So, I'm going to admit to something of a guilty pleasure here. I'm a big fan of FMV games. If you're not of the age that remembers this brief period in the mid-nineties then I shall explain. FMV games were videogames featuring Full Motion Video as their primary, and sometimes only, source of graphics. They were hugely popular around the time the CD-ROM was invented, then died out, largely due to a lot of the games being released at the time being dreadful. Nonetheless, games like The 7th Guest and Mad Dog Mccree are among my favourite games of all time. They were often quite cheesy, with low budget actors in front of unconvincing green screen backdrops, but for me, they were interactive stories and I loved them.
In 2015, we saw something of resurgence in the genre. We'd seen the return of genre stalwart Tex Murphy in Tesla Effect the year before and the breakout indie hit Her Story showed what could be done when we brought the genre into the modern age, winning a sack of awards and accolades in the process.
Starring Adam Brown, Sarah Greene and Grahame Fox, The Bunker is an attempt to take the genre to a new level, with highly experienced actors at the helm rather than the rag-tag casts that we were used to seeing in the nineties. It's set in an old nuclear bunker after a bomb has wiped out civilisation.
The big question when it comes out will be, does it add much to the traditional formula? Well, I got to play the first 20 minutes of the game to be honest, it didn't for me. Perhaps some of the nuances of the atmospheric presentation were lost in the midst of a noisy convention floor, but the game didn't grab me as being as good as the stars within suggested. Brown’s delivery in particular was quite flat and I struggled to build empathy with his character.
When the final version of the game arrives, I'd love to see a bit more interactivity. There really weren't puzzles in the game at the point I got to. There was a single instance where I had to find a key to open a door, but other than that, it was very much "click here to advance the story". It was more like an interactive novel than the FMV games of old with their puzzles and branching storylines. Perhaps this changes as you progress through the game, as I say, I only got to play a short amount of it.
We will have a full preview coming up, with a complete review to follow, so it remains to be seen if The Bunker is a slow burner or a flash in the pan. One thing’s for sure, you’ll find out by keeping an eye here on GameGrin.