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