The Bunker (PlayStation 4) Review

By Josh Di Falco 20.09.2016

Review for The Bunker on PlayStation 4

The Bunker begins with a woman giving birth to a boy named John in a secret government nuclear bunker in England. Thirty years pass, and John is the lone living survivor in the only world that he has ever known, obedient to the rules and routine that binds him to the menial life in the bunker. This is the fascinating and haunting video game experience, co-developed by Splendy Games and Wales Interactive, as they bring this live action video game movie to the PS4!

The entire game is performed with real actors who bring a wealth of experience to this story. Adam Brown (The Hobbit) stars as the main character John, while Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful) and Grahame Fox (Game of Thrones) also feature in this tantalising adventure. As the last living survivor of the nuclear bunker, John lives the only way he knows how: by sticking to his daily routine. However, after an alarm begins piercing the air, John must break the day-to-day tasks that were his life, and venture deeper below into the bunker and uncover the secrets and mystery that are buried within.

Screenshot for The Bunker on PlayStation 4

The Bunker is a point-and-click adventure title that switches between first-person and third-person. A scene will play out, before John remains in an idle loop in the screen, while a set of interactions can be utilised to assist him on his journey. What is most impressive about this setup is the amount of live action scenes that were filmed for every single interaction. Whether it is opening drawers on a bedside table, to turning door handles or walking down hallways, the attention to detail with every interaction is certainly an eye catcher.

This is a dark and brooding game, or more so an interactive movie. Due to the unique nature of The Bunker, the most important thing for the developers to have gotten right was the acting performances. Luckily, all the key actors play their roles to perfection, with sublime acting that really drive the points across. The acting is paramount to the success of the experience, and the entire story is sold really well by everyone involved. Because of this, it is easy to get behind the fragile John, and his pain and fear is felt every step of the way.

Screenshot for The Bunker on PlayStation 4

Professionally filmed in an actual decommissioned nuclear bunker, The Bunker is an unsettling experience where fear lurks behind every corner. The best way to play this game is preferably at night time with the headphones on. The game raises the bar with a high amount of tension from the opening scene, and it maintains this bar for the duration of the story. The dark colour palette is reminiscent of an old World War II-era bunker, with the dark greens and greys, which further tingles the spine.

The imagery depicted in the story is gruesome and uncomfortable, with plenty of horror tropes thrown in for good measure—from the blood stained hospital beds, to the dark and gloomy long-winded hallways, even right down to the boiler room. This title plays with fear a lot, and it is not afraid to show some graphic images that might draw a gasp or two at certain scenes.

Screenshot for The Bunker on PlayStation 4

The story constantly bounces between the two main time periods: the present where John is the lone survivor, and before the other residents of the bunker had died. Seeing what was as opposed to what is is a heart-breaking tale further exemplified by the acting of Adam Brown and Sarah Greene, who plays John's mother. Documents and cassette tapes are hidden throughout the journey, and provide a greater context surrounding the mysteries of the bunker. Wooden toys that John had constructed as a child are also hidden throughout the game; however, this doesn't serve as a great enough reason to replay the title again in order to collect them all.

The Bunker uses an on-screen mouse cursor, which is moved around the screen to make the selections. While this would natively work well for a PC, cursors on a console game generally feel clunky and this example is no exception. Although in the options menu the sensitivity can be increased, at times the control scheme still feels "heavy." This is further compounded in quick-time events that sometimes appear during live cut-scenes, where it feels like it's taking the cursor forever to reach the on-screen indicator.

Screenshot for The Bunker on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The main gripe with The Bunker is the limitations with the gameplay. There are no puzzles to be solved, and it is a linear experience where the interaction stems from opening the doors and picking up the key items in order to progress the movie. However, beyond that is a wonderful acting performance by Adam Brown, Sarah Greene, Grahame Fox and the rest of the cast that inhabit the world below in the dark and quiet bunker. Full of mystery and intrigue, this is a remarkable effort at an interactive movie, which works well enough for another attempt at creating a live action video game. This is a gripping movie, and although short, fans of the horror genre looking for something different need to check this out and experience the unforgettable tale of John in The Bunker.

Developer

Splendy Games

Publisher

Wales Interactive

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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