Are Cinematics Ruining Games?

Master Bob

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I was reading this article and it got me thinking. What's the true purpose of a game? Is it to entertain someone, draw them into an alternate reality? Whats the best way to go about doing this, Create a compelete story system with cinematics, or let the gameplay speak for its self?

I personally believe cinematics SHOULD Not be the main focus of the game, but rather a sumplement to further immerse the player into the game. Once cinematics become vital for a game, they have gone too far. The gameplay should be able to speak for itself.
 

Moose777

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Wing Commander was a cinematic. The entire series had really good cinematic features, especially with Prophecy and it drew you into the world.

Man, I wish they remade that game with Mark Hamil and Malcolm McDowell again.
 

pigwalk

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ValeX said:
..i liked how Half Life 2 pulled this off nicely, you were part of the dialog, you could walk around and do what you please while the "cinematic" was happening, it made it seem MUCH more immersive than skipping to a cut-scene and letting you watch what some represenatation of you did.

What's so realistic and immersive about walking around and throwing boxes in the air while a old black scientists is trying to tell you about the near end of the world?

If they smacked you in the face for not paying attention then maybe yeah.

-wil
 

DudeItsMe

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Just make them skippable. Problem solved.

I watch every cinematic that has some sort of story behind it, even the ones before Blacklist races in NFS:MW. The ones I don't watch are the ones that are pretty much just scenes of the game (usually when you first load the game, though some games have actual story cinematics here).
 

J-M-E

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Cinematics tie the story line together and make things flow better...

Deal with them for 5 minutes.
 

Stereophile

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J-M-E said:
Cinematics tie the story line together and make things flow better...

Deal with them for 5 minutes.


5 minutes is fine.

I just hate POS games like MGS:2 where half the game is cinematics.
 

LiquidX

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J-M-E said:
Cinematics tie the story line together and make things flow better...

Deal with them for 5 minutes.

I agree. I think it adds to the game especially in the MGS series. Next thing you know people are going to be asking for no story just action all through. "If I wanted a story I would read a book".
 

xenogears

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Cinematics tell the story better. Games like Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 are awesome in the way they use it. More games should be like that, but unfortunately, most games lack a compelling story these days.
 

Oline61

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Some cinematics are acceptable, like in Doom 3 where you usually get a few second cenematic introduction when you meet a new monster. I also don't mind cinematic openings to games like in Quake 4 or Half Life 2.

I haven't played any games where cinematics are overused or ruin the game.
 

Master Bob

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ValeX said:
The whole point of a game is so that the player is LIVING the cinematic, not just watching it....i liked how Half Life 2 pulled this off nicely, you were part of the dialog, you could walk around and do what you please while the "cinematic" was happening, it made it seem MUCH more immersive than skipping to a cut-scene and letting you watch what some represenatation of you did.......i think the traditional cut-scene should be removed completely from games and replaced with the actual event happening while you're still the character and still have control of him/her. Just my 2 cents.


ValeX
I like this idea. A cinematic camera mode could be used in this and then you can move around and such. And even elave the room altogether. I haven't played HF2, but it sounds good.
 

Neurofreeze

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Stereophile said:
5 minutes is fine.

I just hate POS games like MGS:2 where half the game is cinematics.


People talk smack about the FF franchise for having too much cinematics a lot, although when all is said and done if you add up the seconds of cinematics they have it really isn't a lot compared to how long the game is. It doesn't even make up half a percent of the hours of gameplay.

I think the majority of people finally realized that when MGS2 came out and some of the speeches rivaled Strom Thurmond's 1957 civil rights fillibuster speech (it literally lasted 24 hours by the way, and is the record holder for the longest Senate floor speech, if I remember correctly he read most of Gone With the Wind aloud).

ValeX said:
The whole point of a game is so that the player is LIVING the cinematic, not just watching it....i liked how Half Life 2 pulled this off nicely, you were part of the dialog, you could walk around and do what you please while the "cinematic" was happening, it made it seem MUCH more immersive than skipping to a cut-scene and letting you watch what some represenatation of you did.......i think the traditional cut-scene should be removed completely from games and replaced with the actual event happening while you're still the character and still have control of him/her. Just my 2 cents.


ValeX

The problem with interactive dialogues like that is that it severely limits cinematic direction, and most of the time it comes off as having a fly-on-the-wall feel; you're just buzzing around while stuff is happening.
 

twyztyr

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If I'm playing a game, it's because I want to play a game. If I want to watch a movie, I'll watch a fucking movie.
 

