Talking is replacing cutscenes

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I'm noticing a trend. Characters talking and talking and talking about prior events you weren't there for. You don't engage in the story anymore. The tapes in Metal Gear Solid V, Gone Home, Echo, Hellblade, Dear Esther, much of the new Tomb Raiders (including the entire Croft Manor DLC). Either developers have become lazy or they've come to believe this is the artsy, interactive way to do it now. One of the reasons I was engaged by Nier: Automata is because it was so gamey with its storytelling, using a combination of cutscenes, talking while moving, dialogue boxes/options and minigames. I find it hard to pay attention to characters just drone on endlessly while I play.

I swear to god we should just create a general thread that says "New things Ezekiel thinks about gaming" because we have 6 threads on the same page started by OT

Yeah, I don't mind so long as what's being said adds to the story and characters. The best writing in The Last of Us were the small in-game conversations between Joel and Ellie. And so long activating a conversation doesn't hamper your actions, which is what Uncharted 4 unfortunately did.

Though the reason I didn't bother with Hellblade was because the main character seemed to be constantly talking, and about actions you needed to perform at that. Seemingly never letting the player insert their own brain into the game, so to speak.

Because the words "cinematic" & "cutscene" became bad words within gaming. There was quite a push that were of the opinion that games should tell the entire story through gameplay because games are superior to other mediums and shouldn't use such lazy storytelling methods from other mediums. "I want to play a game, not watch a movie." Games like Half-Life and Bioshock were used as examples. [sarcasm]Because being able to move my character around a room as an NPC talking is just so riveting!!![/sarcasm] Then, so many games copied the Bioshock audio diaries because Bioshock was so acclaimed for not using cutscenes. Then, the Souls series was put up on some pedestal for storytelling because reading item descriptions to tell a story is better than a cutscene I guess.

Games have the ability to use literally every storytelling technique from any medium along with creating new methods only games can utilize. Other mediums have been around far longer than video games, I think they know a thing or two about how to tell a story. Games should use whatever is the best technique to convey a scene whether it be an item description, a cutscene, gameplay itself, audio diary, dialog while traveling, etc. Audio diaries worked in Bioshock. The character bonding of characters through gameplay in a Team ICO game works wonderfully. However, those methods are not the best way to tell every story. Games shouldn't limit themselves to only using methods that are deemed "appropriate" for gaming. Cutscenes are only bad when they are improperly used just like any other method.

I actually like cutscenes. I look forward to them in games like Dynasty Warriors, neat little cinematic breaks. Sometimes the walk and talk is good...but I do actually agree it is getting a bit much, cause really it adds alot of tedium that is not needed. For one, its annoying when you cannot move the SAME speed as the NPC. You walk to slow, run too fast. I liked Red Dead's magnetic NPCs where you just hold like, the A button and walk with them.

Cutscenes should not be more than maybe 5 minutes, unless its major, but atleast they let you get up or even just put the controller down, a break in the action, even if the cutscene is action packed.

The problem is games like to follow trends rather than be balanced.

Is it though? Is it really?

Its a fad, cutscenes will come back and there will be a mix of "interactive" and cutscene storytelling. Its just following the trend.

Something becomes popular and replaces a prior way of doing things. People wonder why it was ever done the old way. The new way starts to become oversaturated and annoying. A group starts to ask if things weren't better when done the old way. It becomes vogue and "retro" to use the old method on some new project... And then everyone starts to do it that way.

Eventually some kind of equilibrium will be reached. I look toward a resurgence of cutscenes before that equilibrium will be reached here.

Oh, bullshit.

Games made on a budget just use it to keep things affordable. You just listed four indie games that couldn't afford fancy cutscenes and a big budget game with a development process so troubled it didn't get an ending (or so I'm told, never finished it myself).

No idea what you're talking about with the new Tomb Raider games. They have cutscenes aplenty.

I'm at the point where if a game tells me to find tapes to discover a world's non-essential back story I tell it to fuck right off, but if it's crucial I don't mind the hunt for it. I like all the different ways of doing it but I think GTA does it best- cutscenes for the super important stuff, and characters just chatting during gameplay for worldbuilding and fleshing out the characters.

I don't notice that trend and find most games still very cutscene heavy. The only AAA games on your list are MGS5 and Tomb Raider and I think indies/low budget don't count as they don't have money for cutsenes anyway. I only played the first Tomb Raider reboot and can't remember either a lack or abundance of cutscenes which is usually a good thing. With MGS5 they were definitely cutting some corners with the audio tapes which is a shame b/c you notice there are hints of a classic MGS narrative hidden there, somewhere.

