The Bunker (PC) Review

By Adam Riley 04.10.2016 9

Review for The Bunker on PC

It is amazing how a retro-inspired gimmick can get everyone jumping for joy at what was actually a style of game creation mocked in the past for its limited nature. Full-motion video titles were, the majority of the time, mindless affairs that barely involved any actual gaming elements. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule, but there is a very good reason why those sorts of products were shelved. With The Bunker, though, many are thinking it is time for a renaissance. No. Simply no…

'Bland' is the key word to describe The Bunker. 'Boring' might be another. 'Frustrating' also springs to mind towards the closing stages where there is a ridiculous amount of 'click the mouse button as fast as possible to progress' action. Other than that highly annoying element - fail and be prepared for no 'Skip' option in the latter parts, resulting in re-watching lengthy, tiresome clips - sitting down to watch a 45-minute TV episode would be more interesting than partaking in The Bunker. Although the story would need to be fleshed out more, since here the tale is rather flaky and underdeveloped.

It all revolves around a young boy - John - trapped inside an underground bunker that is supposedly leaking radiation, and then people start dying…except for him and his mother. Why could that be? Ooh, mysterious… These scenes are played out via flashbacks. The actual lead actor is the older version of John, and real-time events take place 20-30 years after the deaths occurred, with mummykins recently kicking the bucket, leaving him on his lonesome with his fears. Driving home the age of the character, along with how long it will take for the radiation outside to clear up, makes for a very transparent twist. On top of the obvious twist, along the way there are attempts to scare onlookers with glimpses of dead bodies, ghostly apparitions, and so on, yet the rather low level of acting on show proves to be the scariest element, not invoking much emotion at all.

Screenshot for The Bunker on PC

Adam Brown, who plays the older version of John, gives off a ham-fisted 'early Harry Potter' vibe in some scenes, and it almost becomes a case of waiting for him to hold his head in pain when remembering something traumatic, akin to Harry holding his scar because of the link to Voldemort… Nothing is there to draw people in. Even trying to view this as a standalone TV show or short movie, forgetting the woeful attempts to make it a point-and-click adventure, it fails. Why? Well, it does not seem to know whether it wants to be a full-on suspenseful thriller, tense drama, or out-and-out horror spectacle, instead dancing around between styles, not fully committing to any, and, resultantly, leaving no connection between watcher and actors.

Does it want to be like a visual novel, with not much in the way of interaction then? Well, again, it is neither one thing nor the other. A lot of the time, there are video sequences that are drawn out and meant to grab the attention (but fail, as mentioned). Then there are collecting 'missions' throughout, moments where doors need to be opened by moving the cursor upwards, downwards, and so on, yet after these point-and-click parts, again they are followed by basic click-to-move-forward sections that feel like the developer saying "Are you still awake? Don't worry, it's nearly over!" Mercifully, it is over not long after it begins.

The average acting, a sheer lack of puzzles, frustrating interactivity elements, and a story that does not draw people in, all make for a very forgettable experience and goes a long way to showing why FMV titles were ditched in the first place. Only very special FMV games can survive, and this is in no way a Tex Murphy, not in the very slightest.

Screenshot for The Bunker on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Do not be sucked in by the intrigue of Full-motion video 'making a comeback,' as despite good intentions, The Bunker is a bland story with an over-reliance on button mashing that never engages those…well, not really 'in control,' more 'viewing' the interactive video sequences. The concept is indeed a good one, but so poorly executed, leaving an overall feeling of emptiness when all is said and done.

Developer

Splendy Games

Publisher

Wales Interactive

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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   

Comments

It's funny just how different our experiences were. XD

Yeah, I was thinking that. I like visual novels, I love a good thriller, and I love point and click adventures. This didn't get near to ticking the right boxes in any of those categories.

If you enjoy FMV games and like strong adventures with a great script and plenty of engaging puzzles, checking out the Tex Murphy series.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I definitely agreed with the annoyance of the ending stages that had lengthy cut scenes that required rewatching due to a missed button press. And no Skip option....

Wow, I really was going to give up at one point. Perhaps with a game controller it might be a bit easier to mash away, but my wireless mouse isn't the best for that, so I'd either not press quickly enough, or I'd be pressing quickly and the cursor would slightly move out of position, so it was all for naught.

THEN, like a slap in the face, there's a bloody SKIP button during the credits sequence!!!! Smilie Like the dev was laughing at me Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

XD I never failed once in the game so I never really found that frustration. 

It was only at that very last part that the mouse clicking let me down Smilie Other than that, the game is so slow paced that it's hard to fail. I just found it all to be extremely chore-like. Even finding all the extras wasn't engaging, since pretty much all of them were just right there in plain sight.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I guess I was maybe a little too light handed with my scoring if I played it again I might find it less fun. XD

It just filled a gap that I needed filled. Smilie

Yeah I almost ran through the game without failing, however I fell at the final hurdle of the button interactions.

The dolls barely brought any replay value considering it didn't take a lot of effort to discover them on the first run through. However, I kind of enjoyed the story that The Bunker was trying to tell; even if the ending felt sudden and left a lot to be desired, without really explaining anything.

I think we all just managed to talk down the scores you guys gave it Smilie

Thomas/Darkflame's doing a Second Opinion of the PC game, and I don't think he was overly impressed with it, either. He had the same trouble at the end of the game because of his mouse pad.

The only real puzzle in the game was probably the blood on the keypad one...other than that, it was merely 'click, click, click...is it finished yet?' Smilie

( Edited 10.10.2016 01:08 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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