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#1 Edited by astupidvdcase (34 posts) -

It seems like in this day and age, people (usually from the old school ,school of thought of gaming) are becoming increasingly anti cinematic. "If I wanted to watch cut scenes I would go watch a movie" they would snarkly remark on the latest critically acclaimed story driven cinematic experience game thread as it boost their contempt against the direction of contemporary games and justify to thenselves the superiority if the good oledayz like tetris. "I don't care about story, games should solely be based on gameplay", "games aren't movies!". Thank you for telling me that, so many times I've loaded a new game and simply forgot to pick up the controller to play due to the cinematics and cut scenes making me forget its a game.

Sarcastic comments aside, why are people against games having a good story and becoming more like movies. Just cause most games have crappy stories dies it mean we should not try and stick with generic cliché storylines? stories in games like BioShock infinite and tlou is dismissed as nothing original but are they not trying to raise the bar in storytelling for gaming? And what do you define as cinematic and games becoming more cinematic? Is it when games become qtes like heavy rain where it does become very similar to movies (but that's the point) or are you against games becoming more "cinematic" like in tomb raider and tlou where during animations and camera work are all used to boost realism and give that cinematic feel, or are you against cut scenes and story in general. In both tlou and bi criticism is drawn at its story and cinematic approach but in bi, the gameplay is about as gamey as it can get. Right clickspecial powers left click shoot against waves of ddifferent enemies mixed with mini bosses.

So why does games like BI get criticized for all story when its fps gameplay is almost old school. And besides cutscenes have been in a games for a long time, they just got better looking and most games though become more "cinematic" they are still mostly gameplay and I am more for gameplay becoming more cinematic as it contributes to one of the most important factors in games, immersions. Yes games might be more "dumbed down" (that's another issue) but increase likeness to movies is only a good thing as being too "cinematic" is often levelled at games which gameplay wise are as game like as old games.

So why are games being criticized for being too cunematic? Is it a reaction to games being more mainstream or would people rather watch cutscenes with hexagonal heads as that means the game is less cinematic. Discuss

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

This looks like it could start some sort of discussion if you worked out your problems with the Enter key.

#3 Posted by Aetheldod (3511 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: Because they hate stuff ... I dunno , Im an old schooler (not really tho Im just 31) but I love the integration of cinematics with gameplay. I love Metal Gear games and Xenosaga so there; maybe they are just trying to be purist?

Also like you I dunno why people think Bioshock Infinite story is any less good than any other , while they never ever put foward a game that has a better story (note Im not saying that BI is the graetest out there , all I saying that it is not a bad story and even compared to other media it is a great one , very well told etc.) I will agree tho that QTE are the worst thing all around.

#4 Posted by Hunkulese (2642 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: Paragraphs are your friend, friend.

People on the Internet like to complain about whatever isn't tailored to their exact set of preferences. There are far more people that enjoy the cinematic experience than don't.

#5 Posted by DarthOrange (3851 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: What that King said.

This looks like it could start some sort of discussion if you worked out your problems with the Enter key.

Something like this would have been easier to read:

It seems like in this day and age, people (usually from the old school ,school of thought of gaming) are becoming increasingly anti cinematic. "If I wanted to watch cut scenes I would go watch a movie" they would snarkly remark on the latest critically acclaimed story driven cinematic experience game thread as it boost their contempt against the direction of contemporary games and justify to thenselves the superiority if the good oledayz like tetris. "I don't care about story, games should solely be based on gameplay", "games aren't movies!". Thank you for telling me that, so many times I've loaded a new game and simply forgot to pick up the controller to play due to the cinematics and cut scenes making me forget its a game.

Sarcastic comments aside, why are people against games having a good story and becoming more like movies. Just cause most games have crappy stories dies it mean we should not try and stick with generic cliché storylines? stories in games like BioShock infinite and tlou is dismissed as nothing original but are they not trying to raise the bar in storytelling for gaming? And what do you define as cinematic and games becoming more cinematic? Is it when games become qtes like heavy rain where it does become very similar to movies (but that's the point) or are you against games becoming more "cinematic" like in tomb raider and tlou where during animations and camera work are all used to boost realism and give that cinematic feel, or are you against cut scenes and story in general. In both tlou and bi criticism is drawn at its story and cinematic approach but in bi, the gameplay is about as gamey as it can get. Right clickspecial powers left click shoot against waves of ddifferent enemies mixed with mini bosses.

So why does games like BI get criticized for all story when its fps gameplay is almost old school. And besides cutscenes have been in a games for a long time, they just got better looking and most games though become more "cinematic" they are still mostly gameplay and I am more for gameplay becoming more cinematic as it contributes to one of the most important factors in games, immersions. Yes games might be more "dumbed down" (that's another issue) but increase likeness to movies is only a good thing as being too "cinematic" is often levelled at games which gameplay wise are as game like as old games.

So why are games being criticized for being too cunematic? Is it a reaction to games being more mainstream or would people rather watch cutscenes with hexagonal heads as that means the game is less cinematic. Discuss

Also you have a lot of easy errors in here. I assume English is not your strongest language in which case this is pretty impressive.

#6 Posted by astupidvdcase (34 posts) -
#7 Edited by DxBecks (72 posts) -

My problem with a portion of contemporary video games is that developers are treating video games as movies, instead of video games. I love when a video game has a fantastic story, but I feel that developers need to explore other mechanics that are exclusive to the medium to tell a story rather than relying or designing a game entirely around movie style cut-scenes. Video games are meant to be interactive, and are best when they take complete advantage of that, when you take away the interactive aspect of a video game, you are essentially removing the special, medium defining, aspect from a work of art. There is a famous film saying that states, "Show don't tell", I think for video games the basic philosophy needs to become "Play, don't show." This isn't to say that cut-scenes should be removed completely from video games as every game should find its own best method of explaining a story, but I feel like the medium as whole needs to use them only when it makes sense and is appropriate.