Not a fan of long cutscenes but I notice often they are the product of overexposition. Like with Horizon Zero Dawn those oily rubber dolls prattle on and on about their tribal drama and I'm like ''shut uuuup, I don't give a shit'' to the point I end up skipping the cutscenes entirely. On the other end of the spectrum are games with immersive storylines like Witcher 3, Yakuza and Persona. They have long cutscenes but I don't mind as the stories are fun and engaging and the writing generally good.

The problem with cutscene heavy games is that you start to partially judge them like you would a movie. So the story becomes more important. And if you don't like the story you end up not liking the cutscenes and vice versa. While in a game with little to no cutscenes story is much less of an issue. Games can still have a good story without cutscenes(think Souls/Bloodborne) but you're not skipping large pieces of the content if you don't pay attention to it.

Zhukov:
Oh, bullshit.

Games made on a budget just use it to keep things affordable. You just listed four indie games that couldn't afford fancy cutscenes and a big budget game with a development process so troubled it didn't get an ending (or so I'm told, never finished it myself).

No idea what you're talking about with the new Tomb Raider games. They have cutscenes aplenty.

There are more. A lot of first person games do this too.

The Zeno Clash games were cheaply made indie games. They have cutscenes. They're not very realistic looking cutscenes, but they're more engaging than just talking.

Ico wasn't that expensive a game, but it used its environments, gameplay and cutscenes to tell a minimalist story that kept me interested enough.

I'd even rather take something like the cheap flash cartoons of The Witcher over long, pictureless in-game monologues of those prior events.

Limbo and Inside's pure gameplay and environmental storytelling also interests me. I would have hated if they were full of audio logs and journals.

L4D lacks cutscenes, but the simplistic story is told through level design and events. What the characters talk about is mostly relevant to what's in the environment. They're not droning on about the past.

PapaGreg096:
I swear to god we should just create a general thread that says "New things Ezekiel thinks about gaming" because we have 6 threads on the same page started by OT

He never make many threads on GT back in days.

anyways on topic.

the cutscene if its no long, not full of QTEs, not unskippable is fine. talking and dialouges can get very boring. see witcher 3. too much talk talk talk. feel like a talking simulator.

Ezekiel:
The tapes in Metal Gear Solid V...

I'm sorry, but that has no business in your OP, based on the titles premise. MGSV has oodles of cut scenes. Absurd, stupid, brain torturing cut scenes that were probably used in Guantanamo Bay to extra intel from terrorist.

Perhaps you forgot them because you skipped them all, something I would hold against no man because Christ, I sure as hell wanted to.

As for other games, its probably a mixture of cost, the current trend, and the fact that ingame engine graphics have gotten so good that it hardly seems worth the effort to wrench the camera away from the player and prerender something.

DefunctTheory:

Ezekiel:
The tapes in Metal Gear Solid V...

I'm sorry, but that has no business in your OP, based on the titles premise. MGSV has oodles of cut scenes. Absurd, stupid, brain torturing cut scenes that were probably used in Guantanamo Bay to extra intel from terrorist.

Perhaps you forgot them because you skipped them all, something I would hold against no man because Christ, I sure as hell wanted to.

As for other games, its probably a mixture of cost, the current trend, and the fact that ingame engine graphics have gotten so good that it hardly seems worth the effort to wrench the camera away from the player and prerender something.

As much as I appreciated them, that would be meta as fuck since Ground Zeroes took place there, or at least a version of it with the serial numbers filed off :p

I usually find cutscenes an annoying break from gameplay, so having a handler, audio log, or narrator prattle in my ear is still preferable to having to stop and watch the game play itself. I think devs area bit too reliant on them to dole out backstory (just why are there so many giant novelty record players lying behind a stack of steam pipes in a sea base?) but used in moderation they really work well - especially if the talking is reactive: Part of the reason Firewatch is good is that it enables you to answer back to the person talking, whilst doing other stuff.

Anything that replaces cut scenes is a god send. Fuck Metal Gear.

I like cutscenes that are done well, and integrated seamlessly into the gameplay. Naughty Dog pretty much perfected this, and God of War sounds like it will go even further as impossible as it sounds, by eliminating the "cuts" altogether.

