In its desperate attempts to avoid original creations and find something else to adapt, Hollywood has occasionally looked to the games industry. Generally though, the wrong games have been picked, or the right games have been adapted in the wrong way. Alone in the Dark, Mortal Kombat, Doom… Currently films based on Space Invaders and Asteroids are being planned. Inspired. But there are some huge properties on consoles that would make huge properties on screen. Good ones, too.
David Jaffe, creator of the famously cinematic game series God of War, has stated that the process of adapting games into films isn’t easy – games are highly inspired by films, so adapting a game essentially creates a non-progressive process of film -> game -> film. It’s true, but I still think that if films based on games manage to strike a balance between adaptation and original ideas, they could turn out well. There is room in these universes for new stories. And just to quickly disclaim, I am not saying that any of the games in my list need films. Obviously, the majority of the ones present here have self-sufficient stories that work well in the gaming medium. I just think it would be great to see adaptations of some of these, especially compared to the ones we’re being given by the film industry at the moment.
So…movie studios, producers, everyone…are you listening? THESE are the films we should be seeing. No more Dead or Alive, please. Why haven’t we ever seen a properly good film based on a game? Here I’m going to suggest some games that could make great movies.
Borderlands was an absolute gameplay-fest; providing tonnes of sidequests, lots of guns, lots of EXP, and stats flying all over the place. You could play the whole thing co-op with your friends, too. What the game didn’t really offer though, was an original plot. In a nutshell, hunters on a wasteland-like planet are looking for a thing called “The Vault.” You go to look for “The Vault.”
Why make it into a film then? Well, what is present in Borderlands is a level of humour that most games don’t offer. The expansion The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned even made me laugh out loud at times – which is an unprecedented thing to happen while playing. I can’t really quote any of the humour here, because it’s all “contextual.” But…something just makes me think that David X. Cohen and Matt Groening could be called upon to turn it into a very funny film. Or any of the crew from Futurama. An over-the-top sci-fi action-comedy with writing in the vein of that (hilarious) series, that could also spoof on the over-abundance of post-apocalyptic films flooding cinemas at the moment. A shot in the dark? Probably. But it’d be more interesting than the Tekken or Street Fighter films, at least.
I wouldn’t suggest adapting Borderlands as something other than my proposed idea of a genuinely funny comedy with exciting gunfights, explosions, and large creatures thrown in. Otherwise it’d turn out a little bland.