Review by diamondhammer
A deep tycoon game and an even deeper movie maker
The Movies is a new game from Peter Molyneux and his Lionhead Studios, responsible for such great games as Black and White and Fable. The basic plot of this game is: you own a movie studio. Build it up; hire stars and directors; and finally, make movies.
GAMEPLAY - 10
Whoa. This is great. The intuitive tycoon game is brilliant fun at the start, but deteriorates into mere great fun. The game plays out rather like the Sims in some aspects, like keeping your stars active, unstressed, happy and famous. You can build a huge variety of sets when you've researched them, and the facilities are easy to use and obviously what they're meant to be. Another handy feature devised by Lionhead is the 'starry stream', as they call it. Pressing tab, or the button you've assigned it to while holding someone will immediately take you to where they'd be most use, or you could manually follow the stream. In tycoon mode, you can make your own movies (rather than the computer ones which are funny but make no sense), but it's more economically viable to make ones using the computer scripts. The custom movie maker is best used in sandbox (freeplay). You can start with loads of money and a good studio, then make your own films. The custom script writer is deep, and allows you to make a lot of good films once you get the hang of it. You select the sets and the actions, choose which characters do what, set the props and backdrop, and with some shots you get some sliders determining the intensity. For example, in a fight shot, you can set the action to tame (light slapping) or to extreme, in which one character does a vicious headbutt. My one gripe is that there's no 'copy scene' button, which is annoying but missable.
GRAPHICS - 8
The graphics aren't anything special, but look good. The stars look fairly realistic, and your films made with colour and digital film look excellent. These graphics are about the level of the Sims 2, which is good, but not great.
SOUND - 10
Excellent sound effects are useful in games like this, and the Movies delivers. It also has some very catchy music, which fits the game well. The characters speak a version of Simlish, the strange but funny language the Sims speak. Altogether, done very well.
CONTROLS - 9
A good mix of intuitive and deep, my one problem being the building deleting system, which is actually quite easy once you know what to do.
OVERALL - 9
Another great game from Peter Molyneux. If your computer is fairly new, buy it. If not, buy a new computer, then The Movies.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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