I don't mind the tapes in MGSV because they provide detailed backstory for more fans and I can listen to them while doing other things in game, like the music. No need for them all to be cutscenes.

stroopwafel:
Not a fan of long cutscenes but I notice often they are the product of overexposition. Like with Horizon Zero Dawn those oily rubber dolls prattle on and on about their tribal drama and I'm like ''shut uuuup, I don't give a shit'' to the point I end up skipping the cutscenes entirely. On the other end of the spectrum are games with immersive storylines like Witcher 3, Yakuza and Persona. They have long cutscenes but I don't mind as the stories are fun and engaging and the writing generally good.

Can't you pretty much pick and choose what you want to say in H:ZD? If you don't want to listen to the characters talk you can just choose the confirmation option like in The Witcher 3 and be on your way. I prefer the characters from Yakuza to those of H:ZD, but in that game I need to listen to what's being said, including 10 minute long dialoge sequences about real estate scams.

Casual Shinji:
Can't you pretty much pick and choose what you want to say in H:ZD? If you don't want to listen to the characters talk you can just choose the confirmation option like in The Witcher 3 and be on your way. I prefer the characters from Yakuza to those of H:ZD, but in that game I need to listen to what's being said, including 10 minute long dialoge sequences about real estate scams.

The dialog in Witcher is also 100% skipable if you don't give a shit. Pressing A or Space or whatever your controller is, will skip through the dialog. If you really want to, you can beat TW3 in a couple of hours. That defeats the fucking point, but you can do it.

As for the OP, well he doesn't like games and is clearly missing all the damn cutscenes in most games that still come out today. Gears of War 4 had cutscenes, the Tomb Raiders had tons of cut scenes, MGSV had TONS of cutscenes, Everything is a fucking cutscene. I don't know what he is trying to imply because it's just factually wrong.

CritialGaming:
As for the OP, well he doesn't like games

Oh, shut up.

and is clearly missing all the damn cutscenes in most games that still come out today. Gears of War 4 had cutscenes, the Tomb Raiders had tons of cut scenes, MGSV had TONS of cutscenes, Everything is a fucking cutscene. I don't know what he is trying to imply because it's just factually wrong.

The problem with MGSV is that it had its cutscenes spread out over dozens and dozens of hours of open world monotony. MUCH of the story was in fact told through tapes. So much so that fans were telling people that it's their own fault if they feel there isn't enough story to motivate them if they don't listen to the tapes. Rise of the Tomb Raider had an entire DLC of audio logs and journals. Even in the main game, if you don't read them, you're missing out a lot. They're unrealistic.

Ezekiel:
The problem with MGSV is that it had its cutscenes spread out over dozens and dozens of hours of open world monotony. MUCH of the story was in fact told through tapes. So much so that fans were telling people that it's their own fault if they feel there isn't enough story to motivate them if they don't listen to the tapes. Rise of the Tomb Raider had an entire DLC of audio logs and journals. Even in the main game, if you don't read them, you're missing out a lot. They're unrealistic.

How can you call it one of the best open world games this generation, yet still call it monotonous?

Anyway cutscenes show be spaced out, because when crammed together after brief gameplay moments they quickly loose their welcome. I love the Final Fantasy series for this, because the real cut scenes felt spaced out enough to feel like a reward for getting so far in the game or beating a certain boss. It took a lot of understand for me to get into Final Fantasy X because every fucking step triggered another cut scene.

They need to be used correctly, and too many or too little are equally as bad. Things like audiologs are a nice medium inbetween cut-scenes to still give the player agency without them having to put the controller down.

CritialGaming:

Ezekiel:
The problem with MGSV is that it had its cutscenes spread out over dozens and dozens of hours of open world monotony. MUCH of the story was in fact told through tapes. So much so that fans were telling people that it's their own fault if they feel there isn't enough story to motivate them if they don't listen to the tapes. Rise of the Tomb Raider had an entire DLC of audio logs and journals. Even in the main game, if you don't read them, you're missing out a lot. They're unrealistic.

How can you call it one of the best open world games this generation, yet still call it monotonous?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Ezekiel:
I have no idea what you're talking about.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.1023223-Is-MGS5-best-open-world-game-this-generation

Ezekiel:
I'm struggling to even think of any other good open world games.

While you did say that open world stealth is dumb you admitted to being unable to think of a better open world game. Then you posted a review in which you say you would probably never play MGSV again. It just makes it hard to understand what a game needs to do to appeal to you.

