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".

  • 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 345) 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
Who Shot Johnny Rock?19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.2.97
Mad Dog McCree19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, iPhone, Macintosh, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.49
Martian Memorandum1991DOS, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsAccess Software, Inc.3.80
Psycho Killer1992CDTV, DOSOn-Line PLC0.20
Night Trap19923DO, DOS, Macintosh, SEGA 32X, SEGA CDDigital Pictures, Inc.3.62
Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold19923DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, DVD Player, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.4.23
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume II1992DOS, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CD, VISICOM Simulations, Inc.2.88
It Came from the Desert1992TurboGrafx CDNEC Technologies, Inc.3.42
Space Pirates19923DO, Arcade, DOS, DVD Player, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.11
Sewer Shark19923DO, SEGA CDHasbro, Inc. 3.19
KGB1992Amiga, DOSVirgin Games, Inc.3.81
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....
MegaRace19933DO, DOS, SEGA CDMindscape, Inc.3.68
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
The 7th Guest1993CD-i, DOS, iPad, iPhone, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsOzacq1, Inc.3.73
Novastorm19933DO, DOS, FM Towns, PlayStation, SEGA CDPsygnosis Limited3.29
Myst19933DO, Amiga, CD-i, iPhone, Jaguar, Macintosh, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, PS Vita, SEGA Saturn, Windows, Windows 3.x, Windows MobileAcclaim Entertainment, Inc.3.37
Los Justicieros1993Arcade, DOSDinamic Multimedia, S.A.3.36
Drug Wars19933DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.4.13
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Selected Covers

Voyeur DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Voyeur
Critical Path Windows 3.x Front Cover
Front cover for Critical Path
It Came from the Desert TurboGrafx CD Front Cover
Front cover for It Came from the Desert
Microcosm DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Microcosm

Selected Screenshots

Game lockout mechanism
Screenshot from Voyeur
Dinamic Multimedia presents... "Los Justicieros"
Screenshot from Los Justicieros
Title screen
Screenshot from Critical Path
Title Screen
Screenshot from It Came from the Desert