#8 Edited by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

The problem I have with these discussions of the state of games is that I always assume those that don't like a type of game, say a cinematic game, believe that there is some base idea of 'video game' that can be changed to some degree but can't be changed too much from that norm. That's a really narrow way of viewing a medium.

Rather then focusing on the types of games being made focus on the experiences those games offer and make a purchasing decision from there? If people don't want cinematic games then they won't sell and developers will react to their audience's wishes. But lets not so immediately narrow down the scope of video games to some norm for some arbitrary reason.

#9 Posted by Jeust (10477 posts) -

Different strokes for different folks. Personally I love cinematic games, if they don't abuse on the cutscenes like Metal Gear Solid 4 does.

#10 Posted by Roadshell (28 posts) -

I was just thinking that there was a sort of schism in the video game intelligentsia between people who desperately want games to become a great storytelling medium and people who think that cinematics are a waste and that gameplay should trump all. I feel like its mostly people in the former camp who want AAA games to expand and thrive while people in the later camp are the ones who are wild about indie games right now and see a lot more potential in mobile games, but I could be wrong about that.

#12 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

This looks like it could start some sort of discussion if you worked out your problems with the Enter key.

He needs far more than the enter key. Appropriately-placed commas and periods would be welcome.

@video_game_king: I typed this on my phone will edit when home

Couldn't it have waited until you got home, then? An issue like this shouldn't be brought up and explained on a phone.

And so, let's get started.

I disagree with making games more cinematic because, well, video games are video games. I am not against cutscenes or story in games, but I don't think that's where a video game's strengths lie. Story serves to give context to what's going on. Like-able characters and good writing can go a long way toward making a game better, and that shows in games like Sleeping Dogs and Uncharted, the former of which was my top game of last year partly because it was a good story, and the latter wouldn't hold up as anything if you took out its story and set pieces.

Set pieces, really, are a bigger problem than story becoming the focus of a game. Again, set pieces aren't a bad thing when used well, but they're often used to make a game feel like you're playing a movie. I don't want to play a movie. I'll watch a movie if I want a movie. When I pick up a game, I want to have fun playing it as a player. I want cool things to happen because I caused them to happen, I want to do cool things and overcome great obstacles because I, as the player, have gained a knowledge and understanding of the gameplay, not because the set pieces were carefully laid out for me to follow in a specific, exact manner. When developers lay out those set pieces in that specific, exact manner for you to follow, you get the stunts and views of a movie but with a few button presses it becomes a video game. Quick Time Events are the absolute worst thing to come out of this chasing of movies, but I'm also including scenarios where you have to climb along a wall, grabbing ledges that are clearly laid out for you to push the analog stick towards and then push X to jump to. There's nothing to that. The only "mechanic" there is pushing X. There's not even a matter of timing to consider, as all you have to do is push the analog stick in a correct direction and X at the right time. It's a sequence made solely to look cool, and it doesn't take advantage of the fact that it's in a video game at all. "Cinematic", to me, often means that developer is leaning more and more into showing you stuff with gameplay taking backseat, instead of interesting or even fun gameplay taking the front seat. This is why Tomb Raider succeeded where Uncharted failed - its gameplay holds up as very enjoyable even while it's chock full of those set pieces that I've just talked about.

An example of a modern game that I really admire for its gameplay is Batman Arkham Asylum. This is also a game that is full of set pieces, but most or all of them are used very well. You often have to rely on skill that you've acquired while playing the game. You might have to fight a bunch of guys or use your gadgets in a way that you've never used them before. And even then, just playing the game tests your skills and is a joy. The combat and motion is fluid, tense, and is simple enough to slide into but deep enough for many playthroughs. And that's what I like best - a game that puts everything related to its gameplay first and foremost and uses story, graphics, and set pieces to build on that gameplay.

#13 Edited by Undeadpool (4908 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: It's especially funny to see these people also the FIRST to chomp at the bit to get a movie of their favorite videogame made. Anytime someone brings up the idea of thinking a Metal Gear Solid movie is a good idea, I just mentally throw my hands up, then advise them to play a Metal Gear Solid game. It's going to be better than ANY movie that ever (never) gets made from that property.

This is why Super Mario Bros was at least an interesting idea to make into a movie: the game had more story/tone/setting than most games of the day, but there was nothing "cinematic" about it, so seeing that brought to life was intriguing on its face. Nowadays, I have NO idea why, with the track record they have, anyone would want to see a videogame made into a movie except that they secretly think it will finally put the whole "games as art" thing to bed. Because damn, now a movie has been made based on a videogame and it turned out amazingly, NOW WE'RE REAL ART!! Just look at the hub bub that happens whenever a Hollywood producer/director DEIGNS to grace us huddled, filthy videogame masses with their name on a game's cover. We get Boom Blox. A fine game, don't get me wrong, but not exactly what you expect when STEVEN SPIELBERG signs on to produce a game.

#14 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: It's especially funny to see these people also the FIRST to chomp at the bit to get a movie of their favorite videogame made.

Where the hell did you get that idea?

#15 Edited by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

@undeadpool said:

@astupidvdcase: It's especially funny to see these people also the FIRST to chomp at the bit to get a movie of their favorite videogame made.

Where the hell did you get that idea?

THEY SHOULD TOTES MAKE A TETRIS MOVIE, BRO.

