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 341) Next
Game Titlesorted in ascending orderYearPlatformPublisherUser Score
Lords of the Rising Sun1989Amiga, CD-i, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx CDCinemaware Corporation4.48
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective1991CDTV, DOS, DVD Player, FM Towns, Macintosh, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CD, VISInfinite Ventures, Inc.4.21
Mad Dog McCree19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, iPhone, Macintosh, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.49
Who Shot Johnny Rock?19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.2.97
Martian Memorandum1991DOS, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsAccess Software, Inc.3.82
Night Trap19923DO, DOS, Macintosh, SEGA 32X, SEGA CDDigital Pictures, Inc.3.62
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume II1992DOS, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CD, VISICOM Simulations, Inc.2.88
Psycho Killer1992CDTV, DOSOn-Line PLC0.20
Sewer Shark19923DO, SEGA CDHasbro, Inc. 3.19
It Came from the Desert1992TurboGrafx CDNEC Technologies, Inc.3.42
KGB1992Amiga, DOSVirgin Games, Inc.3.81
Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold19923DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.4.23
Space Pirates19923DO, Arcade, DOS, DVD Player, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.11
Inca II: Nations of Immortality1993DOSSierra On-Line, Inc.2.79
Voyeur1993CD-i, DOS, MacintoshInterplay Entertainment Corp.2.06
Daryl F. Gates Police Quest: Open Season1993DOS, Macintosh, Windows 3.xSierra On-Line, Inc.3.25
Quantum Gate1993Macintosh, PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, Windows 3.xHyperbole Studios1.88
Microcosm19933DO, Amiga CD32, DOS, FM Towns, SEGA CDPsygnosis Limited2.44
Critical Path1993Macintosh, Windows 3.xMedia Vision, Inc.3.47
Crime Patrol19933DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.68
Dracula Unleashed1993DOS, DVD Player, Macintosh, SEGA CDInfinite Ventures, Inc.3.66
Ground Zero Texas1993SEGA CDSony Imagesoft3.61
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume III1993DOSICOM Simulations, Inc.4.08
C.I.T.Y. 20001993DOSAditus Inc....
Prize Fighter1993SEGA CDSEGA of America, Inc.2.62
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Selected Covers

KGB DOS Front Cover
Front cover for KGB
Dracula Unleashed DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Dracula Unleashed
Space Pirates DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Space Pirates
Voyeur DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Voyeur

Selected Screenshots

Main Title
Screenshot from KGB
Publisher screen
Screenshot from Dracula Unleashed
Introduction
Screenshot from Space Pirates
Game lockout mechanism
Screenshot from Voyeur