Bring popcorn, and lots of it

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (382 Words)

I’ve never been a fan of the Metal Gear Solid games, and one of the reasons is that the frequency and length of the cutscenes drove me nuts. I can’t remember which one I last played, I think it was MGS2, but even within the short time I played I wanted to get up, fly to Japan, and shake Kojima vigourously while telling him to go become a bloody movie director already instead of interrupting honest gaming all the damn time. It’s all horses for courses obviously, many people love the MGS franchise for the cutscene laden story I know, but for me, playing a game that seems like 50% movie was hugely infuriating.

I read in the news today that at least one of the cutscenes in MGS4 runs to 90 minutes long. For a second there I had a double-take - surely they meant the total runtime of all the cutscenes (which IMO would be bad enough)? But no, they really did mean 90 minutes for a single cutscene. And the implication seems to be that there’s more than one like that. I can’t even get my head around the idea - being interrupted mid-game to watch a full 90 minute film? Bonkers. I’d be hitting the skip button within about 90 seconds, never mind minutes. I don’t know whether they mean cutscene in a traditional sense, or some kind of interactive scripted event, but I get the impression that they really do mean a regular cutscene.

I heard in related talk that MGS2 actually had one 45 minute cutscene, which I didn’t realise because I gave up on it way before I encountered it. Some people obviously loved that game, so maybe Kojima is justified in feeling he can take it up a notch with all that Blu-Ray space available. Personally, I can’t help but feel utterly disconnected from the concept of a game being made better with more & longer cutscenes. I don’t like to be interrupted with a film when I’m playing, any more than I’d like to suddenly stop and play Pac-Man in the middle of watching a film. But, clearly some people want this level of movie indulgence in their games? I can’t fathom it.

Never mind, I guess that’s why I’m not an MGS fan, right? 😀