Too Many Cutscenes!

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#1 Posted by Moaz13 (18 posts) -

Am I the only one who thinks that Max Payne 3 had too many cutscenes?

Yes, I know, some games do require cutscenes, but the Half-Life games sure did not, and the story was still loud and clear for everybody who played it. Max Payne had waay too many cutscenes and it took away the immersion. I did not feel as if I was shooting the people, but it was Max, not me.

#2 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1232 posts) -

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

#3 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

I didn't mind the first time because I enjoyed the story, but on subsequent plays it is a royal pain in the anus.

#4 Posted by fix8ed (24 posts) -

I agree, it seems like there are too many in this game. It seems to be killing it for me.

#5 Posted by phampire (284 posts) -

The first time around I didn't mind them. But even after you finish the game you can't skip them until everything has loaded. I just wish that there was a mode where you could just jump in and shoot dudes. I feel that the game would benefit from the "dead man walking" mode that was present in Max Payne 2, which was a survival arena mode and was a blast.

Online
#6 Posted by MEATBALL (3194 posts) -

At first it bothered me, but then I just kind of got used to it and rolled with it, I was even enjoying them more on the second playthrough. I definitely wouldn't want many games to follow Max Payne 3's example, though.

#7 Edited by Meowshi (2911 posts) -

@RIDEBIRD said:

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

You hate cutscenes even when used sparingly and done properly?

#8 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1568 posts) -

I wouldn't have had a problem with the cutscenes if it weren't for the fact that like half of them were prerendered and thus looked like garbage on my PC, where the running game looked 2-3x better than what I was seeing in those cutscenes.

#9 Posted by Moaz13 (18 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

I wouldn't have had a problem with the cutscenes if it weren't for the fact that like half of them were prerendered and thus looked like garbage on my PC, where the running game looked 2-3x better than what I was seeing in those cutscenes.

It's also because of those filter effects they kept putting in. They really overdone it and made everything look like garbage.

#10 Posted by Jimbo (9800 posts) -
@Meowshi said:

@RIDEBIRD said:

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

You hate cutscenes even when used sparingly and done properly?

It's a legit point of view.
#11 Posted by Moaz13 (18 posts) -

@Meowshi said:

@RIDEBIRD said:

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

You hate cutscenes even when used sparingly and done properly?

Cutscenes are a way of storytelling in games, but there are much more effective ways such as Narration in "Bastion" and through other characters and the environment such as the Half-Life games...

#12 Posted by AlisterCat (5532 posts) -

Not for me. I want all those cutscenes. Give me yours, I'll watch them.

#13 Posted by Revan_NL (335 posts) -

It was a bit excessive in MP3, but I don't really think that Half-Life is the pinnacle of videogame storytelling. Maybe it's because I really don't like the Half-Life series. I think Rockstar San Diego nailed a perfect balance with storytelling in both cutscenes and gameplay in Red Dead Redemption

#14 Posted by Pie (7079 posts) -

I enjoyed them greatly on the first run through but trying to replay that game for fun on higher difficulties or messing around with cheats is torturous. Hate unskippable cut scenes

#15 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Max Payne 3 was one of the only games in this late generation to actually utilize cutscenes properly and brilliantly.

#16 Posted by ShaggE (6420 posts) -

@Pie said:

I enjoyed them greatly on the first run through but trying to replay that game for fun on higher difficulties or messing around with cheats is torturous. Hate unskippable cut scenes

Exactly how I feel. New York Minute is especially fucked, since death = start over = wanting to punch the concept of unskippable cutscenes in the throat.

#17 Posted by Meltac (2001 posts) -

No, because they blended so nicely together with the actual gameplay. 

#18 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1232 posts) -

@Meowshi: I tolerate them I guess. Games are so much more immersive when they fully explore what the medium is capable of. Could never get my grip on Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain for example, see them both as exceptionally bad video games. The gameplay is just a transport mechanic from QTE to cutscene and back. Awful.

