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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 13 (items 1-25 of 325) Next
Game Titlesorted in ascending orderYearPlatformPublisherMobyScore
Mad Dog McCree19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, iPhone, Macintosh, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.04
Who Shot Johnny Rock?19913DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.2.97
Martian Memorandum1991DOS, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsAccess Software, Inc.3.86
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective1991CDTV, DOS, FM Towns, Macintosh, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CDICOM Simulations, Inc.3.93
KGB1992Amiga, DOSVirgin Games, Inc.3.78
Space Pirates19923DO, Arcade, DOS, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.2.03
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume II1992DOS, SEGA CD, TurboGrafx CDICOM Simulations, Inc.2.88
Psycho Killer1992CDTV, DOSOn-Line PLC0.20
It Came from the Desert1992TurboGrafx CDNEC Technologies, Inc.3.42
Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold19923DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, SEGA CD, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.78
Sewer Shark19923DO, SEGA CDHasbro, Inc. 3.01
Night Trap19923DO, DOS, Macintosh, SEGA 32X, SEGA CDDigital Pictures, Inc.3.35
The 7th Guest1993CD-i, DOS, iPad, iPhone, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsOzacq1, Inc.3.75
Novastorm19933DO, DOS, FM Towns, PlayStation, SEGA CDPsygnosis Limited3.29
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Volume III1993DOSICOM Simulations, Inc.4.08
Ground Zero Texas1993SEGA CDSony Imagesoft3.61
Los Justicieros1993Arcade, DOSDinamic Multimedia, S.A.3.36
Quantum Gate1993Macintosh, PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, Windows 3.xHyperbole Studios1.88
Microcosm19933DO, Amiga CD32, DOS, FM Towns, SEGA CDPsygnosis Limited2.44
MegaRace19933DO, DOS, SEGA CDMindscape, Inc.3.68
Dracula Unleashed1993DOS, Macintosh, SEGA CDSEGA of America, Inc.3.67
Voyeur1993CD-i, DOS, MacintoshInterplay Entertainment Corp.2.06
Double Switch1993Macintosh, SEGA CD, SEGA Saturn, WindowsDigital Pictures, Inc.2.81
Critical Path1993Macintosh, Windows 3.xMedia Vision, Inc.3.17
Drug Wars19933DO, Arcade, CD-i, DOS, WindowsAmerican Laser Games, Inc.3.40
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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
MegaRace DOS Front Cover
Front cover for MegaRace
Microcosm DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Microcosm

Selected Screenshots

Game lockout mechanism
Screenshot from Voyeur
Title screen
Screenshot from Critical Path
Title Screen
Screenshot from MegaRace
Title Screen
Screenshot from Microcosm