Game review on PC
Zach McCoy-Davies / Fri 30th Sep 2016
113 views / 3 bites
OVERVIEW The Bunker is a live action psychological horror video game that puts you in the shoes of the last survivor within a dark and atmospheric nuclear bunker.
It's day 11,109 within the halls of the dark nuclear shelter and John is the last remaining survivor. With his mother having recently passed, he is tasked with keeping the facility in running order until it is safe to leave. On day 11,111 is when things start to fail and it is up to you, (well, John) to fix it before you suffer from horrible radiation poisoning.
To go into more detail would ruin the allure of the game as the mystery is what keeps you hooked for the short runtime. Flashbacks reveal the bunker's dark secrets and eerie set pieces help set the tone of the film... I mean game.
The game itself is shot like a film, with different camera angles setting up environments and following John as he wanders through corridors. The camera reveals everything through long cut-scenes (like a movie) rather than allowing the player to take control. Gameplay itself solely consists of clicking nodes as they appear on screen and waiting for the video to play out. You may sit there for minutes on end watching the live action characters talk before the next option presents itself which may be off-putting to some players.
As John you look around your environments for clues as to what happened to the other staff members and delve deeper into the mystery. This is where the game shows its potential as a storytelling device, leaving the uncanny valley behind and allowing the player to connect to the live action character as he struggles to piece together what truly happened.
Players may look at this game as nothing more than a two hour cut-scene and it does feel that way, which just leaves you wanting more to do even if the story is compelling until the final frame.
Not much can be said on the graphical side of The Bunker as it is all live action. Being shot like a film, it clips along at 25 frames a second and I didn't experience any deviation from this helping with the immersion. The cinematography is also a strong point as it just adds to the overall tone of the game.
A horror game wouldn't be half as effective without a great setting and the old, sterile bunker works well to draw the player in. With each level you decline, the darker and grimmer the scenery becomes. Darkness creeps around every corner and the set design makes the facility feel real, leaving you with a tense feeling and sweaty palms.
The soundtrack is top-notch, flowing between scenes and building tension as John goes through many dark areas of his past. Each environment has a deafening silence giving the facility a dead atmosphere,while louder moments stand out adding weight to the horror on display.
The dialogue is all delivered clearly and the acting serves the story well, keeping the game moving along nicely.
VERDICT The Bunker taps into an old style of video game where you watch the action unfold instead of having complete control. Replayability is limited as there are no branching options which leaves something to be desired. Some players may find this tedious as it is no more than a two-hour film with point and click style options, but the story driving you to the end is worth the playthrough at least once.