Bringing Celluloid to Virtual Life
A little while ago I wrote bringing some of my favorite novels to virtual life, about how some books seemed to be tailored perfectly for a video game translation. But this got me thinking about other mediums that would be perfect for an interactive endeavor. The next obvious form of entertainment to talk about is clearly movies. Now I don’t want to talk about the obvious candidates, superheroes and straight up action flicks are already getting games made from them. No, I am talking about some more left field movies that would make excellent additions to any gamer’s library. These less obvious choices could potentially be great games with a little thought and the right developer. So here are just a few of my favorite movies that I think are ripe for a move into the world of consoles and PCs
Genre: Survival Horror
Ideal Developer: Irrational Games
You may think that a movie based on a short story written by Stephen King is a bit of a cop out for this list but considering even the author thinks the movie is the best version I think I am on safe ground. The Mist is a tense, fright-filled horror flick starring Thomas Jane that tells the tale of unexplained creatures that appear in a mist that takes a small mountain town hostage. The Survivors of the initial invasion are forced to huddle in a supermarket where, like all good Stephen King stories, the biggest problem isn’t the monsters outside but the humans within. I see this working as a survival game that uses horror to great effect. Surviving not only the monsters but the stranded people that are gradually going insane. Medicine must be found, ghastly beasts fought off and a rising tide of hate from fellow survivors quenched. Who better to tackle such a story than the minds that brought Bioshock to life, Irrational Games. Of course, it is probably fair to say that they would need Ken Levine to make this work, but boy would it be a cracking horror experience if they could manage it. Also playing out the ending from the movie after spending dozens of hours immersed in the game would have the potential most gut-wrenching moment in gaming history.
The Big Lebowski
Ideal Developer: Double Fine
As far as cult movies go The Big Lebowski is almost at the top of the pile. The story of The Dude and his damaged rug has been loved by thousands over the years and as a result, has entered the realm of pop culture icons. It is a quirky movie that sees a case of mistaken identity turn into a tale of kidnapping, White Russians, missing toes and of course 10 pin bowling. The offbeat humor and strange twists that movie take would be perfectly suited to the hands of Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions. A more traditional point and click adventure game would be perfectly suited to the world of The Dude, Walt and Donnie and I can easily see how the movie could be molded into a Sam n Maxesque trip through insanity. It would, of course, have to be fully voiced by Jeff Bridges and co to work and there certainly would need to be a bowling mini-game, but if all that came together under the watchful eye of Tim Schafer….. well sign me up. The Dude abides people, The Dude abides.
Genre: 3rd Person Adventure
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Wyatt Earp is probably one of the most famous lawmen in history. His life has been translated to film many times but, as just about every western fan knows, Tombstone is the best one. It may not be as historically accurate as some other attempts at documenting his life but it sure is as entertaining as hell. Great action set pieces, wonderful set design and an infinitely quotable performance from both Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer make this western classic ripe for a video game translation. I would love to be able to play as Wyatt or Doc as they hunt down the Cowboy gang and bring justice to the old west. As this is the tale of a real person’s life I feel it needs to be a linear story and not an open world experience like Red Dead Redemption. Who better to do 3rd person action than Rise of the Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics. Honestly, if they simply reskinned Lara’s latest adventure with some old west locations and Kurt Russell I would be in heaven. It is almost too good to imagine. Stealth, action combat with one of the most well-recognized names in history, it would be glorious I tell you, glorious.
Genre: One on One fighting
Ok, so this is a really obvious choice for a video game translation, so obvious in fact someone already tried to make it. That version was never released however and I am still waiting for my chance to play as Connor MacLeod from the clan MacLeod on his journey to claim The Quickening. Honestly, this one screams fighting game. I mean sword-wielding immortals battling each other for a grand prize, it seems insane that it hasn’t happened already. The ideal developer for this title is clearly Netherealm studios. Not because their fighting games are the best available but because they handle story in these games better than anyone else out there. Imagine a Mortal Kombat style story mode where players get to control Connor, Duncan and Ramirez as they fight their way through time, attempting to claim the Quickening before more nefarious fighters such as The Kurgan from getting their hands on it. It might even stop Hollywood and their inevitable reboot…. Well, we can hope, can’t we?
Well there you have it, four movies that I think would be perfect in video game form. Do you agree? Am I crazy? What movies would you like to see make the virtual jump? Sound out in the comments below, I am keen to hear what you think.