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‘The Bunker’ Should Have Been Lovable B-Movie Trash, But It’s Just Boring

A full-motion video game set in a nuclear bunker after the apocalypse sounds much cooler than it actually is.

Image courtesy of Wales Interactive

On paper, The Bunker should be the kind of game I'm losing my shit over: a horror-tinged mystery set in an underground nuclear bunker, in the years after a series of bombs have ravaged the world. Even better—or worse, depending on your taste—is the choice of presentation: full-motion video (FMV), an overly fancy term for a video game shot with real cameras and actors. With rare exceptions, like last year's Her Story, these games are schlocky affairs worth an evening of laughs, rather than anything serious. Sadly, The Bunker is neither.

The Bunker sports a notable actress in Sarah Green of Penny Dreadful, a horror drama that recently concluded its final season. It harkens to a bizarre era when notable Hollywood figures kept showing up in FMV games. You probably don't remember when Christopher Walken, Paul Giamatti, Karen Allen, and John Rhys-Davies starred in Ripper, a wonderfully cheesy take on the Jack the Ripper story, now set in 2040—but it happened. The same was true for Hell: A Cyperpunk Thriller, where Dennis Hopper was convinced to play a supporting role in a game where a futuristic authoritarian government has the ability to, um, send criminals to hell. Cool.