Also available on Xbox One, OSX, and Windows
The Bunker is a game of a genre that has been woefully underrepresented in the past 20 years - full motion video. Having its (admittedly cringey) peak in the early and mid 1990s, FMV games have more or less died out since the late '90s. The Bunker proves that this genre still has a lot to offer if developers put in the effort needed to make a quality product.
You play as a man named John, the last survivor of an English fallout bunker after a cataclysmic nuclear war. John, who was born in the bunker, goes through his life following the same routine every day. When a system malfunction breaks that routine, however, John's sanity starts to unravel as he tries desperately to repair the malfunctioning bunker and avoid a radioactive death. The story is extremely well written and well presented, and when you look at the game's pedigree, you start to see why; the writers had previously worked on The Witcher, Broken Sword, and SOMA, and the actors boast filmographies include The Hobbit, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones.
The game plays like a point and click adventure, and there are no computer generated images at all; every bit of the game, from start to end, is live action full motion video. It's an approach that's almost never seen these days, but because it's such an uncommon approach to gameplay and storytelling, it works EXTREMELY well. It's a breath of fresh air in an industry otherwise filled with attempts to make realistic looking but still artificial characters. The fact that real actors are used is what allows it to deliver such an emotionally impactful story. The player is made to feel the sadness that John feels at certain memories, and even though there's not real "enemy" to escape, the feel of anxiety elicited from the game is palpable. It's really a masterfully crafted game.
The Bunker is a brilliant speck of color in a sea of monochrome. The directing done for the game's production is extraordinarily well done, and the manner in which the game's story is delivered is its highest point without a doubt. That's not to say that the game is perfect - some of the objectives can be a bit obscure, and I feel like there could have been a bit more done to expand on the game's backstory and context - but all things considered, it's an excellent game. While it's unlikely most folks will be able to snag a copy of the Limited Run Games release that I have, it's readily available digitally on Xbox, PlayStation, and both major computer operating systems. I definitely recommend giving it a playthrough.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.