Poll: Why are Devs trying to turn games into movies?

Casual Shinji

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Laggyteabag said:
Dont get me wrong, pretty games have their place, but when you have two great big black bars covering the borders of the screen, and when you have to set the game to 30FPS, and limit the game to a glorified corridor shooter, were the few extra particle effects and polygons really worth it?

I mean, The Order 1886 is a damn pretty game, and anyone would be silly not to admit that, but there must have been a lot of sacrifices that were really detrimental to the user experience to get a game to look that good.
Well, what I mean to say is that resolution and FPS are meant to make the game look nice, and if the game already looks nice then I would say that's a job well done, whether it's 720p or 1080p, 30fps or 60fps. I know that the industry has sort of created this hair splitting itself by boasting the power of current gen consoles, but I hope this won't result in people going 'Yeah, that looks gorgeous, but it aint 1080p and 60fps.' I mean, I've been playing God of War 3 again recently, and that game runs at 720p, but you can hardly tell because it looks so freaking incredible.
Darth Rosenberg said:
Gaming's greatest virtue is surely its versatility (Tetris, Street Fighter, Minecraft, Lollipop Chainsaw, EVE Online, Life Is Strange, TES, Child Of Eden, Gone Home, Forza Motorsport/Gran Turismo, Fez, Darkest Dungeon, et cetera... ). The sooner the industry - and the rather whiny, label-hungry fans - get that, the better.
Thank you!

There is this rather unsettling mentality among the gaming community about the "Pure Gaming" and anything that doesn't adhere to this must be sneered at and quite possibly even annihilated. Because for some reason I'm not aware of there's just not enough room for everyone.
 

Papadam

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I don't like open world games so devs should stop making open world games.

The next Fallout or Elder scrolls game should be 8 hour cinematic games or I will rage about it on the internet... Open world games are just made by lazy devs who make alot of filler content for the masses to waste hundreds of hours.
 

Timeless Lavender

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Casual Shinji said:
Yet others would use MGS as a perfect example of games trying to be movies and sucking because of it. Kojima is constantly accused of being a talentless hack who just wants to make movies and not games.

See how there's no clear line for this? How some people think games should merge gameplay and story perfectly, and how others think putting any kind of story in is already going to far?

It seems the only time "games are trying too hard to be like movies" is when it regards a game someone doesn't like.
Darth Rosenberg said:
SNIP (I loved everything you said)

You guys said it better than I had in my post. This basically boils down to "stop liking/supporting/caring for games I do not like". I understand why people may not like The Order but bare in mind that there is an audience for games like this. Instead of shaming them for their support for games they like, we should be happy to have an industry where there is diversity in genres of games. If you do not like cuts-scene heavy titles, then do not buy them and find another game you like. And please don't bring this "There are not hardcore gamers thing" because gaming have some sort of hierarchy that I am not aware of.

Sorry for the angry tone but it really annoys me when gamers show no respect to their own peers due to their preference in games they played.
 

josemlopes

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Casual Shinji said:
Darth Rosenberg said:
Gaming's greatest virtue is surely its versatility (Tetris, Street Fighter, Minecraft, Lollipop Chainsaw, EVE Online, Life Is Strange, TES, Child Of Eden, Gone Home, Forza Motorsport/Gran Turismo, Fez, Darkest Dungeon, et cetera... ). The sooner the industry - and the rather whiny, label-hungry fans - get that, the better.
Thank you!

There is this rather unsettling mentality among the gaming community about the "Pure Gaming" and anything that doesn't adhere to this must be sneered at and quite possibly even annihilated. Because for some reason I'm not aware of there's just not enough room for everyone.
I think its because in the end there are plenty of older games that did or tried to do certain things with much more depth in gameplay then now.

For example, I saw in one recent Gametrailers thingy (lets call it podcast) them talking over The Order, one member was amazed at the fact that through missions the character changes its clothing, he isnt always wearing the same, he goes somewhere else and maybe its colder so he now has more layers of clothes. That is cool but in the end it doesnt offer anything new for gameplay, you could check something like Hidden And Dangerous 2, before missions you could dress up your soldiers (there were different uniforms) and select their gear, all that gear would be visible in the character at all times and a helmet if shot could jump out of your head, available to be picked up and equiped again. That shit is a lot cooler.

The Rainbow Six series, when you compare what you could do in the previous entries to the last ones it seems like a rip-off, I still liked the Vegas games but dear god, it lacks so much.