#16 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1439 posts) -

@believer258:

Here's the thing: You're perfectly entitled to not like games with these elements, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't exist. There is no limit to what games can be. In my mind, any means of telling a story is perfectly valid. Many people dismissed things like The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain, saying they aren't really games at all, but that's just looking at the medium from a narrow perspective.

I think the term "video game" is sometimes given too much meaning. If someone wants to use a game engine to tell a story, even with minimal or none of what you'd call of "traditional gameplay", I say let them. There will always be games with a focus an mechanics and gameplay, but that doesn't mean other types of experiences shouldn't be made as well. You don't have to play them and you don't have like them, but I am personally glad that this medium is expanding into some very different directions.

#17 Posted by YOU_DIED (702 posts) -

I have no problem with games using techniques from cinema as long as they are properly adapted to the medium and the gameplay doesn't suffer. AAA games most often have this problem, where the gameplay and interactivity is thinned out in favor of very controlled sequences where the player is no longer driving the actions on screen. When that happens, unless the player is invested for other reasons (like characters, or the story), the interest in what is happening (or "immersion") is lost. I don't think as many people would be complaining about this if games writers knew how to write interesting dialogue and stories.

#18 Posted by HerpDerp (133 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: It's especially funny to see these people also the FIRST to chomp at the bit to get a movie of their favorite videogame made. Anytime someone brings up the idea of thinking a Metal Gear Solid movie is a good idea, I just mentally throw my hands up, then advise them to play a Metal Gear Solid game. It's going to be better than ANY movie that ever (never) gets made from that property.

This is why Super Mario Bros was at least an interesting idea to make into a movie: the game had more story/tone/setting than most games of the day, but there was nothing "cinematic" about it, so seeing that brought to life was intriguing on its face. Nowadays, I have NO idea why, with the track record they have, anyone would want to see a videogame made into a movie except that they secretly think it will finally put the whole "games as art" thing to bed. Because damn, now a movie has been made based on a videogame and it turned out amazingly, NOW WE'RE REAL ART!! Just look at the hub bub that happens whenever a Hollywood producer/director DEIGNS to grace us huddled, filthy videogame masses with their name on a game's cover. We get Boom Blox. A fine game, don't get me wrong, but not exactly what you expect when STEVEN SPIELBERG signs on to produce a game.

I love the example of Bloom Blox, because Steven Spielberg produced a video game, not a 'cinematic masterpiece' as we so often see on the backs of boxes.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

Set pieces, really, are a bigger problem than story becoming the focus of a game. Again, set pieces aren't a bad thing when used well, but they're often used to make a game feel like you're playing a movie. I don't want to play a movie. I'll watch a movie if I want a movie. When I pick up a game, I want to have fun playing it as a player. I want cool things to happen because I caused them to happen, I want to do cool things and overcome great obstacles because I, as the player, have gained a knowledge and understanding of the gameplay, not because the set pieces were carefully laid out for me to follow in a specific, exact manner. When developers lay out those set pieces in that specific, exact manner for you to follow, you get the stunts and views of a movie but with a few button presses it becomes a video game. "Cinematic", to me, often means that developer is leaning more and more into showing you stuff with gameplay taking backseat, instead of interesting or even fun gameplay taking the front seat. This is why Tomb Raider succeeded where Uncharted failed - its gameplay holds up as very enjoyable even while it's chock full of those set pieces that I've just talked about.

YES TO ALL OF THIS.

Quick Time Events are the absolute worst thing to come out of this chasing of movies, but I'm also including scenarios where you have to climb along a wall, grabbing ledges that are clearly laid out for you to push the analog stick towards and then push X to jump to. There's nothing to that. The only "mechanic" there is pushing X. There's not even a matter of timing to consider, as all you have to do is push the analog stick in a correct direction and X at the right time. It's a sequence made solely to look cool, and it doesn't take advantage of the fact that it's in a video game at all.

NO TO THIS PART. I feel like the Quick Time Event is just severely misunderstood by everybody. Well, everybody except Capcom and a few other developers.

#20 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@believer258:

Here's the thing: You're perfectly entitled to not like games with these elements, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't exist. There is no limit to what games can be. In my mind, any means of telling a story is perfectly valid. Many people dismissed things like The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain, saying they aren't really games at all, but that's just looking at the medium from a narrow perspective.

I think the term "video game" is sometimes given too much meaning. If someone wants to use a game engine to tell a story, even with minimal or none of what you'd call of "traditional gameplay", I say let them. There will always be games with a focus an mechanics and gameplay, but that doesn't mean other types of experiences shouldn't be made as well. You don't have to play them and you don't have like them, but I am personally glad that this medium is expanding into some very different directions.

I didn't say that they shouldn't exist, but I do think they should be criticized for that sort of approach. The problem is that I'm not really concerned with the storytelling, I want to see video games embrace the game part instead of saying "Hear this story!" or "Look at this!" Where the hell is "Play this awesome thing!" Why do ads for games not say "You can do this and this and this and this in this game!" instead of "This story is about this gravelly-voiced thirty-something and his gun saving the world!". And the latter's fine, I'll play a story-focused game and I'll play The Walking Dead, but that's not really what I'm looking for when I say "video game" and I don't think that's what games should be chasing.

Again, though, I'm not going to say that "they shouldn't exist" or something like that. They can be fun and interesting and worth my time.

@believer258 said:

Quick Time Events are the absolute worst thing to come out of this chasing of movies, but I'm also including scenarios where you have to climb along a wall, grabbing ledges that are clearly laid out for you to push the analog stick towards and then push X to jump to. There's nothing to that. The only "mechanic" there is pushing X. There's not even a matter of timing to consider, as all you have to do is push the analog stick in a correct direction and X at the right time. It's a sequence made solely to look cool, and it doesn't take advantage of the fact that it's in a video game at all.

