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#1 Posted by ick_bop (110 posts) -

As in, they don't resort to becoming a movie(cutscenes) to convey it's narrative. I'll thrown in Portal.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

So you don't want games with cutscenes? Because that's a massively stupid idea, if true.

#3 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

By your description, Heavy Rain.

#4 Posted by MrRedwine (429 posts) -

Portal's gameplay itself does not tell any story. The story is told through the audio interactions with GladOs and the way the world is built, but the gameply itself is not the story, so I have to say you are wrong in the first place.

Pac-man. Now there is a game that tells a story.

#5 Edited by Baillie (4040 posts) -
#6 Posted by believer258 (11682 posts) -

Half-Life 2. The story is presented in a way that's far more compelling than it should be, given how shallow it really is. If you're looking for a good example of how video games can present and tell a story, then this is it. Remember that the manner you present and tell a story is different than the story itself. You could have one of the tightest stories ever made, yet it would suck if it were told in a boring manner. Especially compared to a story that's got some plot holes but presents itself very well.

Other good ones are Bioshock, Metroid Prime, the original Dead Space, Dragon Age Origins, and Mass Effect.

#7 Posted by Baillie (4040 posts) -

@believer258: I agree with Bioshock and Dead Space, not played Metroid Prime or DA:O. Mass Effect's conversations are pretty much just cutscenes.

#8 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

I think cutscenes are a viable way of telling a story.

#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@benspyda said:

I think cutscenes are a viable way of telling a story.

Exactly. The medium itself imparts quite a bit of narrative power, despite the number of cutscenes.

#10 Posted by Baillie (4040 posts) -

@benspyda: Oh, I totally agree. I was under the impression that's what that topic creator didn't want examples of though.

#11 Posted by ick_bop (110 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

I have no problem with cutscenes, but it kinda proves naysayers like Steve Jobs right. Saying "video games can tell a story just as well as a film or a novel can!" is fine and dandy, but if you have to use short films to tell it, then you fucked up.

#12 Posted by BeachThunder (11724 posts) -

Braid.

#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@ick_bop:

No? That's like saying the text crawl at the beginning of any given Star Wars movie invalidates film as an artistic medium, or that because paintings use lighting/shadow/color/etc. to convey a message, it's impossible for movies and video games to do the same in any artistic manner. Again, the interactive nature alone adds a lot more than you're giving credit for.

#14 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@benspyda said:

I think cutscenes are a viable way of telling a story.

Yes, but if we can only ever convey game stories through cutscenes then that does nothing to prove that games themselves can be a narrative medium.

Back on topic, the reason that I love Bastion so much is that it is a superb blending of narrative and gameplay. Half Life (as well as HL2) is also a prime example, and introduced a lot of very important ideas that continue to be key in the way that we do this type of thing.

Beyond those 2 examples we start to get into more unusual blends where the player's story isn't structured, but instead influences by the gameplay systems. We also have environmental storytelling like Bethesda is so fond of, in which players infer story from objects in the environment.

#15 Posted by Unequivocable (215 posts) -

Shadow of the Colossus had cutscenes, but the most powerful part of it's storytelling was the gameplay itself. The juxtaposition of riding the empty land on your horse, and then encountering and attacking the massive colossi. And the battles themselves were excellent at giving you a feeling of helplessness as you were tossed about by the giants, but you had to keep squeezing the trigger to try and hold on with all you had. I feel like I got a lot more out of that story than if i'd just watched the whole thing in a movie.

#16 Posted by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

Darksouls. Theres only a few cut scenes and thats when bosses enter the room. But other than there theres no one to explain the story to you. You figure it all out on your own. Amazing game.

#17 Edited by benspyda (2030 posts) -

@ick_bop: One of my best story based experiences with gaming is probably MGS3 and that had a lot of cutscenes. I feel gamings benefit to telling a story is the fact that you are actively involved in it, so when the characters say we need to shut down all the generators to stop the nuclear meltdown, you know you will actually be doing it yourself. For dialogue only scenes I think cutscenes still work fine.

#18 Posted by believer258 (11682 posts) -

@Baillie said:

@believer258: I agree with Bioshock and Dead Space, not played Metroid Prime or DA:O. Mass Effect's conversations are pretty much just cutscenes.

Yes, but they give some choices. That's why I said ME - it's not a static story all of the time, though I daresay that far more could be done with choices in games. I think The Witcher 2 may have been a better choice, as I've heard that its decisions can drastically change the game, but I've never played it. DA:O is pretty much the same idea as Mass Effect except you have a list of responses instead of a wheel and thus more responses and variation in story.

Dead Space falls into that category for the same reasons that Half-Life 2 did. It presented a story very well, it did not tell a great one. Still, it is one worth listening to, a statement that cannot be said of its sequel's questionable story with more loose threads than an old ball of yarn.

