Films and games have been blurring into one another for a long time, from the early FMV days through to the hyper-realistic and cinematically styled games we’re getting in the current generation. A few are mixing that past and present, and The Bunker, just announced from Splendy Games and Wales Interactive, is one of them. It’s set in an alternate reality where nuclear war devastated, well, everything in the 1980s. Thirty years later John, the protagonist, still lives in the bunker where he was born as it all went wrong, living a meaningless, routine-filled life - until one day he discovers some dark secret that kicks everything off again.
Lots and lots of competition this year. Have a look at the absolutely stacked upcoming PC games list.
Here’s a trailer laying it all out, with bits of the game set both as John’s growing up and once he’s an adult.
A bit schlocky perhaps, but they’ve got some decent folks in there and the effects look good enough. Horror works on a budget, you’ve just gotta be smart about it, and this looks like it has the right combo of jumpscares and dread.
Exactly how the interaction elements work isn't clear. Presumably it’s some sort of point-n-click that plays various video files as you look around photos presented as areas. It’s focused on exploration, finding documents and recordings and computers all to poke around in and discover whatever the heinous plot ends up being. You’ll be reliving John’s repressed memories too, skipping between the times as you work more stuff out. Doesn’t seem like there’s going to be the most 'gamey' stuff in there, but hopefully it’s at least enjoyable to look around before settling in for another spooky live action segment.
It was all filmed in an actual bunker in Essex, England, which apparently you can go to and walk around if you feel the need. As for the folks making it, it’s part-developed by Wales Interactive, them behind Soul Axiom and Master Reboot, a pair of flawed but exceptionally weird adventure games. I’m excited to see what they do with this formula.
The Bunker’s due out this year, some time in Summer at current estimates. A bit more info on the official site.