NO TO THIS PART. I feel like the Quick Time Event is just severely misunderstood by everybody. Well, everybody except Capcom and a few other developers.

All right. A quick time event can be something good when used well. For instance, the visual reward you get when you defeat a boss in God of War, where you press the buttons in the right sequence and Kratos does something awesome after the player has finished doing something awesome. But they've been so overused in the wrong ways for so long that I'd rather see them disappear. For example, I don't want to fight a main antagonist like this (video is in German but it proves my point just fine):

Too many quick time events are done like this, and they're too often just bad marks on otherwise good games. Bulletstorm is a very good game; why can't I use the game part of this video game to do this fight? Why is it just a fucking cutscene with some button presses? Why does Grayson aim about as well as a Stormtrooper when I've spent the entire game differentiating between some mook's throat and his head to get the extra points for shooting the former?

#21 Posted by tourgen (4427 posts) -

The strengths of the video game medium are dynamic & reactive elements, player interaction and control, and procedural elements/worlds/AI. Neglecting or abusing those elements to make a gimped wanna-be cartoon or cut-rate movie isn't helping the evolution and acceptance of the video game medium. It's holding it back.

Also the logic of your argument is busted. You are creating a false binary choice that doesn't exist and arguing against a straw man - arguing against a position that no one is actually taking. Cutscenes and good stories are Great! But we do not have to sacrifice good, dynamic gameplay, environments, and story elements to make it happen. Yes it's cheaper and easier to make a game that drags the player along by a leash to the next checkpoint and cutscene. We shouldn't be happy when it happens though.

#22 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3556 posts) -

It's an issue of balance. Imagine if in a Mass Effect game, the game was exactly the same, other than there were almost no choices to be made, and all the dialogue options would play one after another without any player input. Just giving people the OPTION to end a conversation at any any time--even for people who almost never take that option--gives players enough control where they don't feel like they're watching a movie instead of playing a video game.

Take that option away, and people are going to feel forced to watch a game instead of play a game. If they wanted to do that, they could look up a let's play on You Tube. That is the problem that many people have with games like the Metal Gear series. No options, all requirements.

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

All right. A quick time event can be something good when used well.

Isn't that a tautology? Anyway, I'd say that Quick Time Events can have appeal beyond visual goodies. Used right, they can engage and help draw you into the world a bit. Want to feel the weight of a hefty action that a character's performing (for example, that one QTE near the end of Metal Gear Solid 2)? Mash the button a lot. How about emphasizing how close an action was (in the "that was so close" sense)? Give somebody little time to react to a very quick QTE.

Sure, there are tons of games out there that have little idea what they're doing with them (although for some reason, RE4 and AC3 are the only egregious examples that come to mind), but that's not reason to abandon the tool entirely. Developers just need to relearn why a game like Dragon's Lair could get away with nothing but QTEs in the first place.

#24 Posted by jsnyder82 (726 posts) -

We have so many options as far as genres of videogames goes. We have more options than ever before. This debate seems pointless to me, because if you don't like cinematic games, find one of the other million or so games that aren't cinematic, and maybe one of those will appeal to you.

#25 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@believer258 said:

All right. A quick time event can be something good when used well.

Isn't that a tautology? Anyway, I'd say that Quick Time Events can have appeal beyond visual goodies. Used right, they can engage and help draw you into the world a bit. Want to feel the weight of a hefty action that a character's performing (for example, that one QTE near the end of Metal Gear Solid 2)? Mash the button a lot. How about emphasizing how close an action was (in the "that was so close" sense)? Give somebody little time to react to a very quick QTE.

Sure, there are tons of games out there that have little idea what they're doing with them (although for some reason, RE4 and AC3 are the only egregious examples that come to mind), but that's not reason to abandon the tool entirely. Developers just need to relearn why a game like Dragon's Lair could get away with nothing but QTEs in the first place.

Yeah, it is a tautology. Sorry, didn't check that too well.

Anyway, I don't feel like there's much impact when doing a QTE. Why not design mechanics so that players feel some sort of impact when they play the game? Back to the Batman Arkham Asylum example, there's a whole lot of impact when Batman beats the shit out of a guy, far more than any quick time event could give. In the case of God of War, it's just a simple way to interact with a cool finisher (again, after the player has finished a cool boss fight).

#26 Edited by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

Back to the Batman Arkham Asylum example, there's a whole lot of impact when Batman beats the shit out of a guy, far more than any quick time event could give.

Why? In both cases, you're effectively doing the same thing: pressing a button when the game tells you to. The only difference is the presentation, and I guess implicitness versus explicitness.

#27 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5806 posts) -

Cutscenes are actually pretty neat, but games should focus on telling stories that wouldn't work in any other medium.

For example, Metal Gear Solid is great because it contains the kind of wackiness that would probably become annoying if it were a movie. I wish more games would go for that combination of over the top and seriousness, instead of trying so hard to tell serious stories.

#28 Edited by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@believer258 said:

Back to the Batman Arkham Asylum example, there's a whole lot of impact when Batman beats the shit out of a guy, far more than any quick time event could give.

Why? In both cases, you're effectively doing the same thing: pressing a button when the game tells you to. The only difference is the presentation, and I guess implicitness versus explicitness.

(Removed smartass first sentence, I'm trying not to be an ass. Really!)

There's a difference between effectively punching, countering, combo-ing, choosing the right guy to hit, etc., as opposed to pushing a button to see a game do all of that stuff for you. Arkham Asylum doesn't tell you to press the button; it tells you the basics of how to perform actions in-game using buttons, and then leaves you to make your way through the game by performing many different kinds of actions, from using gadgets to fighting groups of enemies. In the Bulletstorm "boss fight" seen above, you aren't using any of the game's ideas. You're not even pulling the left trigger to aim and the right trigger to shoot. You're just seeing a button prompt and mashing it before an invisible timer runs out.