Tiny

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Master Bob said:
I personally believe cinematics SHOULD Not be the main focus of the game, but rather a sumplement to further immerse the player into the game. Once cinematics become vital for a game, they have gone too far. The gameplay should be able to speak for itself.

You just eliminated almost the enitre Japanese game development teams.
 

Cadaver

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I used to find game cinematics interesting. However, this was in the days when it was a good quality method of communicating stories. These days, technology and software has progressed to the point when all dramatic arcs and emotion can be conveyed through the gaming engine itself. I see no need for cinematics that remove the player from the world the developers are painstakingly trying to create.
 

mr.fishie

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I love cinematics but if they detract from the gameplay then it's bad. But there are many games that pull it off nicely, but most dont.
 

Michael.R

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Cinematics are awsome.

I just cant understand how people dont like them.

Cinematics can be used very effectively and will make a game that much more enjoyable to me. Some people say that cinematics dont add to the gameplay but honestly that isnt all that true. After watching a cinematic maybe the player feels that much more attached to his charachters and allies, maybe he will try everything in his power to keep them alive, or maybe it one of the cinematics that makes the player jump out of his seat yelling fucking right and just get that much more involved in a game.

Cinematics are a way of keeping people that much more hooked to a game.

The game has to also play very well to support cinematics but the cinematics just add that much more desire to play the game and get the next bit of story. Games now days arent just about the game play. Everyone likes a good story and I think its time for people to expect that a game with a story isnt a bad thing. I cry when I see hyped up games ruined by poor music, poor story and poor cinematics. Everyone complains about how their is no innovation in the games industry and yet when designers start wanting to put these really awsome stories with grade A cinematics, charachter development along with kick ass gameplay people complain. I just done understand it sometimes.

So what do I say to the people that compain they didnt buy a game to go from one cinematic to another? Grow up. If you dont want to watch a cinematic then dont. It is there for the people that want to watch it but not for the people who dont. So skip it. If you just want to run around shooting things, moving your boxes or whatever you are doing in your game then do it, dont watch a cinematic. But dont come crying to me because you dont understand what you are supposed to do in the next level. Cinematics arent just for advancing story they also advance the gameplay. And if you are able to skip the cinematic it is a good idea for the designers to have like a checklist thing on the start menu for objectives.

And what you complain you gave them 50 dollars to watch a shitty ass movie? WTF then play the game and dont watch the cinematics. But ohh wait you cant. Is something wrong here. I need to watch the cinematics to play the game but I dont want to. Yes something seems wrong with that to me. They should be a way for the people who dont want to watch the cinematics to understand new objectives, and goals And while I remember I have seen so many games with great potential for story lines and they are somewhat ruined. That small percentage of your dev budget that has a big overall impact on the end quality of the game.

And another thing cinematics and story do not have to make a game linear. I dont understand where this comes from.

And I cant believe he just said this.
"When you put a story with a beginning and ending into your game, you are in fact putting an artificial lifespan on your game. Once the story is done, the likelihood of someone playing the game again is low."
I probably have played Halo 20 times beginning to end. I have played Goldeneye more then 20 times beginning to end. Game can have a lot of replayability. The story does not define replayability. It is up to the designers to create a vast amount of ways of completing an objective. You say you dont like linear games, well that is a gameplay thing just as much as a cinematic thing. OMG I just cant even type anymore im so frustrated with this.

Ok so then he brings up GTA. Umm that has a story and it is most defintly not confined as far as replayability goes. Sure its genre caters more towards replayability but look at how many ways there are to complete objectives. Why cant the same be done for a FPS, or a platformer?

You dont need to cancel a good story to have an immerssive environment either. I dont understand where this comes from. The games industry is a little wierd sometimes, I dont know costs but im sure that it isnt working as efficiently as it could be, as smart with its money as it could be, or as inovative as it could be. Hell I have seen pictures of the EA office building in Canada and it looks awsome. But they cant afford to publish a innovative game. They can however afford to spend a couple million on furniture and extra crap that is irrelevant to getting the end product out. Maybe it adds that extra motivation to the team, maybe not. But im sure EA could be a little smarter with their money. And I dont mean to single EA out like this because I hate bashing EA, so the same goes for many companies.

