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If MGSV's Cut-Scenes Are "Too Long," Gamers Will Trash It

We're well past the point in this industry where long cut-scenes are embraced. For the most part, they're not even tolerated any longer.

This is a clear result of a society that has the attention span of hamsters. Furthermore, with the help of the predominant - and obviously erroneous - belief that cut-scenes are simply archaic and unnecessary, any game with cut-scenes that are deemed "too long" will be treated extremely harshly.

And the definition of "too long" has changed drastically over the years. Now, people can't sit still for more than a few minutes before they apparently feel the need to jam on buttons. There were cut-scenes in old MGS and XenoSaga games, for example, that were a good 20 minutes in length and a few memorable ones were even longer. We've seen nothing even remotely approaching this in some years. You can tell when people totally lost their sh** when sitting through three-minute cut-scenes in The Order: 1886 (most cut-scenes were even shorter).

All of this is bad news for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A franchise that is well-known for its beautifully choreographed cut-scenes, I hope Konami understood the shifting nature of the gaming industry when making this new entry. In order to hold someone's attention, you had best keep things moving. No ponderous dialogue sequences. No slowly panning camera shots just for the sake of scenery and atmosphere. Keep it fast, keep throwing a hundred camera angles at us to make sure we don't start punching away at our smartphones, and for God's sake, don't go over a few minutes.

It's certainly true that MGS has always needed to tighten up its writing and its overblown non-interactive scenes. I get it. Doesn't mean you can't create beautiful scenes where the player isn't pressing buttons. Even then, the developers will not be forgiven if cut-scenes drag on too long, no matter how good they are. Wrong era.

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Tags: mgsv, metal gear solid v the phantom pain, the phantom pain cut scenes

7/19/2015 9:52:03 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (41 posts)


FM23
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 10:18:57 PM
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Well MGS and The Order are completely different beast. MGS features standard gameplay that follows these cutscenes while the Order was alot of cinematic flair (which I loved) with few gameplay segments in between. But hopefully they improve the overdramatic writing and pointless cutscenes.

I still want the long cutscenes though with all the dramatic music, speeches about war, and everything. Bring it on!!!

Last edited by FM23 on 7/19/2015 10:21:13 PM

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Bonampak
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 10:45:54 PM

Well another huge difference between the two is that the MGS series features iconic characters & an engaging plotline that most gamers can relate with.

While The Order really didn't exactly set the world on fire on either of those two aspects.

So I think most players will indeed have the patience to sit through MGSV's cutscenes (no matter how long they are), mainly because of that reason(s).

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FM23
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 1:41:57 AM

So true. MGS made every character, for the most part, memorable and Snake a legend. The stories, at the time, were/are quite unique and the storylines were just sweet.

After it was all said and done, the Order was forgotten the minute I beat it. No characters or story arcs stuck with me. And unlike MGS, not excited for a sequel what so ever.

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Jalex
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 10:19:13 PM
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I really hope this isn't the case. 'Metal Gear' is my favorite series, due to the mixture of gameplay and plot the series has come to be known for. It's been changing up its formula since 'Snake Eater' and still managed to remain an uncompromisingly 'Metal Gear' experience.
Length and price aside, I was extremely impressed with 'Ground Zeroes', and 'The Phantom Pain' looks even better. I would rather it go out on a, "Screw you all, this is 'Metal Gear.'" note than to pander to the common mindset of the day.

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ethird1
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 10:22:45 PM
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I hated those long ass videos where snake or some dumbass had something "intelectual" to say. Just let me blast sheeyot!!

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 8:10:43 AM

If this is sarcasm it's not translating well in text.

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souljah92
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 10:40:48 PM
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If it's a game with an actually good story that draws the buyer in I don't think the long ass cutscenes would do any harm, you an always skip them i mean look at mgs4, i loved the long ass cutscenes with raiden wrecking shit

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FAREEZ
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 11:53:41 PM

Everything is cool when Raiden in it...

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JackieBoy
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 1:39:55 AM

I just hated Raiden as playable character in MGS2

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FAREEZ
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 2:12:23 AM

In MGS2 Raiden get naked and he doesn't have a Penis, it's a mindf*ck...

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outcelgeist
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 11:22:45 PM
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I don't mind long cutscenes if they're actually beneficial.

The only thing that bothers me about MGS is their need for constant infodumps. You know, the lines of dialogue that seem like they're Wikipedia readings.

"It's the blah blah blah."

"The blah blah blah? You mean, the blah blah blah blah and then it blah blah blah'd before blah blah blahing in the 60's?"

"Yes, and blah blah blah blah blah the CIA blah blah blah Afghanastan blah blah."

"So I need to blah blah like blah blah did in the 80's, you know, where he blah blah blah'd."


Don't even get me started on quick time events. PRESS X TO WIN

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 11:49:27 PM

Not disagreeing with you but what would you put in the place of the quick time events to get the player involved in those scenes?

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FM23
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 1:45:30 AM

Lmfao very wiki in design. I always hate those info recesses.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 11:44:07 PM
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I like cut scenes. It's kind of what I'm playing for, I want to get to that next big plot changer or see what happens with X and Y.