#29 Edited by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -
@believer258 said:

Arkham Asylum doesn't tell you to press the button

Doesn't it, though? There's no giant-ass button prompt saying "PRESS X TO HIT THIS GUY", but that guy heading toward you amounts to the same thing. The game's telegraphing what action you should take, and you respond to that. I feel like I have more to say on that subject, but that's all I can muster right now. Also, I'm getting mad Metal Gear Solid 2 vibes from all this. I'm expecting the Colonel to computer-command me on this soon enough.

#30 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Arkham Asylum doesn't tell you to press the button

Doesn't it, though? There's no giant-ass button prompt saying "PRESS X TO HIT THIS GUY", but that guy heading toward you amounts to the same thing. The game's telegraphing what action you should take, and you respond to that. I feel like I have more to say on that subject, but that's all I can muster right now. Also, I'm getting mad Metal Gear Solid 2 vibes from all this. I'm expecting the Colonel to computer-command me on this soon enough.

What I'm getting at is that one requires skill, the other does not. If you're going to tell me that you can beat Batman Arkham Asylum on Normal or higher by putting in the same amount of effort that you have to put into a quick time event, then you seriously need to reconsider your username. And I'm leaving that sentence in this time.

#31 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

It's an issue of balance. Imagine if in a Mass Effect game, the game was exactly the same, other than there were almost no choices to be made, and all the dialogue options would play one after another without any player input. Just giving people the OPTION to end a conversation at any any time--even for people who almost never take that option--gives players enough control where they don't feel like they're watching a movie instead of playing a video game.

Take that option away, and people are going to feel forced to watch a game instead of play a game. If they wanted to do that, they could look up a let's play on You Tube. That is the problem that many people have with games like the Metal Gear series. No options, all requirements.

This is the camp that I'm in and that I agree with. The main two issues with games becoming more cinematic and plot based are 1. It can sometimes take away choices and make user input feel lessened and 2. (and arguably the one point most of these people the OP is talking about are trying to make) Making a game cinematic can often take away from gameplay. There are very few people who would choose a game with perfect gameplay with no story over a game with perfect gameplay and a pretty good story. The problem is, story based games like Deadly Premonition and Heavy Rain pop up where the gameplay is an afterthought and the story is the only driving factor to continue playing.

(I understand some people like the gameplay in these two games; however, the majority of people find the gameplay in these games clunky / nonexistant).

People get frustrated when one of these games is considered game of the year, or gets a lot of praise because they think developers will take notice and begin making more games in this vein. There's nothing wrong with telling a good story in a game, at all, it's just not good to do so at the expense of good gameplay. Chrono Trigger had a great story, but if the gameplay was crappy it wouldn't be the classic it is today. The original Starcrafts had a pretty damn good story, but the gameplay is what made those games shine through. If the gameplay in a game can't hold up, the game will eventually be forgotten; but the fun of playing through Majora's Mask while also experiencing a good story that didn't take away from gameplay will be remembered for much longer.

#32 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

What I'm getting at is that one requires skill, the other does not.

1.) Dragon's Lair ain't easy, although that might be going toward extremes.

2.) While that is a legitimate concern when discussing Quick Time Events, it doesn't really change the nature of what you're doing. That would be like saying Bizorre Jerry 5 and Ikaruga are completely different games because one is more difficult than the other. While they both require different levels of skill, they're both drawing on very similar skill-sets: responding to timed visual cues with specific button presses. The difference is in how it's presented, not what you're doing.

3.) Their value doesn't have to come from skill alone. The Walking Dead uses Quick Time Events heavily, yet it would be difficult to argue that it's a game based on skill.

#33 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I am more interested in the interactivity component of a game than I am the story or the fancy set pieces. I don't like games that take control away from me on a regular basis for effect. Nor do I tolerate half assed hold up and press A once in a while to move forward through the movie game.

#34 Edited by Veektarius (4597 posts) -

@believer258 said:

What I'm getting at is that one requires skill, the other does not.

1.) Dragon's Lair ain't easy, although that might be going toward extremes.

2.) While that is a legitimate concern when discussing Quick Time Events, it doesn't really change the nature of what you're doing. That would be like saying Bizorre Jerry 5 and Ikaruga are completely different games because one is more difficult than the other. While they both require different levels of skill, they're both drawing on very similar skill-sets: responding to timed visual cues with specific button presses. The difference is in how it's presented, not what you're doing.

3.) Their value doesn't have to come from skill alone. The Walking Dead uses Quick Time Events heavily, yet it would be difficult to argue that it's a game based on skill.

I think the real difference between a QTE and gameplay is that the QTE is a deviation from normal gameplay that follows separate rules (thus, an event). In Batman, the entire game follows that rule structure, so it's hardly an event when those mechanics come into play. When a game doesn't use consistent mechanics, that's the same as saying "Okay, movie time" in a classroom. I'm sure we've all been in that situation and know what happens when you do that.

QTEs are an attempt to alleviate the one problem I have with cinematics in games, which is when a game takes control of your character and makes him do something cool because the developers couldn't figure out how to make you feel cool while you were controlling it yourself. The problem is that QTEs generally can't be hard enough to make you feel like you've earned that reward, because failing a QTE is an exercise in frustration. By the same token that you don't feel like it's your skill causing cool things to happen on the screen during a QTE, it doesn't usually feel like a lack of skill that causes you to fail.

