The night is young, a young gamer’s fingers are trembling as he decides to buy $200 worth of Steam games that he might never play in his life. As he scrolls, the corner of his eye hesitates and takes a swift but informative glance at the 15th item purchased. Gamer McSteam was not actually paying attention to the games he bought, but instead how cheap the amount was for the vast quantity of games, so now he comes upon the realization that he was added a FMV game to his library. FMV? Why, a full-motion video game of course, where the game includes recorded video footage and can even play like some sort of interactive movie. Been around since the early 80’s, FMVs have always been a more expensive way of playing video games but definitely gave the player something new to experience. While technology has previously limited the power of an FMV, today’s technology actually does allow for a more immersive FMV experience that does not have to be bogged down by loading times and abrupt pauses (in some cases). So, to honor FMV games, and really just to type about Night Trap some more, this editorial will include three FMV games worthy of gamer’s time.
First up, Night Trap which has one of the best theme songs for a video game that has even been composed. With lyrics such as “NIGHT TRAP…Watch out behind you!” it is insulting that it was not nominated for a Grammy. Now, while Adeki has briefly touched upon this game’s more “mature” content that led to the formation of the ESRB, what is often forgotten is the gameplay included as well. The game centers around the protagonist being part of a task force designated to trap monsters in order to ensure a slumber party goes as planned, and the creativity involved is astounding! Trap holes in the floors, revolving bookcases that lead to God knows where, the fun never really ends. To top it all off, once the game is done, the main informant inside the scene can thank the player and the player then has the choice to trap and kill this main information in one last moment of hilarity. Night Trap was panned for its controversial content at the time, and a good chunk people just did not like it in general, but Night Trap will surely live on for generations to come.
Next, is Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure which is the sixth entry in the “Tex Murphy” franchise, which came out over 15 years after the fifth entry thanks to crowdfunding. What is also interesting is that Tesla Effect actually takes place right after the cliffhanger ending of the previous title, meaning that dedicated fans were left with a cliffhanger for over 15 years! As standard, the game centers around Tex Murphy, a private investigator in a futuristic San Francisco, as in this entry he searches for his presumed to be dead “boo-thang” and begins to find the lost inventions of Nikola Tesla. What is commendable about this game is not only the dedication in continuing to practice a much less popular genre of game, but also the size and scope as the developers boast over five and a half hours of recorded video footage, along with other staggering statistics, making it very large by FMV standards. There is definitely something respectable about staying true to a craft, and thankfully the creators of “Tex Murphy” did so and delivered, which seemed to middle out with reviewers in this case but did please long awaiting fans, which is always a positive.
Last in the rotation is a modern take on FMV games known as MISSING: An Interactive Thriller – Episode One. MISSING takes elements from older FMV games and hones their strengths as the game is almost all recorded video footage in crisp HD which is impressive as many other games understandably have to add still images because it would be difficult to have the entire game be nothing but video footage. However, the game is a short adventure as it takes 45 minutes or less to beat. This makes the $4 price point iffy, but there is also the fact that FMV games usually have a certain up-charge to them because of the craft, which is understandable to fans of the genre but off-putting to others. For this $4 though, fans would have received a extremely solid game that can be very seamless at times while also including the plot and puzzles fans have come to love.
Before I close this editorial out, I also have to mention that the developers of MISSING unforunately announced their closure a year after the original game’s release. This not only means that there will not be a second episode, but the game is also no longer available for purchase. Sorry to end on such a downer, but hopefully other than that you enjoyed this brief editorial on FMV games. What are your favorite FMV games and why do you like them? Or, on the other hand, have you even played an FMV games and what were your thoughts? Make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!