Forums - Gaming Discussion - The Cinematic Experience in Games

KLXVER said:
Trunkin said:

I didn't really think TLoU balanced gameplay and cinematics particularly well either, and it is the primary reason why I question if "filmic" storytelling can ever be effectively utilized in gaming. I thought the gameplay segments messed up the pacing of the story, and the cinematic segments screwed with the immersion of the gameplay. Things didn't really start to click for me until Fall, and by then the game was almost over.

There will always be a bit of an awkward transistion between the two I think, but I just thought TLOU did a better job than most with it.

The first thing I thought of was the Last of Us when reading this thread. While the gameplay is functional and serves to fill in the fragments between the story, for the most part it just felt like filler. Moving conveniently placed identical rafts, ladders, and planks for the n-th time, not only felt like a waste of time, but in my opinion broke the immersion and took me out of the experience. Having unrealistically many enemies, and kill count just for the sake of providing enough gameplay, didn't add anything to the story either. If they had only one fourth of the enemies they did, the story would have been more believable and hence impactful.

Either way, when a game trys too hard to have a serious story, it usually doesn't mix well with the gameplay, as it still has to be a fun game to play, and it either isn't fun (Heavy Rain) or creates this ludonarrative dissonance (Tomb Raider Reboot).

While I personally love story driven games, I generally end up preffering something like Telltale's games as they don't try to shoe-horn in unnecessary gameplay where it doesn't belong, and focuses on the strong aspects of the storytelling. Alternatively, if the game wants to be fun, don't include overly serious story or there will be the problem of merging the two.

As for the OP. As for downplaying anything by using the word cinematic doesn't make any sense. The word by itself doesn't have much meaning, perhaps it could be said that the game has big set pieces and great visual quality. Neither of which sounds like a bad thing. As much as it is not a very useful term, I could see it applied to Uncharted and that would be a compliment. On the other hand, the phrase "interactive movie", has slightly more negative connotations with it and has been often aimed at Quantic Dreams games, and I've even seen it thrown at Uncharted, and that is a genuine attempt to downplay it's gameplay. But the word cinematic while somewhat meaningless is more of a positive term than a negative one.



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Walking dead? Heavy rain?

All i can say is if it sells, it's working.

 

Also does this mean every single VN game is bad to you? cos that genre doesnt have gameplay at all.



It troubles my mind when people talk as if TLOU and Uncharted are similar to Until Dawn or Heavy Rain, because they are not. Naughty Dog's games have cinmatic moments, but are not interactive cinematic games by a long shot.

Make it as cinematic as you please. Just make sure to pay plenty of attention to gameplay otherwise I'm going to notice and feel disgusted. Don't use your pretty production values to disguise lackluster gameplay.

Looking at you GTA 5.

I don't know what the definition of cinematic games is anymore. Anything with a plot line or even just being compatible with ultra wide monitors? http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/6-best-cinematic-games-top-titles-for-your-ultra-wide-monitor-1324687 Apparently Dirt Rally and Rocket league are cinematic games.

To me TLG was a true cinematic experience.
Heavy rain, TWD like games, not so much, those are more like tv drama experiences .
Tlou, Uncharted 4, Rottr, Gears of War are all cinematic experiences with frequent commercial breaks (shoot out sessions)
TW3, FF15 cinematic experiences that have been diluted and cut into multiple movies with lots of filler content that you forget what was going on like the Hobbit.
Dark souls, Bloodborne etc, art house cinema, figure out the plot yourself.
GTA 5 is more like Seinfeld.



Jpcc86 said:
It troubles my mind when people talk as if TLOU and Uncharted are similar to Until Dawn or Heavy Rain, because they are not. Naughty Dog's games have cinmatic moments, but are not interactive cinematic games by a long shot.

I don't understand why people think the word cinematic has negative connotations. Uncharted can easily be described as cinematic and that is probably the best quality of it. Still the word cinematic is quite useless as evidenced by the disagreement of what the word means.

SvennoJ said:

I don't know what the definition of cinematic games is anymore. Anything with a plot line or even just being compatible with ultra wide monitors? http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/6-best-cinematic-games-top-titles-for-your-ultra-wide-monitor-1324687 Apparently Dirt Rally and Rocket league are cinematic games.

Pretty much this. The word is useless to use in discussion, as everyone will have different understanding of what it means.



Veknoid_Outcast said:

The point of a game is interactivity. It's about how a player interacts with a set of rules and mechanics. The will of the player and the plan of the developer come together and create gameplay. Movies, conversely, have no interactivity. The player, or viewer in this case, is a passive onlooker. The movie is always the same. Nothing the viewer does changes what's onscreen.

I see where you're coming from. Take a game like Uncharted 4, it does have moments when you're playing an 'active' cutscene, IE. gunfights on moving vehicles, but its one of many elements that make up the game, among firefights, puzzles & platforming. I guess its a small nuance that comes with story driven games, which I do enjoy, because they are 'sprinkled in' sparingly, and does provide a nice change of pace. I think 'interactive cutscenes' can take away from a game, only if those segments are the best parts of the game, or if the game is plagued with them.



Veknoid_Outcast said:
No, I don't think it has to do with people trying to conjure an excuse to downplay the success of PS4. It's just that a lot of people, myself included, don't think cinematic pretensions add much value to games. In many instances, they actually detract from the experience.

Movies and video game just don't mesh well. A few short cut-scenes to bridge the action is one thing, but the adoption of the storytelling mechanics of movies is another altogether.

The point of a game is interactivity. It's about how a player interacts with a set of rules and mechanics. The will of the player and the plan of the developer come together and create gameplay. Movies, conversely, have no interactivity. The player, or viewer in this case, is a passive onlooker. The movie is always the same. Nothing the viewer does changes what's onscreen.

If you adopt the storytelling demands of movies, your game will suffer as a result. Why? Because you're chipping away at player agency, the thing that makes the video game medium special.

I understand and respect the folks who prefer cinematic, story-driven games. I'm glad the industry provides for them. Personally, though, I think the two media should stay away from each other.

What series or ips or games do you think are cinematic story driven games that are ruining the media, examples pls.



I'd just like to say that as short as Order 1886 was, and as glaring a cliffhanger as the ending was, I could not help but stop every few minutes to just take in the sheer detail of the surroundings and the craftsmanship put into making it.

It's one of the only games I can even think of where straying from the set path, even with the free look camera, still yielded significant quality and attention to detail even in areas off limits to the player.

That game was visually astounding, and I quite enjoyed the game itself, just wish there was more of it.

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m_csquare said:

Walking dead? Heavy rain?

All i can say is if it sells, it's working.

 

Also does this mean every single VN game is bad to you? cos that genre doesnt have gameplay at all.

IDK what that is actually, can you give me an example of a VN game?