#35 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@believer258 said:

What I'm getting at is that one requires skill, the other does not.

1.) Dragon's Lair ain't easy, although that might be going toward extremes.

2.) While that is a legitimate concern when discussing Quick Time Events, it doesn't really change the nature of what you're doing. That would be like saying Bizorre Jerry 5 and Ikaruga are completely different games because one is more difficult than the other. While they both require different levels of skill, they're both drawing on very similar skill-sets: responding to timed visual cues with specific button presses. The difference is in how it's presented, not what you're doing.

3.) Their value doesn't have to come from skill alone. The Walking Dead uses Quick Time Events heavily, yet it would be difficult to argue that it's a game based on skill.

1) Dragon's Lair's challenge comes from rote memorization.

2) It absolutely does. There's no binary "this isn't the right sequence of buttons, this is" in a fight in Arkham. There are a variety of actions you can do using button presses, and you have to choose what sequence of actions you think will be the best one. And you have to do it pretty quick, too, because there's a murderous big guy coming at you with a knife. I haven't even mentioned walking into a room full of guys with guns, and going "Hmmm, how am I going to get through here?" The game does not tell you how to get through such rooms. It has given you a set of tools and an environment where it is possible to get through, but there's no big "PUSH X TO GET THROUGH HERE ALIVE" button. I don't think I can make this difference clearer.

3) Well, yes, a game's value does not have to come from skill alone. You can have excellent graphics (Crysis) or a great story (The Walking Dead) and still make something worthwhile, but it doesn't do much as a game or for gaming. Arkham Asylum has those graphics and it has... well, it has an OK story, but it's quite obvious that the gameplay came first and foremost in that game and everything else is there to enhance the experience of playing the game. None of it ever becomes the reason that you slog through the game-y parts.

#36 Posted by Spoonman671 (4560 posts) -

When the enjoyable traits of some games are limited to or primarily within the cutscenes, and these games are the most critically lauded, the industry clearly has some degree of identity crisis.

#37 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

@believer258:

1.) Knowing how to do something does not alleviate the difficulty of actually doing it. Again, Ikaruga. Just Ikaruga.

2.) From what I remember, the game would telegraph cues somewhat obviously, saying things like "THIS IS HOW TO COUNTER" and "YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO THIS HEAVY GUY FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN HIT HIM". A lot of the challenge came from managing a shitton of Quick Time Events at once in this delicate dance. Also:

There are a variety of actions you can do using button presses, and you have to choose what sequence of actions you think will be the best one. And you have to do it pretty quick, too, because there's a murderous big guy coming at you with a knife.

That sounds almost exactly like a Quick Time Event. Also also, mentioning stealth seems distracting, since that's a completely separate entity from the combat and thus uses a different set of skills.

3.) I think Arkham Asylum is distracting this discussion.

#38 Edited by Nights (606 posts) -

@tourgen said:

The strengths of the video game medium are dynamic & reactive elements, player interaction and control, and procedural elements/worlds/AI. Neglecting or abusing those elements to make a gimped wanna-be cartoon or cut-rate movie isn't helping the evolution and acceptance of the video game medium. It's holding it back.

Also the logic of your argument is busted. You are creating a false binary choice that doesn't exist and arguing against a straw man - arguing against a position that no one is actually taking. Cutscenes and good stories are Great! But we do not have to sacrifice good, dynamic gameplay, environments, and story elements to make it happen. Yes it's cheaper and easier to make a game that drags the player along by a leash to the next checkpoint and cutscene. We shouldn't be happy when it happens though.

My thoughts exactly.

#39 Posted by Slag (4008 posts) -

@astupidvdcase: I think that reaction happens to some degree because Cinema has gotten inserted into series-es where it doesn't always belong. It feels like there is arms race where every AAA dev feels pressure to make their games more cinematic and have scripted events etc whether that's really a good idea for their title or not.

And there is the perception, that is sometimes very true depending on game title, that development money is being diverted from gameplay polish to cinematics. Or worse yet used by the developer to mask poor gameplay. And even worse yet some games with great gameplay worsen the experience down with mediocre to awful cinematic features.

Plus people like games for different reasons. The gameplay first crowd would rather every title cater to their tastes. And for decades pretty much every genre did for commercial and technological reasons. With the rise of cinema in games as a result even if it's not really true, it feels like these types of games are disappearing to that crowd. So there is a underlying small sense of entitlement that gameplay focused is the way games should be and that games have lost sight of that.

Obviously the story first cinematic crowd would prefer things keep going the way they are going and maybe even go further.

Personally I just want a variety of well executed choices. Sometimes I feel like a almost completely cinematic game like Heavy Rain and other times I want my adrenaline rush for a completely gameplay focused game like DOTA 2.

#40 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@believer258:

1.) Knowing how to do something does not alleviate the difficulty of actually doing it. Again, Ikaruga. Just Ikaruga.

2.) From what I remember, the game would telegraph cues somewhat obviously, saying things like "THIS IS HOW TO COUNTER" and "YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO THIS HEAVY GUY FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN HIT HIM". A lot of the challenge came from managing a shitton of Quick Time Events at once in this delicate dance. Also:

There are a variety of actions you can do using button presses, and you have to choose what sequence of actions you think will be the best one. And you have to do it pretty quick, too, because there's a murderous big guy coming at you with a knife.

That sounds almost exactly like a Quick Time Event. Also also, mentioning stealth seems distracting, since that's a completely separate entity from the combat and thus uses a different set of skills.

3.) I think Arkham Asylum is distracting this discussion.

