Hell is an Endless Series of Cut Scenes

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I don’t know if anybody else played through Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Of those who did, I don’t know how many of you had trouble killing Darth Maul.

Of course it wasn’t really Darth Maul, since Darth Maul got cut in half by Ewan McGregor in Episode 1. It was this droid called Proxy that holographically turns itself into various people as a communications tool. (A little technological innovation we didn’t see in the movies.) Anyhoo, at some point Proxy turns himself into Darth Maul and you have to kill him.

I found this very difficult.

The first time I played through the game I got lucky — D.M. got hit with an AI glitch which caused him to lie flat on the floor in ragdoll mode while I repeatedly stabbed him with my light saber for the proverbial massive damage. However. Later I went back and played through that level again, in search of force upgrades, because I didn’t feel like I was Force Gripping people hard enough. And man … some enemies just get under your skin. Every time I got within ten feet of Maul he uncorked this wicked two-bladed light saber routine that automatically subtracted half my health. Every time I got farther than ten feet from him he picked me up with the Force and subtracted the other half by sucking it out of me somehow. I must have fought him 50 times before I finally took him out.

And every one of those 50 times? I watched a cut scene. Which I can now quote to you from memory:

Me: Shut down, Proxy! There’s no one inside you I haven’t already defeated!

Proxy: Give me some credit, master. [He calls me master. Droids!] I have one module you’ve never seen. Any enemy I’ve stored for years …

[Then Proxy turns into Darth Maul and kills me. You can actually see it here, it’s on YouTube.]

This isn’t the first time I’ve been subjected to Massive Cut Scene Repetition Syndrome. Anybody remember in Gears of War, the scene when you’re about to storm the Pumping Station with a torque bow? They could’ve put the checkpoint after the dialogue. But they didn’t. And you know what? I suck at using the torque bow. Which is why there are a bunch of neurons in my head whose sole function it is to store the memory of Cole Train saying “Loooook at all that juice!”

There are millions of other examples. I think I have a whole frontal lobe devoted to cut scenes from Ninja Gaiden. So here’s a plea to game designers everywhere: put … the checkpoint … after … the cut scene.

If we all work together, we can end Massive Cut Scene Repetition Syndrome in our lifetime.