The Bunker proves there's plenty of life in the live action genre


Some of the most interesting online game characters will be discovered a bit additional away from the foreground. Resident Evil’s deliciously eerie Spencer Mansion; the sunken metropolis of Rapture; the impossibly stunning ring world of Halo: Combat Evolved. Upcoming journey sport The Bunker is one other sport the place the backdrop is probably the most vital character, an underground nuclear shelter that is frozen in time, furnished with arduous beige fittings and soundtracked by the whirring of previous arduous drives that energy chunky monochrome screens.

It’s a spot born from the paranoia of the 50s and 60s and the very actual nuclear risk, the well mannered austerity of its inside the excellent amplifier of that creeping feeling of dread as you discover its many ranges. This bunker is a really actual area, although. You may even go to it if you need – plenty of folks did throughout the filming of The Bunker, in any case. “We filmed in Kelvedon Hatch, in Brentwood,” says explains developer Splendy’s Allan Plenderleith. “It’s a secret nuclear bunker that is not so secret, with an enormous brown signal pointing you in direction of it. It’s at all times full of boy scouts and previous women, they usually by no means shut it down. Even once we had been filming an previous woman would sometimes stroll into shot. It’s not precisely The National Trust – nevertheless it’s very atmospheric and hasn’t modified since the authorities left.”


The synth-powered soundtrack carries some deep John Carpenter vibes – the excellent accompaniment for an 80s-themed chiller.

I am speaking to Plenderleith over Skype as he sits in a spacious shed in his Berkhamsted residence, the place he is joined by Splendy co-founder and producer on The Bunker Simon Sparks. Both have expertise in the world of TV and movie – Plenderleith in screenwriting and kids’s tv, Sparks, delightfully, in hairdressing – which pushed them in direction of their first huge gaming success, the iOS journey The Hunting. A horror sport as soon as carried out in live action (Plenderleith pulls a maggot nonetheless moist with KY jelly from simply out of shot, a prop in the schlocky horror of the sport) it was profitable sufficient to push each of them in direction of one thing extra formidable second time spherical.

Which brings us to The Bunker, in which you comply with the nervy, sheltered John as he finds the thriller behind the place in which he was born throughout an apocalyptic occasion in 1986, and in which he is spent day by day of his 30 years since. “It’s this parallel universe the place if this had occurred this man can be down there, and he would not know what’s occurring up above – if birds are singing or it is this decimated land. As the participant you uncover the story as he discovers it.”

In The Bunker you navigate scenes as in some extent and click on journey, at first embedding your self in John’s depressing day by day routine earlier than it is skewed as extra malicious forces come into play. Adam Brown, whose nerdish options you could be acquainted with from his flip as Ori in The Hobbit trilogy, does a beautiful job of portraying John’s fast-dissolving starchiness, however actually it is The Bunker itself that emerges as the star. It’s an overbearing, eerie presence that is like the downbeat one-star cousin to the supernatural opulence discovered in The Shining’s Overlook Hotel.

“For us us the bunker is a personality in the movie – and it is bought that sense the place you are in opposition to one thing which does not need you to be there,” says Plenderleith. “We needed to write The Bunker as a map – a large bizarre 3D map which evolves over time. Whatever occurs in that place strikes – having an actual location that we filmed in, that was our set, and we needed to adapt it.” Over the course of the 15 days in which the crew shot the 56 hours of footage that make up the three or so hour journey of The Bunker, Kelvedon Hatch started to go away its personal imprint too. “It’s a horrible place to movie – it is very oppressive. We bought there early and left late, and also you may get out for 5 minutes at lunch to see the solar. by the finish of it everybody was unwell – it simply will get to you, the complete place.”

I’ve solely performed the first 30 minutes or so of The Bunker, however what’s already spectacular is its sense of area, and of clammy claustrophobia. You’re restricted in what you are able to do in these opening scenes – tuning a radio for indicators of an out of doors broadcast, serving to John take his day by day remedy – and whereas extra concerned action is promised in a while it is nonetheless sufficient to interact you with the well-produced, slick wanting footage. It’s a far cry from the likes of Night Trap and different ropey outings that gave live action video games a foul identify for therefore lengthy.


Plendy already has some neat concepts for its subsequent sport – together with a transfer into live action gaming on VR headsets.

Fallout Shelter guide
How to layout rooms, get bottle caps, increase dweller happiness and more.

Fallout Shelter guide

“It’s humorous, even now in 2016, all these years after Night Trap, there’s nonetheless quite a bit to determine with the know-how,” says Plenderleith. “We did it in Unity – we shot in beautiful HD, however you may’t put all that in the sport in any other case it might be the world’s greatest sport. You need it to seem like it did once you shot it, and never this pixelated mess like Night Trap. Movies and video games, they’re crossing genres if you happen to like. For me, the cause why we use live action – properly it is as a result of we aren’t coders, we won’t do CGI stuff – however the fundamental cause is the efficiency of an actual actor. If you get a extremely good efficiency in a narrative you care about it will probably actually impact you want the films do, and there is not any cause a sport cannot do this.”

The acclaim afforded Her Story – all these BAFTAs and plenty extra apart from – has helped Plendy put their case ahead. And if nothing else it is no less than supplied one other, kinder reference level for the live action genre. “We’d already began earlier than Her Story got here out – however when it did it was nice for us,” says Plenderleith. “Before that – The Hunting was a small sport, however when Her Story got here out, as a result of it did so properly, it was a simple approach to say okay, that is live action – and other people can get their heads round that. It would not need to be about Night Trap anymore.”

If The Bunker could make good on its potential – and Plendy are making all the proper noises – you may most likely scratch this one up alongside Her Story as one other instance of what a bit experience and creativeness can convey to a sort of sport that was as soon as mocked. It’s good, creepy and is a neat reminder that generally you simply cannot beat the magic that comes at 24 frames per second. The Bunker’s out at some undisclosed level subsequent month on PS4, Xbox One and PC.