Arkham Asylum isn't anymore distracting than Dragon's Lair. And again, the difference between Dragon's Lair and Ikaruga is that Ikaruga doesn't telegraph what you should be doing with a big "PUSH THIS BUTTON" message. You've got to juggle switching colors and dodging bullets. There's some memorization there, yeah, but there's more skill than just "mash this button when the game says to, sometimes very quickly". You're memorizing an exact sequence of buttons to push in order to get an exact sequence of events laid down exactly by Don Bluth, of all people. This sequence of events never changes. Or, rather, there are different strings of events that can happen, but they're still all animated in exactly the same way.

Anyway, you've still missed my point about Arkham Asylum and games in general. Yes, its combat gives out cues. Most games do give out some sort of cue when you need it. Most games don't advertise exact button presses in order to watch the on-screen character do something awesome.

A lot of the challenge came from managing a shitton of Quick Time Events at once in this delicate dance

You and I have different definitions of a quick time event, then. Paying attention to the actions of several guys and knowing how to combat all of them is not the same as pushing X when there's a big prompt on the screen to push X. Some of those guys do have cues on top of their heads for you to push a button to, but it's hardly the same thing. I really like @veektarius's explanation of the difference between a Quick Time Event and an actual gameplay sequence, refer back to that. I'm not paraphrasing it.

I do not feel like I'm participating in anything when a quick time event happens. I feel like I'm lazily mashing a button while a pre-determined thing happens on screen. When I take out a group of guys in Arkham Asylum, I feel like I've succeeded in doing it as a player, instead of a developer laying out an action scene from a movie, slapping a button press in at appropriate times, and calling it "interactive". It's not. It's like playing Doom, only all you have to do is press the space bar, or Final Fantasy VI where beating Kefka consists of pressing A, B, X, Y, Start, and then finishing the game. Yeah, in both games, you're pushing buttons to perform actions, but the difference ought to be as clear as night and day. You can't beat Final Fantasy VI by doing the basic attack all of the time. You can't beat Doom without learning the strengths and weaknesses of each gun as well as the ins and outs of each enemy, and then using that knowledge to effectively fight everything. No racing game worth its salt will be finished with the same amount of effort that a QTE requires, and a quick time event and gameplay is not the same.

#41 Posted by Slag (4008 posts) -

@believer258: @video_game_king:

I think most QTEs are used pretty poorly. I personally don't care for them in Boss fights at all. And in games like FFXiii-2 they just are an unwelcome distraction in cutscenes.

However playing games like Heavy Rain make me appreciate how awesome they can be when used imaginatively. Admittedly they have been few and far between.

#42 Edited by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

@believer258:

Why are you comparing Dragon's Lair and Ikaruga? Those are completely different games. Dragon's Lair relies on memorizing when to input which command; Ikaruga relies on memorizing what parts of the screen are safe and for how long. Yes, memorization is involved, but memorization of different kinds. That would be like saying Fire Emblem and Bit.Trip are nearly identical simply because they both utilize memorization.

What's the difference, then? I'm having trouble remembering exact visual cues from the game, but let me just dive right in: when the game gives you a specific visual cue, do you have a choice in how to react to that? Not in a meaningful way; you can choose failure, but why would you? Choosing to dodge only works for so long, and it doesn't really get you anywhere. When the game tells you to, you have very little choice but to counter. And there are all sorts of visual cues like this with their own meaning. The only difference between them is that one's explicitly telling you to press X, while another is showing a guy raising his fist or something, which means the same thing: press X. I'd say it's not Dark Souls, but not having played the game, I'm reluctant to use it as an example. "Press X" or "Xを押します", the action is largely the same.

To that explanation, I will say that something like Time Gal or Asura's Wrath proves a very large hole. If a Quick Time Event is defined as a deviation, then there can be no games based entirely upon them, since there would be nothing to deviate from. These games screw with that logic by being based almost entirely on Quick Time Events.

It's like playing Doom, only all you have to do is press the space bar, or Final Fantasy VI where beating Kefka consists of pressing A, B, X, Y, Start, and then finishing the game. Yeah, in both games, you're pushing buttons to perform actions, but the difference ought to be as clear as night and day. You can't beat Final Fantasy VI by doing the basic attack all of the time. You can't beat Doom without learning the strengths and weaknesses of each gun as well as the ins and outs of each enemy, and then using that knowledge to effectively fight everything. No racing game worth its salt will be finished with the same amount of effort that a QTE requires, and a quick time event and gameplay is not the same.

I'd say you're making broad generalizations, but FPSes do seem to be a murky area in this discussion. Maybe it's because they're relying on other skills that these other games aren't. There's resource management to consider, along with a couple of other things I may have overlooked.

I do not feel like I'm participating in anything when a quick time event happens. I feel like I'm lazily mashing a button while a pre-determined thing happens on screen. When I take out a group of guys in Arkham Asylum, I feel like I've succeeded in doing it as a player, instead of a developer laying out an action scene from a movie, slapping a button press in at appropriate times, and calling it "interactive".

A lot of that is implementation or presentation. The point is that it's not inherent to the Quick Time Event. I'll submit Bit.Trip Runner as proof.

This is nothing but Quick Time Events. The game tells you "PRESS UP", and you have a limited amount of time in which to perform this. However, this does not reduce the level of skill necessary to complete a level like this, nor does it reduce the sense of accomplishment one receives from completing this level. Quick Time Events do not have to be mindless, and they can require skill.

#43 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

@slag said:

@believer258: @video_game_king:

I think most QTEs are used pretty poorly. However playing games like Heavy Rain make me appreciate how awesome they can be when used imaginatively. Admittedly they have been few and far between.

That's about my opinion, too. A lot of games misuse them, but that's no reason to dismiss the concept entirely. That'd be like.....actually, there have been far too many comparisons in this thread.