A game can be more narrative focused I guess, not having much gameplay depth but even then something like the Telltale games still give you multiple dialogs as a mean to interact with the game (gameplay basicly).

Certain more "cinematic" games remove so much interactivity from them (and the one there is is basic and shallow at best) that they might as well have made a movie (it feels like the player inst part of the game because of his lack of input).
 

K12

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I'm going to have to answer with one word "Marketing".

Nobody seems to make demos anymore and you can't really show things like wide open levels or responsive gameplay in a trailer (and you can quite easily make an on-rails experience look as if it's much more open)

Honestly I love a good story and can forgive a fairly limited gameplay experience if the story is good (The Walking Dead for example) but i do like to know that this is what I'm getting before I start playing.

I also think it's just much harder to do a good story that is weaved artfully into the gameplay rather than having segregated gameplay areas and story areas. Especially since many AAA games are made by such a massive team nowadays.
 

Casual Shinji

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josemlopes said:
A game can be more narrative focused I guess, not having much gameplay depth but even then something like the Telltale games still give you multiple dialogs as a mean to interact with the game (gameplay basicly).
Yet those dialoge options create little if any choice. It's mainly just there for the sake of mood. Which is something the Telltale games do get criticized for. Not to slight your example, just saying games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us also get the ever present 'not a true game' label, typically by those who didn't like them.

Certain more "cinematic" games remove so much interactivity from them (and the one there is is basic and shallow at best) that they might as well have made a movie (it feels like the player inst part of the game because of his lack of input).
This is still just arguing lines in the sand though. I've seen someone mention Silent Hill as a game that perfectly marriages story and gameplay, but it still has loads of cutscenes, which for some is already too much and an example of games trying to be like movies. In a recent Tomb Raider thread someone said that a game's avatar shouldn't have any character focus at all, and that it should just be about discovering the world around you.

So by what measurement do we conclude whether something is or isn't a "true game" other than our own appreciation of it?
 

Fox12

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Oh, God, they're really not. There's nothing wrong with a cutscene. Some of the best games use them. There's nothing wrong with a story heavy game. There's nothing wrong with the player not having total control during every moment of the game. Why do people think this is a problem? Silent Hill uses cut scenes. The Last of Us uses cut scenes. Spec-OPs used cut scenes. Persona and Final Fantasy hella love cut scenes. Obviously, interactivity is a unique function in games that needs to be utilized, but every time a game comes out that tries to tell a preconceived story, people complain about how it's just a movie. Not every game needs to be a choose your own adventure story. Different strokes for different folks.

Do you know what game had almost no cut scenes, and was calibrated for it? Half Life 2. Do you know what game had one of the worst, most shallow plots I've ever seen, despite having tight mechanics? Half Life 2. I don't mean to shoot anyone's golden cow, but that game fell pretty hard in the story department. Can we all stop pretending that The Walking Dead, Life is Strange, and The Last of Us aren't games? That they're "interactive movies." It's starting to come across as infantile at this point. Gaming is probably the most diverse medium ever created, we should be trying to explore all of its facets. Not trying to turn them all into Half Life or Bioshock.
 

tippy2k2

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Cecilo said:
tippy2k2 said:
Would you consider Mass Effect a video game? Everyone is going to say Yes.
Would you consider Telltale's Walking Dead a video game? You lose a few people but most will say Yes.
Would you consider Heavy Rain a video game? You lose some more people...
Would you consider Dear Esther a video game? There are a lot of people who say no...
Dear Esther ISNT, a game, There is no gameplay.
Whether this was your intention or not, you've just shown my exact point.

There is no community-agreed on answer as to what a game is and what a game isn't. Devs "turning a game into a movie" is just another piece in that puzzle and is why I have no problem with developers making games "more cinematic" if that's what they want to do.

Sometimes it works beautifully (Silent Hill has been brought up in here already and my own example I brought up in Metal Gear Solid) and sometimes cut-scene heavy can cripple your game (sounds like The Order falls in that camp but even that, we have someone in this thread expressing love for it). The point is that cinematics are a tool and like any tool, they can be used well or they can be used badly. You don't blame a hammer for not being able to saw a board in half, you blame the carpenter for trying to use a hammer in that manner (also, you should really get a new carpenter for your house...).
 