I really, really hate that, and that's sort of how it's done in MP3. Sort of. The gameplay in MP3 is however actual gameplay and is totally excellent, but no story, ever, is told through gameplay. It always cuts to you not in control, watching a movie. That's bad design in my book. I understand the need for some cutscenes, some times, if in-engine, but not every single time. I didn't give a shit about Max and his destiny because of this.

I'd much prefer, and I think we would see much, much better games out of it, if cutscenes was not commonplace any more. I think devs need to work so much harder to create believable and relatable characters and worlds if they just can't place them in a scriped, stale, enviroment, and I also think that's why GLADOS, Alyx and Eli are such amazing, lively, believable characters. You - the player - are always interacting with them. You never become a camera. Deus Ex (the first one) did an exceptional job with this as well, and BioWare usually do it okay (overdone in ME3).

BioShock did allright with the cutscenes as well since you were kept in character, largely, and had something to relate to. Except for the fact that it was PC crispness 1080p and then cut to shitty looking 720p, but I think pretty much every game today has come past the cutscene that is not done in-engine, seeing as it was five years ago.

#19 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I disagree, personally I really like cutscenes, its one of the reasons I love Metal Gear Solid.

#20 Posted by AssInAss (2618 posts) -

Remedy does in-game storytelling really well even in previous Max Payne games and now in Alan Wake with so much attention to detail in the environment, interactions with objects or characters as they react to your presence, the TV stations and radios, in ADDITION to the regular cutscenes that are paced as breathers between levels instead of just the only storytelling in the game (Max Payne 3).

I'm fine with cutscenes serving as just between levels to give you a break, but not to be the only mode of storytelling.

#21 Posted by Village_Guy (2546 posts) -

Cutscenes can be great, especially to give you story breaks, but I felt that in Max Payne 3 there was parts where you fight some guys, cutscene, walk, cutscene, fight, cutscene, walk, fight, cutscene, fight, cutscene, fight, cutscene and so on...

#22 Posted by Brodehouse (9874 posts) -

The solution is not less, it's better. The problem with Metal Gear wasn't too many cutscenes, it's too many boring cutscenes. Ex: The complaint about Mass Effect was that the inventory sucked (it did), the complaint about Mass Effect 2 is that they took it out altogether (they did).

Also find this idea that storytelling is only Good if it's done in first person while maintaining control really amusing. It's simply a choice of transmission, not a judgement on the actual quality of the story. You wind up in scenarios where people make overarcing judgements like "all voiceovers are bad, using voiceover makes the story bad" instead of the actual storytelling.

Unskippablr cutscenes are bad for a completely unrelated reason, the specific 'retry' pacing you only find in games. No one ever has to reread a entire chapter of a book because they lost their place.

#23 Posted by DonutFever (3551 posts) -

It does some in game storytelling with Max's internal monologue, the cutscenes make the game more immersive because the entire game is seamless, no loading screens. If you feel like Max is shooting the people, and not you, that probably a good thing. Max isn't a blank slate you put yourself onto, he's a character.

#24 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5816 posts) -

Not for me, though I usually prefer cutscenes to other forms of storytelling.

Online
#25 Posted by Meowshi (2911 posts) -

@RIDEBIRD said:

@Meowshi: I tolerate them I guess. Games are so much more immersive when they fully explore what the medium is capable of. Could never get my grip on Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain for example, see them both as exceptionally bad video games. The gameplay is just a transport mechanic from QTE to cutscene and back. Awful.

I really, really hate that, and that's sort of how it's done in MP3. Sort of. The gameplay in MP3 is however actual gameplay and is totally excellent, but no story, ever, is told through gameplay. It always cuts to you not in control, watching a movie. That's bad design in my book. I understand the need for some cutscenes, some times, if in-engine, but not every single time. I didn't give a shit about Max and his destiny because of this.

I'd much prefer, and I think we would see much, much better games out of it, if cutscenes was not commonplace any more. I think devs need to work so much harder to create believable and relatable characters and worlds if they just can't place them in a scriped, stale, enviroment, and I also think that's why GLADOS, Alyx and Eli are such amazing, lively, believable characters. You - the player - are always interacting with them. You never become a camera. Deus Ex (the first one) did an exceptional job with this as well, and BioWare usually do it okay (overdone in ME3).

