How not to implement Cut-Scenes…

When I was eight my dad took me over to one side, my arm firmly in the grip of his demon claw. Before us were strewn about 9000 aluminum cans that were well crushed. He had a very disappointed look on his face. He knelt down to me and with his baritone voice he rumbled the following words.

Clean up this mess, and don’t ever make me sit through another cut scene as long as you are alive. I will kill you.

The reason I share this incredibly personal and partially fictitious story with you is because I just played a travesty of a game. I will admit, the game is a lot of fun and deserving of a lot of attention. It brings forward a number of very interesting aspects of War Strategy gaming in a very approachable means. The travesty behind this game is the fact that in spite of the missions being so fun and doing so much work pulling you into the action… the development/production team chose to make one horrible decision and it makes playing through the campaign a real irritation.

This is a similar situation to choosing when to use flash or frames on a website – in most circumstances it is the wrong choice. Especially in this day of AJAX and CSS magic, any and all layout options you can dream of are able to be achieved and typically across browsers.

R.U.S.E. is a game of immersion. You are asked to play a general during post WWII times, commanding a dream army of units, some of which have never existed. You are expected to connect with the emotional ploy of the game which is necessarily immersive. Every single cut scene was emotionally driving the story forward. The problem is simply that you cant get around them the first time you play. On many of the missions I spent more time watching the cut scenes than playing through the level.

It is almost as though the game was developed by film students. It is difficult to get out of that mentality, but here is a word of advice from my dear father, to you.

Clean up this mess, and don’t ever make me sit through another cut scene as long as you are alive. I will kill you.