Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Del Toro, Levine speak out against cutscenes

Don't expect hours of cinematics in Insane.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Anyone expecting cult movie director Guillermo Del Toro's forthcoming survival horror game Insane to be crammed full of lengthy cinematics might come away disappointed - turns out the first-time video game developer hates cutscenes.

Speaking in a predictably fascinating interview with BioShock creator Ken Levine hosted on Irrational Games' website, Del Toro revealed that he always skips them when he's playing games.

"I'm a gamer, my daughters are gamers, we spend countless hours in the game universe," he explained.

"You know what kind of gamer I am? When we come to a cinematic, I jump it. I go 'I'm not watching a movie, f*** you'. I want a game.

"You can selectively take control away from the gamer for a few seconds but don't render him inactive. Give him something to do, but don't f****** say, 'And now a word from our sponsor'."

Levine immediately agreed with the Pan's Labyrinth/Hellboy director.

"People know me as creating story-driven video games so assume that I must love story video games," said Levine. "Generally I'm not a huge fan of story video games as that's the problem I have with them - I want to play. I don't want to sit down and be told the story. I want to interact with the story."

Levine then offered up recent narrated indie action RPG Bastion as an example of a game that strikes the balance just right.

"Have you played a game called Bastion?" he asked Del Toro.

"Check it out, it just came out on XBLA. It uses very minimalistic story-telling techniques but very effective story-telling techniques that never take you out of the game. It's [written by] a journalist named Greg Kasavin. You have a journalist coming over to write a video game - you'd go 'Oh yeah, you think you know how to do it - why don't you try to write a video game'. And of course he did. He wrote this great video game.

"One of the reasons I think it works so well is that the narrative is so non-intrusive, it never makes you stop."

As reported earlier today, Del Toro's first game - Volition-developed survival horror Insane - is still a few years away from completion.

Read this next