I dont mind real time cinematics that involve you either but I think Half Life 2 did a poor job with this. Cinematics can be done so many ways and I dont think designers have really understood how to properly create cinematics and a story that firts perfectly with the game yet. But the gameplay should always come first.

Anyways this has got me very frustrated and im sure it will generate a lot of crits but whatever.
 

steviep

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Resident Evil 4 (well, the Gamecube version) had real-time cinematics that not only looked like they were CGI, they involved YOU in them (button pressing, timing certain things, generally keeping you paying attention!). That game was a PRIME example of how to properly do cinematics.

I can stomach cinematics here and there, but they often do bore me when they are excessive (certain series' mentioned here do fall into that category). I love stories in games, but sometimes, enough is enough!
 

maddad

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In some games cinematic's are very good and well thoght out , A lot of work , time and money goes in to making them .

I think that thay tie some games togethe very nice but in others thay just make you wanna flick past .

The time , effort and money should be spent more on developing the actual game's .
The option to turn them off should be in the settings of all games that have them , That way you the gamer can choose .

Maddad :D
 

Master Bob

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Michael.R said:
And I cant believe he just said this.
I probably have played Halo 20 times beginning to end. I have played Goldeneye more then 20 times beginning to end. Game can have a lot of replayability. The story does not define replayability. It is up to the designers to create a vast amount of ways of completing an objective.
I haven't played Halo 20 times begining to end. The thing is with a begining and an end, the game forces me to go in certain directions. I rememebr initially playing Halo for the 2nd time I would explore . . sometimes I could go places, other times I'd just reach a dead end. Eventually the number of dead-ends ended and I stopped exploring.
Now with GTA, I drove around for the feel of going fast. Also did that in NFSU2, cause going fast=blurr effects which were cool. I think the replayability for games of GTA is a lot mroe than Halo, in terms of sp. With GTA I go where I want to do what I want. In halo I kill where they tell me to, I am a machine.
 

Gob

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It depends, you can go nuts like in MSG, or you could, you know, do it WELL, like in HL2
 

Isaacav2

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Master Bob said:
I was reading this article and it got me thinking. What's the true purpose of a game? Is it to entertain someone, draw them into an alternate reality? Whats the best way to go about doing this, Create a compelete story system with cinematics, or let the gameplay speak for its self?

I personally believe cinematics SHOULD Not be the main focus of the game, but rather a sumplement to further immerse the player into the game. Once cinematics become vital for a game, they have gone too far. The gameplay should be able to speak for itself.


FF7 had GREAT cinematics. FF10 was the uber crappiness.

SSSPPPRRRIIITTEESSS BBEEYYYAAACCHHHH!!!!!!
 

Luke_Skywalker

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ValeX said:
The whole point of a game is so that the player is LIVING the cinematic, not just watching it....i liked how Half Life 2 pulled this off nicely, you were part of the dialog, you could walk around and do what you please while the "cinematic" was happening, it made it seem MUCH more immersive than skipping to a cut-scene and letting you watch what some represenatation of you did.......i think the traditional cut-scene should be removed completely from games and replaced with the actual event happening while you're still the character and still have control of him/her. Just my 2 cents.


ValeX


Um that would only make sense if every aspect of the story occured where you where.
 

Luke_Skywalker

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Stereophile said:
5 minutes is fine.

I just hate POS games like MGS:2 where half the game is cinematics.
Then don't play the game if every game was designed the same exact way it would suck.
 

Luke_Skywalker

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Master Bob said:
I was reading this article and it got me thinking. What's the true purpose of a game? Is it to entertain someone, draw them into an alternate reality? Whats the best way to go about doing this, Create a compelete story system with cinematics, or let the gameplay speak for its self?

I personally believe cinematics SHOULD Not be the main focus of the game, but rather a sumplement to further immerse the player into the game. Once cinematics become vital for a game, they have gone too far. The gameplay should be able to speak for itself.


It's all about what the designer wants if you want to make a game and a series have a great story then having some way of telling it is a must. Ingame cutscenes aren't always going work because the story won't always take place where you are, the story may be linked tot he past present or future or on another side of the world. Also using an in game engine won't work some times because some of the elements of the story might be too graphically intense or look like shit using the gameplay engine. A good example of this is ff7 where if they would have tried using the in game engine to tell the story it wouldn't have had they same impact it did. From the opening scene in ff7 to the death of aeries the cutscenes put the player in the world.
 

