Bullets fly through the air like pestering gnats, our hero, armed to the teeth, lies pinned down behind a pillar, he stays cool, panic is not in his blood, never has been. He grabs a propane tank and tosses it around the wall. It lands in front of the henchman who look at is quizzically, the hero comes from behind in the pillar with a smile. The camera swirls around him in slow mo as he blasts the canister, the explosion sending bodies flying. The hero opens his mouth and says, “Damn, I love PS3-based machinima game play.”
Of course, he wouldn’t say that, he’d probably say something like “smells like a BBQ.” However, the truth is, with the cinematic tools in the upcoming PS3 game “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” the hero can say anything you want. Any concoction of events that you can dream up in the dream world can be created cinema mode included in the game, which is nothing short of revolutionary for machinima design and filmmaking. So in this situation instead of throwing that canister, he could just sit there and quote Shakespeare, not that exciting, but hey mixing genres can be thrilling.
Machinima, or the creation or the use of video game engines is slowly becoming a serious form of filmmaking. Just earlier this year, Warner Brothers produced their first machinima series based around the “Terminator: Salvation” video game. And now with the impending release of “Uncharted 2,” game developer Naughty Dog has worked with website Machinima.com to have the most detailed creation tool ever. According to Naughty Dog, the two parties worked together to make sure the game was locked and loaded with all the essential tools that machinima makers wished they had in other games.
The game, which is basically Indiana Jones with more swearing and blood, includes a cinematic mode, where budding directors can control everything their little mini Michael Bay hearts can desire (except per se, Megan Fox). There is a green screen function for putting the character in any environment, almost every object from the game is available for creative interactions, and even serious filmmaking techniques like depth of field and color tone are available. But the killer action movie explosion of the whole package is the ability to sync the game with your own dialogue. That’s right, whatever you speak into your playstation mic will sync with the characters mouth on screen.
It is clear the developers are putting a great deal of time and effort into the mode, and with the ability to rapidly upload movies, a new community will no doubt form around the game. Since the game is running on the PS3, the graphics are incredible, just as good as many popular CGI movies, well maybe not Avatar but definitely better than Beowulf. The game has one numerous pre-release awards, and is slated to a be a major title for the holiday season. Perhaps soon, little Johnny will transfer his love of icing villains in creatives ways in a a video games, to actually making something to show his friends. I’m not sure if Hollywood is trembling in their boots yet with dreams of machinima taking over, but they probably are starting to feel the tremors.
Tim Goessling is a contributing writer for Tubefilter and is an avid video game player. You can read more of his writings at www.thislalife.com