A few days ago, I beat Metal Gear Solid 4, excited about having finished the game. I figured, hey, I’ll go to bed after this is over. Having heard it was long, I estimated that this would be about 20 or 30 minutes later, and I would be tucked away and dreaming after seeing Snake & Co’s fate. Boy, was I wrong. The ending was nearly an hour and a half long. Leaving me tired and disheveled at work the next day.
This got me thinking. I do that sometimes. I remember an age in gaming when cutscenes were welcome with anticipation. Hell, part of the draw of the original PSX hits like Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid were the spectacular cut scenes, because it brought gaming to a new level in that generation. But then you have a game like Portal or Left 4 Dead which uses little to no cut scenes in order to fully immerse you in the gameplay, and it works just as well.
So- what’s the perfect kind of cut scene in gaming? While we can all probably agree that an hour and a half is much too long, what’s too short? What should a cut scene accomplish? What are your thoughts about cut scenes in video games? And what are your favorite examples? Answer away!