Recently here at PowerUp! I had the pleasure of playing and reviewing another Full Motion Video (FMV) game The Infectious Madness of Dekker, so when the chance to play Press X to Not Die was presented to me I jumped on it straight away.
The idea of using FMV’s in a medium that has always traditionally used animation always gets my curiosity itching. For the most part FMV in video games is used for cutscenes, storytelling elements or a combination of FMV and animation like the recent Hellblade: Sanua’s Sacrifice.
All Seeing Eye Games’ have used the FMV in Press X to Not Die in a rather different way to any other game that I’ve played. There is not a single genre available to define the game as it uses elements from across several genres’s creating its own Frankenstein’s monster of a genre.
The game is very much on rails and QTE focused, filmed entirely in the First Person perspective, it has a “Choose Your Own Adventure Book” feel to it with dialogue options and failing some QTE’s not resulting in an instant game-over state. Taking all of these elements into consideration I have chosen to dub this game a “First Person Quick Time Event Full Motion Video Choose Your Own Adventure Game”, or FPQTEFMVCYOAG for short.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] I have chosen to dub this game a “First Person Quick Time Event Full Motion Video Choose Your Own Adventure Game”[/perfectpullquote]
Where are your morals?
Press X to Not Die is a rather short game on a single play-through. My first run of the game only took me about 96 minutes, and I was rather worried that would be it. However to get the most out of the game multiple play-through’s are recommended not by just myself but also the developers themselves. The chooses that you can make can sometimes seem arbitrary and pointless, but everything relates to something else or is a throw back to something else.
For example, at one point in the game I failed several QTE’s because bad at video games. Once I finally got past these QTE’s and progressed in the story, the characters I was interacting with served me the sickest burn and said something along the lines of “Yeah yeah I get it, you’ve already died 4 times.” [perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Yeah yeah I get it, you’ve already died 4 times.”[/perfectpullquote]
And this wasn’t even the most meta or 4th wall breaking part in Press X to Not Die. The entire game is a tongue in cheek tribute to gamers of all generations and types, self aware of the predicament they find themselves in and ready to continue onto the next checkpoint.
A real labour of love the developers have put a lot of heart and soul into this project, and while viewing the behind the scenes content it’s clear that the entire team are a tight nit bunch of friends who really enjoyed making this game. The acting is very corny, and very cheesy all of the time. To refer to it as “B-grade” as the developers do is a little too generous. The combat scene’s look worst than early 2000’s WWF, and the sound effects must be straight from a 90’s kung-fu movie.
The biggest problem I had with the game was actually the First Person camera perspective. With every scene in the game filmed with a GoPro Hero 3, mounted on an actor’s head the shakiness can start to become too much. If you get motion sickness, or just don’t like Found Footage style movies such as Cloverfield or The Blair Witch Project don’t pick this game up.
If you are not worried about the camera perspective, acting from people who aren’t actors and are looking for an afternoon burner, something just a little bit different at a regular sale price of $3.98 or the current Steam launch price of $2.77 it’s totally worth it. You’ll get a good 3 hours of game play if you are looking to unlock everything, and probably another hour if your want all the achievements. You couldn’t even rent a 90 minute B-grade movie for less than $4.
Press X to Not Die was reviewed on PC using a code provided to PowerUp! by the developer.
Game Title: Press X to Not Die
Game Description: FPQTEFMVCYOAG
You died 4 times already - 9/10
GoPro motion sickness - 4/10
FPQTEFMVCYOAG - 8/10