As the gaming industry is doubling and even tripling in size, it is time we acknowledged that film adaptations of games are soon to be as commonplace as that of books. Let’s face it, console games these days are taking longer and longer to make, increasingly due to the work, the programming, the animation, and of course, the story lines. Many people do not realize how much thought is put into the stories behind these games, and it is about time they got some acknowledgment. Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released next week, and honestly, the cinematic trailers were almost short films within themselves. So: here are my ‘Top Ten’ games which in my opinion, at least deserve a shot of recognition in the film-making industry. Hold tight.
10. TimeSplitters 2 (PS2)
I mention the second game in this series because, ultimately, the plot is both more intricate and more accessible than the basic plot of the first game. This would make a great sci-fi film and the follow-up game, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, follows on directly so there would always be a possibility for a sequel. The character design of this series is also spot on. Each character, which I am sure could somehow be incorporated into the movie, has their own persona and the physical attributes of the characters contribute to how interesting the game play is. This is mainly due to the variation and choice during character selection in arcade mode.
9. Grandia (PS, PS2, Sega, Gameboy)
I would love to put this series higher on the list because, honestly, it is my favorite game of all time, regardless of console. This RPG is the best thing to come out of Japan, hands down. Beyond a movie, I would love to see more games from the series in the future. As a movie, I think Grandia would work as an anime, considering that it originated from Japan. The characters are believable and involving as well as the emotionally engaging storyline. The combat scenes and cinematic shorts are fantastic, considering the first game came out on PS2 in 1999. The only problem is that each of the individual games are not contingent from the previous. For example, Grandia 2’s storyline has nothing whatsoever to do with the original Grandia. Filmmakers would have to decide which game of the series they want to adapt, and just stick to that one.
8. Ratchet and Clank (PS2, PS3, PSP)
This game would work as a fantastic Pixar or Dreamworks-animated movie for children and big kids alike. The storyline is easy to follow and there are plenty of funny bits that all ages would enjoy. That is what makes this game so transcendent in the first place – even though it is pretty much aimed at children, people of all ages still play it and enjoy.
7. Crash Bandicoot (PS)
Everything I say here could be applied to Ratchet and Clank. The characters are fun and diverse, and the story lines are no-nonsense action-y fun. Like in Ratchet and Clank, the settings of the various levels help make the game. However, because the various levels of game play are so varied, it would be a bit of a handful to include the whole thing in one movie.
6. StarCraft (PC, Mac, N64)
Where to begin with StarCraft? Well, first of all, this is one of the most important and landmark games of all time. It was a pioneer of the real-time strategy game, and upped the ante for makers of PC games. StarCraft was one of the first games to sell the PC as a gaming platform over a console. Not only this, but the storyline is exquisite. This is not just a strategy game, but an experience. One would perhaps not expect a strategy game to be a good basis for a movie, but the mechanics behind the story of StarCraft are so intricate that it deserves a shot at the big screen. And who does not love military science-fiction set in space in the 26th century?
5. Dead Space (PC, PS3, XBOX)
I am the kind of gamer who, if frightened by something in-game, will drop my controller, or otherwise throw it across the room. Suffice to say, with Dead Space, there was control-throwing aplenty. To put it bluntly, this game scared the shit out of me. For those of you who have not played Dead Space, it is a first person shooter based around a small group of survivors on a ship where some kind of alien/zombie infection/apocalypse has occurred. Dead Space was the first console game that actually properly scared me, as in I could not play it in the dark, so kudos to EA for that. A movie version would make a nice addition to such predecessors as the Alien movies. And as it turns out, EA are in the process of making a feature film based on the game, with director D J Caruso.
4. Assassin’s Creed (PC, Mac, XBOX 360, PS, PSP, Nintendo DS)
The Assassin’s Creed series single handedly created the genre of “historical science fiction”. The series switches between a laboratory in 2012, and the medieval time of the Crusades. The story incorporates alien species, time travel and apocalypse conspiracies. Visually the game is already stunning, and a movie could only add to that. The only thing is, logistically, the making of a real-time movie of Assassin’s Creed would be nigh-on impossible. They would need a mountain of cash to cover things like stunts, special effects and the recreation of Renaissance Italy. Several animated shorts of the series have already been released, but for me the next step for such a successful franchise is a feature-length film.
3. The Elder Scrolls (PC, XBOX, PS3)
This series is similar to StarCraft in that it is borne out of a completely different time and reality. The details behind the saga are so intricate that there is no single book or website that compiles all historical significances, dates and place names. There have already been books, so why not make a movie?
2. Halo (PC, XBOX)
Halo’s story is not as complex as the likes of Final Fantasy or Grandia; it seems that the best stories, naturally, come from RPGs. Halo is one of the best franchises of the new millennium and widely considered to be the only good thing Bungie put out (well, besides Marathon). First-person shooters do not really do it for me, but the reason Halo holds the respected number two slot in the chart is because I have a feeling that a helluva lot of fan boys would be mad if it were not included. And let’s be honest, we already know that there was a film in the works, and Peter Jackson was behind it. But it died as early as 2007. So that was fun. There are still fan-made projects floating about, so there is still that to look forward to. Also, Steven Spielberg’s name has been thrown around in coagulation with a feature-length. Watch this space.
1. World of Warcraft
Talking about a Warcraft movie is extremely sketchy because no-one really knows what’s going on with it. There are rumors of draft scripts and movie rights being sold but, honestly, I don’t think we are going to be close to seeing a Warcraft movie for at least another five years. I think it’s going to be worth it though, because WoW revolutionized the online gaming experience, and probably just gaming in general. WoW is not just a game; it is a culture, it is a society, it is a lifestyle. It deserves a movie, no, a movie series to recognize its awesomeness (not sure about the new expansion, though).