You’ve most likely read a book that quenched your thirst for life so much that you went and saw its film adaptation only to be disappointed. In this massively technological “Year 2000” world we now live in, the idea of a video game adaptation of a film adaptation of a novel is not only a reality, but an issue in the video game industry that has gamers in a realm of frustration. While video games based on films have become the source of profit for studios (or empires) such as Electronic Arts, their audiences somehow continue to spend their hard earned paychecks on Hollywood-style trash that is beginning to overcrowd the shelves.
I almost found myself at the doorstep of such empires in hopes of convincing them to stop producing pointless blockbuster adaptations and focus more on their critically acclaimed titles. Instead, however, gamers find games such as “Catwoman,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” “Scooby-Doo!,” “King Arthur”, “Fantastic Four,” “Constantine,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Fight Club,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Polar Express” and many more squeezed in between entertaining and valuable games. You can take a trip to your local GameStop or EB and find these titles, most of which are still quite new, in the price cut section. Their lack of gameplay, shortened development time, disappointing graphical presentation, sloppy recorded dialogue and always short to finish story make these worthless titles esteemed candidates for the bargain bin.
Thankfully, developers hoping to change the reputation of film adaptations in the video game industry are creating games that should soon rest this issue once and for all. The developer Rare created “Goldeneye 007” for the Nintendo 64 in 1997, and is arguably considered to be the father of the first person shooter genre (games that allow you to look through the eyes of a character) for consoles. A more recent title that has somewhat revolutionized the graphical landscape and stylistic approaches to the first person shooter genre would be “The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay” by VU Games in 2004. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell novel has become a highly praised video game adaptation series by Ubisoft and is always one of the most anticipated releases of the year for stealth and action/adventure fanatics. These games brought a very unique style and approach to how video games should interact with a player that they can hardly be thought of as “film adaptation” games. Am I still worried about the future of the empires and their bargain bin beauties? I’m always worrying about the next film-game combo, but that doesn’t mean I’m not always hopeful. In fact, Ubisoft will soon be releasing their promising adaptation of Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” remake. This month promises an ingenious game titled “The Movies” by acclaimed game developer Peter Molyneux that will allow players to create their own Hollywood movies within the game. Rare, VU Games, Peter Molyneux and Ubisoft’s attempts at recreating the film adaptation genre have set the industry down a new path that should one day lead us to the point where seeing a movie and playing the game afterwards are equally enjoyable experiences.