Cutting The Cut Scenes

It’s a shameful thing to admit, but I am the worst cut scene skipper I know. Even on the first playthrough of a brand new game, when the only clues I have as to what’s going on are a trailer I watched months ago and the pictures on the case, I will sit there frantically tapping all the buttons. As any brand logos and the title screen load up I hit “Start Game” as soon as I have the option just to get into the gameplay as quickly as possible so I can get on with whatever it is I’m supposed to be saving, rescuing or destroying.

The games we play are more than just games, they are interactive stories with complex characters and in-depth imaginative histories. Some are good, some are bad but some are exceptional and almost all thoroughly enhance the experience of the game. I have a sort of love hate relationship with “enforced cut scenes” as I call them. Impatiently button mashing and huffing as I watch them but at least I watch them, and of course get more absorbed in the game as a whole.

Scripted sequences are a sort of compromise, while the story unfolds around you, you are still able to move around keeping your trigger-finger warmed up. My Gordon Freeman will have a total ADD moment while Alyx talks apocalypse prevention with Dr. Kleiner, using the Grav Gun to pick up pot plants and radios and fling them at the one eyed alien Vortigaunt dude whose name I really should know, considering the amount of times I have played the Half Life games. I feel I should apologise to Valve for not appreciating and not paying enough attention to their masterpiece!

It’s just my run ‘n gun nature I suppose. If I know there are bad guys waiting to be taken out I’m there, never mind why. But then after all the chaos and carnage, when the final boss or objective has been taken care of and there is no more I can do, I sit back and enjoy my reward of the final cut scenes which, let’s face it, these days are absolutely goddamn awesome!!!

Crime Lord: I need you to assassinate some charity workers ’cause…

Me: Yeah, yeah! Whatever you say, let me load up my SMG.








14 responses to “Cutting The Cut Scenes”

  1. Emily avatar

    I do enjoy a bit of cutscene-age, (otherwise I’d find it hard to love MGS) but I totally understand you. You play a game to PLAY a game, not sit and watch it. And, y’know, shooting stuff is awesome etc 😛

  2. Lorna avatar

    I’m the opposite! I sit and watch patiently (unless I’ve died repeatedly and am watching it for the twenty fith time) and get very irritable if someone so much as coughs, interrupts, or tells me the building is on fire while I’m doing so 😀

  3. Ben avatar

    I differ between cut scenes and cinematics, the later I adore, and if done well really make me want to play the game – go check out Blizzards new CGI trailer for the WoW expansion, or Mythic’s Warhammer online trailer, very awsome stuff.

    However, in game cut scenes I’m not fond of, in small doses they are ok and I can live with it. Mainly because they act as a rest stop so i can get myself comfy on chair again, take a drink from my bottle of coke and eat as many sweets as possible while giving me enough time to wipe my sugar stained hands down my clean jeans, insuring not one bit touches my controller.

    Playing through Eternal Sonata at the moment and dear lord there are some long cut scenes in this game. I try my best not to skip any, but some of them are really badly placed and just as you are getting into it, you end up with the action being cut short.

    Developer logo’s at the start of the game really frustrate me though, more so the ones you can’t skip.

  4. Michael avatar

    Like Emily there, I’ve been weaned on a diet of stupidly long cutscenes thanks to MGS or “Massively Gobby Snake”. Maybe “Massive Gob Shite” either… I liked how it was done in Half Life 2 where it went on as you did stuff; shame you had to stop to listen anyway but still a good thing.

    Have you ever considering writing a game script, Laura? 😉

  5. Emily avatar

    I don’t think Snake ever says much, he tends to just throw out a one-liner and force someone else to elaborate.

    “A Cardboard box, you say?”

    “Yes, a cardboard box. It all began many years ago when cardboard was first invented by-” …. (If I remember rightly, Nastasha in MGS1 actually informs Snake that cardboard boxes are useful for STORAGE, along with other facts I didn’t know. WOW!!)

  6. Michael avatar

    Liquid Snake? Solid(us) Snake? :p

  7. Alex avatar

    Heheee! I’m exactly the same! Less talky more shooty ^_^

  8. Kat avatar

    I’m with Lorna, quite the opposite. I play games to be immersed in a fascinating story, so when I don’t have any idea what’s going on, it’s incredibly difficult for me to feel motivated to struggle through whatever obscure task I’m supposed to be doing.

    I can never have too much backstory or character development, honestly. A great cutscene can make or break a game for me, regardless of the actual gameplay.

  9. Donna avatar

    And I’m somewhere in the middle. I get the urge to skip the cuts scenes if it’s something I just want to get into. If it’s something I’m really into then I’ll let them play because I want to know it all.

  10. Scott avatar

    I was raised as an old-school gamer, where game-mechanics are paramount, and you’re usually forced to really learn how to play the game through difficulty spikes and experimentation.

    Maybe it’s because I was raised that way, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with Lorna and Kat. I’d rather play Bioshock, Mass Effect and Metal Gear Solid these days than most of the FPS and team-based titles out there.

    That said, if you can get something squarely in the middle – like Braid, perhaps – then all the better. And generally, the story and characters do have to be engaging to me, otherwise I’ll back to playing Super Mario Bros. 3.

  11. arc14716 avatar

    Cutscenes good.

    Skipping them bad.

  12. Shaz avatar

    Just a question then, did you cut the opening of GTA IV? ‘cuz I seriously thought that’s one original choreographed openings to a game in a long while.

  13. Michael avatar

    I skipped that by accident…

  14. Laura avatar

    I probably did cause I can’t actually remember anything about it except getting the “Off The Boat” achievement. 🙂

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