BioShock did allright with the cutscenes as well since you were kept in character, largely, and had something to relate to. Except for the fact that it was PC crispness 1080p and then cut to shitty looking 720p, but I think pretty much every game today has come past the cutscene that is not done in-engine, seeing as it was five years ago.

@Moaz13 said:

@Meowshi said:

@RIDEBIRD said:

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

You hate cutscenes even when used sparingly and done properly?

Cutscenes are a way of storytelling in games, but there are much more effective ways such as Narration in "Bastion" and through other characters and the environment such as the Half-Life games...

Fair enough. I suppose I'm just partial to them. A world without Blur Studios and Blizzard cutscenes, is not a world I want to live in.

#26 Edited by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

If that's the feeling you got, OP then I think they did their job right. You're not supposed to put yourself in Max's shoes, just get him through the day alive.

I don't know where the idea comes from that immersion is necessary or important in games. It's one aspect of certain types of games, but it shouldn't be the default goal of every game, shooters especially. There's no world to explore, no way to interact short of shooting, so my immersion is broken by the premise alone. Sometimes pulling you out of a game can be just as effective as pulling you in.

#27 Posted by Korolev (1703 posts) -

I liked the cutscenes when I first played the game, because they were well done. However, playing through again on harder difficulties or for getting the golden guns has brought into sharp relief just HOW many cutscenes that game has - way too many.

Some levels have actually very little shooting. Chapter 4, for instance, is half cut-scene.

#28 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

My gripe with Max Payne 3 is that if/when you wanna play the game again the cut scenes are not skippable, and long as fuck when you just wanna collect an item or whatever. Basically I started playing again to do as much of that as I could and maybe get one of the cheats unlocked and I spent almost 3 hours getting like 2-3 chapters of shit done, frustrated I haven't played it since then. You can skip the short 'movie' parts but not the in-game parts and those are the longest. Keeps saying 'still loading' but it's really not loading anything, I run the game on an ssd and the parts it legitimately loads are almost instant, the message should change to 'hey fucker, wait until the cut scene is done cause we didn't build out game to actually allow you to skip this shit'.

Wish I'd used a guide the first time and collected everything on the first go.

#29 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

Max Payne games always had a lot of cut scenes.

#30 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

I wouldn't have had a problem with the cutscenes if it weren't for the fact that like half of them were prerendered and thus looked like garbage on my PC, where the running game looked 2-3x better than what I was seeing in those cutscenes.

Exactly my thoughts. I also didn't appreciate that you couldn't skip them on subsequent play throughs. When you try to skip it just says "still loading" and you end up watching practically all of the cutscene anyway. Annoying.

#31 Posted by Stonyman65 (2673 posts) -

@Moaz13 said:

Am I the only one who thinks that Max Payne 3 had too many cutscenes?

Yes, I know, some games do require cutscenes, but the Half-Life games sure did not, and the story was still loud and clear for everybody who played it. Max Payne had waay too many cutscenes and it took away the immersion. I did not feel as if I was shooting the people, but it was Max, not me.

It's odd because if you compare the cut scenes to the old comic strips in the last 2 games, it about evens out. I think Max Payne 2 was worse. There is a certain point in that game where there is literally another comic/cutscene every 3 minutes or so.

#32 Edited by Frag_Maniac (107 posts) -

Yeah it does seem the"Still loading" message is a BS excuse to make you watch parts where obviously there's just a movie playing vs level loading. I have it installed on a mediocre speed HDD and I've been waiting for someone with an SSD to verify that.

I could see maybe not allowing any skipping the first play through, but in subsequent runs and esp arcade mode you shouldn't have to watch them when you already know the story. Arcade mode is about the gameplay anyway, not the story.

