To anyone who was paying attention to video games in the mid-’90s, the term “FMV game” probably still inspires snorts of derision. The handful of titles that shoehorned simple gameplay on top of highly compressed full-motion video (FMV) usually suffered from low-quality sound and images, poor production values, limited interaction options, and ponderous repetition of a few short video clips through multiple plays. The results ranged from mediocre at the high end to some of the worst games ever made at the low end. By the end of the ’90s, filmed, live-action video clips gave way to polygons and animated, pre-rendered sprites as the gameplay and story-telling engine of choice.
But just as failed ’90s experiments in virtual reality are leading to a resurgence in the form today, the FMV gaming failures of decades past are finally being explored with the technology and game-design advancements of today. Her Story is proof that FMV games don’t have to be awful and that filming actors on a set could be a criminally underexplored form for interactive storytelling. READ MORE: Her Story is a compelling new type of interactive storytelling | Ars Technica.