Developer: Splendy Games
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 9th of April, 2018 (EU and NA)
I was totally intrigued by the idea of a full-motion video game on a current generation console, especially with how one would play and look on the Nintendo Switch. My last experience with the genre was probably the notorious Night Trap or the terrible Sewer Shark, all on the Sega CD. But, the problems those games and countless others have suffered from was the inability to combine all of that video into with gameplay that was any fun. Developer Channel 4 is hoping to buck that trend with its own take on the FMV genre with The Bunker.
With the popularity Her Story garnered from The Game Awards, it’s great to see this type of interactive medium come back. The Bunker is a full-motion video horror game that immediately piqued my interest when it first released back in 2016. I didn’t have time to play it then, but was fully ready to delve into this unique horror title now that it’s on the Switch. I love a great scary game and just like scary movies I try to consume any that come my way.
Enter The Bunker, a live-action interactive movie featuring real actors and the only control you get is by moving a cursor around the screen to interact with various different points. Sometimes you will have to button mash and hold the button down, but most of the time it’s just clicking and figuring out what works and what doesn’t until you move on and solve that current objective.
In a game like this the story is paramount, and to give any plot details away would be a great disservice to The Bunker so many of the screenshots you see will be from the beginning of the title. There are moments of suspense and some horror elements thrown in. The Bunker takes place in England after a nuclear war has broken out and the main character you control was actually born in a bunker that was used for military and government officials. Thirty years later as you’ve grown up, everyone is now dead and you’re left alone in the bunker where things slowly unravel and fall apart around you.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Bunker are the high production values. Everything looks and sounds like a big budget feature film and that means high-quality video, dramatic camera angles, and lighting are well written into the script. More importantly, every character is well acted and that’s something you would never find on Sega CD. You might even recognize some of the actors if you’re into the more obscure films. The Bunker is about two hours long, which would be perfect if you just wanted to play your way through a movie. Unfortunately, it only took me about thirty minutes to see that The Bunker might not be the game, or movie, I was hoping for.
The Bunker is classified in the adventure and horror genres, but it’s a point-and-click type of adventure title at its core. However, It does take a little longer for the realization to settle in that it’s not a horror type of game. You could say it’s suspenseful and creepy at times, but not horror and this is my biggest gripe with The Bunker. There’s nothing more disappointing than sitting down to watch a scary movie and have it not be scary. Because then, no matter how interesting the story is, and in this case only mildly, you’re left wondering why you’re watching it at all.
There is just not enough to do in The Bunker with some minor puzzle solving at best and clicking down linear hallways until finding a solution that works. Most of the gameplay involves just dragging the cursor around the screen to interact with easily seen prompts in the environments. In all fairness, limited gameplay is about what I expect from an FMV title, but there has to be an interesting narrative to drive the plot and make up for that. Unfortunately, while the acting and camera work is spot on, the narrative did not hold my attention like I wanted it to.
Overall, The Bunker has no glaring flaws, but after almost twenty years without solid FMV titles, this long-dormant genre deserves another shot at life and The Bunker is just not enough to resuscitate it. Great acting and high production values can only get you so far when no other elements of this title make it stand out from other video games or films. If you crave a title in this genre than The Bunker is definitely one of the better ones and it’s nice to have a proper FMV title on the Switch, but it’s the type of game that lacks substance and longevity for anyone else who may be interested.
The Verdict: 6/10
*Review Key Provided by Wales Interactive
Should you wish to check out another of our reviews, you can do so by clicking here.Tags: Channel 4, eShop, Nintendo Switch, review, The Bunker, Wales Interactive Ltd.
This post was written by minusthebrant