#33 Posted by cloudnineboya (802 posts) -

not been able to skip them is the problem , with a good game i like to replay it straight after for a better experience.

so i am bummed about max ,it will be a good while till i take another shot at it.

#34 Posted by TheSlothKing (331 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

If that's the feeling you got, OP then I think they did their job right. You're not supposed to put yourself in Max's shoes, just get him through the day alive.

Exactly. You're are not Max Payne, you are just going through his story.

#35 Posted by Edwardryu (437 posts) -

I don't know about this game. I didn't buy it. if MP3 have more cut scenes than mass effect 3, then it will be pain in the ass. unlikely ME 3, if you can't skip it, nobody wants to play again. after I red all posts from various forums, I am glad not to buy it. it sounds like wasting money to me.

#36 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Silent Hill 2 is another example of in game story telling

#37 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4717 posts) -

The amount of cutscenes don't bother me as much as the forced "STILL LOADING..." bullshit whenever you try to skip one. There's no goddamn way a five minute cutscene is there just to mask a load time. If that truly is the case then that studio should be shit-canned. There is no fucking reason for that kind of wait time in 2012.

#38 Posted by Fjordson (2448 posts) -

We need to get rid of this notion that Valve is above cutscenes. They use cut scenes! If you're locked in a room with some NPC spouting a bunch of exposition at you while you're unable to respond, that's a cutscene. You just have camera control and can hump their leg while they're talking. They got away from this a bit in Portal, but that's a different situation really. You aren't actually talking to other people there, just disembodied voices who aren't actually present (like with Glados or Cave Johnson) so Valve is able to play audio in the background. At the end of the day, they use cutscenes.

Anyways, with Max Payne 3, it didn't really kill the game for me, cutscenes are fine as a storytelling method. Rockstar's problem was that they changed the function of their cutscenes.

The transitions thing is a cool idea and they transition between cutscene and gameplay really well, which is great...except they changed the function of their cutscenes from a story technique to a technical requirement. Any time they had to load something, there's a cutscene that takes control away from you. Every. Single. Time. And for whatever reason because of how they built this game, there's sort of a lot of loading. So it gets to the point where it isn't even about too much story or too much dialogue or whatever, it's about having to hide all these loading screens. You'll shoot a few guys, and then get a cutsccene of someone climbing a ladder, or Passos opening a door. Small insignificant things that happen naturally and without loading in most games.
#39 Posted by Yummylee (21506 posts) -

@Pie said:

I enjoyed them greatly on the first run through but trying to replay that game for fun on higher difficulties or messing around with cheats is torturous. Hate unskippable cut scenes

This right here. It's the worst for Arcade mode as well, because by design you're going to want to reply sections over and over, but are then continuously hamstrung by also having to watch the cutscenes over and over.

Also while I generally enjoy regular cutscenes, I ultimately agree with this, too.

@AssInAss said:

Remedy does in-game storytelling really well even in previous Max Payne games and now in Alan Wake with so much attention to detail in the environment, interactions with objects or characters as they react to your presence, the TV stations and radios, in ADDITION to the regular cutscenes that are paced as breathers between levels instead of just the only storytelling in the game (Max Payne 3).

I'm fine with cutscenes serving as just between levels to give you a break, but not to be the only mode of storytelling.

#40 Posted by rolanthas (242 posts) -

It's fucking insane that cutscenes are unskippable. Some tech savie people have proven in a dozen different ways that the game is not actually loading, but only reading the .bik files during the longest scenes ( talking about the PC version ), and the actual loading takes a marginally less time. It's perfectly fine for the 1st playthrough, and even in 2nd since you may wanna watch out for many foreshadowing clues to the conspiracy.

But having the same unskippable cutscenes in arcade modes is travesty, I can't believe they didn't care to remedy this. It also kills and mutilates the replayability of the single player, save for a few hardcore ( insensible ) fans like me. Most fans blame such misgivings as not caring for the story, or not understanding the cinematographic influences in the narration, but that is wrong and irrelevant when one's replaying the game for the 4th, 5th time, or just trying to score higher in the leaderboards.

