I came to a point in time where I started looking back on my childhood and the subject matter of this film really brought that home. It was also responsible for me picking up the controller again. I suppose that a film about indie games might not sound that appealing to everybody. I understand that not everybody is interested in gaming and some people didn’t have the same type of childhood as a lot of us. This shouldn’t put them off watching this film though. It is less about the games and more about the actual developers themselves and the sacrifices they have had to make in life in order to create their games and unleash them on the world. Anyone who has an undying passion for something in life can relate to this.
The film follows the creation of ‘Braid’ created by the thoughtful Jonathan Blow, ‘Fez’ developed by the outspoken and often controversial Phil Fish and ‘Super Meat Boy’ created and overseen by the double team of Edmund McMillen and the downbeat Tommy Refenes. There is quite some characters in there and although some of the developers might not be to everyone’s liking I’m sure they can appreciate the pressures that they are under and that they don’t get out very much! Phil Fish is seen looking crazed and disheveled in one scene before he is due to present his game at a pre-launch without having the consent of his ex business partner. He says he will kill his partner and himself if he can’t get the game out. He has been making his game for four years and he looks deadly serious.
The developers are obviously under extreme amounts of stress and are working to tight deadlines which makes me understand some of the behavior shown. I suppose some people would see it as obnoxious but when it means everything to you you are going to fly off the handle for the littlest things. Each of the developers dedication and commitment to the cause comes across strongly throughout, as well as their obvious passion for video games, basically fore-fitting a ‘life’ to make their own creations.
The film is beautifully shot and interesting to watch visually and does include plenty of close ups of the games in action. The three games covered in this film are all platformers and are all very different visually in style but all look awesome and I am long overdue playing them. The soundtrack is nice too and sure to please retro video game fans.
The lack of detailed focus on the games themselves may irritate extreme hardcore gamers or developers looking to see the code (I think there is one or two quick shots throughout of the actual code being written) but I love retro and indie games and I really liked this film. I have recently seen the special edition of the film advertised on Steam which has over 100 minutes of extra footage, I need to see this!
Btw all three of the games showcased in the film were released to critical acclaim.
Crime of Passion 5/5