Metroid Prime gets a mention because of its scan visor and all of the logs through which tons of story bits are given. Again, remember that this is the original I'm talking about. The scan visor logs showed a ton of lore and tidbits about different things. For instance, the story of how the Chozo fell on Tallon IV is an interesting one which you only get if you take the time to find and read their logs. It's also a great way of telling about the creatures you are fighting; instead of just throwing some random bad things at you, the game tells you about them, their weak points, origins, ideas, etc. Logs have been done before and since, but this is the best use of them so far because they flesh out the world and make it feel like a universe.

On a different aspect of this topic:

@benspyda said:

I think cutscenes are a viable way of telling a story.

Not much more needs to be said than that. Cutscenes, when not overused, can be very good for a story. I don't think their use should ever be ignored if the situation called for it.

#19 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

So you don't want games with cutscenes? Because that's a massively stupid idea, if true.

That is certainly missing the point if I've ever seen it. And regardless, it's not stupid.

#20 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@Napalm:

Wait, it's not stupid to want games that don't use cutscenes? How? You can still prove the viability of video games as an artistic medium with cutscenes.

#21 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Napalm:

You can still prove the viability of video games as an artistic medium with cutscenes.

Sure.

#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@Napalm:

Again, a single moment of non-interactivity does not invalidate the interactivity present in the rest of the experience. It's still present, and it still has an effect on the plot and how its messages come across.

#23 Posted by James_ex_machina (905 posts) -

Alan Wake

#24 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Napalm:

Again, a single moment of non-interactivity does not invalidate the interactivity present in the rest of the experience. It's still present, and it still has an effect on the plot and how its messages come across.

I was agreeing with you, but you missed the point of the OP. He said, "resort to becoming movies," which I assume he means cutscene heavy games such as the Uncharted series. He didn't say, "cutscenes as a whole".

#25 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@Napalm:

Looking back on his post, it is pretty ambiguous on this point; it sounds a lot like he's equating "cutscenes" with "EURGH, IT'S A MOVIE NOW". This sounds like the type of thing that would resolve itself if he clarified his position, so I guess we'll have to wait.

#26 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Napalm:

Looking back on his post, it is pretty ambiguous on this point; it sounds a lot like he's equating "cutscenes" with "EURGH, IT'S A MOVIE NOW". This sounds like the type of thing that would resolve itself if he clarified his position, so I guess we'll have to wait.

It's pretty clear what he means. You're putting things in the post that don't exist.

EDIT: He should have elaborated on his topic as a whole, though.

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@Napalm:

Putting "cutscenes" in parentheses and leaving at that is kinda vague.

#28 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Mass Effect? Batman Arkham City?

#29 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Napalm:

Putting "cutscenes" in parentheses and leaving at that is kinda vague.

Well then, you strategically avoided the, "becoming a movie," part of his sentence. That usually implies an abundance of cutscenes and flashy camera angles.

Dead Space works, Doom 3 in my opinion, and by extension, so does F.E.A.R. and System Shock 2. No cutscenes. Everything is in game and from your perspective.

#30 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2450 posts) -

Bastion.

Majora's Mask

#31 Posted by Baillie (4040 posts) -

@James_ex_machina said:

Alan Wake

That's a great answer.

#32 Posted by Video_Game_King (36107 posts) -

@Napalm:

I was saying that by putting "(cutscenes)" next to "becoming a movie", he was equating the two, especially with the parentheses (as they are usually used to clarify a point that may not immediately be clear). I'd say that it seems odd that we're arguing over sentence structure, but these types of things happen whenever I enter a thread.

#33 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3023 posts) -

I'd say Silent Hill 3 does some nice things in that regard. The hell Heather goes through to get back home to her father is much more compelling and meaningful as a game that you play through rather than just some experience you watch or read.

#34 Posted by Akeldama (4239 posts) -

Dark Souls and Silent Hill 2 are my personal picks.

#35 Edited by BaneFireLord (2913 posts) -

Red Dead Redemption. Also, Skyrim. The stories may not be fantastic, but there are so damn many of them its hard to complain.

#36 Posted by Knave (548 posts) -

Radiant Historia.

#37 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

None. No games tell good stories.

#38 Posted by Animasta (14651 posts) -

I'd say Nier, because that's a story you could only tell in a game, but you said no cutscenes so I guess not

#39 Posted by NTM (7286 posts) -

Dead Space.

#40 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

@senorfuzzeh: I literally cannot form words that convey how mad that statement made me.

#41 Edited by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

@david3cm: Why? Their story is explained in the world and in the monsters. Not through 5 hours of dialog.

#42 Posted by Beforet (2912 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I'd say Nier, because that's a story you could only tell in a game, but you said no cutscenes so I guess not

I thought I'd be the only one to say it. The stuff in the NG+ wouldn't have been nierly (ah ha!) as effective in a film or book. Or maybe it could but it would require really good directing/writing. Though I guess that's what it really comes down to for all media.

#43 Posted by Liam_mk (290 posts) -

@gladspooky said:

None. No games tell good stories.

I'm going to fight you.

