For some people, video game playtesting is the ultimate dream job. Playing videogames and getting PAID for it? Sounds pretty amazing, and it’s the way of life for Max Troy (Larenz Tate), the lead character in BETA TEST (directed by Nicholas Gyeney). Just like normal, he receives a new game to test in the mail from Sentinel, the biggest name in gaming. This time, however, the game is a little different. A LOT different, and a lot more deadly. Claiming to immerse the player fully in the world, with no tutorials, menus, or pausing, Max is intrigued. The award winning gamer completes a mission in the game, guided on by a tech support agent he lovingly calls Princess.
As things go on, he happens to see the news while on a break. The actions he’s committing in the game are happening in real time. Enter Orson Creed (Manu Bennet), estranged security officer for the monolithic Sentinel corporation. Attacked in his home by Sentinel goons, knocked out, and outfitted with an electronic device, he awakens only to realize he’s being controlled. As the two men realize what’s going on, they find themselves in a race against time to save themselves and those they care about. With Sentinel’s greedy fingers in everything, and with eyes and ears everywhere, our heroes have the odds stacked against them.
Touching on some political points while exploring what makes us human, BETA TEST asks, how far would you go to protect yourself and the ones you love? To fight for your ideals? Most importantly, how far is too far? With a storied cast, heavy usage of 3D animation, and an eight-minute long, single-take choreographed action sequence (unofficially crowned the longest in a feature film), Gyeney presents us with an ambitious film with a lot of thought and effort put into it.
If you’re looking for a sci-fi thriller in the vein of GAMER and TAKEN, check BETA TEST out. Out now on mainstream VOD services, as well as DVD and BLU RAY.