There was a time long ago (the 90's/early 2000's) where it seemed like movie tie-ins to games were a foregone conclusion. If your movie had guns in it, there would be a game about it. The industry even exploited movies that weren't gaming-related at all, just to turn them into generic, bargain bin castaways. (I'm looking at you, Scarface.) Then, the storm stopped. There hasn't been a drive for proper console/PC blockbuster tie-ins in years, as they've mostly been relegated to throwaway mobile game status. Which makes this list all the more interesting.
Some movies would make genuinely good games, given the right approach and circumstances. Here's a few that should be made immediately.
1. Billy Jack
Throughout the late 60's and 70's was a series of movies about a stand offish loner named Billy Jack. He was a half-Native Green Beret (of course he was) and a total bad-ass. He usually shuns society and only seems to have trouble when he steps out from seclusion in order to help the needy. Sounds like the perfect video game hero to me. The game could be an amalgam of the whole series, with a specific focus on the first two movies, The Born Losers and Billy Jack.
Genre: Action Adventure, in the vein of Uncharted. The combat has to be tight enough to feel responsive, but even with Billy Jack being a well-trained martial artist, he's no Batman. Spin kicking men in the face while wearing head-to-toe denim calls for something a little looser than Rocksteady's brawler.
Made by: Rockstar Toronto, who masterfully translated the pulpy feel of The Warriors into game form back in 2005 would be perfect for this game.
2. The Labyrinth
The cult following that arose after the VHS release of The Labyrinth has elevated this Jim Henson movie into the Weird Kid Movie Hall of Fame. It was whimsical and strange. The world that David Bowie's Goblin King Jareth ruled with an iron fist was twisted and unique. Sounds like the perfect place to set a game if you ask me.
Genre: Telltale-style adventure game. The focus will be on exploration, with the occasional high intensity action sequence to keep players on their toes. Sarah makes the perfect protagonist for the title, too, as she will know just as little about what she encounters as you will.
Made by: You guessed it - Telltale Games. It's their formula, of course, and they have a long legacy of making well-received games based on popular licenses.
3. Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2
This bloody Tarantino revenge saga could very easily be made into a video game. There are a great amount of sequences that would welcome an interactive element readily, like the iconic sequence where Bride faces 88 assassins at once. But there's also the fight with Gogo, Vernita, and O-Ren that could play well as complex, multi-layered action set pieces.
Genre: Action, but maybe not straight up hack and slash. Much of that movie is also long stretches of interesting dialogue and character development that shouldn't be trimmed. Maybe something along the lines of Heavy Rain or Asura's Wrath.
Made by: Quantic Dream or Grasshopper Manufacture. David Cage at Quantic is pretty practiced at making sprawling narratives that involve players really sinking their teeth into the world he's built, while Suda57 is guaranteed to guide players on a crazy and violent trip through his vivid interpretation of the action classic.
This indie darling harkens back to the glory days of car chase movies; the stunts are real, the cars are loud, and the props and effects are all practical. Ryan Gosling plays a mostly silent protagonist, who keeps his life simple - until it gets complicated. Then he scratches and claws to pull it back together. It wouldn't have to be a long game, but it would have to be driving focused.
Genre: Driving, but less Need for Speed and more Driver or Vigilante 8. The focus would pulling off stunts by day on Hollywood lots and eluding police by night as a getaway driver. Physics and car balancing would be a major factor here.
Made by: Ubisoft Reflections would be my first choice, as their Driver series is pretty much the archetype for the perfect adaptation of this movie.
5. John Wick
The most awesome Keanu Reeves movie ever made is also one of the surprise hits of last year. Unburdened by an over complicated story, the movie was allowed to focus on the things that make movies great - the sights, the sounds, the editing, the acting. With all of those boxes checked, Wick delivered a kinetic and visceral experience that had been missing in theater-bound action cinema for years. A highly capable and incredibly violent hitman who's forced out of a passive and docile retirement thanks to dire circumstances sounds like a pretty good start to a video game to me.
Genre: Shoot 'em up. A blend of third person shooting with the likes of Metal Gear Solid would work here, as the player needs to be able to transition from gunplay to hand-to-hand pretty quickly.
Made by: Kojima Productions. Konami's Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker may be the prototype for a good John Wick experience. Snake finally moved well and freely, and the moment to moment action was made better for it. Kojima's film background could really help nail the tone of the flick, as well.
6. Escape from New York/L.A.
Both of these classics could serve as their own games. Snake Plisskens' journey though these wastelands are as campy as they are compelling, and they would serve as a great sandbox for players to play in. The cities themselves have plenty of lore to expand on as well. We don't really have to start or stop with Kurt Russell.
Genre: Action adventure with that Metroidvania touch. The claustrophobic nature of a walled-in city means you'll be traveling to the same places pretty often, so backtracking and problem-solving play pretty well here.
Made by: Rocksteady or Monolith, both masters of the 3D action game involving beating up groups of dudes in walled off urban areas. I'd lean towards Rocksteady, though, as every Arkham game since Asylum has pretty much been Escape from Gotham.
Micheal Mann's heist film is still considered one of the best crime movies ever made. This is thanks, in part, to the stellar acting of its top notch cast, including still svelte and handsome Val Kilmer and the dynamic duo of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The writing was poignant, the cinematography crisp and imaginative, and the action tense and bombastic. Games have tried to recreate that famous bank heist sequence with no real luck, but maybe it's time for another go around.
Genre: Third Person Shooter. Payday 2 has demonstrated a great take on the concept in the first person shooter space, but this game will involve exposition and storytelling - you'll want to see everyone's faces as they are real characters now.
Made by: Rockstar Games, as Grand Theft Auto 5's heists are a great blueprint, and a game full of them would be an excellent experiment. Maybe add a multiplayer option as well.
A pillar of American film noir, Chinatown does a great job at highlighting the best parts of the film style. No one is as they seem. Good and bad are relative. Nothing is sacred. The mystery unfolds slowly, and every time you think you understand the story, something comes and mucks it all up. Jack Nicholson is a pitch perfect J.J. Gittes, a tenacious and meticulous private eye with a wild side. All of these things would translate well into came form.
Genre: Third Person adventure, as the movie isn't so action packed, neither should the game be. It's all about the mystery here - doing diligent detective work to get to the bottom of the story before time runs out.
Made by: At one point, Team Bondi would've been the shoe in, as LA Noire takes many cues from this movie and its contemporaries. It maybe in better hands in a place like Dontnod, whose coming into their own as storytellers in Life is Strange, or Deconstructeam, makers of the absolutely stellar Gods Will Be Watching.
Steven Soderbergh is a master of film in that he knows how to make the medium work for him - to tell his stories in subtle ways that only film could. Haywire, a sleuthy action flick about a contractor who becomes a target, enriches the main character, Mallory, by exploring her in subtle but effective ways. All through how the camera is placed or the little things she does with her hands, eyes, etc. when speaking to people. She also kicks all sorts of strange ass.
Genre: Third person action game that dips between stealth and full auto, guns blazing, shoot mans.The game can take us back through undeveloped points in Mallory's history, like past jobs and such.
Made by: With the emphasis on stealth and out right action, Sony Bend seems to be a good fit for this game, as Syphon Filter has a lot in common with the subject matter.
10. The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2
A heavy dose of Hong Kong style martial arts action lifted The Raid out of mediocrity and into instant classic territory. The battle out of the thug-filled slums is a hectic and violent one. Rama, lead character and head of a special crime task force, literally has to beat his way to freedom after his men are systematically eliminated during the course of their raid. The second movie should somehow be worked into the same game, as the action is much more plentiful, but the story of the first is important, contextually.
Genre: Brawler, with a big focus on making the hand to hand stuff as potent and jarring as possible. The bulk of the story and character development is done through people's fists, and that has to translate to the game coherently.
Made by: United Front and Rocksteady have both made melee combat a gleeful experience as of late with their work on Sleeping Dogs and the Arkham series, respectively. I would love to see United Front double down on their combat mechanics and further develop the work they've started in their GTA clone.
11. Battle Royale
This thriller is one of the poster children for "super weird Japanese concepts". A bunch of students are randomly selected to kill each other for public amusement, and the last one standing will be permitted to leave. Before the Hunger Games, there was Battle Royale. There is a huge survival element that would play well as a video game. Crafting items out of scavenged parts from nature or other contestants would be a nice touch.
Genre: A Survival Action game with roguelike elements. Everytime you play, the other students could have randomly generated traits and equipment. The map could change each game, as well, adding emphasis on exploration and keeping track of trends instead of straight up memorization.
Made by: Ostrich Banditos of Westerado fame could provide an interesting take on the games more roguelike elements. Facepunch Studios or Bohemia Interactive could use their post apocalyptic survival games as a blueprint for something like this, as well.
Dredd was a surprise, considering the tragedy that was the Stallone film in the 90's. It was to-the-point, visually enrapturing and absolutely brutal. Just as the world Judge Dredd inhabits should be. A Dredd game has happened in the past, based on the 2000 AD comics, but one that follows the events of the movie more closely would make an ideal shooter.
Genre: First Person shooter spotted with small narrative elements. Some points where you're required to be judge and jury on the fly would be a neat reminder that a Judge has to wear a lot of hats, not just the one that lets them shoot everybody. The different sorts of ammo would make for good tactical options in combat as well.
Made By: Starbreeze did such a fabulous job with the Riddick games that I don't see why they couldn't bring the magic to the Dredd series also. They aren't 1:1 comparisons - Riddick was far more melee-centric than Dredd would be. But the care shown for the source material would be a great step in the right direction.
13. The Man With The Iron Fists
The RZA isn't anyone's first choice as a movie director, but man did he nail it in his directorial debut in the Man With The Iron Fists. It looks like a Wu-Tang Clan album sounds - boisterous, frantic, precises, and pounding. The characters are all colorful and dangerous, like a kung fu Halloween party. That's my kind of game.
Genre: Beat em up with style as the focus. Not breaking combos, out doing your last best score, things of that nature.
Made by: There's really only one studio that could make the perfect game for this movie - Platinum Games. They are the kings of crazy when it comes to beat em ups and hack'n'slashes. Anarchy Reigns meets Metal Gear Rising.
Which movie do you think would be a great game? Tweet your ideas @CurseGamepedia, or leave them in the comment section below.