We all know movie-based games suck (much in the same way that the reverse is true). But we also kind of know that The Expendables seems ripe for the picking when it comes to gaming. Am I right? Of course I am.
Now I don't know for sure if there will be a game based on the upcoming Expendables film – the third movie in what's probably the most explosive trilogy in the past decade – but one thing I do know for sure: There needs to be a game for the new gen consoles and PC.
Can you imagine seeing all your aged action heroes from the 80s and 90s in full HD on the PC and PS4 (and maybe, 720p on the Xbox One)?
Ubisoft took a cheap-arse crack at The Expendables franchise two years ago with an arcade game based on the movie of the same name. They did crack-all to promote the game and most people probably didn't even know that it existed at the time; based on the review scores, I'm sure Ubisoft would like to keep it that way, too.
But here's the thing, there's a massive market for gamers who like things that go “boom!” and big action heroes that make things go "boom!"
Gears of War is practically The Expendables in space.
Call of Duty and Battlefield contain campaign story missions with more scripted explosions than all of Arnold and Stallone's films combined.
Gamers love things that go “boom!”
I'll admit that the only high-quality thing about The Expendables 2: Video Game was the launch trailer. Still, the game had its moments of fun, and the four-player co-op (either locally in offline mode or via online) was pretty cool. The real draw was playing the 3D likenesses of legendary action heroes: Stallone, Lundgren, Li and Crews. Had the game not been so crappy, Ubisoft could have had a prime opportunity to cash-in on DLC that contained additional heroes like Chuck Norris, Jason Stathom or Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, the game suffered from some laughably bad technical faults and samey gameplay mechanics. Potential squandered just like Justin Bieber... well, I mean, if we're talking about the hypothetical possibility if there was potential to begin with.
Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the game despite the laziness of it all. But more than anything, I realized I definitely would have loved the game more had Ubisoft put just barely enough care into the title that wouldn't make me ashamed to tell other people that there's a game based on The Expendables...and that it doesn't suck.
In fact, it would be pretty awesome if there was a Gears of War-style clone based on the upcoming Expendables film, due out later this year. I mean, it's not too late.
Think about it: Ubisoft grabs a cheap rendition of the Unreal Engine 3, uses the core Gears of War mechanics for the base gameplay (all the basics are already built into the engine before you lay down a slab of polygons or jot down a line of code). Cover-based shooting mechanics, blind-fire and maybe the ability to hold two or three weapons at a time. A basic melee attack and plenty of explosions to round out the gameplay. Boom, you've got a cash-in ready third-person shooter.
Now if we're talking more than a basic cash-job, the game could even feature some light environmental destructibility, something to put the PS4 and PC to work (and, to the lesser extent, the Xbox One). And of course, keep the four-player co-op, one way or another. Throw in some cheesy one-liners and a few worthwhile boss battles and we've got an instant classic in the making.
Given that it would probably be too expensive to bring on any of the big names to do the voiceover work for the game, they could wing it with the cringe-worthy stand-ins they had for The Expendables 2: Video Game, save for Terry Crews and Dolph Lundgren, who provided voice work for their respective characters.
But follow me here: this is an opportunity to cash-in on a franchise featuring superstars that made big muscles, big guns and big explosions famous in the first place. Even if it is another Gears of War clone, it would be a clone many fans suffering from nostalgia would be willing to pay for, and it would sure beat some generic modern military shooter starting generic gruff dude no. 345.
Heck, they could even round off the experience with some classic DLC, featuring the stars when they still had hair, or skins from various movie franchises (Chuck Norris Delta Force pack and a classic Rambo pack for the win ) or – if it ever became possible – Steven Seagal when he only took up one seat on an airplane.
The Expendables 3 is due out this fall in theaters. I doubt there will be a game arriving in tandem with the movie, and I'm probably the only one sad about that.