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The Movies: Stunts & Effects review

AT A GLANCE
  • Freecam! Freecam! Freecam!
  • Giant robot fights in the miniature city set
  • Improved costume-selection interface
  • Dialog/sound editing is unwieldy
  • Props can be tough to place properly
  • New content takes too long to unlock

Thanks to last year's film studio sim The Movies, you no longer have to watch films contrived by lazy Hollywood execs; now you can contrive films of your own. The Stunts & Effects expansion pack adds more sets, costumes, props, vehicles and backdrops for your virtual productions, along with a new employee type: the stuntman. That's all great, and fans of The Sims -style "god gameplay" will appreciate the new bits as they hire directors, bankroll productions and try to keep their stars' scandals out of the papers. However, nothing radically alters the fundamentals of gameplay like the new Freecam mode - and that's where Stunts & Effects really brings the magic home.

Freecam mode blows the doors off of Advanced Movie-making. You're free to choose the camera placement and movement for each shot, rather than picking from a static palette of pre-rendered templates. This will profoundly change the way you approach the game and the movies you make with it. It's now much closer to the real-world filmmaking process: script, storyboard, shoot and edit, in that order. One of the biggest frustrations in the original game was pawing through heaps of stock clips and finally settling for something completely different from what you were looking for. Tarantino never compromises his vision, and now neither do you. Freecam alone is worth the price of admission, especially if you (like many Movies owners) enjoy the moviemaking aspects of the game more than the game itself. They should have called it The Movies: Camera Unleashed - it'd make more sense than Jaws Unleashed, anyway.

More Info

Release date: Jun 06 2006 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Strategy
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Lionhead Studios
Franchise: The Movies
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Use of Tobacco, Violence

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