Basically it's taking away camera control away from the player in a third person Polygonal Graphics game. The camera will either stay in a fixed location while the character roams about, or it will follow the player's movement only from a fixed angle and distance.
This is usually done for two reasons (and some games have both). One reason is "cinematic", as in making the game have a certain look and mood (though this quickly draws complaints of Camera Screw when players want to look elsewhere). The second reason is to avoid Camera Screw by putting the camera in an optimum place. This is very hard to do right, as the developers not only need to find the right angles, but design the levels (especially the placement of traps, puzzles, and enemies) so that the player can notice them at said angles.
Yet there can be times when the player can still look around, such as with a Freelook Button.
Note that this is not when the fixed angle is necessary due to bitmap backgrounds. This is when it's all polygons.
Compare 2.5D (when the polygon graphics are always shown from the same perspective).
Not to be confused with Camera Lock-On, where the player can "fix" the camera on a specific target of interest.
- Devil May Cry
- God of War
- The Lego Adaptation Games.
- Ōkamiden, in most areas outside the world map.
- Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, aside from use of the Freelook Button.
- Sonic Unleashed's day levels, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Generations all force the camera behind Sonic in 3D parts and to the side in 2D sections.
- Luigi's Mansion (and its sequel)
- Legacy of Kain: Defiance changed from previous games' Free Rotating Camera to this. Due to devs' inexperience, the results... could've been better. The fans, understandably, weren't thrilled.
- The 1997 video game Blade Runner.
- The Pro Pinball series does this, as each game uses a pre-rendered model of a pinball playfield. The model is rendered from several different camera positions, so players can choose one that works best for them, but the camera remains fixed regardless.
- Similarly, the 3-D Ultra Pinball series uses a pre-rendered playfield model. Unlike Pro Pinball, however, there is only one rendered camera used throughout the game.
- KAZe's digital pinball games all use a fixed camera view, with vertical scrolling between balls to show off the backbox art: