I made this thread in response to generation long comments about reviewers preferring cinematic experiences over actual gameplay, or the idea that games are 'too' cinematic nowadays. I know I'm generalizing but these sort of comments exist and its weird. I'm surprised such a narrative gained traction, since there are very few games that actually are 'cinematic experiences,' like Until Dawn, as well as making it seem like games that have great stories/ production values don't have good/ great gameplay too. Its quite far fetched. But is that really the case, do people believe this? Or is it just a poor excuse to downplay PS4 dominance across the board? I think it is the latter. Definitively.
There are two cinematic experiences (I don't count indies, because they are gauged differently than retail games, as well as price which is an x-factor when it comes to reviews, and obviously VR games, as that is a whole other acid trip lol) I have played on PS4. Until Dawn with a 79 Metascore & The Order with a 63 Metascore. In fact, no cinematic games have reached a 90 Metascore on any platform, so I wonder why this is an excuse for PS4 games that get reviewed well. Now, I can't think of any other cinematic experiences out or to be released. I have bought over 10 retail games this gen & none of them are cinematic experiences. The only other game I've played in my life that fits the bill would be Heavy Rain, which really undersells the game if you think of it like that. So despite the lack of evidence of cinematic experiences garnering favorable scores, and the lack of truly cinematic games for consoles in general, it is funny this is cinematic excuse is used for PS4 exclusives. Hm, must be something about PS4/ Sony......
Then games like Uncharted 4 + TLoU with great stories, solid gameplay, are labelled as cinematic experiences. This might be because the gameplay is not "innovative enough," which is a poor critique IMO, since the majority of major AAA games for every console, every genre, follow the same formula in terms of gameplay. Then there are people who feel that the story is the strongest point, which makes it a product they're not interested in, which is fair. But labelling the game as a cinematic experience, because its strongest point is the story, is underselling the whole package. The fact that a game can get people immersed through the story/ characters/ setting is a great thing. Like being immersed into a movie, show, or book, caring for the characters makes it better, more memorable, more sentimental for the person. But it doesn't mean developers sacrifice gameplay for story, it shows they are talented developers.
Games like God of War, Halo, Final Fantasy, MGS, have great stories to them as well as great gameplay. People who spin games with a great story and file it as a "cinematic experience" are doing a disservice to the developers. The Uncharted franchise, for instance, has some of the greatest set pieces in gaming history, with the verticality, variety and verocity, that make it exciting to play through, and obviously this might not be as exciting to others as it is to some, but to label it a cinematic experience because it doesn't appeal to you? No matter how great a story in the game is, games thrive on gameplay, it generates excitement through gameplay.
Just my thoughts. Feel free to disagree, or agree, comment below!