“Cutscenes are still an important tool” in gameplay narrative, say Pratchett

Saturday, 8th August 2009 19:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Rhianna Pratchett has discussed the merits of cutscenes and interactive storytelling over on Gamasutra.

While she is a firm believer in “artfully crafted” cutscenes, the last thing she wants is a game turned into a “wannabe movie”.

“There’s no denying that given the fan-base of games like the Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy series, many gamers enjoy cutscenes, even incredibly loquacious and lengthy ones,” she told the site.

“Whilst, personally, I’d rather a game wasn’t turned into a wannabe movie, I believe there’s still a place for artfully crafted, well timed and smartly paced cutscenes. Granted, the games that manage to do all three are fairly rare.

“Putting interactivity aside for a moment, there’s still a lot we can do to improve our linear storytelling. There are exceptions (there always are) but our strength in this regard is by no means across the board. It is improving though, title by title.

“Cutscenes are still an important tool in our narrative toolbox, and we shouldn’t throw out the hammer just because we keep hitting our thumb with it. We just have to learn how to wield it a little better.”

Pratchett goes on to discuss cutscenes vs. direct during-gameplay storytelling and how each can co-exist.



  1. Phoenixblight

    I agree with her, games like Uncharted, Bioware games, MGS4 even Xenosaga (especially that) I liked to be thrown into battle but I also want to sit back and watch the story unfold while having a beer.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Hunam

    Xenosaga was amazing. XS3′s ending is possibly longer than MGS4′s.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    For sure Would usually go battle (10 min+ cutscenes)

    Good times ^_^

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Bulk Slash

    Personally I prefer it when games incorporate the cut-scene into the game itself, like the Half Life games or GoldenEye. I don’t hate cut-scenes or anything, as they can be very rewarding when done right (e.g. the ending to Gears of War 2), I just don’t like having the flow of gameplay interrupted too often or having to watch very long cut-scenes. If I wanted to watch extended scenes of characters interacting I’d watch TV!

    #4 5 years ago

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