The addition of cutscenes used to be one of the main highlights of horror games because they were cinematic and visceral in a way that wasn’t possible in-game. This meant that those bloody limbs and severed torsos looked even more gruesome and gnarly.
However, as time has gone on, it would have been refreshing to see the genre make strides toward more natural ways of telling a story. Sadly – for the most part – we haven’t seen that so far.
A game like Until Dawn is overloaded with cutscenes, but they’re done in such a way as to also allow for player interactivity. This seamless transition between gameplay and cutscenes is what most horror games should strive for, but more often than not, we get clunky transitions between the two – ultimately pulling the player out of the immersion that horror games rely so heavily on.
Don’t get me wrong: when CGI movies pop up and are expertly pulled off, they’re still a very viable way of propelling the story forward. However, on too many occasions, the cutscenes featured in modern horror games just don’t feel as well thought out as the ones we used to see in games like Silent Hill and Alone in the Dark.
Although the technical level of graphics and gameplay engines in 2018 still isn’t reaching its maximum potential in modern horror games, perhaps it soon will. And that will be something which will help eradicate long stretches of non-interaction and the meandering plot strands that we see peppering horror cutscenes these days.
Image source: Engadget