Some of my fellow movie-oholics may not know but I’m a huge video games guy. My gaming résumé dates all the way back to the Atari 2600. For those wondering that’s a pretty long time. Over the years video games have developed into a pretty amazing storytelling vehicle. Today many games consist of much more than ‘jump, shoot, punch, run’. In fact, many games have been able to tell some of the most immersive stories that you’ll find, quite similar to good movies. So I thought it might be fun to look at five wonderful video games that seem perfect for a motion picture adaptation. Even if you aren’t a gamer, check out my thoughts on them and see if you agree. Now with so many games out there I wouldn’t call this the definitive list. But I’m certain that these five video games would make for movies that could be phenomenal.
#5 – “Assassin’s Creed” – The “Assassin’s Creed” franchise has given gamers some of the most beautiful and immersive period settings ever. Mixed with clever doses of science fiction, “Assassin’s Creed” has visited the Crusades, the American Revolution, and most recently the age of pirates. And while the story of Desmond Miles experiencing the long past memories of his assassin heritage has hit some bumps in the road, there is still ample material for a really great movie. I mean can’t you see Ridley Scott bringing these huge historical period landscapes to a big screen? The video game franchise has fell victim to some clunky and convoluted storytelling but in the hands of a talented and able screenwriter I think the potential is sky-high.
#4 – “Call of Duty: Black Ops” – All who has played any of the “Call of Duty” games know that it’s a franchise that thrives to create a true cinematic experience. It’s massive action set pieces, explosions, and combat are always laced with a big, intriguing story that seems taken straight from a huge summer movie blockbuster. And the great thing is they manage to pull it off. So is it a stretch to think a flashy cinematic video game couldn’t make it as a flashy cinematic movie? I think “Call of Duty” is ripe for the big screen especially considering its current turns in the Black Ops run. And the franchise has already used the voice talents of Sam Worthington, Gary Oldman, Barry Pepper, William Fichtner, Idris Elba, Lance Henriksen, Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Keaton, Ed Harris and several others. Mix that with the good team of writers and top notch composers frequently used and it wouldn’t be a stretch to see it in the form of a big, entertaining summer action movie.
#3 – “Castlevania” – While it seems to have cooled down, there are still people consumed with vampires. Unfortunately this has resulted in a lot of sophomoric silliness passing as vampire movies and television. But a “Castlevania” movie could remedy all of the “Twilight” and “True Blood” mush. “Castlevania” debuted in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System and it’s still one of the hardest games I ever finished. Much of the series followed famed vampire hunters the Belmonts and even in its earliest incantations it managed to create an eerie and immersive atmosphere. With an assortment of spooky creatures and unique weaponry (including Simon Belmont’s trusty whip), “Castlevania” produced more than you would ever imagine from a side scrolling action title.
#2 – “Halo” – Microsoft’s most well known video game franchise is also one of my very favorites. “Halo” was a groundbreaking first person shooter that first appeared in 2001. Over the years several sequels and spin-off games along with hugely popular novels have added to the amazing mythology. “Halo” has so many things that could translate into a great motion picture. First, it’s great science fiction built around a truly immersive world. Second, it features a truly great protagonist in the Spartan supersoldier known as Master Chief. The series has done a great job of developing the heroism and mystique of Master Chief and his adventures and cast of supporting characters is truly big screen material. There have been rumors of a Halo movie for some time. The content is there. Here’s hoping it happens.
#1 – “Bioshock” – I still remember the first time I played the “Bioshock” demo and was introduced the the underwater city of Rapture. I’ve never been swept away and immersed in a world the way I was then and I remember thinking throughout the entire game that someone just had to make a movie about this place. While set in 1960, the secluded utopia is still functioning as if it were the 40’s (the years it was constructed). Everything from the music to the outfits to the architecture brilliantly brought back that time. Then there was the whole underwater thing. It was stunningly realized and everywhere you look there was a window to the outside underwater surroundings. Now add into this world a bit of science fiction and some very effective horror elements built around a compelling story. Strong commentary, Ayn Rand objectivism, human enhancements, and brutal anarchy are just some of the deeper themes that permeate this entire project. It’s perfect for a movie adaptation and those who have played it know exactly what I mean.
Gears of War, Uncharted, Half-Life – there are so many great games that I think would make great movies. I’d love to hear from you. Please take time to share your thoughts.