The Bunker Reviews

AuthorReview
CalculatdRisque
813,102 (472,438)
CalculatdRisque
TA Score for this game: 1,152
Posted on 02 October 16 at 15:01, Edited on 02 October 16 at 15:14
This review has 12 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
With virtual reality headsets becoming more commonplace and gamers always looking for the next immersive experience, it seems that we have the technology, we are just waiting for time to catch up before quality games become the norm. In the meantime, to bridge that gap you can always play The Bunker, what I would call a live-action point and click story, showcasing what can be achieved with the right blend of game and movie.

I went into The Bunker, as I often do, with little knowledge except I understood it was a quick 1000 gamerscore. To see it as just that would be a huge discredit. Splendy Games have arguably raised the bar to other indie developers of what can be achieved. I am still at a loss to how see how the game can make a profit, the quality as such doesn’t make sense to what they must have had as their budget.

What do I mean by live-action point and click then? The Bunker is essentially one man’s journey in 1980’s England, and he has been living down a bunker for quite some time. In between flashbacks which set the narrative of the story, we control the man, and get him to move and fulfil actions by quintessential clicking on objects and parts of the rooms in the bunker. Whilst the story plays out in a linear fashion, which is perhaps the weakest part of the game, there are a plethora of collectibles to attain which for all you haters, actually make the game stronger, and help the game play out as a game. It seems Splendy want to remind us that it is not just a movie, no matter how confused your brain is by it being live-action.

The live-action itself is extremely well done, as per my comment about budget earlier. The acting by the main character is top notch and it does make me wonder for the future. Rather than having crappy tv and movie cash-ins we could play as our favourite tv characters. Daryl Dixon in a Walking Dead game, or Anya in Game of Thrones anyone?

The game then, never passes you by and is an appropriate length of around 2 hours if you just focus on the story, an hour longer if you explore every nook and cranny. It is meant to be digested in one sitting. Whilst it doesn’t hold much replay value, if you miss any collectibles it is back to the start for you, as there isn’t a chapter select. If i’m honest I wish I had just played it and forgot about achievements for once as a second playthrough is recommended, and if you don’t use guides, you almost certainly would require a second helping.

The story, which would be less than an hour if a movie, manages to pack a lot in within your time with the game. The writing is excellent, and the developers managed to make mundane actions interesting by using location, acting, and tense music along with the aforementioned cut scenes.
It is hard not to recommend The Bunker then. As an afficianado of video games I am always on the lookout for games that stretch genres and change the game so to speak and The Bunker manages to do that on all levels. If The Bunker was poor I would think live action was rubbish, but as it is the game makes me excited for what we have in the future when VR makes its way to the masses. In the meantime I will take more games like this. Because of the ambition of the game, and its execution, it is impossible to give The Bunker anything less than 5 stars. Whilst it may be short and overall not that enthralling action-wise, that is offset by its story and general coherence about what The Bunker set out to do and what it is. Other indie developers should take note. With games of this quality it will be hard to play mediocre indie titles in the future. Especially, if as suspected, it isn't long before you can don a VR headset and play games like this. Walking simulators can and should look to utilise what Splendy has done for the lasting thought after playing The Bunker is 'more please!'

Let me know in the comments if you also enjoyed it, and which tv/movie live action games you would like to see if you could play as your favourite character.
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FullMoonBeaver
519,020 (320,260)
FullMoonBeaver
TA Score for this game: 1,152
Posted on 05 October 16 at 11:38
This review has 7 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Welcome to my review for The Bunker.

Developed by: Splendy Games
Published by: Wales Interactive
Release Date: September 23rd 2016
Price: £15.99 - Currently on sale for £12.79 until 8th October.

There may be potential spoilers about the game, so only read ahead if you don't mind potential spoilers.

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Just how far would you go to survive? What would you do to make sure that your life is paramount above all others? Who is the real bad guy, and when would you find out? Several questions you may have when playing The Bunker. A dark and gritty experience about life in a secret government bunker, after the bombs fell and decimated the UK.

The story starts with you not even born. Your mother is in labour as the bombs start falling. Chaos spreads across the country, and wipes out the population. The bunker is now your home, it is all you know. It is all you'll ever know. Cold, uninviting, cramped.

You need to survive, but depleting food rations cause panic, and an unexplained disease ravages the population leaving you and your loving mother as the sole survivors of The Bunker. Your only friend, your only companion. She falls ill, and is dying. This is the beginning of your story, and in typical British style, it is not a happy introduction.

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You are thrust into a sad moment from the start. Your mother is old, dying and drawing her last breaths. John is panicking, he doesn't want to lose his mother. She is the only person he has ever been close to over the last 30 years, but succumbs an passes away. You are now all alone. Everyone in the bunker that you knew has finally gone. Nothing but silence left, and your daily routine which you made a promise to your mother to stick too.

The Bunker offers a unique live action experience for you, and works with a point and click interface. Sometimes you have a camera following you as you make decisions, and others it is from the point of view from a security camera. The mood and atmosphere that is present within the game engages and draws you into life in the bunker. Flashbacks are triggered as you progress, sending you back in time to when you were a young boy. This fills in the back story without giving too much away. Bishop, who is the General and therefore in charge, is a tough military man, who does very little if nothing to endear himself to you, and constantly berates you as a child and sees you as a hindrance.

A fairly short game, or interactive movie if you prefer, is just the right length. It is a linear experience, so going off the beaten path is limited to just a couple of rooms. But exploration is vital should you look to find the collectables, which help reveal the back story with documents you can read, carved wooden toy soldiers which are various people around the bunker and cassette players which are recordings of people who were once walking the rooms and corridors of the bunker with
you.

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The game ups the ante, and panic when there is a scene where John has an accident. It's far from pleasant, and grim in nature. I won't explain any further, but suffice to say it makes your journey harder. The reactor is failing, and you need to escape. Radiation is flooding the bunker, do you stay and succumb to the radiation sickness, or risk leaving?

As the cut scenes unfold, you find out the true horrors that preceded you. Is Bishop really a bad guy? Just why was he seen with the fire axe hunting you and your mother down. Did he have the best intentions for the bunker, or had he lost his mind with the isolation? And just who was it that caused the deaths of the entire population of the bunker? You find out all the answers to your questions at the end.

Graphics: Given its live action, this plays no part in the game. But camera work is perfect. Capturing Adam Brown as a timid grown man, who was coddled as a child, and still presents a child like demeanour. Scared, unsure, and a mommy's boy. Sarah Greene as his mother, determined to look after her son, and Grahame Fox as Bishop. The military general who takes no nonsense.

Music/FX: Your typical psychological horror moments. But not bland by any means. Ambient noises set the mood and atmosphere, and keeps you wondering what lies ahead. Sound effects are all real noises from the recordings. So, as real as it gets.

Gameplay: A point and click interface that works well, without having a cluttered UI. Very easy to use.

Longevity: Only clicking in at around 2-3 hours, but what a 2-3 hours you will have. I was sucked in from the off right up until the end. Which ending you have is totally up to you. Should I stay or should I go now? You choose.

Achievements: An easy 1000g to add to your collection. Take a collectables guide with you, as if you miss just one, you will need to start all over again as there is no chapter select.

Conclusion: The Bunker is a fantastic journey through the story of John's existence, and the terror he faces on a psychological level, to the failing reactor. What is revealed at the end was impressive. A well written script and story, and one game that even though you will likely only play once, but one that if psychological horror is your cup of tea, you will enjoy.

A review key was supplied for purposes of review.

Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. I would appreciate feedback, regarding not just the score, but how the review was written. Always looking to improve myself.
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