Gob

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Luke_Skywalker said:
Then don't play the game if every game was designed the same exact way it would suck.
So you agree that the cutscenes in that game were ridiculous, especially because even if you missed one 2 minute one, the rest of the game would make no sense?
 

Luke_Skywalker

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Gob said:
So you agree that the cutscenes in that game were ridiculous, especially because even if you missed one 2 minute one, the rest of the game would make no sense?
No because thats how the designers wanted to make the game, if you don't like it don't play it. I don't like strategy games so i don't play them. I don't say they suck just because i don't like them though. There is a type of game for each person out there so play what kind you like.
 

pigwalk

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Having a mute/emotionless main character is NOT my idea of total immersion at all.

Escape from Butcher Bay is MUCH more immersive than any of the recent big name FPS BECAUSE Riddick speaks, comments and boasts. Also because of the 3rd person actions he takes, such as climbing, health stations, climbing into vehicles, picking up bodies.

In HL2 when you're opening a door, a button press and voila. You're pressing a lever and it moves without a hand letting off your weapon. Shooting your name into the walls while Dr Vance is speaking to you is not very immersive, nor is ducking behind Alyx and zooming in on her ass without her reacting (yes, I've seen people do both).

Great game nonetheless, but imho very far from totally immersive. Indigo Prophecy, I've only played the demo but that was more in the right direction than most FPS's go.

-wil
 

the gamer

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ValeX said:
The whole point of a game is so that the player is LIVING the cinematic, not just watching it....i liked how Half Life 2 pulled this off nicely, you were part of the dialog, you could walk around and do what you please while the "cinematic" was happening, it made it seem MUCH more immersive than skipping to a cut-scene and letting you watch what some represenatation of you did.......i think the traditional cut-scene should be removed completely from games and replaced with the actual event happening while you're still the character and still have control of him/her. Just my 2 cents.


ValeX
I agree.

Just wish HL2 had teh first person view like FEAR like when u can see your hands and feet, that should be in every FPS game.
 

Chris_Morley

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Clive Owen was great in Privateer 2.

...just thought I'd throw that out there.
 

DukenukemX

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ValeX said:
The whole point of a game is so that the player is LIVING the cinematic, not just watching it....i liked how Half Life 2 pulled this off nicely, you were part of the dialog, you could walk around and do what you please while the "cinematic" was happening, it made it seem MUCH more immersive than skipping to a cut-scene and letting you watch what some represenatation of you did.......i think the traditional cut-scene should be removed completely from games and replaced with the actual event happening while you're still the character and still have control of him/her. Just my 2 cents.


ValeX
QFT
 

Stereophile

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Luke_Skywalker said:
Then don't play the game if every game was designed the same exact way it would suck.



MGS:2 sucked.

Tasteful cinematics to build story is fine.

When literally half the time you spend playing a game is wasted watching incredibly poor
B rate garbage that you can't skip, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I notice you're the only one defending that abomination of a movie, I mean game.

The thread topic is are cinematics ruining games ? I can think of no better example. :rolleyes:
 

NulloModo

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Properly used cinematics can do a lot to increase the emotional impact of a game.

Can anyone who is into RPGs really say they didn't feel a chill when the cutscene of Sephiroth walking through the burning town came up? Or gasp when you see him run his sword through Aeris?

I like games that use Anime cutscenes a lot too, the PS1 Lunar remakes are prime examples of how this can be done really well.

Also, games that use cinematics as bonuses are fun... Christie's movie at the end of DOA4 anyone?
 

Blown 89

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I think Cinematics make the game. I'm much more in to the game if there's a story to follow and so far all of the cinematics I've seen in games set up the stories nicely.

The only game that the cinematics got on my nerves was F.E.A.R and Most Wanted.
 

Master Bob

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Luke_Skywalker said:
It's all about what the designer wants if you want to make a game and a series have a great story then having some way of telling it is a must. Ingame cutscenes aren't always going work because the story won't always take place where you are, the story may be linked tot he past present or future or on another side of the world. Also using an in game engine won't work some times because some of the elements of the story might be too graphically intense or look like shit using the gameplay engine. A good example of this is ff7 where if they would have tried using the in game engine to tell the story it wouldn't have had they same impact it did. From the opening scene in ff7 to the death of aeries the cutscenes put the player in the world.
Designers ddesign games to be sold. Its not art. If the consumer doesn't like cinematics than cinematics would be gone.

Also, in most games YOU are the main character, a lot of the stuff should occur near you and such.
 
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