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Tex Murphy, or why FMV kinda went nowhere

Content of the article: "Tex Murphy, or why FMV kinda went nowhere"

So I've recently been replaying through an old back catalog and have come across my copies of Under a Killing Moon and Tesla Effect (the most recent Tex Murphy game). For those who don't know, the Tex Murphy games are detective adventure games with a lot of point and click style of gameplay. They're pretty oldschool, but I figure that's perfect for this sub. The style of the game itself is a sort of noirish cyberpunk, obviously heavily influenced by the original Blade Runner. It also makes use of some pretty dry and sarcastic humor, which lightens the mood significantly.

As it's defined by Wikipedia, FMV is a "narration technique that relies upon pre-recorded video files (rather than sprites, vectors, or 3D models) to display action in the game". This style of gaming first developed in the 80s but became more popular in the 90s when this series made heavy use of them, though it was hardly the only one (I think the first game in the series was released in 89).

The actors in these games have a ton of charisma and feel likable. I found myself losing interest though as I continued, and I think it's because of the FMV itself, not necessarily the gameplay. The actors, despite doing their best, are just not great. They're not exactly A-list in terms of ability or talent. That said, I think it must be hard as an actor to act within a videogame. The video is very high def, which exposes some of the sloppy/cheap makeup work as well. The whole thing comes across as very cheesy, moreso than a standard cheap B movie. If that's your thing then this would be right up your alley, but I couldn't bring myself to finish another playthrough.

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When you have a detective/adventure game I feel that the narrative is the thing that has to carry you through the game. The gameplay is essentially tried and true – you're not breaking any ground. Anything that gets in the way of your enjoyment of the narrative itself, in this case the bad acting, makeup, and sets, tends to lower your overall enjoyment of the game. At the same time, I think Tex Murphy fans accept that low level of quality and it can be really endearing if it clicks for you.

I had heard that they were working on a new one but the site seems like it hasn't been updated in forever. Has anyone heard anything about it? Even though I couldn't bring myself to play through them nowadays I've always been interested in the games themselves and would definitely be interested in trying a new game. I love the more noirish, restrained cyberpunk sort of setting that's more influenced by Blade Runner than the type of setting and feel that we're going to be getting for Cyberpunk 2077.


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