God of War game director David Jaffe's recent comments about cinematics in games being unnecessary (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3147692) and the 'fireback' article by Alexander L. Fernandez (http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=11754). Jaffe's new PSP effort will NOT include cinematics, because they (paraphrased) 'take the player out of the immersive experience'....
My solution is somewhere in between. I think cinematics can move a story forward, connect separate pieces that might not come together through usual gameplay, and so on. The concern that I have actual comes from a different angle.
Although (ironically enough) the cinematics in 'God of War' are incredible looking (and sounding!), it is somewhat of a disappointment to go from those to actual gameplay. This has always been the case since cinematics became big on the PC and Playstation. In addition, the extra modelling and development of these cinematics has to contribute to the overall project cost fairly significantly.
Why not do what 'The Legend of Zelda' series has done? (at least in the past). Use the in-game engine for the cinematics. Talk about immersion--if you cut down a tree during gameplay, that tree does not appear in the cinematics. You don't get that 'let-down' feeling coming out of the cinematics into the gameplay. And please, keep them interesting and short! I've seen too many kids just skip past them anyways.
Both of these guys have points....as usual, the best answer, I think, lies somewhere in the middle. What do you think?