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The Art of the Cut-Scene in Video Games

Video games often rely on story-telling not only through playing the game itself, but from the use of cut-scenes. Many cut-scenes stay true to the visual style throughout the game, while others have 2-D animated shorts. Either way, video game cut-scenes serve a variety of purposes, from enhancing appreciation of the artistic design of the game (such as close-ups on individual characters), to taking away direct control of the action from the player. Looking at cut-scenes in successful (or not-so-successful) video games, what purpose does the cut scene serve? What are its most essential components to make it a successful addition to the game itself?
(Note: there are of course many examples of video games that have cut-scenes that “stay true to the visual style” as I mentioned—with 2-D animated shorts examples from Atlus’s Persona series comes to mind. That being said, this article may be better written by someone with a wider range of video game knowledge than myself.)

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