I don't wanna add to the cutscene argument, though I always prefer interaction, even if it means I'm locked in a room with a NPC who spews plot exposition. Very, very few game studios have the capacity to actually add to game's narration with cinematic influences in their cutscenes. Although Rockstar certainly helms these efforts, they went way overboard, crippling their gameplay in a couple of instances in favour of showing Max from a subjective angle ( oh hai, pointless sniper cutscene that lasts 8 minutes ).

#41 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

@Moaz13 said:

@Meowshi said:

@RIDEBIRD said:

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

You hate cutscenes even when used sparingly and done properly?

Cutscenes are a way of storytelling in games, but there are much more effective ways such as Narration in "Bastion" and through other characters and the environment such as the Half-Life games...

To be fair though Half-Life (2) did have some long ass cutscenes. Just because you could walk around while they happened and hit alex with a crowbar doesn't change the fact they were still, in essence, cutscenes.

#42 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1232 posts) -

@DelroyLindo: But you still were allowed to whatever you wanted and you never left your perspective. It makes all the difference in the world for immersion for me. It's an illusion that's good enough.

#43 Posted by Intro (1206 posts) -

Yeah I fucking hated that shit. I wasn't even playing that game for the story either.

#44 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

@RIDEBIRD said:

I hate cutscenes and think it's sloppy storytelling. Games can do better. "Cinematic" games is the absolute wrong way to go for videogames in general. I hated that shit in Max Payne 3. It really had way, way, way too long and too many cutscenes. Almost as Rockstar did not have a clue at all how to tell the story in-game, and I think it made it a lot worse.

And yes, HL has always been the 'this is how it should be done' of game narrative for me as well. Perfect. Seems like most people don't dare though, but I'd wager it's the prime reason, that most people might not think about at first, why everyone loves Half-Life and 2 as well as Portal 1 and 2.

Pretty ironic that I chose that gif. :P
#45 Posted by benspyda (2033 posts) -

If the story is good I have no problems with cutscenes. I haven't played max payne 3 so I can't say either way though about that game in particular.

#46 Posted by overnow (149 posts) -

I'll take jumping into a cutscene over sitting there and watching a loading bar for a similar amount of time.

#47 Posted by captain_max707 (490 posts) -

I think it's important to realize that the purpose of a cutscene varies game to game. It all really depends on whether the story of the game revolves around the player or the character. In the case of a player focused story, the player is meant to feel as though they are in the game world, and the events are happening to them. As a result, cutscenes, which remove the player's control over what is essentially their story definitely can interfere with the immersion of a game.  
 
However, when a story revolves around a specific character, like Alan Wake or Alice: Madness Returns, cutscenes can accomplish much more than constant control. Because the story isn't about the player's experiences, and rather is about a specific character's experiences, having a removed look can be very useful. If a player is meant to be the main character, and something important happens, the player knows how they feel, as it is essentially affecting them directly. But when a player is already "removed" from the main character (I say removed because it is certainly still possible to have an emotional attachment to a defined character) a cutscene can express things that gameplay can't.  
 
Basically, cutscenes have their places. It's not very accurate to judge their validity as a whole, because their purpose and quality vary from game to game. It's like combat in games- Some need it to be good, others fail or are bothersome because of it, and it can be extremely different from game to game. 

#48 Posted by Yanngc33 (4496 posts) -

It's a modern game, if you pay attention, you'll realize there's a cutscene after every gun fight. It's to keep the game going at a brisk pace. As mentioned before, there are no quiet moments in this game

#49 Edited by gaminghooligan (1435 posts) -

@Moaz13: I felt like there were way to many cut-scenes in act 1, but after act 1 I thought they lightened up and were no longer obtrusive

EDIT: Also they hide load screens which I don't mind at all

#50 Posted by Wayne985 (1 posts) -

Good games tell a good story. That's what cutscenes are for. In this case, they flow so smoothly in and out of game-play that they work fantastically. That people here are decrying good storytelling is baffling to me. I shudder to think what kind of movies or books you people may enjoy.

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