Poll Question 079 – Do you prefer interactive or cinematic cut-scenes?

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I normally have a firm opinion on everything, including my weekly poll questions but this week I am currently undecided.

Do you prefer interactive or cinematic cut-scenes?

Interactive

Valve seem to do this type of cut-scene all time. They give the player freedom but do their best to direct the player’s attention to the right place. The problem is that I just run and jump about because I hate standing still and listening to stuff.

Cinematic

Everybody loves a good movie and sitting back and enjoying the scene is a great way to have a break. If I remember correctly Rock 24The Poll

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12 Comments

  1. I decide to vote for Cinematic because, whilst I like control and freedom I feel that the cinematic does a better job of telling the story.

    Maybe one day the AI will be smart enough to say stuff like
    “Freeman! Stop jumping around and come and look at this monitor, you fool!”

  2. CrowbarSka

    Definitely interactive. It immerses you in the game so much more. I recently played Call of Duty 4 and, although the game was heavily scripted with many forced scenes, it felt like I was right in the heat of battle. Half-Life is no exception.

    Maybe one day the AI will be smart enough to say stuff like
    “Freeman! Stop jumping around and come and look at this monitor, you fool!”

    Actually the Source engine does have a “trigger_look” function which basically means you can determine whether or not the player is looking at a certain object at any given time. You could probably create that effect if you took the time to do it.

  3. Actually the Source engine does have a “trigger_look” function which basically means you can determine whether or not the player is looking at a certain object at any given time. You could probably create that effect if you took the time to do it.

    I thought it did, it just seems that no developer has really taken the time to use it too it’s fullest. I’m sure you would have to record a bunch of possible voice scripts.

  4. cubedude89

    The problem is that I just run and jump about because I hate standing still and listening to stuff.

    :O shame

    +1 for interactive!

  5. Tycell

    I voted Cinematic because I agree with PP’s statement that fixing what the player will see and hear on their screen is the best way to portray the next part of the story though in all honesty I think a mixture of both is best.

    Some cut scenes are good for emmersion if you allow the player to still be activly playing while the cutscene takes place where as some times its best to fix the players view so that the get the full action of the scene.

    So really its dependant upon the cutscene, setting and theme as to whether you use Cinematic of Interactive.

  6. dufake

    Bioshock is unique ,outstanding.
    The storytelling has an own style.

    However,what makes Half-life unique?
    Interactive events.

  7. Toast

    Really both types have their merits and sometimes its hard to make a distinction between the two (last scene of Episode 2 anyone?). I like it when game designers try for interactive cutscenes, though, because sometimes stuff that gets thrown into cutscenes would make for a really cool in-game experience. Its frustrating when your just doing regular point-and-click shooting and the game takes control away from you to show you your character doing something totally badass and then the next section loads and your back to point-and-click.

  8. firba1

    I think that if the “interactive” cutscenes in the Half-Life games actually should become more interactive. For example, if you could actually talk to people or something. It does seem a little strange that people just sort of accept your muteness.

    However, despite this, I still like cinematic cutscenes because of they allow for a story to be told, but they should be used sparingly. You can see them being used in many games, but when they take significant chunks of gameplay away from the player, that is where they fail.

  9. hero twin

    I have to abstain from this vote. I can’t choose one over the other. Sometimes “interactive” ones are nice, but they aren’t really interactive. If there is a lot of action, I’m nervous that I’m not looking in the right spot to see everything, but if there is dialogue I usually end up trying to jump on the character’s heads..

    Cinematic ones on the other hand can ruin the experience if I can’t skip them.

  10. Anonymous

    Interactivity. Why else is it called a ‘video game” and not a “3D rendered movie?’

    I think Valve got it right when the gave control to the player during a supposed “cutscene,” rather than force him/her to listen to the storyline in a given cutscene. However, I think they somewhat forgot that part during most of Half-life 2 and its episodes. Rather than allow itself to be interactive enough that you can abuse the allied npcs mid-sentence to avoid key dialogue or just allow you to just run away, Valve sometimes purposefully traps you in a room to listen to the plot as read by two voice actors. It gets the story across, but I find it annoyingly obvious when it happens. Usually it’s because of a door locked behind you or an npc standing in the way (one of those few moments you wanted them to move yet wouldn’t).

    Oh well, at least GLaDOS never went out to block a door to force dialog on you 🙂 (oh wait… yes she did…)

  11. dufake

    GLaDOS is really a successful character.
    Chell can just run away instead being trapped by her at most time.

    She desires to see what Chell(player) can reach.

    In EP2, I keep wondering how many lines did the vort must read instead wasting time to save Alyx!?
    Its lines are wise writing.
    However , just activate the machine.
    She is dying.

  12. Why make us choose? do both. let the standard method be interactive, but let it be set in the options to let the game take over and provide the recommended viewing position. Call it the cut-scene autopilot mode.

    I do prefer the cut scenes not breaking your control though. Sure it’s a little boring during the exposition, but that’s usually only after the first 2 or 3 times I’ve played through that section, and most importantly it maintains immersion. The only times that your motion should be restricted is when there is an in game reason restricting the motion of your character.

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