An intimate window into the extraordinary – and extraordinarily complicated -process that VandenBerghe and his colleagues went through.
As a look at the some of the real humans working inside an industry notorious for its secrecy, Chartier’s documentary is a rare achievement.
★★★ 3/4 Stars
An interesting look at the creative process, from the initial spark of an idea to the final feeling of grief that comes when the project is done and you are no longer working on it.
«Entertainment is philosophy in motion» says gamer Jason Vandenberghe towards the end of Playing Hard. The film sees Vandenberghe realize his dream by leading the team at Montreal’s Ubisoft video game empire in creating the entertainment he always wanted as a child.
★★★★ 4/5 Stars
Gamers and non-gamers will appreciate Playing Hard. In 92 minutes, it positions you directly on the Ubisoft team, allowing you to celebrate with them and suffer through their defeats.
« There aren’t many documentaries like this… We fell the sense of obligation to try and do something that was meaningful and honest » – Jason VandenBerghe
★★★★ 4/5 Stars
Playing Hard does leave us with something to think about especially if you are involved in this specific industry.
Chartier showcases the perseverance and dedication it takes to make a blockbuster video game, but also shows the human side behind the game-making process and the tumultuous toll it takes on their lives.
That documentary is mind blowing. It’s nuts, it makes you think: that’s what goes in every game that we play these days.
The real world and the fantasy world all became one throughout the documentary.
22 Movies to watch at Hot Docs… PLAYING HARD shows the nitty gritty and personal cost of game development.
Given the notoriously top secret nature of the video game industry, it’s a miracle that Chartier was able to make Playing Hard at all.
Playing Hard shows the kind of coordinated effort and sacrifice required to make a blockbuster videogame.
Jean-Simon Chartier’s behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of video game development is engrossing, informative, and unexpectedly full of tension and drama.