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The Worst Cutscenes Ever


Harsin
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Once upon a time games were abstract things where your story amounted to a sentence on the back of the cassette inlay or trying to glean some context from cover art that bore almost no resemblance to the game. The production values started going up and now our games had actual narratives and characters and stuff. In particular the advent of cutscenes allowed developers free reign for all their frustrated film-maker tendencies. Unfortunately there's a reason most developers don't work in Hollywood and that's because a lot of them make Tommy Wiseau look like Martin Scorsese.

I'll start the bar high with this infamous example.

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Hybrid Heaven - I loved it, but the story was nonsense. I particularly like the way the main protagonist spent the first five minutes of the cutscene butt naked. Even answering the door to some governmental secret agent type chap, who doesn't bat an eyelid at him wearing only his birthday suit.

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"Game designers think that players can project themselves onto empty shell characters. I think this is a huge mistake. Feeling subtle and complex emotions is the most important thing."

David Cage

Some context.

For those who haven't played it, Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy starts out as a suspense thriller with some supernatural undertones, people were excited to play it as the demo promised a hugely branching storyline where subtle actions would have huge ramifications on the plot. Yeah, turned out that was a lie. Still a suspense thriller, that sounds interesting, and it was for a couple of hours - then the plot devolves into this bollocks about the internet becoming sentient and having a fight with the Mayans or something.

This cutscene comes at the end of the game. The hero Lucas has developed Neo from Matrix like powers because he lived at Area 51 as a child. Shortly before this scene he dies, but that's okay his magical powers allowed him to come back as a zombie. Yay! The woman is a cop who has been hunting him for a murder unwillingly commits while being controlled by the Mayans at the start of the game. They've just found out that the internet is trying to freeze the planet and are hiding out in the sewers with a bunch of hobos. Oh, did I forget to mention that in the world of this game homeless people are actually a secret underground army opposed to both the internet and the Mayans. Anyway at this point they've known each other for two hours and she decides to declare her undying love for him and fuck his cold clammy corpse. The scene cuts out just before you see her poorly rendered naked body mechanically riding him in the empty train car while the bums huddle outside listening.

PS. Monsieur Cage made sure to include a segment where you can control the tough empowered female cop as she walks around her apartment in her skimpies and even make her strip off and get in the shower and watch her wash herself. This clip below was one of the first things he released to show off Heavy Rain.

...yeah.

If you think that's bad, then you should see the 'hilarious' African-American stereotype that is her partner in Fahrenheit.

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If you think that's bad, then you should see the 'hilarious' African-American stereotype that is her partner in Fahrenheit.

Jesus, I'd forgotten about this. The man lived in an apartment that would have made Richard Roundtree blush, and every time he walked his footsteps were accompanied by a light funk soundtrack.

Heavy Rain was actually even worse in that regard, too. At one point

a character winds up in a junkyard, where he's accosted by a huge black guy wearing overalls and sporting dialogue from a Harper Lee novel. If you subdue him, he asks you to "chill a while, brother... I'll tell a tale!".

Two of the most insidiously racist games I've ever played.

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The ludicrous rape scene from Phatasmagoria. The youtube videos of this game are of poor quality, while GiantBomb's entertaining 'Random PC Game' playthrough which is effectively an endurance run is premium user only, so this is the best you'll get unless you have a sub for GB. If you do, definitely watch that video, it's amazing.

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Bayonetta comes to mind. While graphically accomplished, I didn't have a clue what was going on story-wise or in the cutscenes. Some of the characters would come out with total surrealistic stuff that didn't make any sense at all. I always wondered if they were taking the piss or that I'm just a thick bastard.

For some reason I found the utter incomprehensibilty of it great fun. Usually, I find most cutscenes in Japanese games thoroughly awful, but Bayonetta seemed to work for me!

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