PsiChaos

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I have to say, this habit of putting letterbox in games now just baffles me. I know it's meant to make it look more cinematic, but the letterbox format was necessary back in the day when a film shot in 16:9 for theaters had to be displayed on 4:3 television screens without cutting or distorting it. Purposely adding it for some "cinematic experience" nowadays actually does the opposite effect, and really breaks immersion, especially for gorgeous-looking games like The Order. (say what you will about the actual game, but damn does it look pretty) I would love to see the whole screen without two obnoxious and unnecessary bars. There's a reason you don't see it in movies anymore now that both Theaters and TV screens have 16:9 screens.

As for games taking cinematic content too far, I believe the industry is trying to find a right balance, but it's clear a good number of recent games have skewed too heavily into cinematic content versus playable content. Games like the Metal Gear Solid series are very cinematic games, but I feel they strike the balance between cutscene and gameplay pretty well. However, publishers just see a cinematic game that sells really well and just want in on the cash cow, and so they push their own cinematic cutscene-heavy games without really seeing why people actually like the Metal Gear Solid series. I feel in time these publishers will begin to see what does and doesn't sell, but it's going to take a lot more trial and error before they actually get strike it right.
 

Doom972

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You usually see a lot of these games whenever some new technology (like a new generation of graphics cards or consoles) becomes available. Some developers make eye-candy games that showcase the new graphical capabilities, but do little else beside that. It's not the first or last of its kind, and it'll be forgotten soon enough.

Whenever someone brings up this subject I always remember those awful cheaply-produced FMV games from the 90s.
 

G00N3R7883

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I'm split on this thread. I don't have a problem with cutscenes but I do have a problem with graphics.

I enjoy good stories, and I find lots of them in both TV and games. In terms of games, what I've said for a long time is that if you want me to murder 300 guys in the next 10 hours, I need you to explain WHY. It doesn't have to be original, it can be the most cliched story about terrorists, alien invasions or ancient demons, but I need you to justify a goal that I can care about, or else I'll quickly lose interest.

I find that I can understand stories better if the key plot points are provided in some form of cutscene. Whether its a non interactive video, or like a Mass Effect / Dragon Age style conversation section. My attention is entirely focused on the dialogue.

One of the things that annoys me in videogames is when a character tries to give plot exposition in the middle of a gameplay section. They're saying all these words over a radio or some other communication device, but I'm not paying attention because I'm getting shot at by 15 guys and there's explosions and oh my god shut up and let me focus on not dying.

Having said that, I think cutscenes can be overused. If you've got a 10 hour game that has 5 hours of cutscenes, that might be a problem. If you've got 5 minutes of gameplay, cutscene, 5 minutes of gameplay, cutscene, and so on, that can be annoying.

On the other hand, I really wish the industry would stop its obsession with graphics. Smooth performance is more important than shiny graphics. And I personally want to see developers commit more resources to creating smarter games. I want more tactical depth, I want better AI for both enemies and friendly NPCs, and I want worlds that will noticably change due to my choices.
 

V da Mighty Taco

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Casual Shinji said:
Laggyteabag said:
People don't care about resolution or FPS as long as what is on their screen looks nice.
Uhm... I can't really see the problem with that. If what's on screen looks nice haven't the resolution and frame rate basically done their job?
Resolution, yes. Framerate, no.

I'm sure you've heard enough of this already in the past, so I won't ramble on for too long on this: The primary purpose of framerate above 24fps in video games is to reduce input lag and make the game as responsive as possible. It, along with the use of motion blur, is why 24fps works in movies but not in video games, even to the average Joe. Higher framerate does certainly help movement look nicer and make said movement much easier to follow, but the response times are what are most important.
 

Hawki

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I said no, if only because I think it's arbitrary to draw a line as to what a game can't and can't do in regards to its manner of presentation. If a game wants to emulate cinema, fine. If it doesn't, fine. I'll decide for myself how to spend my money and time.

Since it's been brought up, there's the Metal Gear (Solid) games, of which I've played a few. Are the Solid games cinematic heavy? Yes. Is that a problem to me? No. And part of the reason is that the gameplay is very enjoyable as well. To put it in example:

-Vulcan Raven shows up, cool cinematic, makes me want to fight him.

-I get to fight him, and get to choose the method of doing so (Nikita? Mines?). The cinematic, and the gameplay itself, makes me want to win. Something the Solid games have always done well are entertaining boss fights.

-Beat Raven, and get a cinematic, with plot points being revealed, and the cinematic by itself is also well done. I'm rewarded for my gameplay, which makes the cinematic itself rewarding as well.

