Video game movie tie-in’s have a difficult reputation to shake. Often produced cheaply and quickly to simply increase the profit and awareness of an upcoming movie, they are normally best avoided. Recent blockbusters like Iron Man 2 have followed this trend with lousy efforts, whilst consoles in the 80′s and 90′s were completely over-saturated with bad movie games. The awful Atari game based on ET was responsible for 1983′s video games crash, with the silly alien almost putting an abrupt end to the future of gaming.
In recent years, games based on movies are generally increasing in quality, with many developers putting care and attention into making something faithful to the film itself. In 2005 Rockstar brought us a brilliant beat-em-up based on The Warriors , while last years Toy Story 3 was a respectable and surprisingly deep game which even adults could enjoy.
Following our recent article on games which deserve to be transformed into big screen movies, here’s a selection of 10 films which would make excellent video games.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Zombies and video games are a perfect combination which continues to be popular. This year sees the release of the long awaited Dead Island, whilst games like Dead Rising and even Call of Duty have exploited the popularity of the shambling rotters. Shaun of the Dead, with its North London setting and improvised weaponry including cricket bats and vinyl records, would be a slice of fried gold.
Game Pitch: A first person shooter in the style of Left 4 Dead, the game features an accurate recreation of Crouch End in North London, with players co-operatively fighting their way to the Winchester pub.
Performing Monkey (10 headshots in a row)
King of the Zombies (Blend in with the crowd)
Dire Straits (Throw a Vinyl record at a Zombie)
The Running Man (1987)
The Running Man is one of those movies which seems to be a perfect fit for a video game. Arnold Schwarzenegger finds himself trapped in the worlds most deadly game-show; a futuristic and deadly spin on Gladiators, with runners facing assassins like the chainsaw wielding Buzzsaw and the electrified Dynamo. The film has even already inspired several games, including arcade hit Smash TV and Rockstar’s controversial Manhunt.
Game Pitch: A single player can take on The Running Man in a solo campaign, but the real highlight is the eight player online mode in which four players take control of different runners, with another four controlling the assassins. Games can be watched live and even bet on using in-game currency. Think the short lived online game-show 1 vs 100 meets Battle Royale.
I’ll be back (Play 10 online games)
Plain Zero (Kill Subzero)
The Running Men (Play a co-op match)
Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
With Resident Evil gone all action packed, it’s hard to find any decent horror games anymore. With that in mind, some of the greatest horror films could be translated well into video games. One such example would be the classic Nightmare On Elm Street, with a virtual Freddy Krueger stalking you through an unpredictable dream world. Yes, Freddy did have his very own 80’s Nintendo tie-in, but the game was about as scary as a bowl of porridge.
Game Pitch: During the daytime, the game is a exploration RPG with players able to wander the streets and school grounds of Springwood. Collected money from side-missions can be used to buy coffee and energy drinks in order to stay awake for as long as possible. When the tiredness meter is full, it’s time to sleep and face Freddy !
Welcome to Prime Time Bitch ! (Watch TV)
Now I’m Playing With Power ! (Find 50 hidden power gloves)
The Dream Master (Complete the game)
One of Arnie’s finest, Commando is practically already a video-game – more so than any other entry on this list. With a paper thin plot involving the kidnapping of his daughter (Jhennyy!) Commando turns into an all out frag-fest, involving a finale with Schwarzenegger mowing down what seems like the entire population of fictional Val-Verde.
Game Pitch: A relentlessly action packed third-person shooter with levels including ‘Brawl at the Mall’ and ‘Assault on Val-Verde’. Skillful players can unlock a bonus ‘Deer Feeding’ mini-game.
Fly Val-Verde (Escape the plane)
I LIED ! (Drop Sully)
Let Off Some Steam (Impale Benett)
Having been hinted at by Christopher Nolan himself, a game based on mind-bending thriller Inception could certainly be interesting. Whilst the film worked perfectly by itself, a game would allow for some of its ideas to be further developed without even needing to stick to the story of the ridiculously named Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). It also definitely had something of a video game vibe. Not only are the dreams structured in levels, but they also feature classic gaming traits such as the obligatory arctic mission, complete with enemies attacking by snowmobile.
Game Pitch: Enter the shady world of dream extraction where you must infiltrate the minds of your targets and extract information hidden within their subconscious. A blend of stealth, combat and spinning top puzzles.
