The director behind the new upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie, Jordan Vogt-Roberts pulled no punches in a recent interview when asked about video game to movie adaptations, claiming that they “suck”, largely because the film-makers aren’t committed or passionate enough about the source material. If you dig around a little deeper to see if there is any truth to this then you’ll find that the large majority of video game-to-movie adaptations don’t have the greatest reputations or strongest track records.
Interestingly enough, the same can often be said of video games which are based on film franchises, although there are certainly more fan favourites and best selling games that fall into this category. Whilst Roberts may be well be right with what he says in a more general sense, there are exceptions to every rule and so below are a few of the more successful efforts in each respective category.
Video Games To Movies
Resident Evil (2002)
Resident Evil is widely regarded as one of the most compelling and popular gaming franchises of all time. At the time of release, the first film in a series of video game adaptations gave viewers a unique experience – it successfully mixed the thrill of a horror film along with the intrigue of science fiction flicks as well as incorporating those edge-of-your-seat moments associated with an action film.
What’s more, the film introduced the audience to Milla Jovovich, who excels in her role as the film’s heroine, Alice, and famously had to undergo extensive karate, kick-boxing and combat training in order to perform numerous jaw dropping and ass-kicking stunts throughout the film.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
For a video game series which is almost entirely based on 1v1 combat, it would take the most harsh and cynical movie reviewer to be too harsh on the film adaptation of this popular combat game. Whilst the film is packed to the brim with cheesy b-movie type special effects, Mortal Kombat has enough in the way of epic fight scenes to allow the audience to just sit back and enjoy the absorbing violence unfolding in front of them.
After all, the Mortal Kombat gaming franchise is fairly devoid of a plot anyway so it would be a little unfair to chastise the film for the absence of a meaningful one. Director Paul W.S. Anderson (who also directed the aforementioned Resident Evil) does a commendable job of packing the film with enough riveting action to make you forget what the characters are even fighting for in the first place!
Movies To Video Games
Widely regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time, players assume the role of James Bond as he attempts to prevent an underground criminal syndicate from using a satellite-based weapon which would cause a global financial meltdown. With a wide array of weapons at the player’s disposal and an array of varied and detailed environments, the game was one of the first to demonstrate the viability of first person shooters and has won numerous gaming awards including the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Games award.
Video games based on James Bond films have often been popular with fans owing to the fact they incorporate many playable features of the franchise into the game. This includes the chance to play various casino games similar to how James Bond takes on Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in a game of Texas Hold em Poker. With various brands now offering a no deposit free spins bonus on various slot games, online casino gaming is forever growing in popularity and by incorporating casino elements into video games in the form of puzzles or mini-games, you’re almost always onto a winner with your audience.
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Spiderman came out in 2004 and is one of the better open-world games to date thanks to its revolutionary web swinging mechanic. Slinging through the skyscrapers of Manhattan whilst taking in the views and thwarting the occasional crime was definitely a lot of fun.
In addition to this, the game sported voice acting from the cast of the actual movie whilst containing many enthralling side missions and the game remains the best Spiderman themed game to date despite many more recent efforts.
Is it Virtually Impossible To Make a Good Game in This Category?
With regards to the two most popular games on the list – Spiderman and James Bond – the popularity of the films have never been in question and their reputation can admittedly sometimes be enough on their own to convince people that a game is worth buying.
Whilst there are certainly more poor video-game-to-film adaptations than good ones (and vice versa), much depends on the game’s playability and enjoyability. If a game is enjoyable and exciting then people will purchase it no matter how far it strays from any original plot. The fact of the matter is that adapted games are often poor in their own right irrespective of the name they bear. It does seem that developers often solely rely on the name of a product and hope it sells well on this basis. One thing is for certain – after Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ recent comments, it will be interesting to see just how the latest Metal Gear Solid film turns out.