Leave Me The F**k Alone

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Can someone please edit the final panel with some grainy black and white and the words "Oh god I can see into forever"?

VanQ:
I'm looking at you . . . every . . . Final Fantasy ever.

Actually, it's really only with Final Fantasy XIII that the game started actively taking your control away from the cool points. X and XII had it to a small extent, but most of the combat and whatnot was still "Cut-scene introduces bad guy, battle starts" as opposed to XIII's method of "cut-scene introduces bad guy or generic mooks, party mows down the enemies while cut-scene plays and player watches". Though I suppose things like the chase sequence at the beginning of Final Fantasy IX could technically apply as well, I don't classify that on the same level as Metal Gear Solid or Devil May Cry, where despite everything being rendered with the in-game engine, the characters are magically much more nimble and adept during cut-scenes.

OT: I think there's a fine balance that can be struck in being "cinematic" in games, but most developers completely miss the subtlety and fly off the handle with it.

VanQ:
I actually think Tomb Raider 2013 managed to hit a good middle ground with this. They gave the player control while keeping the action and explosions in your line of sight. And when they did take control away, it was for a short amount of time and usually came right after a rather mashy quicktime event to give you a slight reprieve.

I think when used right, taking away a bit of control for a small amount of time can be nice. It's just when overused or poorly used that it becomes a less of a game and more of a movie. Even worse is when the characters you're playing get to do way more cool stuff like surfing on their swords to kill demons or having awesome aerial battles or just do stuff you never get to do. I'm looking at you MGS4 and every Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy ever.

Same here. I feel like this comic is a direct response to Tomb Raider's scripted camera shifts and character animations, which is one of my favorite parts of the game. The fact that the way Lara climbs or walks or runs or jumps changes depending on her surroundings helps the game feel more cinematic in a good way. There were parts of the game where I couldn't tell if I was still controlling her or if the game had taken control, and making something like that so seamless was absolutely brilliant.

Simply not ripping the camera away from the player doesn't make it right. It has to be done correctly. If you are consistently missing parts of the game because you're looking the wrong way means poor level design. When the player is constantly progressing forward, set pieces should also be placed.... in front of you.

I would agree with this comic, except in the case of Bioshock, where one instance of removing control from the player was in the service of the narrative, in a scene that is frankly one of the most powerful in any game I've ever played.

OfficialJab:

Zykon TheLich:
This comic could really have done with a Clockwork Orange reference in the last panel.

Just would have confused more than half the readers, and we would need to spend the entire thread explaining it to them. The references they do put in the comic almost always have the same effect.

But...but... I want to see Erin with bits of wire in here eyes...the Hellraiser comic has turned me into a sickening monster that feeds on the pain and misery of others.

image

This. This so much. Why can't game developers grasp this? It's just so obvious!

I think it's necessary to reference Assassin's Creed 2 here, where the game gave the player control of the cutscenes, but only during certain quick time events. I missed a hug from Leonardo Da Vinci for that.

In fact, cinematic moments when I'm actually supposed to do something typically go bad for me. Like in Gears of War 2, I found out that you could lose the final boss battle, to the disbelief of my friends. And in Spec-Ops: The Line, I missed the guy I was supposed to execute, making it especially awkward at the end. If a game wants me to play by its rules, I'd prefer that it took control away from me, so I don't fuck it up like I have so many times before. But if the game lets me do things my own way, then I believe in having complete control.

OfficialJab:

Zykon TheLich:
This comic could really have done with a Clockwork Orange reference in the last panel.

Just would have confused more than half the readers, and we would need to spend the entire thread explaining it to them. The references they do put in the comic almost always have the same effect.

I actually came in here just to post this.
image

"Get out of our way and let us make a movie!"

This is exactly how I felt, when I played Uncharted 3.

You have to walk in this part, cuz it's a slow moment! Running ability removed!
You don't need to shoot anything here. Shooting ability removed!
Don't die or you'll interrupt all the in-game dialogue and our cool story!

Every 5 minutes they were yanking control away from me and forcing me to play the way they wanted, not how I wanted.

I want to start on cutscenes; they are not the same as this at all.

A Cutscene is an obvious shift in focus - in older games, you could tell it's a cutscene because the graphics quality jumped through the roof (or in REALLY old games, arguably went through the floor).

The point is that a cutscenes stops play to run a pre-scripted sequence. This is very different to having all control removed whilst still being in game mode.

