This gameplay gaffe reminds me of how Black & White was a terribly fun game to play with one horrible crippling gameplay design decision: not enough trees. Here in The Movies we have a great game held back by a crippling decision to severely limit how many people show up looking for work at the player’s studio.
The Internet: riding in to save the day... again
So what saves The Movies and makes it into one of this years best releases? The internet. Shortly before I started working on this review the 1.1 patch was released and unlocked a whole new world of possibilities. Apparently the game can export movies it creates in a Windows media file so that anyone with a PC can watch your latest great, or terrible, release.
While playing the game I couldn’t figure out why there was an option to watch the films you were creating because the in-game writers make those kids on certain discussion boards I frequent look like masters of the English language. However, using the post-production building in conjunction with the custom script building allows you to basically create your own little films complete with custom soundtracks/voices.
What the 1.1 patch does for The Movies is allow players to share films, review films, and spend credits earned for doing so on more prop-items to use in more films. It’s the opposite of a vicious cycle. The community has taken off and the possibilities for future films seem near limitless. I’m hopeful that future official releases from Lionhead studios will only strengthen the movie making tools.
I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t find The Movies fun if not down right addicting. Issues I have with the game design are rendered mostly mute by the addition of a "sandbox" mode. There are other games that give you a big sandbox to play in, but this is the first that actually lets you create something lasting with that sand. Do yourself a favor and buy The Movies.