There are a lot of games out there that get movies that may not necessarily deserve it, from Double Dragon to the Super Mario Bros. However, what if there were 10 classic games that could actually work as a movie that managed to get the Hollywood treatment?
Here at Gaming Blend we decided to test our gaming knowledge by infusing it with the cinephile nature of pop culture to come up with a list of games that could actually work as enjoyable and entertaining movies. And don't worry, there's nothing on the list that could remotely end up like that stinker Battleship. So with that said, here are 10 classic games that would actually work as movies.
Maniac MansionA diverse group of teenagers end up at a crazy house where the residents are trying to kill them and a mad scientist is attempting to launch a bomb that will wipe out their hometown. That's the basic gist of Maniac Mansion. Already that sounds like the makings of a movie, yet it was actually a LucasArts game from way back in 1987. The whole premise was pretty crazy but it was a fun, point-and-click adventure game where time was against you, the residents of the maniac-filled mansion were out to get you and you had to utilize the skills and abilities of each of the teens to win the game.
As a movie this would be perfect as a horror-comedy. Cheesy one-liners galore and practical gore effects could easily help this find a niche audience in today's market, sort of like the millennial edition of Chevy Chase's Nothing But Trouble. I mean, hey, if Eddie Murphy's A Haunted Mansion could break $100 million a movie based on Maniac Mansion should be able to do the same.
Elevator ActionOne of the most underrated classics of all time, Elevator Action is a side-scrolling shooter where players must fight their way through various hazardous missions that mostly revolves around making use of elevators as a tactical means to thwart enemies. It sounds silly but the original game was an espionage title while the sequel was filled with exploding buildings, non-stop gunfights and awesome boss battles.
I could easily see this being filmed in a place like Bulgaria, starring Jason Statham and featuring plenty of gunfights, fistfights and a plot twist here and there. Barring an out-and-out action flick that could end up being “Die Hard in an elevator”, a more subdued espionage thriller approach could work just as well. Someone like Clive Owen taking on the lead role as a guy caught in the middle of a serious double-cross while attempting to escape from a building while procuring top secret documents is ripe for milking by the Hollywood regurgitation machine.
DishonoredBethesda's Dishonored is a prized open-world stealth-action title with a dash of supernatural features. The game was critically praised for giving gamers a lot of options and choices in addition to introducing gamers to a cool, industrial-punk environment known as Dunwall.
Getting a movie to work around a cityscape like Dunwall would be the real challenge since locations can be pretty expensive for movies, but a spot in London with cobblestone streets and some old houses could work well enough with some adequate green-screening. A plot following Corvo being framed for murder, joining with the rebels fighting against the oppressive regime and having to clear his name utilizing the power of the supernatural mask that allows him to bend time and manipulate beings could make for a really awesome movie. Sort of like a Victorian-era version of The Matrix.
Red Dead RedemptionGet ready to rekindle those feels. Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption is one of those timeless classics that actually managed to pull off having an awesome story, great character-driven dialogue and equally amazing action to accompany the top notch writing and storytelling. A lot of the game's bravado was captured and made relatable by former actor Rob Wiethoff, who voiced protagonist John Marston.
The tragic tale of a villain turned vigilante for the sake of saving his family is perfect for a silver screen showing. Westerns haven't been big in Hollywood since Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven but something made gritty and personal like John Hillcoat's The Proposition would be perfect for a big screen adaption of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption. Of course, fans of the game would probably see the ending coming a mile away... but you know how Hollywood likes taking liberties with video game adaptations, so maybe they can do the same with Red Dead's ending?
L.A. NoireI wasn't the biggest fan of Team Bondi's L.A. Noire and the game, in a way, could be chalked up to more style over substance... but what substance is there is still significant enough to warrant for a very interesting, noir thriller. The meat of the game centers around a series of serial murders, all tied into various other sub-plots involving Hollywood crime-culture, police corruption and racketeering.
