Silent Hill lends itself almost perfectly to the standard Lego model so far, as it features three separate but connected stories (three that its fans care about, anyway), each with a diverse cast of semi-friendly psychopaths and weirdos that could make for interesting tag-team companions. By packaging the action as a slightly more restrained version of the Lego franchise's usual platform-hopping nonsense, a Lego Silent Hill could take players through simplified versions of the Harry, James and Heather stories, with a few weird pantomime cutscenes and lots of adorably horrifying monsters thrown in for good measure.
True, a lighthearted Lego take on the series might not be able to replicate the extreme moodiness or creepiness of the core Silent Hill games, but you'd be amazed at how eerie colorful plastic can become when you throw it into a dark hallway, slap a grain filter on it and surround it with mostly unseen, herky-jerky malevolence.
The Lego angle: Creatures generated on the fly from random Lego parts will keep that you saying "What the hell is that?" all the way up to the final, disturbing battle against a pulsating mass of smiling heads, red bricks and steering wheels.
Now that 2006's Scarface: The World is Yours has completely blunted and reshaped the grim message of the 1983 crime epic it was "based" on, the door is wide open for further exploitation of the property. There's just no better time to take Tony Montana's story of greed and corruption and turn it into a game about little plastic men who fight over the right to sell bags of white, suspiciously tiny Lego studs in 1980s Miami.
Seriously, all the kids love Scarface, and we're dying to see Lego people pushed to badass, rage-fueled extremes. If it involves chainsaw dismemberment and huge plastic guns, so much the better.
The Lego angle: Can Montana effectively communicate his ownership of balls to other drug dealers in Lego pantomime, without the use of f-bomb-laden spoken dialogue? Probably not, but it d be hilarious to see him try.
Gears may be grim and darkly ultraviolent, but push that aside and you've got a story and buddy dynamic that could be turned into a Lego game with minimal effort. Marcus and Dom are perfect candidates for the Lego franchise's signature two-player tag-team play, and they could be switched out as needed with other members of Delta squad, who would presumably all have unique and complementary abilities. And because the third-person action in Gears is so straightforward, it could be switched over to a platform-hopping model with little lost in the translation.
It wouldn't have to lose much of its moodiness, either. As you make your way through the ruined Lego world, your attention could occasionally be drawn to heartbreaking scenes of cruelly twisted plastic and ravaged beauty. Ask yourself: what could possibly be sadder than a broken toy? To a six-year-old, we mean.
The Lego angle: All those little red studs mean that a Lego Gears of War could be ridiculously bloody without technically featuring any blood.
Assuming Lego Bioshock beats down the Lego first-person shooter barrier, conditions would be right for the logical next step: a first-person epic adventure. A Lego Elder Scrolls game could simply be a Lego-fied adaptation of TES IV: Oblivion, or it could retrace the series' steps and update Arena, Daggerfall and Morrowind with plastic finery. Or it could simply introduce us to the previously unknown Imperial province of Legovia. Whatever.
Either way, we really like the idea of traipsing across miles of green-studded scenery, brushing past stiff, plastic plant life and fighting hulking Lego abominations for gold studs. We re also pretty sure that the game's silent Lego denizens would be a lot easier on the eyes and ears than the stunted, identically voiced townsfolk we learned to tolerate in Oblivion.
The Lego angle: Remember all the bowls, wooden spoons, paintbrushes and other bits of clutter that you kept knocking over throughout Oblivion? Wouldn't they have been a lot cooler if you could break them down into their component bricks and/or use them to build something new? Creating new things out of other things is always fun, even if you just end up with something useless and horrible, like a giant mass of interlocking skulls and tunics piled in the middle of an irritating guard captain's bed.
Done correctly, a Lego adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film masterpiece could expertly combine a standard action-platformer through plague-ravaged medieval Europe with an ongoing chess game against an unbeatable AI, represented as Death. And when not directly confronting Death over a chessboard, you'd be hounded by his mocking presence throughout the grim, black-and-white platforming sequences, as brave knight Antonius and his followers witness atrocities committed in the name of God, question their faith and all too quickly meet their inevitable end.
The heady combination of chess-driven gameplay, depressing Swedish existentialism and a movie license most gamers are only vaguely aware of could very well turn The Lego Seventh Seal into the next Okami. And by that, we mean that critics would probably like it and everyone else would ignore it so hard that the development team's next project would be to drink itself to death.
The Lego angle: All right, we admit it: we can't think of one. To be honest, we're not even sure how this would make a coherent game. We just really wanted to make this:
Sept 3, 2008
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