[To cutscene or not to cutscene? That is the question posed by Zwuh; not so much posed as answered vehemently. Want to see your own writing on the front page? Write something awesome and put it in the C Blogs. -- Kauza]
Welcome to your beautiful morning. The sun is chirping, the birds are shining and your pockets are filled with party money. You’re going to get a damn ice cream and you’re going to enjoy it. Expertly placing one foot in front of the other, you make your way down the street to the corner shop. The door opens with very little effort and you step towards the counter.
Then it happens. Your eyes are plucked out of their sockets and placed on a nearby shelf. While you stare from your distant perch, the shopkeeper starts selling a delicious treat to your limp body. Two men in blue jumpsuits swoop in and begin puppeting your husk through the motions of modern capitalism. You watch on as the hollow buys an ice cream and makes small talk about football. You don’t even like sport. Transaction complete, your eyes are thrust back inside your head and you black out, waking up outside the store with an ice cream in your hand.
There are two main schools of thought on the topic. The first is that cutscenes are a horrible abomination which needs to be purged, a lazy storytelling method that’s nothing but video games wishing really, really hard that they were movies. The second position is that cutscenes are a vital method for conveying complex narrative and without them sitting on the couch eating jumbo-size corn chips while stabbing elves would be meaningless.
If excessive use of cutscenes really is abuse, then Metal Gear Solid is the drunk stepfather of video gaming. All the titles have, to various degrees, been accused of being movies with short interactive breaks. We’re talking about a series that made us watch a 10 minute montage of two characters slowly walking down a cliff-side road while a British lady waxed lyrical about the nature of genetics as it related to personal life experience. Then the sequel threw in 20 minutes of the most fucked up and confusing shit you’ve seen since the last time a lunatic artificial intelligence piloted a giant metal whale into the side of New York City while three clones had a cockfight on the roof. And when that madness isn’t happening, half the so-called scenes are actually just spent staring at the screen of your spy phone while people talk... and talk. AND TALK.
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