Monday, December 10, 2012

Interactive Cut Scenes

I’ve found that in the gaming world there is often a disparity between those who love cut scenes and those who are appalled by them. Those gamers that have an inherent hate for cut scenes often make a mad scramble for the skip button the moment a cinematic sequence begins. With a few exceptions cut scenes are an integral part of story immersion, thus in a franchised game developers seem to favor the use of cut scenes throughout the gameplay experience.
Some games have attempted to make a compromise to the gamer by incorporating cut scenes that require participation on the player’s behalf. This compromise often fails to satisfy either gamer that takes one stance or another in regards to cut scenes. The interactive cut scene does little to contribute to the narrative aspect of the story and as for its gameplay aspect it is generally reduced to the timing of pushing a couple button. I generally appreciate cut scenes and rarely skip them as I find myself usually invested with the story and not just the gameplay itself. One exception I have found to this and the purpose of this discussion derives from a recent replaying of Resident Evil 5. Here is the scenario: the cut scene begins in an open dirt courtyard and suddenly a trio of dirt bike driving Uroboros infected humans start riding in circles around me, I have to pull the triggers on my controller to dodge, push A once for some inane action, couple of Paul W.S. Anderson action shots later and the cut scene is over and I’m feeling incredibly empty.


  1. #7 Yeah I tend to have the same problem with cut scenes. To me, they just don't give me what I play a video game for. Sure they can be incredibly photo-realistic, and deliver a fantastic story beat, but how much are they really contributing to the game itself. I do like the fact they are trying to make them more interactive, but how interactive can they be when they are trying to achieve such an advanced level of graphics? What makes more frustrated however is the fact games use these cut scenes as a selling point. For example, World of Warcraft's expansion, Mists of Pandaria. The cut scene is outstanding! But it is so far from the actual game-play that it angers me! It's one thing to have cut scenes as a fun, voyeuristic phase of your game, but to use it to sell your product as exclusively as WOW has? Not a fan.

  2. I'm not a big fan of them either. Most of the games I play are more action-based, and I more just want to know what the next objective is so I can keep going. To be honest, though, I do think the interactive cut scenes are nice. They make sure that you stay engaged throughout the cut scene, so that there's still some pressure on rather than there just being a down time. I know I've seen a few of these in the more mainstream campaigns, where the audience is a lot less focused on the story, which fits nicely.

  3. I enjoy cut scenes because they give me the opportunity to tune out for a second. After overstimulating my senses during Halo with explosions and multi-colored blood, I would like some down time where the story carries on whether I'm paying attention to it or not. Most of the time I have no interest in the story and I use the cut scene to relax and let the game do it's thing. It adds some good pacing to the game that would make the experience much more different if they weren't inserted. I have no problem with them in that sense. What I don't like is what Pat pointed out, the fact that the cut scenes sometimes have way better graphics than the actual gameplay. Not chill at all.

  4. Post #12
    Honestly, I don't play many video games, so I don't have a ton of experience with cut scenes, but they seem like something I would actually really like. I think I would mainly really like them because it would give me a break from absolutely failing at playing the game, as I usually do at any video game. I also like the idea of cut scenes because they usually give the game a little bit more of a narrative element, which I can appreciate more than the actual game play. I enjoy the idea that cut scenes are more cinematic in nature, because I become more engaged with the cinematic elements of video games and their aesthetic and creativity. Cut scenes would really just be a nice break for me to enjoy what I'm seeing on the screen instead of fumbling around with the controller trying to accomplish a task.