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The Bunker review for PS4, Xbox One, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Developer: Wales Interactive
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

This year, I’ve found some great indie games on my own, versus being informed from traditional press releases and “The Bunker” is another to join the ranks. The Bunker is a game that brings me back to a time when I actively sought out games with a similar play style. Once of my first experiences was with a PS one game called Foxhunt. The game was like watching a TV show. It was using full motion video and the scenes would play out as you made decisions. Essentially, it was a live action Dragon’s Lair or Space Ace.

Not many games came after that utilized this film design, at least not on consoles. I thought the genre was long and forgotten, that was until I stumbled across a PC game called “Press X not to die”. It was a cleverly made choose your own adventure style with guerilla style filmmaking. Cheesy acting, a silly premise, and low budget effects is what made it enjoyable to me. As I played, it made me think these were the reasons these types of games were guilty pleasures.

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Then a few months went by and I was checking out the PSN store and came across “The Bunker”. When I watched the trailer, I was surprised to see another game in this genre with one major difference. The tone was more in line with a thriller/sci-fi TV show. Here you had some well know actors like Adam Brown who portrayed “Ori” the Dwarf in the Hobbit trilogy. It was strange to see a genre that was usually tongue in cheek to be more in line with a miniseries I could see on a major broadcasted station.

The Bunker has you playing as John, who was born inside a nuclear bunker 30 years ago. John has survived in the bunker all these years from following a strict routine, which includes maintenance and rationing of food and resources. John’s mother instilled all of this before she dies, leaving John alone in the Bunker. The game starts off repetitive by having you actually perform some of the tasks, like check the radiation levels, listen to the radio for survivors, and eating rations on the toilet. I guess the stuff looks better on the way out eh?

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The progression through the story gets more interesting once things take a turn for the worse for John. You are treated to flashback sequences as you traverse the eerie corridors and stairwells seemingly taken out of a horror movie. Other than your standard choose where to walk and action button to trigger a scene, you solve a tiny puzzle or two. It’s more than I would expected, but once you make it to the end of the game, you discover how short it is. The entire play through is well paced and makes you wanting more out of the story.

It’s difficult to speak in detail about the story simply due to the amount of spoilers and the overall length of it. Some people value their game prices based on length alone and for those players, The Bunker isn’t for you. This is a game that has value beyond gameplay time. If you want a game with an interesting story, with some good twists, and can appreciate a game that uses live action as the base, I would recommend checking it out. I’m glad Wales Interactive reached out to me to play it.

Grade: B