The Best Cutscene This Generation Shot A Noodle Shop In The Guts

The Best Cutscene This Generation Shot A Noodle Shop In The Guts

Let me tell you what I think makes a good cutscene: it’s got to be something you want to watch over and over and over. Something that stands out from the routine of general gameplay, sticks in the mind and elevates a piece of story-telling from text in a bubble to something genuinely cinematic.

These days, good cutscenes are hard to find. The advances in visuals we’ve seen this generation means more than ever, important dialogue and crucial events are depicted in-game rather than with expensive, time-consuming breaks.

Not every game has let the ancient craft slide, though. Whether it be Bungie or 343, Halo still knows when to wrest control from the player and give them a little silver screen flair.

My favourite, though, has been Sega’s Yakuza series. Both Yakuza 3 and 4, appearing on the PS3, were packed to the rafters with lengthy, entertaining sequences, some of which did a fantastic job of telling the game’s rich story, some of which were just there to give you something awesome as a “job well done” for a boss fight or other type of bar you’d cleared.

The clip you’re about to see is a bit of both. If you haven’t played Yakuza 4 and want to, I guess it’s a mild spoiler, but otherwise, you need to watch it. Even if you’ve never played the games and never will, it’s one of the best cutscenes I’ve ever seen, and easily my favourite of this generation.

It ticks all the boxes. It’s entertaining as hell. It’s a great payoff in terms of the game’s story, as you’re left wondering just why one of your characters begins the game in prison. And it’s something that stands alone, something you can watch in isolation and still think, wow, that was great.

Seriously, when I think of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in movies or TV, this baby is always there poking its head up, reminding me that it’s not every day you see a shootout go down like this.

Like Hideo Kojima and David Cage, Yakuza boss Toshihiro Nagoshi has stories to tell, and uses video games as an excuse to tell them. You often get the impression he’d rather be making gangster movies than a gangster video game, and it’s cutscenes like this from the amazing Yakuza series – a (mostly) adult tale of intrigue, brotherhood and brutal violence with bicycles – that most betray his cinematic ambitions.

It’s a little NSFW, though, so exercise caution before clicking play on a video that’s mostly about a room full of men being shot in about as awful and messy a manner as can be imagined.

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