Dom’s Cob (Find The Corn On The Cob)
Think A Little Bigger Darling (Use the grenade launcher)
Waiting For A Train (Reach Limbo)
Death Wish 3 (1985)
Death Wish 3 is one of the greatest films ever made, an undisputed fact. There’s no reason it shouldn’t also become one of the greatest video games of all time. Taking control of Charles Bronson’s crusty avenger Paul Kersey, it’s time to clear the streets of New York from the vicious gangs, ending the reign of the evil and malicious leader Manny.
Game Pitch: A generic first person shooter with an emphasis on making people fall melodramatically from balconies and windows.
They Killed The Giggler ! (Execute the Giggler)
Mr. Whippy (Buy an Ice Cream)
I Wish I Was Dead (Complete the game)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Once in production and subsequently cancelled, playing as the iconic rule-breaking cop, made famous by an effortlessly cool Clint Eastwood would be awesome. Although…It wouldn’t work without Eastwood’s likeness, or if a bad voice actor grumbled his way through corny dialogue. Yet the idea of driving around an open world recreation of 70’s San-Francisco, catching perps and hunting down the Scorpio killer would make this an excellent film to game conversion.
Game Pitch: Roam the streets of San Francisco as detective Harry Callahan, solving random street crimes as well as tracking down the sadistic Scorpio killer. Give this one to Rockstar
Do You Feel Lucky ? (Complete 50 street crimes)
Just Swell (Catch Scorpio)
Collecting for the Red Cross (Eliminate the alleyway attacker)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
The Incredible Shrinking Man is one of the very best 50’s Sci-Fi movies. It remains an incredibly exciting and strangely moving film which hasn‘t lost any of its charm. Unfortunately it still looks like we’ll be subjected to an inferior remake, currently rumored to star Eddie Murphy. Finding himself shrinking after exposure to radiation, Scott Carey’s (Grant Williams) home is transformed into a dangerous alien landscape. Even his own cuddly pet cat poses a sinister threat.
Game Pitch: As the shrinking Scott Carey, you must survive and find a way to escape the dangers of your very own home. An action RPG, players must utilize whatever they can to traverse and survive the basement, culminating in an epic battle with a giant tarantula.
The Infinitesimal (Escape the house)
Spiderman (Defeat the Spider)
Cat-nip (Outrun the cat)
The Rock (1996)
The Rock is a Michael Bay film; therefore it’s stupid, loud and full of ridiculous action. That’s already three things which many games pride themselves on, without even getting to the great concept involving a hostage situation at the former prison complex on Alcatraz Island. Playing as both Nicolas Cage’s chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed and Sean Connery’s ex SAS soldier John Mason, players will have to venture into The Rock to find and defuse the deadly VX-Gas missiles, which are set to be launched at targets around the San Francisco area.
Game Pitch: An intense cover based shooter with driving sections, The Rock features action and suspense, boasting a recreation of Alcatraz prison as well as a disturbing virtual Nicolas Cage from the team behind Alan Hansen’s Sport Challenge.
Welcome to The Rock (Infiltrate Alcatraz)
Rocket-man (Fire missile at the bloke from Candyman)
Baywatch (Find 25 hidden Michael Bay statues)
Evil Dead II (1987)
There have been plenty of Evil Dead games in the past, with decidedly mixed results. Most recently a smartphone game based on Army of Darkness managed to do an excellent job of turning the film into an addictive defense game. On consoles the closest we’ve come to a decent Evil Dead game was the repetitive but enjoyable A Fistful of Boomstick for PS2 and Xbox in 2003. Deserving a game that truly lives up to the legendary films, Sam Raimi’s masterpiece Evil Dead II should receive its very own video game.
Game Pitch: Taking control of Ash (voiced by Bruce Campbell) Evil Dead II is a third person action/survival horror game set within the remote cabin and surrounding woods. Under constant attack from the relentless force of the Deadites, Ash must survive through the night and into dawn. Much like Dead Rising 2 the game will allow weapons to be combined and created, as well featuring Ash’s trademark Chainsaw and Boomstick…. Groovy
Farewell To Arms (Replaced your hand with a Chainsaw)
Swallow This (Defeat the Deadites)
Workshed (Use the workshed bench to create a weapon)
Which other movies would make excellent videogames ?
Howard The Duck ?
Basic Instinct 2 ?
Let us know your suggestions !
Click here for our article on Five Video Games That Need To Be Movies