Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
- DAILY REVIEWS -
The Bunker Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . As a full-motion video game, The Bunker excels in almost every way. It looks incredible and the acting never veers into campiness. It's a thrilling experience with a satisfying conclusion. But as an adventure game, The Bunker is a bit lacking. The puzzles are overly simplistic, the journey is too linear and the interface doesn't translate well on consoles. It's a story worth experiencing, even if the game mechanics aren't quite up to the same standard. Rating: 64%
The Bunker
«
The Bunker The Bunker The Bunker The Bunker
  • Review Score:

  • B-
Before anything else, I want to say that The Bunker is the best looking full-motion video game I've ever seen. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but I mean it. This brand new adventure/thriller from Wales Interactive gives the genre an extra layer of polish you normally don't expect from FMV. It never once dips into the B-rate corniness usually associated with this type of game, and ends up looking like a slickly-produced indie film.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. The Bunker is a point and click adventure game where you play John, the last survivor in what was supposed to be a protective bunker. Born during a nuclear apocalypse, John has lived his entire life in the bunker. He's a bit of a mama's boy; constantly curious and racked with anxiety. He's spent thirty years underground abiding to a strict routine, hoping one day he would be able to leave and breathe fresh air for the first time.


John's optimism is put to the test the week his mother dies. First he loses his one and only friend in the world, and then his routine gets messed up when the all-important air filtration system malfunctions. This sends our reluctant hero on a journey through the deepest, darkest recesses of the bunker, forcing him to confront the awful things that happened there.

A lot of the story is told through flashbacks, giving us brief hints at what the bunker was like when there were still people around. This allows the cast a chance to shine, giving us strong performances throughout the harrowing story. The standouts include both Sarah Greene (who starred opposite Bradley Cooper in Burnt) and popular Game of Thrones extra Grahame Fox. It's a more than capable cast that also includes Adam Brown in the lead role, an actor best known for starring in all three of Peter Jackson's recent Hobbit films.

The Bunker (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Like a lot of full-motion video games, you don't have much control over the action. When we boil down the mechanics, this is nothing more than a very simple point and click adventure game. Most of the game involves moving the cursor around the screen looking for something to interact with. Occasionally you'll need to pull a handle or mash the button to complete a quick-time event, but you're mostly just wandering around the bunker looking for the items you need to complete a series of very simple puzzles.

The simplicity of the gameplay will frustrate some gamers. There really isn't much to do beyond scouring the screen for things to interact with and then occasionally picking up important objects. It's also a lot more linear than other recent graphic adventure titles, especially those coming from Telltale. There are a few minor choices for the player to make, but nothing that changes the outcome in any meaningful ways. That is, until the very last choice, which allows you to pick one of two possible endings.

The Bunker (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I wouldn't have minded the simple gameplay as much if it was better implemented on home consoles. I played through the PlayStation 4 version, which forces players to use the left analog stick like a computer mouse. There are a lot of quick-time events that should have been mapped to a face button, but instead we're forced to move the slow cursor around the screen. I have to imagine this works a lot better when you're playing on a computer with a mouse.

The lackluster gameplay mechanics are especially disappointing when you consider how good the rest of the package is. The Bunker tells a truly compelling story that is expertly shot and full of standout performances. It's also wonderfully paced, which is not something you can say about most full-motion video games. The story is constantly moving and there are some fun twists and turns along the way. I couldn't wait to see where it was headed, and I wasn't disappointed when I got there.

As a full-motion video game, The Bunker excels in almost every way. It looks incredible and the acting never veers into campiness. It's a thrilling experience with a satisfying conclusion. But as an adventure game, The Bunker is a bit lacking. The puzzles are overly simplistic, the journey is too linear and the interface doesn't translate well on consoles. It's a story worth experiencing, even if the game mechanics aren't quite up to the same standard.
comments powered by Disqus