. I don't like most in-game cutscenes, because they're taking away the ability to interact and not making things prettier to make up for it. Assassin's Creed is the worst one for this recently I think. "Oh sweet I can pace back and forth in front of a dude I can only sort of see. This is awesome, this is exactly what I want to do while listening to a monologue."

  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    You're confusing the method of delivery with the quality of delivery. In-game cutscenes are not inherently bad and can often work incredibly well.

    What you should be getting annoyed at is bad developers.

    People do this all the time.

    "QTEs suck"
    "Cutscenes suck"
    "FPSs suck"
    "One Race will ruin starcraft 2"
    "Linearity sucks"
    "Open-world sucks"
    "Cover systems suck"
    "A non-speaking main character sucks"
    "A speaking main character sucks"

    Bad things will be bad. Anything that developers do can be done well or poorly. Yes it's a truism. But it's still really aggravating when people assume that x possible facet of a game makes it bad.

    Pretty much. You may or may not like a certain aspect of a game but that doesn't always mean that it sucks. I enjoy non-speaking main characters in certain games because I feel like it immerses me more into the game world, while in others there needs to be a speaking character because it's telling his or her story (like God of War) and they have a personality. Either way can be done badly (shoddy voice acting or just awful dialogue for speaking characters, awkward silences from non-speaking characters) but neither is inherently bad. I think it's just a matter of what the player prefers.

    PIZTDhW.jpg
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Me, I hate when writers use a third-person narrative. It's just lazy. I mean, what the fuck Tolkien?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    As much as people gripe about cut scenes taking you out of the game, I always thought of them as a bit of candy after an arduous task. When I hit sephiroth stabbing aeris through the heart and the emotional pull of it all, I said to myself, "Skyghene, you deserved the pretty graphics and awesome scene."

    I find immersion to be odd, because I don't think a cutscene necessarily pulls you out of being immersed and involved with the characters and story. If that were true, the perspective a First Person Shooter provides would immerse me more than say, a JRPG. But I have found myself in love with characters in God of War, Tales of Symphonia (I loved Mithos), Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, etc.

    I think finding a way to have the player fall in love with the characters has a greater hold on whether they feel immersed in the experience or not. Resistance, fall of man does a mixture of taking you out of the action to show a third person view and taking you out of the action to show you a cutscene in the first person view. Neither really did anything for me because I didn't care about the characters or what the hell was happening because they didn't make me feel for any of them.

    Cut Scenes, if they are brief and to the point, or used to highlight a very important plot point, are effective.

    Xenosaga style cutscenes, which pull the player out of the game to say something not all that important or part of the general narrative, is what I call a poor immersion breaking cut scene.

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  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    You're confusing the method of delivery with the quality of delivery. In-game cutscenes are not inherently bad and can often work incredibly well.

    What you should be getting annoyed at is bad developers.

    People do this all the time.

    "QTEs suck"
    "Cutscenes suck"
    "FPSs suck"
    "One Race will ruin starcraft 2"
    "Linearity sucks"
    "Open-world sucks"
    "Cover systems suck"
    "A non-speaking main character sucks"
    "A speaking main character sucks"

    Bad things will be bad. Anything that developers do can be done well or poorly. Yes it's a truism. But it's still really aggravating when people assume that x possible facet of a game makes it bad.

    Sure, I'm complaining more about the rampant overuse and poor execution of cut scenes rather than the inherent evil of the entity themselves. But it's as I said, it's something that's prone to abuse. Like WoW. :D



    Truly, though, Legendary has a hostof bad design problems, and I'm only like 30 minutes in.

    "Get out of that building NOW! Oh, but wait. Don't forget to stop and slowly absorb all these energy nodes that crop up ever."

    The game has no save feature. It's all checkpoints.

    The game is a huge fan of scripting over actual events. Where you get something like this.

    Game: A creature has appeared!

    Me: Oh god! *shoot shoot shoot*

    Game: Oh you silly, you can't hurt it yet! Its scripted intro sequence hasn't played out yet!


    And now soldiers are after me literally no good motivation to be doing so whatsoever. How did they know it was me? Why do they want to kill me rather than capture me?


    Good thing the game is still pretty awesome in atmosphere.

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Whenever gaming gets a new feature, 'it sucks'. But then a game will be slammed for not having the feature.

    Example:

    voice acting.

    "Oh my god N64 sux there's no voice acting"

    games adopt voice acting..

    "oh my god this game sucks the voice acting is horrible" (despite the rest of the game's quality)
    but if the game had cut the voice acting, people would have bitched about it NOT having voice acting.

    It's kinda like how people keep bitching that Zelda doesn't have voice acting, when everyone here knows the first time they do that people will bitch that it isn't good enough.