This I don't agree with. I thought they were OK, at least from a decision making standpoint.

#44 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@video_game_king: Let's make a case in point, shall we?

I literally just played this sequence. There are three bodies here. They all had guns. The middle one separated from his buddies when they all came in to a room. I took him out first - a gameplay choice that no quick time event would have allowed - and then his two buddies came to revive him. While they began to walk away with their backs to each other, I dropped from my perch and knocked both down, knocked out the one on the left, and then ran to the one on the right as he was getting up to knock him out. No quick time event would have allowed this.

Boiled down to the combat itself, I would still say that it's far from a quick time event, but we're getting to the point of splitting hairs there. Take Arkham Asylum as a whole, however, and it's easy to see how the mechanics come together to allow a player to, you know, play the game, and get through situations in a way that the tools involved allow him or her to. This is the antithesis of quick time events and, to bring the whole thing back on topic, "cinematic" approach to games. This particular scenario can happen in several different ways, all of them involving the player's understanding of the mechanics more than a lazy prompt telling the "player" to continue the movie playing out in front of him, and those mechanics are the most important part of the game.

And I'm done, unless you have a compelling new argument to bring forth. I can't make my point much clearer.

#45 Edited by PonchoPowerPhD (37 posts) -

I for think that it sort of defeats the point of a video game, when there's like 3 hours worth of cutscenes(I'm looking at you Max Payne 3), I might as well watch a movie. Video games are an interactive medium, and I feel taking control away from the players isn't necessarily a good thing a lot of time. I mean if they are used to do things that the player wouldn't be able to do from a gameplay standpoint, then sure(if they are used sparingly). However, if in the cutscene all you do is shoot someone, why not let me do that? Often times it's used as a plot device, and that's okay too, if the focal point of the game is the story. I feel the Last of Us is a great example of this, there are cutscenes, but they are fairly well spaced apart and often are exceptionally well done.

"Immersion" is when I feel like I have control of all my actions, not when the game does it for me, even QTEs are pretty bad, there's just not enough player involvement. Bioshock Infinite is a different subject, the cutscenes are still from the first-person perspective so that's a bit better. However, in BI, I love the parts where your walking and talking with Elizabeth, it doesn't take away player control and it still conveys the story in a good way without having tons of cutscenes in the way.

That's all I guess, just my two cents.

#46 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2923 posts) -

People with small brains can't categorize games as more than one thing. To them all games are in the pac man family and that's all. "Gamez are supposed to be fun".

#47 Posted by astupidvdcase (34 posts) -

There's a thread on neogaf ATM about how bad story doesn't detract from good gameplay. Personally I never had a memorable game based purely on gameplay, its always been a combination. But a bad story doesn't mean poor characters or atmosphere, like in movies. District 9 had a crappy story (random reporter turns into alien after being sprayed in black ink?) But it made up for it in the visuals, action and acting.

#48 Edited by believer258 (11635 posts) -

There's a thread on neogaf ATM about how bad story doesn't detract from good gameplay. Personally I never had a memorable game based purely on gameplay, its always been a combination. But a bad story doesn't mean poor characters or atmosphere, like in movies. District 9 had a crappy story (random reporter turns into alien after being sprayed in black ink?) But it made up for it in the visuals, action and acting.

Stop taking threads from Neogaf and putting them here. This isn't GAF. You shouldn't have got banned from GAF if you wanted to post on GAF.

Personally I never had a memorable game based purely on gameplay, its always been a combination

If that's what floats your boat, that's OK, but games like Super Metroid and Donkey Kong Country 2 have great mechanics that help to make them incredibly memorable. Both games take a great set of mechanics and build a brilliant atmosphere, tone, and setting for the player to use those mechanics in, which is how I prefer my games. It's only through the things that make a game, a game, that they will be here to stay forever like books, movies, and music. Otherwise they're just a massive entertainment fad that will fade away. Chasing the things that make movies special - in other words, making them more "cinematic" - will just cause the things that make video games special to stagnate.

#49 Posted by falserelic (5328 posts) -

Uncharted 3 overdid it, it got boring as fuck to me..

#50 Posted by Slag (4008 posts) -

@slag said:

@believer258: @video_game_king:

I think most QTEs are used pretty poorly. However playing games like Heavy Rain make me appreciate how awesome they can be when used imaginatively. Admittedly they have been few and far between.

That's about my opinion, too. A lot of games misuse them, but that's no reason to dismiss the concept entirely. That'd be like.....actually, there have been far too many comparisons in this thread.

Agreed it's a tool/mechanic it is not inherently good or bad. All depends on usage.

This I don't agree with. I thought they were OK, at least from a decision making standpoint.

Sure I'll concede that, I just don't think it made the game better.

The way I see it, Final Fantasy has long strived to show the player really gorgeous visuals during cutscenes. For a long time no other series came close in graphical prowess. And in the older games, these kind served of the reward for completing portions of the game, basically creating a Pavlovian reward cycle of grind, boss battle, cinema. And they were/are really good at doing that. So if you are like me you just want to just soak in all the amazing detail in.

But in 13-2 you really couldn't stare at the scenery/art, you basically had to keep your mental and visual focus on the center of the screen to watch for button prompts which were sometimes hard to pick out amongst all the detail on the screen. That I think kind of goes against what that style of cutscene is good at. It ended being a mesh of two things that have different graphical needs, the QTE often needs simplistic clear visuals, while Final Fantasy cutscenes shoot for high beauty high detail graphic pron basically.

The actual implementation of the mechanic was about as well done as it could be I suppose in a FF game if put in a cutscene, but it's a mechanic that I think that doesn't add anything to that particular kind of experience.

that is my opinion anyway.