The Bunker (PC) review
"Going deeper underground"
The time that I spent playing The Bunker feels like twisted justice, because it follows so closely on the heels of my SEGA 32X review spree that no one asked for or wanted. As part of that project, I played through a lot of awful FMV games spat out on the market by Digital Pictures, and I wound up saying a lot of terrible things about those titles, things I canít take back. As a result, I feel almost like I'm making a retraction when I say something I never thought I would: the genre isn't completely without hope or merit.
Still sounding like a back-handed compliment? Perhaps it is one. The Bunker is a very smart game, but that's mostly within the context of its lamentable genre. It does away with the expected Z-list actors and hires a bunch of people youíll probably be able to identify, even if you've not heard of them by name. Performers have been sourced from the likes of Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones, but the standout enactment goes to Adam Brown. You might not recognise him, as here heís not shuffling around on his knees and he lacks a huge fluffy beard, but he would eventually appear among the dwarves in The Hobbit film series. That means heís a million miles away from the sorry cast that trundled across our screens in Corpse Killer and Slam City.
Brown tackles the role of John, a thirty-something sole survivor, tucked up in a nuclear bunker which is the only home heís ever known. Living inside this sheltered environment with little in the way of guidance or companionship has seen him grow into a sniffling man-child who reigns in his loose grip on sanity through the daily grind of unceasing routine. Brown roams the decommissioned bunker the game is filmed in with a constant grimace of anxiety and fear, making even descending some perfectly innocent stairs feel like a horrific journey. To be fair to the guy, theyíre stairs heís not had to visit since his childhood. The current exploration is made necessary just now by a malfunction somewhere else in the bunker. His choices are to venture down into the forgotten depths of his home, or to stay in his little bubble and risk radiation poisoning.
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