You have another thread about how much you like Max Payne 3 which is FILLED with cutscenes, and then you make this thread about how there aren't cutscenes anymore.

So I dunno dude. Your points don't seem to make sense when they are based on statements that are plainly untrue, so having a discussion about said points isn't really viable. Know what I mean?

Zhukov:
Oh, bullshit.

Games made on a budget just use it to keep things affordable. You just listed four indie games that couldn't afford fancy cutscenes and a big budget game with a development process so troubled it didn't get an ending (or so I'm told, never finished it myself).

No idea what you're talking about with the new Tomb Raider games. They have cutscenes aplenty.

Zhukov. Cutting through the crap since 2009.

CritialGaming:

Ezekiel:
I have no idea what you're talking about.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.1023223-Is-MGS5-best-open-world-game-this-generation

Ezekiel:
I'm struggling to even think of any other good open world games.

While you did say that open world stealth is dumb you admitted to being unable to think of a better open world game. Then you posted a review in which you say you would probably never play MGSV again. It just makes it hard to understand what a game needs to do to appeal to you.

Because I actually struggle to think of other good open world games that I've played this generation. Mad Max was mediocre. Shadow of Mordor was mediocre. The Witcher 3 was goOoOoud? Arkham Knight was a letdown, but still at least a 3/5 if I'm being generous. GTAV was mediocre. Being nearly the best when your competition is mediocre isn't commendable. MGS was better linear. But Kojima is a good game designer, despite some of his daft ideas, which is why I still enjoyed it.

You have another thread about how much you like Max Payne 3 which is FILLED with cutscenes, and then you make this thread about how there aren't cutscenes anymore.

I don't get your point. Max Payne 3 is five years old, and making cinematic games is Rockstar's forte. Personally, I would have preferred more of Max Payne 3 to be told through gameplay, much like in the previous games. But it's fine. At least its cutscenes are better done than most games'.

So I dunno dude. Your points don't seem to make sense when they are based on statements that are plainly untrue, so having a discussion about said points isn't really viable. Know what I mean?

It's selective reasoning on your part. Granted, I do that too. But I don't ignore when games like MGSV are clearly different from previous entries in storytelling.

Ezekiel:
Personally, I would have preferred more of Max Payne 3 to be told through gameplay, much like in the previous games.

Ezekiel:
I'm noticing a trend. Characters talking and talking and talking about prior events you weren't there for. You don't engage in the story anymore. The tapes in Metal Gear Solid V, Gone Home, Echo, Hellblade, Dear Esther, much of the new Tomb Raiders (including the entire Croft Manor DLC). Either developers have become lazy or they've come to believe this is the artsy, interactive way to do it now. One of the reasons I was engaged by Nier: Automata is because it was so gamey with its storytelling, using a combination of cutscenes, talking while moving, dialogue boxes/options and minigames. I find it hard to pay attention to characters just drone on endlessly while I play.

I'm confused again. Are you saying cut scenes are bad, or good? You want them, or don't want them? You see where I'm having a hard time figuring out what the fuck you are on about? This thread is called "talking is replacing cut scenes", yet you aren't actually talking about cut scenes in those first examples, you are talking more about audiolog style storytelling. The Thread title doesn't match the point you are trying to make, which isn't a very defined point to begin with.

You say talking is replacing cut scenes in your title, and people point out that cut scenes are everywhere. Then you state that you'd prefer a cut scene heavy game like Max Payne to have more story told during gameplay, which seems to me that you want more gameplay and less cut scenes?

Let's try this again Ezekiel.

Cut scenes good? Or cut scenes bad?

Ezekiel:

CritialGaming:
You say talking is replacing cut scenes in your title, and people point out that cut scenes are everywhere. Then you state that you'd prefer a cut scene heavy game like Max Payne to have more story told during gameplay, which seems to me that you want more gameplay and less cut scenes?

Let's try this again Ezekiel.

Cut scenes good? Or cut scenes bad?

Because the world isn't black and white. You're asking me to pick an extreme and acting as if I'm mad if I don't. Fuck off with your loaded questions. No one wants Max Payne to be FULL of cutscenes and no one wants it to be BEREFT of them. Your vendetta with me is getting annoying. It's like you're following me.

Fine, if that's how you feel then that's how you feel.

I'm just trying to participate in your discussion topics, but it is hard to do when those topics don't make sense nor is there a point to really start a conversation upon.