There were a lot of little plot-points scattered throughout the game that each could make for their own full length film, but the Black Dhalia-style serial murders sitting at the center of the game would work as a great launch-pad for a movie that would be one part Seven, one part L.A. Confidential and one part Untouchables. The hook for the game was largely about the MotionScan technology, but the hook for the movie would obviously be the very grim and noir-ish story that unfolded over the course of the title.
The Last ExpressThis is such a rare gem from Broderbund. It's also the game that helped tank the company during a turbulent time in the gaming industry. The developers were using an “art noveau” rotoscoping technique that relied on filming the actor's with faux cel-shading makeup. It was brilliant, costly and awesome to see in motion. Well, the game was like a mix of North By Northwest, a James Bond flick and a hint of The Talented Mr. Ripley. It was a romance, espionage thriller that took place within the confines of a train heading through Constantinople during 1914 on the Orient Express.
The game was a gorgeously filmed adventure with a lot of movie-quality cinematography. A period-piece Hollywood flick featuring some of the iconic fist fights from the game, some twist and turns and a bit of murder on the side, and you have yourself a two hour, mystery thrill-ride the likes of which we rarely see in theaters these days. Toss Jude Law and Keira Knightly in the lead roles and you have yourself a sweet spring blockbuster.
Baldur's GateA dark, brooding game about a protagonist who happens to be kin to the great Bhaal, this is as much a coming of age story as it is about the morals of developing into an evil menace or a just champion of the people. Baldur's Gate follows a character seeking revenge on an evil character named Sarevok. It turns out he's your evil sibling. Throughout the game players are forced to make tough choices that organically determines their path as either champions of good or followers of evil intent, just like a Star Wars flick.
The movie could pretty much follow the same good and evil formula and would likely end up being like a more contained, intimate version of The Lord of the Rings, where the story follows the troubled growth of the protagonist (male or female) as they come to terms with their relation to the god Bhaal and their bloodthirsty brother, Sarevok.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's RequiemA classic from the GameCube era, Eternal Darkness is constantly recalled by fans as one of Silicon Knights' best titles before the company dissolved. What made it unique was that it was a horror adventure title with gameplay similar to the original Alone in the Dark games. The highlight was that the game allowed you to take on the role of multiple characters, many of whom met tragic ends.
The story revolved around student Alexandra Roivasan investigating her grandfather's death at the hands of an ancient evil that has been attempting to resurrect itself through time. The game highlighted mini-stories with each character's encounter with the evil. A movie composed of horror-themed mini-stories like the 1993 flick Necronomicon: Book of the Dead or the Tales From The Darkside would perfectly suit this iconic classic.
Full ThrottleAn action-comedy where a tough biker gets framed for murdering his lifelong icon and must spend majority of the time racing along the deserts, fighting off bandits, stopping a corporate tyrant and enjoying the thrills of a futuristic society already sounds like a movie, but it's another LucasArts masterpiece. This point-and-click classic is begging to be a movie and would be perfect as traveling action-comedy, which seems to be a rarity in movies these days.
The game itself featured fighting, awesome chase sequences, plenty of explosions, marching bunnies and a story that was fairly easy to follow. You could nearly sum it up as Mad Max meets 48 Hours with a dash of an old John Candy or Dan Aykroyd film tossed in for good measure. It was one of Tim Schafer's best and it would be perfect as feel good, action-adventure flick.
Castlevania: Symphony of The NightI know, I know, most of you are thinking “If this were a movie wouldn't this be like an unofficial follow-up to Dracula Untold?” and to that I would have to answer yes... yes it would be. Nevertheless, an action-packed horror film made in a similar vein to Underworld could actually work for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night given that it follows Dracula's son Alucard as he attempts to defeat his father once and for all in his monster-filled castle.
The game Symphony of the Night was duly praised for its Metroidvania inception in the series and the vast array of weapons and gameplay depth added to the series. As a movie, this would work well in showcasing Alucard as a weapon-efficient monster hunter as he tracks down his father. Personally I would imagine Castlevania: Lords of Shadow would probably be an easier tale for Hollywood to tell, but Symphony of the Night definitely has the complexities to make for a classic if the proper writer and director got hold of the material.