#44 Posted by Getz (2989 posts) -

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time told an excellent story that would have seemed banal if it were written in a book but seemed so much more poignant when you could control the flow of time yourself. The same could be said for Braid, for which poignancy doesn't even do it justice. Far Cry 2 had a very bland narrative for the most part, but the oppressive atmosphere and the just-barely-scraping-by gameplay captured Africa in a way that all but the most daring films attempt to convey. Also, the final moments of the game are pure genius. A truly underrated story.

Bastion was a case for clever, poetic writing becoming transcendent with the addition of beautiful artwork and player agency. The mere act of walking your character from point A to B literally creates the world and the narrative that surrounds it. Nothing is more engrossing and poetic than feeling like you have created something truly special. Bastion allows you to live vicariously through the insane talent of it's creators: no movie, play, or book could ever accomplish something like that.

#45 Edited by TheHT (10933 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Napalm:

Wait, it's not stupid to want games that don't use cutscenes? How? You can still prove the viability of video games as an artistic medium with cutscenes.

As you can with games without cutscenes, not that I can see any particular relation between proving artistic merit and not wanting games with cutscenes. There's nothing stupid about wanting games without cutscenes. Peculiar, yes, that one would be so adament on not playing a game that has any cutscenes, but hardly massively stupid. Not even slightly.

Unless of course when you say "not want games with cutscenes" you're referring only to this topic and not overall game preference. Sounds silly that you would be making a statement not focused in on the topic, but then this is the internet.

I gotta go with Demon's Souls. Entering the Maiden Astraea's boss fight when that tense music kicks in she starts talking about God and why she chose to become a demon, and getting the feeling of just how royally fucked the world you're in is, is one of my favourite gaming moments. Merely seeing that unfold as an act in a film wouldn't quite have hit home the way it did.

When I, the player, have been thrown into that brutal world, told Demon's are evil, witnessed their lethality, and then went on about taking all of their souls only to find one which I'm unexpectedly so sympathetic to and who immediately upon entering the boss area throws me off of my endeavour (namely taking her goddamned soul), that's some great stuff right there. And of course knowing that I need her soul in order to deal with the Old One, whether I choose to put it to sleep and save this terrible world or take the place of the true King now deformed and bound within the Old One, letting my lust for souls overtake me. Fucking awesome.

Man, I should play Demon's Souls again.

#46 Posted by Nightriff (4930 posts) -

Dragon Age Origins is basically Lord of the Rings with more dragons and it pulls it off almost perfectly. Heavy Rain felt like watching a movie, sure it has it's plot holes that are never explained but I enjoyed it and I'll throw in the Uncharted series, MGS series are great stories, though nonsensical at times, I would argue RE4 and Max Payne are a great means of storytelling also

#47 Posted by mordukai (7141 posts) -

Any entertainment medium is a viable story telling platform as long as it done right by people who understand storytelling. I just wish more developer would start treating the gamers as intelligent people and not as mindless idiots. You can still have meaningful story and keep the explosive action. if Spec Ops: The Line achieves what it's setting itself to achieve then maybe it'll give those developers, mainly the Military FPS genre developers a much needed wake up call.

#48 Edited by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

Weird, this fits a video I was watching surprisingly well. (At around 34 mins in, Mr.Levine starts talking about their decision not to include cutscenes and how this effected their game design.)

I think there's merit in cutscenes if used correctly and if they are not used as the means for the entire delivery of story. Certain set pieces work well and only work in cutscenes but it is the way they are combined with the rest of the game that matters. There has to be a seamless transition from Gameplay-Cutscene for it to work at all. Emergent story as in Portal and Bioshock are definitely very interesting and very effective, I don't think it's been explored enough in big games though, games instead understandably try to emulate other mediums which simply require watching and not interaction. We must remember the element that defines games is that control and should be fused with the story telling! Nothing helps immerse you in a game like walking through an old Town/Space Station where you explore and find out what has happened through the characters perspective. But the problem is that games like this can forget that they are games! And the mechanics become a means to an end, the right balance must be attained, and I think Portal does this expertly.

An interesting look at old game mechanics evolving is Mass Effect.

Mass Effect does a great job of having a very defined cinematic style that is reverential to cinema but is sculpted for games. This is by no means a perfect system, with the dialogue choices becoming to defined and not vague enough, leading to very black or white encounters and punishing you for mixing them up. But the excellent job they've done in creating a living universe is unparalleled in any other game, with text alone you could spend hours reading, but you can still enjoy the critical path without it. Having humanity being the new-comers to this Galactic Government was a great way for us as Gamers to not feel overwhelmed by this universe and allow us to connect and explore through Shepard (Even the use of the second name Shepard is a genius idea, you are able to create your own protagonist and people in game can address you instead of always saying Hi.) as the story goes on. And it's those kind of connections between story elements and player psychology that we need more of.

#49 Posted by CaptainCody (1505 posts) -

Seems like people are confusing CG with FMV. I can't imagine most games conveying much without in game cutscenes, how the fuck would that work?

#50 Posted by Hector (3356 posts) -

The Bioshock games!