Visual technique / style: Live-action cutscenes

Group Description

The technological advancements of CD-ROM media and real-time decompression allowed games in the late 1980s and early 1990s to use full motion video, primarily for cutscenes. In an attempt to make games more film-like, these cutscenes soon went beyond traditional animation or CGI rendering techniques and used traditional live-action film making, with real actors, props and sets. Widespread throughout the 1990s, this style of cinematics has now been all but abandoned, with a few notable exceptions like entries in Electronic Arts' Command & Conquer series.

This group collects games with such live-action elements. Note that the live-action footage need not always be a gameplay element, i.e. not all games in this group are necessarily "Interactive Movies".

Limitations:
  • The live-action footage must have been acquired through traditional film making techniques, using video or film cameras shooting at common frame rates like 24, 25 or 30 frames a second. The footage must also be shown within the game at similar film-like frame rates. Thus, games that feature digitized images of actors that are later animated are not to be included (example: Mortal Kombat);

  • The games must feature original footage. Sometimes, movie-based games contain scenes from the movie they are licensed from. These games are not to be included unless the footage, while shot during a motion picture shoot, was specifically intended for game usage (example: Enter the Matrix).

Viewing Page 1 of 14 (items 1-25 of 337) Next
Game Titlesorted in ascending orderYearPlatformPublisherUser Score
Martian Memorandum1991DOS, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsAccess Software, Inc.3.82
Mad Dog McCree19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, iPhone, Macintosh, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.49
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective1991CDTV, DOS, DVD Player, FM Towns, Macintosh, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CD, VISInfinite Ventures, Inc.4.21
Who Shot Johnny Rock?19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.2.97
Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold19923DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.4.23
Night Trap19923DO, DOS, Macintosh, SEGA 32X, SEGA CDDigital Pictures, Inc.3.62
Sewer Shark19923DO, SEGA CDHasbro, Inc. 3.19
Psycho Killer1992CDTV, DOSOn-Line PLC0.20
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume II1992DOS, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CD, VISICOM Simulations, Inc.2.88
Space Pirates19923DO, Arcade, DOS, DVD Player, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.11
KGB1992Amiga, DOSVirgin Games, Inc.3.81
It Came from the Desert1992TurboGrafx CDNEC Technologies, Inc.3.42
Critical Path1993Macintosh, Windows 3.xMedia Vision, Inc.3.47
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume III1993DOSICOM Simulations, Inc.4.08
C.I.T.Y. 20001993DOSAditus Inc....
Microcosm19933DO, Amiga CD32, DOS, FM Towns, SEGA CDPsygnosis Limited2.44
Voyeur1993CD-i, DOS, MacintoshInterplay Entertainment Corp.2.06
Prize Fighter1993SEGA CDSEGA of America, Inc.2.62
MegaRace19933DO, DOS, SEGA CDMindscape, Inc.3.68
Daryl F. Gates Police Quest: Open Season1993DOS, Macintosh, Windows 3.xSierra On-Line, Inc.3.25
Novastorm19933DO, DOS, FM Towns, PlayStation, SEGA CDPsygnosis Limited3.29
The 7th Guest1993CD-i, DOS, iPad, iPhone, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsOzacq1, Inc.3.79
Myst19933DO, Amiga, CD-i, iPhone, Jaguar, Macintosh, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, PS Vita, SEGA Saturn, Windows, Windows 3.x, Windows MobileAcclaim Entertainment, Inc.3.36
SimCity: Enhanced CD-ROM1993DOS, MacintoshInterplay Entertainment Corp.3.40
Los Justicieros1993Arcade, DOSDinamic Multimedia, S.A.3.36
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Selected Covers

Voyeur DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Voyeur
Mad Dog McCree DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Mad Dog McCree
The 7th Guest DOS Front Cover
Front cover for The 7th Guest
Critical Path Windows 3.x Front Cover
Front cover for Critical Path
Myst Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Myst

Selected Screenshots

Game lockout mechanism
Screenshot from Voyeur
Title Sequence
Screenshot from Mad Dog McCree
Title Screen
Screenshot from The 7th Guest
Title screen
Screenshot from Critical Path
a book of Myst
Screenshot from Myst