Otherwise I'm just playin and playin and playin and it's just tiresome. Developers have to A: Tell their story and B: Keep the gamer playing to the end. That requires pacing, which can't really be achieved if it's button pushing time all the time.

That's why I didn't understand why people thought it was cool when they started doing cut scenes inside the game engine. It just made it less special and more bland. The great thing about those FMVs in Final Fantasy was that it was even better than the engine so you had a nice feast of visual impressiveness every 7-10 hours.

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FAREEZ
Sunday, July 19, 2015 @ 11:47:16 PM
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Cutscenes is cool but I buy video game to PLAY it not to WATCH it, if I want to watch something long I go watch something called MOVIE. I hope developer make cutscenes more interactive like Heavy Rain...

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trumpetmon65
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 12:01:24 AM
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I actually enjoy the majority of metal gear's cut scenes. There has always been a lot to take in which is I think is usually enjoyed by fans.

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Shauneepeak
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 1:12:50 AM
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If MGSV gets rid of the series's well known cutscenes I might not even get the game. I am fully expecting cutscenes that may go over 15 minutes long and anyone who has played the previous games is very likely expecting the same thing.It's one thing when you have a mediocre shooting gallery game sprinkled with quicktime events and another when you have a massive drama like an MGS game. Sure you might get a 15 minute cutscene then 10miutes later get a 5 minute cutscene but there are other times where you might go an hour or two without one.

The Order 1886 is easily one of the most Beautiful looking games that have been created but it just wasn't very interesting and the amount of cutscenes compared to gameplay was more the issue than the actual length of cutcenes. Metal Gear Solid on the other hand are some of the most interesting games one can play and honestly without those occasional 10-20 minute cutscenes it just wouldn't be the same experience.

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FM23
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 1:43:13 AM

Couldn't agree more!

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FAREEZ
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 2:03:25 AM

Agree, the order cutscenes have amazing production value like great graphic and amazing voice acting, but sadly the gameplay is so boring and uninspired...

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JackieBoy
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 1:43:37 AM
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I always loved cutscenes in MGS, even if they were long. This is what makes this game so epic and involving. With them, you realy feel one with the character you play. I hope MGS5 will be no different. But for the impatient, you should always be able to skip them:)

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 3:25:44 AM
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I think if anything the cutscenes will be similar in gamplay/cutscene ratio as Peace Walker.I loev cutsceens but even I am willing to admit with MGS4 they broke the sturcture of the actual game to the point where the gameplay segements felt to short as they were inbetween the cutscenes and not the focus of the gameplay being more dominant.

My main concerns for The Phantom Pain are turning Big Boss into a silent protagonist. I don't mind if he doesnt speak as much as previous MG's but I still want him to react to characters and be involved in the scenario rathe than just being talked at. But with all the trailers we have seen in the last 3 years I am not worrid about The Phantom Pains story :)

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warezIbanez
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 3:33:56 AM
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Considering MGS4, I think Kojima (and whoever is still left on developing V,) I'm fairly certain they're aware of that critique and will keep things a little more concise. After all, they did move to an open world system for Phantom Pain, but we'll see how convoluted the story gets. (And honestly, I did like a lot of the cutscenes in 4; some of them in the Eastern Europe section were probably unnecessary, but oh well.)

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Beamboom
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 6:53:02 AM
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Bah I'm so tired of these "omg we got attention spans of hamsters, mankind as we know it is doomed, boo-hoo" rants.

It's all to do with expectations. In the beginning of gaming we didn't get a story *at all* unless it was a text based adventure, at best we get a backdrop printed in the manual as an introduction. That was it.

Then, storylines started to appear, with static screens that showed something that looked like pictures as illustrations.

Then, moving pictures. And we all gazed in wonder as to how pictures actually moved on our computer screens, in something that resembled a very grainy video clip of some seconds.

Eventually, the grainy pictures became tv pictures with sound and actors, and we were amazed to see our tiny sprites come to life. We even brought over our neighbours to come watch the fantastic cut-scenes this new wonder of a game had on offer. Omgomgomg can it ever get better than THIS?! Games are as good as MOVIES now!

Then, story telling started to be implemented into the actual game. We started entering worlds that could be explored, with such level of detail that things could be told in the environment. Our imagination came to play, the characters communicated with each other as actual part of the gameplay, all of a sudden a static video became so last year.

And now, these worlds we gaze in wonder on our screens, so rich and full of life, is about to become "true" 3D all around us, more immerse than ever. This is where we are now: Our expectations to a video game has *completely* changed compared to just a couple of decades ago. When we sit down to play a game today, this is what we sit down to do - this is _what_we_expect_.

Along this timeline, static videos becomes a less and less relevant way of telling the story.
So let's stop whining about the youth today, and accept that the medium has changed. Many would say, to the better.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2015 6:55:06 AM

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Bio
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 9:27:14 AM
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MGS is probably my all time favorite franchise, but 45-90 minute cut scenes are just ridiculous. It's got nothing to do with poor attention span and everything to do with bad storytelling and bad pacing.