Assassin's Creed 3 is the one I saw most recently; the ship missions often turn the camera to face a new enemy, or big cinematic moment, with no consideration to the player's desire. You know, Ubisoft, telling me that there are enemies to port was more than sufficient. Had you not effectively turned off my TV screen for 30 seconds I would not only have spotted them myself, but I wouldn't have crashed my ship into the cliffs.

The most important thing for a game to do is convince us to pick up the controller and play it. The most retarded thing a game can do is take that controller off us once we've started.

This reminds me of Egoraptor's 'Yeah I Get It' graph.

I miss the days when we were allowed to figure things out for ourselves. Then again, I absolutely do not miss the days of Turok 2's 'where in the name of Christ am I supposed to go this level is huge and I can't see shit' approach.

bafrali:

But at least it doesn't pretend to be gameplay or have you in control. Whether efficient or not, I find them at least honest to the player about what they are.

Yes, they honestly don't care that they are completely ignoring the medium in favor of creating an excuse to shove a bad $60 movie at you.

grigjd3:

bafrali:

But at least it doesn't pretend to be gameplay or have you in control. Whether efficient or not, I find them at least honest to the player about what they are.

Yes, they honestly don't care that they are completely ignoring the medium in favor of creating an excuse to shove a bad $60 movie at you.

Now this is hyperbole and you know it. Completely ignore the medium? Did you play MGS before? I assure you that the franchise is more in depth and refined in its gameplay than most of the "proper" games are whatever they are. Please take a closer look before dismissing something as garbage.

I find it annoying when people talk over films, let alone telling me to watch what I'm ALREADY WATCHING! At work I go into the staff room at lunch and usually I don't mind talking to others that are in there but, if it's empty, I use the time to read a book. When people come in I say hi but most people leave me to the book but there's one guy who will talk to me anyway and it's really annoying when the book's getting good and he's trying to make small talk.

Jodah:

Smilomaniac:
Golden middle way. Just don't overdo it.

I'm reminded of Bulletstorm which has a load of different locked viewpoint ingame cutscenes, typically where you're falling. I like them. While they're not intellectual deep thought scenarios, you see what the intent with the scene was.
If you're free falling for a short period and you have free mouse movement, you're bound to just flail around until you hit the ground and not see anything.
In Bulletstorm it plays more like a proper action movie and I for one feel more immersed.
(Ignoring a shit ton of other bad stuff in the game, it's just an example).

I have a question though. Isn't it pretty damn obvious which games will have them or not?

Another thing Bulletstorm did right in that respect is the "push a button to view this nonsense or just keep going" thing.

They do the same thing in High Moon Studios' Transformers games. At some points in a level, you can press the Select or Back button to have the camera focus on some character or something in the background, because your objectives involve them somehow.

It depends on the cut scene, sometimes they work well as area transitions and such, or for specific plot moments, but for the most part they do tend to be overdone. I tend to feel that if there is a chance of us missing something cool without the developers taking control of the camera, they are doing things wrong. Simply put if they make a cool explosion and I miss it, that typically means they didn't make it cool enough for me to notice or care, their bad. Not to mention that a lot of this stuff is kind of yawn-worthy, big explosions being one of those examples since simply put I've seen so many cool explosions nowadays where I expect them, and don't consider them a major highlight.

What's more I find it ironic when they turn the camera to show cinematic destruction, having your character typically turn around basically. Especially seeing as IRL most people would want to shield their face from this kind of thing.

That said if someone does another video game parody at some point, it might be amusing to have a bit where as a joke your macho-marine puts explosives in a base, runs out side, turns around to set them off and see the explosion and the last thing they "see" is a bunch of shrapnel hitting them in the face and poking out their eyes. You know "reality meets fantasy". Of course doing that "right" in a game and having it continue would be tricky.... of course I suppose they could always have the game pull a "Bill The Galactic Hero" schtick and have the character get increasingly mismatched replacement parts from the military due to mishaps at the game moves on. :)

I'm probably alone in thinking a game where someone gets mauled for behaving like a video game character usually does (but continues to survive) would be amusing though.

OMG You missed such a great opportunity in the last panel and you were so close to doing it! The "dev" should have been holding Erin's eyelids open with his fingers so that she physically couldn't stop watching. It would look weird but it would definitely fit the manic nature of the dev character.

Fuck YOOOUUU Walking Dead!

