Video games aren't movies (and people need to accept that) [The Daily Beast] / by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Wherein I insult an entire industry in an attempt to make a point.

I pitched this immediately after reading that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare director Glen Schofield had compared his newest game to Hollywood. I was offended by the comparison, not just because what he said was totally wrong, but because it didn't make sense. As someone who writes about both film and video games, I can understand the desire to compare one to the other, and there are certainly times where comparisons are appropriate, but while they may look similar, the two media are so fundamentally different that it's not worthwhile to consider on anything more than a superficial level.

This goes beyond what I talked about. Case in point, I recent played a demo for the upcoming PlayStation 4 game Until Dawn. The person giving the demo didn't say much to me, but to the person who played it next, she made the point that there were various people from Hollywood involved in its production. And while playing it, I could tell that they were going for that "cinematic" vibe that makes David Cage games so... polarizing. Using fixed angles and camera movements that resemble crane or dolly shots, I found myself watching as the camera dropped and swooped as I walked back and then reversed itself when I moved in the opposite direction. It was legitimately ridiculous to see, and it's a problem that's unique to video games. The game clearly assumed a certain level of interaction in order to keep functional pacing, but I wrestled with the controls against the camera and ultimately broke the tension throughout.

This is a direct result of the game's attempt to replicate the cinema experience, and the project is worse off for it. The verdict is out on the writing (which the article linked here spends a whole lot of time talking about), but I'm not expecting a whole lot. I look forward to the day when I can expect quality writing from a game the way I do a film.

But we're not there yet.