Thursday, March 22, 2012

What to Do With a Cut Scene

Other then the writer needing a teaching lesson on what “bait and switch” really means, and to not use it more than once in an article, I think there are some interesting and valid points to take away from the piece.

Are we being overloaded by cut scenes that remove the immersive aspect of playing the game? RPG’s would probably be the first game to come to mind, but FPS like Gears of War are equally as guilty of this.

You’re knee deep into some alien bug killing action. You’ve just pressed the Y button to duck behind a wall, and then bam! Cutscene of a nasty creature breaking through a wall. And then it goes back to you in control.

Needless? I’d argue that it is. I would be much more involved with the game if events happened around the characters in real time, and not through a cut scene. “But that is real-time.” Ok what I really mean is, I don’t want to be pulled away from the game, see the little loading bubble at the corner of the screen, and not have access to my controller. It would be much more powerful if those events happened while I still had full control of the character.

I believe that’s the round-about point the writer was attempting to make, but didn’t quite reach it.

To note, I don’t feel that cut scenes are a bad thing. They can be effective tools of progressing the narrative. It’s when they are used ineffectively and we become removed from the immersion that it can disrupt the playability. Maybe that’s something we’re buying into with the purchase of a game. Personally, I’d rather have a game where I’m fully in control with an occasion, quality, well-used cut scene versus the random ones developers like to sometimes throw in to show the pretty things their neat new graphics can do.

Go forth and discuss!

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