The Bunker Launch Trailer — Live Action Games: we can, but should we?

By | September 12, 2016

Live Action video games will take over some day.  Is that “some day” here?  Nope.  Not until it’s more than just point-and-click.

The Bunker, which bills itself as “A 100% Live Action Psychological Horror”, is launching to PC and PS4 on September 20 and on Xbox 3 days later.  It’s intriguing that the game is 100% live action, and the launch trailer foreshadows some dark and claustrophobically-spooky moments.  But it’s, unfortunately, point-and-click.

If you’ve been away for a while – in a nuclear bunker, perhaps – point-and-click games are what they sound like.  Take your mouse, point your cursor to a flashing spot on the screen, and click to induce some pre-set action by one of the characters in the game.  Sometimes it’s as simple as opening a door.  Other times, you need more finger-dexterity to complete a task – for example, wrestling a gun away from a villain.

the bunker video game

The Bunker, fortunately, has a very interesting premise.  A boy is the last survivor of a nuclear holocaust.  He lives day-by-exactly-same-day.  30 years pass, and the boy is still living his pre-set existence.  And then, an alarm goes off (literally), and his life is thrown upside down.  And then, of course, the more he tries to return to monotony, the more horrifying it gets.

These types of games have a strong following, as we’ve seen with Telltale Games’s ground-breaking work.  But the draw is the story more than gameplay.  It’s an interactive story, not a game.  Like little more than watching a movie.  So as of now, it matters not whether it’s shot live with real actors or drawn by hand.

Live Action games won’t have any real impact until the point-and-click barrier has been crossed.  That is, not until gamers are able to take full control of a live-action character.  A 1st Person Shooter or an RPG in a real world.  At that point, true suspension of disbelief will occur and a full gaming experience – along with all the negative side-effects will follow.

What negative side-effects?  Not sure yet, but no doubt a lot of players will get psychologically jacked-up facing real monsters and killing live-action characters and not cartoons.

Perhaps live action games are one of those “we can but shouldn’t” things.

We’ll see.

For now, we have relatively safe, point-and-clicker, The Bunker.

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