My god, BioWare and David Cage have combined into one.

kailus13:
It's preferable to missing stuff simply because you weren't looking in the right direction at the time.

Part of my love for video games is playing them a second time and finding new things.

Games that hand me everything ruin the experience for me :/.

I wonder if everyone will forget the big graphical claims of the PS2 and PS3 that were a bunch of BS and see through everything this year

Robetid:
I get irritated when they hold my hand to teach me how to play the game (I often skip tutorials and learn as i go if it's an option), but the game is unplayable when they hold my hand the entire game.

How the hell is a tutorial in the beginning of a game that teaches the player what the controls do equal to "hand-holding"? So a person is expected to play a game they've never played before without knowing how to play it, what the rules are, and what they need to do to try and win? Because if you've played it, then everybody on the planet Earth must have played it, right?

Y'know, I never really understood the need for cutscenes. I mean, if the game is an interface for the player to control the player-character in the game's story, then why is the player being forced to lose control, but not the player-character? It's almost as if the p-c has developed a brain, central nervous system, and kidneys of his/her/its/? own, and wrested control of its own fate, for a brief period of time.

A far better method, in my opinion, is the one used in the Half-life series (and Portal, I believe) where the player is in control of the character at all times, everything is rendered ingame, and the only times you actually lose control are reasonable instances-like the pc being knocked out, or held up by physical restraints, which therefore make control moot anyway.

Of course, I could be reading far more into this than I ought, but hey, what do I know?

goliath6711:

Robetid:
I get irritated when they hold my hand to teach me how to play the game (I often skip tutorials and learn as i go if it's an option), but the game is unplayable when they hold my hand the entire game.

How the hell is a tutorial in the beginning of a game that teaches the player what the controls do equal to "hand-holding"? So a person is expected to play a game they've never played before without knowing how to play it, what the rules are, and what they need to do to try and win? Because if you've played it, then everybody on the planet Earth must have played it, right?

He was referring to games that never drop out of hand-holding. And yes, Tutorials are kinda necessary for introducing a new player to the controls, but there are good and bad ways to do them. A quick flash of the button you are supposed to press is a good way. Repeating the instructions two or three times is not.

Pinkamena:
I actually came in here just to post this.
image

Ouch, that makes my eyes water just looking at it...

OT: Yeah, I've never understood this practise in games. The Half-Life series commendably avoids this, since you're in control at all times, but that does mean you can jump around like a lunatic swinging your crowbar while you're being told things of vital importance.
Captcha: Bet on Cheltenham at Betfair. Dammit; when did captchas become adverts?

And this is why I liked some of the Alma free-move scenes from Fear 2. Hell the 1 in the nuclear silo I walked up to that swing then looked over my right shoulder when she said "I love him" and found her staring at me in the face palm distance away, that ripped a pretty good scream from my throat. Now if I had the same moment as a cutscene it would have been no where near as scary, being rail-roaded to that position, there would have been tension and I probably would have jumped but no soul searing terror.

Kinda funny how many people in this thread think that game devs "don't get it". They get it just fine. They get it a lot better than you do. They know that player freedom is extraordinarily time consuming to code for, requires huge amounts of testing, is near-impossible to make narratively coherent, and often results in bugs galore. See: every open world RPG ever.

Can't say I agree. Sure, there are games that use this techinique to annoying levels. And there's room for games that don't do it at all. But 'every game should just keep the view where you want to look at all times'? If it is plot relevant, I don't mind releasing control for a few seconds.

There was a game, I think it was Crysis or Crysis 2, that had a decent compromise. If something scripted happened, an eye symbol with a button indicator appeared in bottom of the screen. You could press the button to automatically look at whatever was happening, or ignore it.

How I feel everytime a cutscene begins in Farcry 3. Like, I live to jump around and crouch like a maniac during boring expository dialogue.

A sidenote, but from the title, I was hoping this would be about "enhanced single player" that developers (well, publishers) seem to be forcing for many games nowadays.

JUST LET ME PLAY AND LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE. I don't care about highscores and sharing with friends in my single player game, dammit. Some of Nintendo's Wii U games are guilty of being extremely annoying about 'sharing.'

That said, this version is just as effective.

Nice visual metaphor.
I still subscribe to the "Flashing Applause Sign" metaphor myself.

3 cheers for Valve.

Also, I kinda liked the way ME3 let you press a button to turn and look at whatever was going on without taking control away from you.

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