As video games evolve further and further into a new storytelling medium, the need to find new ways of getting the story across is becoming more and more important. Top of the line developers like Bioware, Irrational Games, Visceral Games, and Valve have all pushed the boundaries with their games and found exciting new ways of keeping gamers involved in a storyline without frequent breaks from gameplay.
And then there is Japan. Whereas Western developers have done their best to blur the lines between cutscenes and gameplay, Japan’s approach to cinematic storytelling is to simply pile on more and more.
Most infamously, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots clocked in at roughly eight hours of cinematics, including a 45 minute introduction and an hour long exposition riddled epilogue which wrapped up the entire series. But hey, at least you could control a silly little robot and find secret items during the long debriefing periods between missions.
In recent years, SEGA has made stabs at Konami’s ridiculous running times with their own Yakuza series and voice command shooter Binary Domain. Final Fantasy XIII touted 10 hours of cutscenes spanning a 40 hour game. And now, Capcom has decided to join the race with Resident Evil 6 having over four hours of cutscenes, as reported by the British Board of Film Classification.
Don’t lose all hope yet, though. Resident Evil 6 will span three different campaigns each with their own self contained stories. Using only four hours to tell three stories, the cutscenes might be lengthy at times, but hardly padded along the lines of the previously mentioned games. The thirty hours of total game time will also make it the longest in the series, but the cutscene time to total game time will also be that much smaller meaning the story will flow much easier.
Capcom is the king of Japanese gameplay, and the company has always put a higher emphasis on game mechanics and level design rather than story. Don’t expect too much invasion on your gameplay on Resident Evil 6, I think.