Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Movies that should be video games

GameCentral readers name the films and TV shows they think should be turned into video games, from Die Hard to Sharpe.

The question for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Grackle, who, inspired by the recent Predator: Hunting Grounds, asked what movie or other licensed property do you think would work well as a video game?

A lot of the suggestions have already been games at some point, especially in the 80s and 90s, but there was still a great desire to see definitive versions of films like The Terminator and RoboCop, as well as newer franchises like Fast & Furious.

He won’t be back
When Alien: Isolation first came out and I assumed it was going to be a massive hit I loved the idea that Sega would start to work through all the classic 80s action films with a similar attention to detail and the atmosphere of the original films. There have been lots of Terminator films, some of them quite good, but for me they’ve all missed the obvious potential of being more like the first film (I could say the same for the post T2 sequels too).

The first film, which I still think is the best, is basically a horror movie, just with a robot instead of a flesh and blood monster. It wouldn’t actually be that different from Alien: Isolation, beyond the setting. You’d still be being stalked by an unstoppable killing machine and have to avoid it for as long as possible while setting traps and trying to figure out what it is.

You’d have to have more than one, to make a proper game of it, but I think that’s fine. The main Terminator though would work essentially so it could make up for the fact that he’s barely in Resident Evil 3. The idea sounds great to me, obviously it’s not going to happen.

First or third
I always thought they missed a bit of a trick not making a game of Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow, which for my money is the best video game movie of all time, even though it’s not based on one specifically. I guess it wasn’t a big enough hit to justify it though.

Apart from the obvious of why are there no Marvel or DC games (or Star Wars really) for me the obvious one is to go back and do a decent Die Hard game. It’d be great to make this a mix of stealth and action role-player, collecting weapons and materials, recruiting people to help you, and sneaking through the building.

People often say it’s one of the best action movies of all time but there really aren’t any games inspired by it that I can think of. Games tend to be much more fantastical even though Die Hard isn’t grounded at all. Although perhaps Die Hard With A Vengeance would be a better fit as that could have an open world and was nearly as good film.

GTA, Jr.
Since I believe there’s a real lack of titles suitable for children and families to play together (particularly important now, during lockdown), my choices for movies into games have this in mind.

Firstly, Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) would make a great fit for some family friendly GTA type fun, except from the other side of the law. Choosing whether to play as the rabbit or fox cop you would respond to emergencies in the open world, visiting different animal zones. The different scales in size would be a lot of fun, as you’d be a giant in the rodent district and minuscule among big mammals. You could even unlock an underwater area (hidden porpoise?) and maybe a dinosaur district.

Secondly, the How to Train Your Dragon series is suited to a more airborne Zelda: Breath Of The Wild type adventure, upgrading you and your dragon with armour and weapons and visiting different islands or worlds to rescue imprisoned dragons.

Naturally you could squeeze in races, collectibles, and all the other enjoyable filler stuff you get from open world titles (without wanting it to drag on too much, sorry).
Andrew Wright

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Cursed Earth
I don’t understand how a video game company (Rebellion) owns 2000 AD but there are no Judge Dredd games for nearly 20 years (and that one was terrible anyway). Not only that but there’s no other 2000 AD games of any kind, no Slaine, Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors, Ace Trucking Co., anything…

A few years ago they said they were doing Rogue Trooper, I think, but that never happened either. Judge Dredd is such an obvious fit for video games it’s madness he hasn’t been in more games. I guess just because he’s British and most Americans and Japanese haven’t heard of it.

Mind you, it’d be pretty expensive to make. It’d have to be open world and have huge skyscrapers and everything in it. But I’m sure there’d be a way to do it that wouldn’t have to be full-on GTA. At the very least they should’ve started when games were cheaper to make, now they’ll have to spend even more to make a next gen game.

Sean Bean lives
One series I always felt would work through the digital gaming prism was the Sharpe book and TV series from Bernard Cornwell. With over 23 novels to draw from, spanning 21 years of British military campaign history, there is certainly a deep pool of inspiration here. The series structured itself around the titular character operating with a small company of chosen men in and around the fringes of historical campaigns and battles allowing the author to tell original or inspired stories against the backdrop of the Peninsular Wars or Napoleonic Campaign.

I would envision a Sharpe game following a similar approach to Gears of War or Spec Ops, leading a small squad in a corridor shooter or quasi-open world, exploring the desolate hills of Portugal, Spain, and France and undertaking covert missions: rescuing civilians in distress, sabotaging infrastructure, or assassinating high level targets to turn the tide against the imperial French armies. At certain points you might engage in large open conflicts before retreating back into the woods, in keeping with the spirit and direction of the book series that was centred around a detached company undertaking special missions.

The scope for additional content is there, the prequel trilogy of novels adapted a decade or so after the original TV series run ended were set in India and would be a tonal shift from the French campaign. Sharpe and the chosen men were famous for their green jackets, but did on occasion wear the red tunic of the British army at that time, did somebody say DLC?

Even a functional multiplayer element with arenas centred around abandoned villages, fortresses, open battlefields or country estates. And the most important element, Sean Bean, well he seems willing to lend his voice for the right price, it writes and plays itself.
comfortablyadv (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter)

Your move, creep
I’d love a new RoboCop game that had all the heart and gore of the 80s version with a Blood Dragon type soundtrack and some of the movie score. I’ve rewatched the film recently and it still holds up although nostalgia might play a part in that thought.

I had RoboCop on Spectrum and it was dead on, but an updated fully 3D remake could be great. RoboCop Versus The Terminator was pretty good too. There is evidence that the games work so someone get Ocean Software on it.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Cities at war
When a similar Hot Topic came up, I suggested Brandon Sanderson’s Mistworld books. I still think that would be an excellent premise but as this Hot Topic is about films I will nominate Mortal Engines.

Now I confess that I have only seen the rather mediocre film and have not read the books that it was based on, so I apologise in advance if the following suggestions are a blasphemous misrepresentation of the source material.

Essentially the idea of city-sized vehicles in a post-apocalyptic world sounds like an excellent setting for a game to me, with potential for a wide variety of gameplay options.

I imagine an overall setting like Skies Of Arcadia or Star Wars where you are a small rebel organisation with your own vehicular town and are trying to bring down a much larger empire. That is not what the film suggested though, so I have no idea if it fits.

I would have missions where you devise methods to sneak onto an enemy city and then try and steal resources and escape without being noticed. Each mission would have different plans on how to get on and off the city. A sort of bigger scale version of Shadow Of The Colossus.

Whilst on a city I am imagining something similar to Dishonored in how you sneak around but with electromagnetic hookshots as opposed to a blink mechanic.

I can also imagine a mission where the infiltration goes wrong and you have to escape from a city-sized, heavily armed vehicle that is chasing you.

And others where you engage smaller towns in vehicular combat. This would involve upgrading your own settlement with the resources that you have stolen.

Perhaps there could be a risk-reward mechanic where you have set time frames to conduct the infiltrations and the more resources you collect the more you can upgrade your settlement but also the more likely that you will get discovered and have to flee.

Like I said, I am not sure if these suggestions actually fit within the lore of the setting and the various motivations of the characters. So I am unsure if the infiltrations could also include assassinations or sabotage, where you essentially paralyse the city. And if there are warring factions that could include an overall conquest where you try and define the outcome of an ongoing war, either as one of the main combatants or a small group playing off two large forces against each other.

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