News Article

'Apocalypse' Now

The Bruce Willis sci-fi videogame is being released after a two year delay

The end is nigh — finally. Bruce Willis' sci-fi twitch game, Apocalypse, due in stores Nov. 23, was supposed to come out in the fall. Of 1997. Originally, Willis' role was that of a computer-controlled ''virtual buddy'' who doles out sardonic advice and the occasional laser blast to help you escape from an Orwellian prison. But programming an artificial intelligence to follow players around turned out to be a particularly hairy ordeal, and ''it was obvious in focus tests that kids wanted to be Willis,'' recalls Activision producer Dave Stohl. After deciding to put the player in control of the star's persona, the company performed major surgery on the ailing game, replacing the burned-out development team with an outside company, NeverSoft. Luckily, all the raw materials Willis provided at the start of the project — 3-D scans of his face and body, plus voice-overs — could be salvaged, negating the need to call him back for more work. A smart move, considering one of his exclamations during the game is ''I'm not gettin' paid enough to do this crap!''

Originally posted Dec 04, 1998 Published in issue #461 Dec 04, 1998 Order article reprints