Full motion video. There was a time in #VideoGame history—one that a lot of us would rather forget—when the industry was obsessed with combining the interactive delights of Adventure Games like #MonkeyIsland, with the live-action joys of terrible crime/action films (that we secretly enjoyed) such as Speed 2: Cruise Control. Live-action video games have seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years with the likes of Her Story and The Bunker, but their standard of quality is, well, way higher.
While the developers themselves appeared to want these old FMV games to be the best kind of crossover imaginable, the majority were clunky, weird, horrifically acted, mind-numbingly boring and downright hilarious. We'll be amassing just a few of these FMV delights for you as a kind of taster, but trust me, you don't want to see too many of these.
The Weirdest FMV Games Around
Crime Patrol 1
You think you know what bad acting looks like? Well you don't.
"But Ken, I've seen Troll 2," I hear you say. Well you know NOTHING!
Crime Patrol 1 is the epitome of atrocious FMV game design. As a badass cop who doesn't understand the concept of rules, you blast your way into crime scenes shooting at everything that moves—namely unemployed community theater actors.
If you're fast enough and get your cursor over the enemies scattered throughout various locations, their execution can be relatively "seamless". However, hover a little too long and you get to stare at some pathetically awful actors stand there frozen till you execute them.
The jump cuts are wonderful, though.
This kind of FMV involved pre-filmed cutscenes that players could interact with, and they really were very popular at the time. Kinda hard to believe looking at them now... they make for some great gifs though!
The title says it all. The film of the same name is apparently a pathetic excuse for an action war film, with one review stating that the protagonist "had no right being on the screen at any time during the film's far too long running length." That's kind of how we feel about the video game, which stars all the same people.
It plays out similarly to Crime Patrol 1, in that the scenes are pre-recorded. However, Soldier Boyz likes to cut away to your enemy dying every single time in an effort to make things more "fluid". Here's one example.
You're probably asking yourself two questions right now:
- "Ken, why does the game have a double crosshair for a single barrel shotgun?" Good question! Who the f*** knows?!
- "Ken, why is there such a severe amount of screen tearing?" Because, gaming friends, this game was hashed together faster than you or I can comprehend.
You know something about this game? It's essentially the plot of Suicide Squad.
Veteren Howard Toliver (Michael Dudikoff) works at a prison for extremely dangerous juvenile offenders. Recruited to rescue a wealthy girl being held captive in Vietnam, he assembles a team composed of some of the most violent inmates, many of whom are enemies.
Told you! Oh and a dude gets strangled by a snake, and I'm doubting whether the snake used was fake...
Yep, we laughed at the title too. But the game itself is no laughing matter! No, wait...it is.
This is some of the worst editing you'll ever encounter, coupled with some of the worst music I've ever heard. Naturally, the acting is terrible, but this is on a whole new level.
Snow Job is a different kind of FMV game in comparison with the two that came before. It was kinda revolutionary in how it enabled players to interact with its narrative. Still photographs were taken of certain areas side-by-side, and then patched together and bent on a 2D scroll. The player could then scroll around these environments and click on certain objects to listen to a short clip describing their significance.
Please enjoy some of the brilliant instances of "dialogue" the game boasts.
- "People communicate on the internet: business, politics...sex (suggestive pause and wink). Sometimes I eavesdrop."
- "All I know is that she got her eyes fixed on the crack dealers, and she ain't blinking, baby."
- "Hey man, I'm on the internet online with my hacker buddy in Tokyo, the Asian Ace."
Give these guys an oscar!
Bikini Karate Babes
It doesn't get much worse than that image, but Bikini Karate Babes somehow gets so much worse the more you learn about it.
Deciding to bypass rendering overtly sexist female fighting game characters with a game engine, these developers opted for actual women in bikinis. They fight, they lose items of clothing and it's all rather depressing and insanely strange. Just look at this character's move!
WHAT AM I SEEING?!
Ostensibly released as a satire of scantily clad women in games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, this 2002 video game features some of the most awkward examples of human movement ever conceived. The way in which these 19 women move about on your monitor resembles a robot coming to terms with its new form. It's all very awkward to watch...
I'm upset. This was made in 2002. What...
It Came From The Desert
Care to indulge in a video game in which helpless townsfolk are torn apart by ravenous ants?
It Came From The Desert was a fairly well received game for its time, but, in hindsight, is an absolutely twisted mess. The story involves this bizarre ant colony under the leadership of a demented queen. She possesses the power to telepathically control people, and she's focused her efforts on this little town. Once she's in control of someone's mind, however, rather than making them flip out or burst into dance, she completely incapacitates them so that her children can eat the person alive... yeah.
The ants slowly strip away skin and muscle, leaving exposed bones behind as the victims' live-action faces writhe and scream in horror.
Though the game is live-action, the developers decided to cover everything in the kind of effect best reserved for Microsoft Paint. It looks absolutely awful. Though I suppose they wanted to cover up the gruesome deaths of the townspeople in a "creative" way.
Published by the same people who brought us Grand Theft Auto V, Ripper was actually fairly well received at the time of its release. But of course, like all the others, it looks terrible now. However, it needs to be included on this list because it actually starts Christopher Walken as a detective. He gives it his all, as he does with everything, but no one, even of Walken's talent, could save this script.
Those hand gestures though.