So yeah. Metal Gear, IMO, is a good example of using gameplay and cinematics to complement each other. Hearing about the Order using QTE's as a boss fight...can't say I'm enthused in contrast.
 

stroopwafel

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V da Mighty Taco said:
I'm sure you've heard enough of this already in the past, so I won't ramble on for too long on this: The primary purpose of framerate above 24fps in video games is to reduce input lag and make the game as responsive as possible. It, along with the use of motion blur, is why 24fps works in movies but not in video games, even to the average Joe. Higher framerate does certainly help movement look nicer and make said movement much easier to follow, but the response times are what are most important.

For action games that require snap reflexes I can understand the advantage of 60fps. These games usually sacrifice on background animations but for games that don't even allow you to blink this doesn't matter. However for most games a framerate locked at a stable 30fps is more than enough. There isn't really a 'one size fits all' definition of ideal framerate as it depends entirely on the game/genre. However it's definitely annoying when there are significant drops in 30fps framerates since you immediately notice them. That's unfortunately something many modern games suffer from. I think having a standard 60fps framerate is still way out of reach for most games though.
 

Darth Rosenberg

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Casual Shinji said:
There is this rather unsettling mentality among the gaming community about the "Pure Gaming" and anything that doesn't adhere to this must be sneered at and quite possibly even annihilated. Because for some reason I'm not aware of there's just not enough room for everyone.
I think it mostly stems from insecurity, but why gamers seem so keen to embrace that? I have no idea. A lot of it seems to be cultural territorialism, i.e. gaming has been a certain thing for a number of years, and the landscape's changing. If people over-identify with something, then it's perceived as an attack on who they 'are', which I think is pretty pathetic.

A perceived attack on a game, a genre, or even the whole frikkin' medium isn't a personal assault.

Timeless Lavender said:
Instead of shaming them for their support for games they like, we should be happy to have an industry where there is diversity in genres of games.
I can actually be a right elitist bastard at times... but when all's said and done, yeah, variety should be the one thing everyone agrees on as being positive for the medium.

You can have poor game design biasing towards 'cinematic' styles, and poor 'conventional' or oldskool game design. Ditto for both where good design is concerned.
 

Atmos Duality

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A few big reasons (which I'm sure have been mentioned by now), but the biggest one comes down to....

ABOVE ALL: "Broadest appeal".

WHY: "Growth centric" business has taken hold, which means pushing the industry to grow by attracting new customers annually and retaining old ones with games that appeal to everyone. Thanks to film/movies, cutscenes and "cinematic" experiences are an easy way of doing that WITHOUT having to resort to actual gameplay.

This is why so much of AAA centers around only a small handful of tried-and-true gameplay archetypes with EXTREMELY little deviation now.

Cutscenes and cinematic elements are...

1) ...shiny and overt indicators of new tech. Those fancy shaders, post-processing filtering effects and physics are immediate signs of technical quality; whether it stems from new hardware or better optimization.

2) ...good time-filler. Creating balanced, interesting gameplay is much harder than pre-canned animations. This has the side-benefit of lengthening "play time", which provides the illusion of better value.

3) ... able to give the producer more control over the content structure (continuity) and thus the player's actions.
This in turn, streamlines production-design process by eliminating possibilities of what the player COULD do.
 

StreamerDarkly

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Casual Shinji said:
There is this rather unsettling mentality among the gaming community about the "Pure Gaming" and anything that doesn't adhere to this must be sneered at and quite possibly even annihilated. Because for some reason I'm not aware of there's just not enough room for everyone.
On the contrary, there is this rather unsettling mentality among mobile platform gamers and proponents of cinematic experiences that anyone who points out the significant deficiencies in their preferred titles should be labeled as a Call of DudeBro with Dorito-stained fingers. Because for some reason I'm not aware of, it's OK to shit on shooters but not Candy Crush.
 

DoPo

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PsiChaos said:
I have to say, this habit of putting letterbox in games now just baffles me. I know it's meant to make it look more cinematic, but the letterbox format was necessary back in the day when a film shot in 16:9 for theaters had to be displayed on 4:3 television screens without cutting or distorting it.
Actually, in games, this technique solves an entirely different problem altogether: framerate. The less of the screen you have to render, the easier it is, hence more frames can be done. I do think calling it "cinematic" is a lie, to put it mildly. As you yourself point out: no, the letterbox format itself is not actually "cinematic" or even needed nowadays.
 

Nazulu

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My guess is because they think they can convey the story better that way while making it seem bigger. It's a trend I never cared for and don't believe it needs to exist at all. Though I haven't played all the top 'cinematic' games yet, I still don't care.