The Movies: Stunts and Effects

If you were hoping that the Stunts and Effects expansion pack for Lionhead's cinema-sim The Movies would include some extra staff for your beleaguered studio, I'm afraid that you're out of luck. While it integrates beautifully, this add-on does nothing to overcome the original's major failings.

What it does do is bring a bunch of new facilities to your studio, including blue-screen sets and stunt schools, not to mention a miniature cityscape set for monster movies, and a hospital for when stunts don't go so well. Like your actors and directors, your stuntmen and women have a rating that's both a measure of their success and an indicator of the positive effects they'll have on your productions. Generally speaking, you cast members of your stunt team alongside the actors (and visual similarity is very important here) but, in an interesting twist, your actors can now elect to perform their own stunts. This will gain the respect of the audience and critics, but puts the actor (and film) at risk if the stunts don't go that well.

Those who have been using the game's Moviemaker to produce and post their own creations will revel in the enormous new selection of scenes and effects. Others may find that the introduction of several more plates to keep spinning is just a bit too much.

Verdict: An interesting and well-integrated addition to The Movies that extends the Moviemaker tool and adds a new twist to an often engrossing game. But nothing has been done to overcome the original "staff shortage" issue. Score: 3 1/2 out of 5 Publisher: Activision URL: www.lionhead.com Price: $49.95

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Laurence Grayson

PC World
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