Full-motion video games have been around since the early days of VHS, but their implementation of real actors on camera usually felt like gimmicks. Now, though, the way developers are utilizing the strengths of real actors on camera is getting really clever, with games like the creepy and fascinating Telling Lies, where you piece together separate ends of characters’ video calls. Games are even attracting high-profile talent from Hollywood again, like Halt and Catch Fire’s Kerry Bishé. It feels like we’re slowly seeing a live-action video game resurgence.
It was a nice surprise to see live-action video in Remedy’s excellent new game Control. Remedy has previously played with implementing actors on camera for their cutscenes with 2016’s Quantum Break. Last year, even Netflix sneaked in an old-school choose-your-own-adventure game with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. I didn’t love it, but it’s hard to ignore a giant like Netflix throwing their bid in.
It feels like a far cry from the days of Night Trap on Sega CD and Mega Race on PC, but live-action games are definitely still happening. So I decided to call up Kotaku’s Mike Fahey, not only for his own glorious return to live-action video, but to talk about our favorite full-motion video games, Comp USA, and our crushes on Logan Marshall-Green.