Lets face it, the film industry is sort of hurting right now. They’re desperately searching for anything with a preestablished audience to turn into a crap film that millions of people are going to see regardless of it’s quality. They’re doing it with novels, older movies, comic books, and even video games. Now history has taught us that video games make really bad films (i.e. the Street Fighters, Mortal Kombats, Super Mario Brothers, Double Dragon, Resident Evil, Doom, etc). Recently, however, we’ve begun to hear of some video game to film adaptations that actually stand a chance of being decent (if not brilliant) films. If these films continue to crop up and do well at the box office, we could actually see an improvement in the quality of video games in general as companies shoot for film adaptations.
The problem with most video game films is that most video games aren’t very deep. The gameplay is built around some gimmick and the story is under developed. There are a small number of game developers, however, who actually care about story. Developers like Naughty Dog, who gave us Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, go out of their way to make their games as cinematic as possible. They concentrate on the characters, their personalities, their motivations, and they’re interactions with each other. The gameplay, while still incredibly good, is just a means to an end. An end that leaves you emotionally invested in your characters and their fates.
If games of this type begin to get recognized and picked up by film studios, we may begin to see an rise in video game films that are actually good. Additionally, if some of these films begin to pull in huge box office numbers, other game developers may begin to take notice themselves. Seeing the potential for a film adaptation, studios who currently turn out games with mediocre characters and story may begin to make an honest effort to churn out more cinematic games. Theoretically, as the cycle continued, we’d eventually arrive at the point where a video game film could compete on the level of a film like The Dark Knight.
posted by Christopher Schnese