    Oh, and people bitching that a game will not have motion control and then not getting a person the copy of Super Smash Brothers Brawl yes I'm looking at you Dusda

  • ilmmadilmmad Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Honk wrote: »
    Honk wrote: »
    You mean in-game cutscenes right, Keenan? I totally agree that in-game cutscenes are bitches, especially when there's no way to skip it - which developers often use in conjunction with an near impossible game segment afterwards. So you have to see the damned thing over and over and over - which takes time and makes you loose all interest in the game itself.

    Cinematic cutscenes are great between for examples campaigns in strategy games where you often get ejected to menu any way - and when used moderately!!!

    All cutscenes should be made skipable in any case.


    Dammit... where were you when I was writing the thread? Yes, you brilliant Honky. that's what I meant. Thread title change, perhaps?



    As for cinematic, again I wholly agree with your points. They are great, in moderation. Again I say that the Final Fantasy series has always been great about this. FF9 comes to mind.

    Why thank you! :P

    I'm sensing a great thread here, was just playing Gears 1 on hardcore for the first time yesterday and this tiny segment of an unskippable in-game cutscene (that plays a while after you get up that staircase after the helicopter ride) was killing me!

    This scene was probably just around 5 seconds long, but I was close to screaming when I had to see it the seventh time!

    Also in Mass Effect I remember when you first face a Juggernaught (maybe not the correct name, but i mean the quadruped Geth). That was a pretty long cut-scene, unskipable and was beaten into my retinas about 10 times! I nearly lost interest in the great game that early, it's good that I continued anyway or I would've missed out!

    Same thing happened to me with that Geth.

    Ilmmad.gif
  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm just a silly troll?

    Why do I complain so much? I should just accept these terrible things. Or take the apparent high ground and be "above" the debate.


    This isn't a matter of fanboyism. This is a matter of something that actually takes away from gametime, in a game, to play a 2 minute cut scene for an action that would have taken 15 seconds to do in game.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The PSP Final Fantasy Tactics added some cutscenes, but these were well-animated and skippable. More than that, you can go back and view them at ANY time after you've seen them (through the in-game lore and journal entries), so you don't have to have a save game at a particular point if you want view them again. You can even do this with the non-animated in-game engine cutscenes. I'd like to see that feature implemented more often.

    I'd also like to see things done more like the original Half-Life, where the opening "movie" is simply you sitting on the train to Black Mesa. But I'd also like that to be skippable, too. *shrugs*
    It's kinda like how people keep bitching that Zelda doesn't have voice acting, when everyone here knows the first time they do that people will bitch that it isn't good enough.
    Oh, but Zelda DID have voice acting. *evil grin*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mHw5g55oC4

    Steam ID: Hahnsoo, Steam Name currently: Hahnsopolis | PSN: Hahnsoo | Monster Hunter Tri: Hahnsoo, E8HJCA
  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'd also like to see things done more like the original Half-Life, where the opening "movie" is simply you sitting on the train to Black Mesa. But I'd also like that to be skippable, too. *shrugs*

    Oh so you'd like cutscenes, you just don't want them to apply anything films taught us.

  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Leitner wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'd also like to see things done more like the original Half-Life, where the opening "movie" is simply you sitting on the train to Black Mesa. But I'd also like that to be skippable, too. *shrugs*

    Oh so you'd like cutscenes, you just don't want them to apply anything films taught us.

    What's your meaning here?

  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm just a silly troll?

    Why do I complain so much? I should just accept these terrible things. Or take the apparent high ground and be "above" the debate.


    This isn't a matter of fanboyism. This is a matter of something that actually takes away from gametime, in a game, to play a 2 minute cut scene for an action that would have taken 15 seconds to do in game.

    I agree completely! And if we add to that the general recipe that seems to go around, that every unskippable cut-scene has to be followed by something very challenging - with checkpoints only available before the scene. Then it becomes repeated punishment even if you liked it the first time - as you have to see it over and over as you fail the difficult game segment.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Leitner wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'd also like to see things done more like the original Half-Life, where the opening "movie" is simply you sitting on the train to Black Mesa. But I'd also like that to be skippable, too. *shrugs*

    Oh so you'd like cutscenes, you just don't want them to apply anything films taught us.

    What's your meaning here?

    Half Life is doing cutscenes as anyone would understand them, just with you in control of the camera in a tiny area instead? They're completely linear with people shouting dialog at you, but you can move about in your tiny area so somehow this makes them more immersive? Worse yet, unlike most cutscenes they're entirely 100% un-skip able and lack the great shots (and the rest of the techniques cutscenes bring in from film) you can bring in when the director controls the camera.

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