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MRSUCCESS
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 9:36:41 AM

nad story telling, bad pacing and MGS don't go in the same sentence.

There isn't another franchise that can compete with MGS in story telling.

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FAREEZ
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 10:05:56 AM

I think TLOU can compete with MGS in terms of storytelling. just sayin'

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Bio
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 11:11:10 AM

There are plenty of franchises that tell their stories better than MGS tells its story. A good story and good storytelling are not the same thing, nor are they mutually inclusive. MGS tells a pretty epic overall story, but it also tells it pretty poorly at several points. When you stop a game dead in its tracks to do a half hour info dump scene, often right in the middle of the action, that's poor storytelling. It's bad editing, bad writing.

The idea that MGS, as a piece of storytelling, is above fault is really silly if you ask me.

Last edited by Bio on 7/20/2015 11:12:30 AM

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MRSUCCESS
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 11:56:33 AM

@FAREEZ: Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't a franchise suppose to consist of more than one game? I don't consider TLOU a franchise for that reason.

@Bio: If there are plenty why didn't you provide any examples? Now, I did not say that MGS's sotrytelling is above fault. What I did say is that its storytelling cannot be compared -- is it perfect? No.

Last edited by MRSUCCESS on 7/20/2015 11:57:12 AM

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Bio
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 12:57:28 PM

In terms of storytelling, Legacy of Kain and Uncharted both prove that Amy Hennig is the best writer in the business, imo. Deus Ex has also had consistently better writing, especially with Human Revolution.

Kojima's strength is in world building and characterization, creating larger than life tales and populating them with people you care about. His weakness is in how he tells those tales, the bumbling and unnecessary exposition that can drain otherwise dramatic moments by sidetracking into the trivial for ten's of minutes at a time.

I love the overall stories, they're some of my favorites, but the one thing Kojima has always needed more than anything else is an editor, someone who knows when and how to cut the extraneous and streamline the narrative.

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Temjin001
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 10:48:28 PM

I think the convoluted info dumps mgs makes during some cutscenes adds replayability to the game. Anytime I replay an MGS I catch many details I may have missed the first time through. It makes me appreciate the detail overload the series likes to rely on.
It's unusual yes but I like it.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/20/2015 10:49:42 PM

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Temjin001
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 10:09:48 AM
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Conversely, gamers will also trash it if cutscenes are too short. Primarily from the millions of existing fans.

It seems to me there's always been long cutscene trashing for as long as I can remember. Some gamers love it, others don't.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/20/2015 10:12:49 AM

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Oxvial
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 10:53:05 AM
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I hated the unnecessary long cut scenes on IV not gonna miss them at all.

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FM23
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 3:53:10 PM

I'm a big MGS fan, but....I have to agree with you.

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maxpontiac
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 2:08:48 PM
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Welcome to modern day gaming. It's all about striking the balance to keep those over 30 and teenage crowds happy.

I suggest they the 15 minute cut scenes stay in for those that enjoy it and just add a skip button prompt for those who don't care.

It's an easy compromise.

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Temjin001
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 5:24:26 PM

The game does seem to be taking multiplayer seriously. Perhaps they figure those who have a problem with story can just play it competitively.

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Godslim
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 8:30:20 PM
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Anyone who hates the long mgs cutscenes isnt a fan.

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Bio
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 9:32:33 PM

Well that's simply not true.

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Godslim
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 6:17:55 AM

how can u not like the cutsenes but be a fan? Just doesnt make sense.

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Bio
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 10:00:55 AM

Because they're one part of a multifaceted game, probably. I don't dislike all the cutscenes, just the ones that approach feature film length. There is a part of MGS 4 where you don't need your controller for 71 consecutive minutes. There are literally movies shorter than that.

I can have a problem with that and still be a fan. It seems weird to suggest that you have to love every single thing about shame or else you're *gasp* not a fan.

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Breadlover
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 9:47:40 PM
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Like others here, I personally do not mind long cut-scenes in MGS. I like sitting back for a couple of minutes to witness character development without me controlling the main guy in this game. I think it's because of the cinematic nature of the cutscenes and the interesting twists that I've come to always expect from any MG plot over the years that keeps me tuned in to these couple minutes-long cinematic scenes.

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ProfPlayStation
Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 10:31:10 PM
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If you buy a Metal Gear Solid game and then complain about long cutscenes, the only thing you should be complaining about is your own poor decision making.

MGS has long cutscenes. Hideo Kojima likes movies, contemplative dialog, and well developed characters. There's also great gameplay. That's what the games are about. If you don't like that, play something else. There's no shortage of games available which cater to twitch gaming.

Conversely, once you're pushing 20+ minutes in a single cutscene, you've lost the balancing act between story and game. MGS4 definitely pushed that envelope a bit too far at times. Other than tightening that up a bit, I say let Kojima do whatever he wants to do. When you start trying to cater to audience demographics you end up with things like Raiden in MGS2... for teenage Japanese girls. Clearly the audience which buys Metal Gear...

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