A cut scene is one of the ways the story of the game is told. However when you have played through a game once and already know the story, those same cut scenes can become a major drag. In past years, many games would allow the player to skip through the cut scenes so they could play the game as fast as they wanted too. Some of the more recent games have taken this ability away and it’s a step back in game development.
Cut scenes normally are the main form of storytelling in games. Some games like to use the environment to tell the story, but normally it is spelled out in cut scenes. When you have played a game already, and are playing through it again because the game play was fun, the story doesn’t matter so much. An example of such a game would be Saints Row the Third. Saints Row is based around fun sand box game play where the story matters very little. Another game that you would play simply for the game play would be a fighting game, but thankfully those games have very few if any cut scenes.
For a long time cut scenes had the ability to be skipped and this was a great thing. If you simply wanted to get to the game play portion of a game you could do that. Starcraft allowed the player to skip through its briefing sessions with the press of a button. Other games have you hold down a button to skip through the scene so you don’t accidentally skip something you didn’t want to. The best is when you can skip through everything including the opening developer credits. Now very few games allow you to skip the opening stuff, this could be an oversight by the developer, or they are being paid to not let the player skip the sequences.
Some games have only gone half way and allow you to skip some of the cut scenes or none at all. Both Dishonored and Assassins Creed 3 allow the player to skip some of the cut scenes but not all of them. With Dishonored, you can skip the talking sequences where you receive the mission, but not the transit sequences of getting to your mission. With Assassins Creed 3, you can skip some cut scenes but not others, and there is little rhyme or reason to when you can skip and when you can’t.
Personally I would prefer if all of the cut scenes could be skipped through, especially for a game that has portions were you have side requirements. Some game achievements requires you to do 100% the side quests, and most of those side quests take several times to get right. A lot of the time those side quests come up after a cut scene and if a player can’t skip through that cut scene, the game stops being fun, and becomes a chore.
Why don’t games allow gamers to skip cut scenes? If they have played through the game once already then there is no need to stop them from enjoying the game play. Some games allow players to skip scenes, but some games don’t. If games allowed people to skip the scenes by holding down a button they would make it hard to skip the cut scenes accidently, this would be the best option for all games in my opinion.