FMV is a curious beast. Whenever you see someone doing a game with FMV bits in it you assume it’s kind of a retro oddity and they’re almost doing it as a joke. Like, when they were a kid they really liked that weird 70s animated version of The Lord Of The Rings that had some FMV, and it stuck with them, or something like that. But FMV games are much like vegetables in smoothies, or venereal disease in Floridian pensioners: there’s a lot more about than you might expect.
Wales Interactive, wot published The Bunker, even have a whole FMV collection. Well into FMV, they are. I think The Bunker was their first forray into it, though, and to my mind I think it remains the best.
The main character Adam (played by Adam Brown, best known for being one of the dwarf lads in The Hobbit) was born underground in the bunker, ‘cos his mum went into labour the day nuclear war started. 30 years later Adam, who has gone a bit peculiar as anyone in those circumstances would, is now living alone in the bunker, eating a tin of cold beans every day and reading to his dead mum’s shrouded corpse.
But an alarm going off prompts Adam to explore the place a bit, and you click your way through the empty halls, sort of like a very depressing version of Google Maps’ street view. Soon you uncover a grim set of events from the past that Adam blocked out of his memory. As one does.
The Bunker a bit rough around the edges – a lot is in first person, and shot in the cramped spaces of a real decomissioned nuclear bunker, so sometimes you can see that an arm reaching forwards to push a door open is really attached to a man straining to keep his torso out of shot – but it’s a fun, kind of campy semi-horror. And it’s FMV that isn’t a Barlow-like, so points for that.