Have you ever thought about seeing your favorite game turned into a movie? Warcraft and Detective Pikachu are just a few recent examples of the growing trend of games that were adapted into movies in unique ways. Although some games should never become movies— yes, I’m looking at you, Super Mario Bros live action movie— there are some that absolutely should. Today we’re going to take a look at three of my favorite games that I think should be made into movies and TV shows.
Part of what makes video games such an immersive storytelling experience is their ability to be open-ended and unique to each player experience. Those types of video games, while some of my favorites, would not make good movies, as each play-through is a totally different story. I chose games that had linear storylines with minimal open-endedness.
The StarCraft games are probably my favorite games to follow me through my entire life so I’m definitely bumping them up on this list. The StarCraft universe is similar to many sci-fi franchises but also has a certain simplicity to it. It takes place in the Koprulu sector of space and three space-bound species conflicting in it. There are us humans, the Terrans, descended from a couple-hundred-years-old colonization expedition gone wrong made up of criminals, lowlives, and poor people the ruling class thought was expendable. Then there are the Protoss, a dream-like, hyper-advanced civilization that is thousands of years old with mind-bending technology and psychic powers. Finally there’s the Zerg, an insect-meets-zombie-like hive mind creature that swarms planets one by one and eats them whole. TL;DR, the Terran and Protoss team up to get rid of the Zerg, while some factions of the Terrans try to harness the Zerg and (spoiler alert) it doesn’t go too well for them.
Without giving too much of the story away, I could see this being a movie trilogy or even a anthology TV series where episodes jump around to different places and times. Not to mention all the memorable catchphrases all the units say when you issue them commands, like the Firebats’ “My goose is getting’ cooked.” There are also characters like Donny Vermillion, the used car salesman-esque TV host who will say anything on the air to get a boost in ratings. Most notably, he live broadcasts a planet where lava is starting to erupt and flood the streets of major cities. All of these elements of the game and more are prime examples of vivid imagery for TV or film.
Half Life could make a great movie. I think what made the original Half Life so good was that it was based in a sci-fi world, but didn’t have to rely too much on a complex plot to guide the story along. The story is more of an adventure, focusing on Gordan Freeman getting out of the Black Mesa Research Facility. I can see the movie as like a sci-fi Die Hard, but instead of a hostage situation, there’s a portal to another dimension which opens up. From there, headcrabs come out, Gordon shoots and crowbars a bunch of them and other creatures to death, and the government sends in marines to kill any survivors and pretend the experiment never went wrong. In the end, Gordon narrowly escapes, is taken to the other dimension, and defeats the creatures to save the day. Watching a bunch of well-scripted gunfight scenes and epic crowbar battles would be extremely visually entertaining.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Any game in the Metal Gear series could make an amazing movie. The stories are all so well-written, you’d think that they’d been adapted from movies or books into video games in the first place. To be honest, the fact that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has existed for years without a movie adaptation is almost an insult to how good the story is. In short, the president gets taken hostage on an oil rig and chaos ensues from then on as a rescue is attempted. I’ll save the rest, as we dive into spoiler territory pretty quickly. Part of the reason I’ve chosen this game is that I think it should have been a movie ever since its publication. If you haven’t played yet, get on it. And Hollywood, if you’re reading? You get on it, too.
This list could theoretically go on forever so I’m going to keep it simple with one last game that would make a great film adaptation:
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
I recently wrote about the absurdity that is Conker’s Bad Fur Day and since I revisited the game, I can say that I think about it almost daily. RARE, the game developer, was accused of “copping out” by “making another bright, family-friendly game” when they originally announced the title. This caused them to rewrite the entire plot for an adult audience. When you think about it, this game’s plot is essentially the same as the billion dollar movie franchise The Hangover – Conker gets too drunk one night, has no idea what he got himself into, and then has to figure everything out as he pieces together what happened. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t watch this if Seth Rogan was producing it. If they made an Angry Birds movie they can make a Conker’s Bad Fur Day movie. It would be like Scary Movie meets South Park.
These are all my picks, but the list goes on and on. The world of esports has shown itself to be reaching more and more spheres of entertainment and influence, most notably, music and TV. It seems like pretty soon, our favorite characters are going to be making their ways to the silver screen.