June 7, 2008 // 9:48 pm
- A few weeks ago, we scolded the video game industry for its abusive treatment of cinematic masterpieces. How, we wondered, could game makers turn such fantastic films into such digital disasters?
Then it dawned on us: maybe they were choosing the wrong movies! Just because a flick is brilliantly written or superbly acted doesn't mean it has any business being turned into a video game. Other films, however, are screaming for the game conversion, and we're here to lend our voice to the chorus. Game developers, get cracking on:
Children of Men
One moment you're walking down the sidewalk minding your own business, the next, a bomb has exploded, your ears are ringing and a fascist police battalion is trying to turn you into a skid mark. Such sudden bursts of incidental action turned Alfonso Cuaron's riveting sci-fi film into something of a survival horror masterpiece, and we're simply flabbergasted that it's yet to be turned into a game (though Valve's Half-Life 2 comes pretty close).
The setting alone -- a dystopian future in which women are incapable of reproducing -- is worth a digital treatment, but dig deeper and you'll find the makings of a bona fide hit: unlikely hero, smart pacing, tight action, big explosions, and, best of all, no kids in sight to ruin all the fun.
28 Days/Weeks Later
Nothing against the spectacular Resident Evil games, but slow, shambling zombies who repeatedly bang their heads into the side of a house while mumbling "brains" over and over again is SO 1980's Michael Jackson. The contemporary zombie is smarter than that, quick on its feet, a lithe eating-machine looking to wash down some cerebellum with a tall glass of respect. And if you're looking for that kind of zombie, you're looking at the rageaholics from the stylish horror-fest 28 Days Later or its equally bloodthirsty sequel.
Can you imagine free-roaming around an infected Britain while fighting off the toughest undead bastards since the one who wrestled a shark in Lucio Fulci's legendary film Zombie? Talk about a no-brainer.
Kill Bill, Vols. 1 and 2
Sick of the video game industry obsessing over oversexualized leading ladies? Us too, and if you can look past Kill Bill's amazing action sequences and awesomely brutal plot, you'll find one of the most righteous women to ever wield a samurai sword. The resilient, multidimensional badass Bride from Quentin Tarantino's two-part tale of kung-fu revenge is equal parts invincible action star and emotional mother, capable of beating up wizened martial arts masters, insane Yakuza gangbangers and even kung-fu poster child David Carradine while dreaming of a better tomorrow for her innocent daughter. That's the kind of mom grown-up gamers would kill for.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Ah, to be sailing the open ocean! The wind at your back, the sun on your skin, the sound of splintering wood as a cannonball tears through your hull...well, maybe life as the leader of a British frigate isn't always rosy, but it's destined to be a total blast as a video game.
Unlike fantasy pirate games in which ships handle like race cars and roughneck scallywags look like Johnny Depp, a game based on the authentic Master and Commander would let virtual captains experience the ugly truths of life at sea, fighting off scurvy, mutiny and loneliness while tracking down an imposing French warship. Who knows? Maybe you could even rewrite history by taking down Napoleon himself in the biggest little boss battle ever.
Imagine firing up a new game only to discover that you're already wearing the coolest armor, wielding the best weapons, have memorized the strongest spells and have already saved the princess. Trouble is, you have no idea how any of it happened. Welcome to director Christopher Nolan's 2000 classic, in which a man suffering from a peculiar form of amnesia leaves himself clues as he tries to piece together the events surrounding his wife's murder.
The film tramples over the space-time continuum like Marty McFly, starting at both the end and the beginning only to wind up somewhere in the middle, we think. Confused? So were we, but that's what made Memento such a great movie and why it would make such a unique, captivating video game.
Few films enjoy the reverence afforded to Akira Kurosawa's astonishing 1954 action epic because few films could hope to be half as influential. The core story -- seven warriors are recruited to protect a poor village from ruthless bandits -- is the archetypal backbone of the role-playing game genre and the blueprint for countless fantasy franchises, including one set in a certain galaxy far, far away.
So far, however, its only game treatment has been the futuristic fiasco Seven Samurai 20XX, a loosely related and universally panned hack and slasher that was actually overseen by none other than Kurosawa's son, Hisao. Dad deserved better, and so do we.
Pic below is of Children of Men and more can be seen for each one at the link up top!