Ever since Resident Evil 4 kicked our cinematic sensibilities in the bowl-of-bacteria-culture-sitting-atop-your-local-bar, mostly by allowing our characters to walk and talk with each other, games have been on a crash course with themselves.
What does that mean? It means that games are coming into their own, and designers no longer need fancy pants cutscenes to move stories forward. Even famed cinephile and admitted wannabe film director Hideo Kojima is looking to lean his latest Metal Gear Solid down with fewer cutscenes and more interactive moments. Final Fantasy is but the latest player in the game to do so.
Final Fantasy XV director Tetsuya Nomura detailed how the next generation of console graphics allows for players to play through the drama, which previously would’ve been scripted in CG.
“Since the beginning of 3D graphics, Final Fantasy has largely used pre-rendered movies, but what’s different about this new hardware is that it allows you to direct what has previously been pre-rendered and make it real-time,” Nomura said. “For this reason, even in considerably dynamic scenes, the player can still control their character.”
You know that leviathan attack from the E3 trailer? That normally would’ve been done in CG, but FFXV gives the player control to battle “through sky and sea in real time.”
“Because this game is action-based, we’re doing our best to stay away from situations where the character doesn’t have control. Enemies and allies alike will move around, and fighting within the speedy progression of battle is what makes this Final Fantasy different from previous installments.”
It’s bittersweet, really. I mean, Final Fantasy without (many) cutscenes! When I was younger, I’d look forward to the cutscenes. They proved how superior technology was during the present, and were awe-inspiring works of cinematic art! One day, I thought, that’s what actual gameplay will look like. Well now that day is here and I have to admit, I’m gonna miss cutscenes.
But if Final Fantasy is giving up cutscenes, then It’s time we all laid the cutscene agenda to rest.
Johnny is a freelance writer whose work features on PopMatters, Critical Distance, Nightmare Mode, Writer's Weekly, GlobalPost and much, much more. Um, If his mom is reading this, he says he applied at that "one place" but they're currently not hiring. Now he's telling me to tell her that he'll, uh, be back with the car by six...