You may not remember a long-running TV show from decades gone by – This is Your Life. It was a show in which a celebrity or famous athlete, politician, or actor would be surprised by the host, with a big red book being the star. The show would then celebrate their life with a whole host of guests; friends, colleagues, the like.
Not for Broadcast: Bits of Your Life takes this format but brings it into the satirical and unique universe of the base game, added as a new bit of DLC to build out the ever-growing stable of content for this FMV game.
Not for Broadcast is a game that I love, giving it a 4.5/5 score in review. It has been able to deliver a bold new experiment in the FMV market, pushing out a fascinating satirical story of a fictional Britain from the POV of a TV controller editing a live feed. It had ambition, capable of providing fun as well as being deeply serious and hard-hitting when it wanted to be. The gameplay was engaging as well and since release we’ve seen the addition of a number of bits of DLC; a Ghostwatch-type show and an olden-time telethon.
Now we have Not for Broadcast: Bits of Your Life and we are back in the shoes of Dave the hedonistic controller who – in a meta way – promises you that this will be the best bit of DLC ever. The events take place a few months before those of the main game. Peter Clement and his populist party are running to get into government and it’s Peter’s turn to be in the Bits of Your Life spotlight. You then get to edit together a half hour show, with its guests and hosts running the programme. When you think you have done the show, the game isn’t finished with you yet as you can have another go, this time playing with the order and getting a different set of results and endings.
The writing and storytelling are top-notch once more and there are some things that very much fly close to the edge. The characters are sharp, funny, and tragic. Peter Clement’s journey is terrifyingly dark whilst the satirical stuff offered by the team is still brilliant. Dave the controller is still one of my favourite characters of all time and it’s great to see him back. I also like the way it plays with the format, delivering the strange as well as the meta stuff. There are some brilliant musical numbers as well which are a delight to edit.
The gameplay that was found in the main game is still the same here. You are in charge of a live-editing TV board, left with multiple camera views to switch between. The more you do this with the right timing, the better your broadcast and the more points you get. After each section, you get a grade and you can affect difficulty levels as well. There isn’t much new in terms of the mechanics, except some audience clapping and resetting the power when there is an outage. But it uses what it does have extremely well, adding little tweaks here and there.
Production values are excellent again, with great audio, video, and invention. The actors are superb with new faces adding to the established characters from the main game. A special mention goes to the host of the show who – in one playthrough – has the best breakdown I’ve ever seen.
Not for Broadcast: Bits of Your Life is a great piece of DLC for an already well-established universe. The narrative is strong and the writing is very clever. When you consider all the different playthroughs, there is a lot of content to discover and examine in Bits of Your Life.
Mostly though, it leaves us excited for what is to come next in the grand scheme of Not for Broadcast.