But hey, that's fine don't wanna talk about it and have a gaming discussion that's cool. As of now I shall never directly reply to anything you say ever again. Hope it makes you feel better.

Even phoenixMGS, in my many arguments with him, is never this aggressive, asking such loaded, selective questions. Jesus Christ...

PapaGreg096:
I swear to god we should just create a general thread that says "New things Ezekiel thinks about gaming" because we have 6 threads on the same page started by OT

More like "new things Ezekiel complains about in gaming". It seems that anything in games that doesn't fit his tastes is bad design and/or developers being lazy.

OT: What about Bioshock, Portal 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and every game with talked exposition dump ever? I don't see a trend of things changing here. Just games doing what games always do.

Talking and Cutscene are really just to expressions of what is effectively the same technique, that being exposition. And exposition, in basically every single medium, is a crutch, however one that I don't think can always be avoided entirely. Sometime there just is a situation where you have to convey information in a way that doesn't involve the player mechanically. On the other hand it's very easy to become overly reliant on it, because it's such an easy and effortless way to convey information. Rather than building mechanics and visuals around a plotpoint to convey it you just tell the player about it. Or show him. And that's where that certain disconnect comes from.

Metal Gear, as much as I like the series, has always struggled with it. One of the core problems of Metal Gear's storytelling is that too many important events don't actually happen in the games but between them. There could have easily been games between MGS 1 and 2, MGS 2 and 4 or MGS 3 and PW. Instead the games are just telling us about them afterwards which doesn't exactly play to the strenghts of the medium. I'm actually a bit more lenient about the audiotapes in V because... well, let's be honest here, quite a few of them were clearly meant to be cutscenes before the ran out of budget.

But I digress. Thing is, when you need to convey something in a game showing is usually better than telling and letting the player directly participate is usually better than showing. And it's not always possible and sometimes you have to resort to exposition but it shouldn't get to a point where you just choose the method that takes the least effort. Because it's always obvious when someone does and it feels cheap.

CaitSeith:

PapaGreg096:
I swear to god we should just create a general thread that says "New things Ezekiel thinks about gaming" because we have 6 threads on the same page started by OT

More like "new things Ezekiel complains about in gaming". It seems that anything in games that doesn't fit his tastes is bad design and/or developers being lazy.

A third alternative is "Max Payne 3 is the best game ever and there's nothing to live for after it".

B-Cell:

PapaGreg096:
I swear to god we should just create a general thread that says "New things Ezekiel thinks about gaming" because we have 6 threads on the same page started by OT

He never make many threads on GT back in days.

anyways on topic.

the cutscene if its no long, not full of QTEs, not unskippable is fine. talking and dialouges can get very boring. see witcher 3. too much talk talk talk. feel like a talking simulator.

The Witcher 3 is an RPG. Of course there's a lot of talking.

CaitSeith:

PapaGreg096:
I swear to god we should just create a general thread that says "New things Ezekiel thinks about gaming" because we have 6 threads on the same page started by OT

More like "new things Ezekiel complains about in gaming". It seems that anything in games that doesn't fit his tastes is bad design and/or developers being lazy.

OT: What about Bioshock, Portal 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and every game with talked exposition dump ever? I don't see a trend of things changing here. Just games doing what games always do.

It's like a B-Cell thread except I can understand what he's saying without reading it three times over like an English teacher.

Edit: Okay, this was rude of me to call someone out. But I'm letting it stay because it's true. But I accept I'm kind of a douche because of it.

Casual Shinji:
Can't you pretty much pick and choose what you want to say in H:ZD? If you don't want to listen to the characters talk you can just choose the confirmation option like in The Witcher 3 and be on your way. I prefer the characters from Yakuza to those of H:ZD, but in that game I need to listen to what's being said, including 10 minute long dialoge sequences about real estate scams.

Yeah, but I found that even if you ignored the expository dialogue and only chose the one that continued the mission characters would still drone on ad nauseum about their squabbles. The cutscenes and dialogue about the HZD project and Aloy's origin weren't even that bad it's just all the tribal stuff that I found so incredibly boring. I also hate it when games refer to nondescript NPC's and assume you know who they are just by name.

Some of the scenes in Yakuza can get difficult to follow espescially when they introduce new characters but the acting is so well done and there is always such a sense of gravitas and oddball humour that it always kept me entertained. Even when it's just criminals arguing about a piece of real estate. :p You are always watching these personalities that somehow never seem to fit genre cliches.

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