One of the people I follow on YouTube is a big-time retro-gaming fan who takes every occasion to mention how FMV (full-motion video) gaming got a bad rap back in the day. He actually enjoys them. He’s wrong, of course. He’s so wrong. They sucked. They still suck. Stay Dead: Evolution is an FMV game in the same vein as something you might have seen on the Sega CD, and would you believe it: it sucks.
Specifically, Stay Dead: Evolution is the updated Steam release of Stay Dead, which is an FMV fighting game. Yes, really. It’s only a “game” in the most literal of senses, because it’s actually an endless series of quick-time events that link video clips together. Hit the QTE correctly and your dude hits his foe correctly. Mess it up and your dude gets messed up.
That’s…well, that’s mostly it. The QTEs come in different forms depending on whether you’re attacking or defending, and they gradually speed up as the game’s difficulty increases. You eventually earn combo attacks that amount to doing multiple hits from a single QTE. These are great, because they allow you to end fights and thus the game much more quickly. Doing especially well by beating the crap out of a foe without taking any damage yourself will also end a fight early and earn you a new combo. The term “merciful” springs to mind.
The actual FMV is…not too embarrassing, I guess. It’s your typical low-budget martial arts stuff for the most part. Your guy looks kind of unassuming to be doing all this FMV ass-kicking, which is lame. One of the fights is almost entirely viewed from the side like a traditional fighting game, which is cool. One of the enemies you fight deserves special mention because they’re quite obviously a Nazi but any Nazi-related propaganda is censored. It’s a little silly, much like this game as a whole.
I mean, that’s pretty much it. Stay Dead: Evolution is an FMV game in The Year Of Our Lord 2015. The world decided as a whole that they didn’t want any more of these things. Yet, much like point-and-click adventure games and beyond all sense, here this is. It exists. You probably shouldn’t buy it. Incidentally, a friend of mine, upon reading that last paragraph with no context, was convinced I was talking about The Order: 1886 on PS4. Ready at Dawn might want to look for new jobs.