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10 Recent Videogames That Deserve Movies

 

The game designer of yore - a programmer sat in his bedroom tapping out lines of code - is no more. Today's developers are more like film directors. They have to think about camera angles, casting the characters, lighting the 'set' and crafting an engaging storyline.

And as such, games are becoming more and more like films. But films that take elements from games rarely work. Some, like Silent Hill and the upcoming Prince of Persia , seem to have the right idea, but here are ten films we think would make for sure-fire classics – with the right director and writer, of course.

We've also included casting suggestions, but these are just our personal choices.

 

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Format: PlayStation 3

Why? Because it's the most cinematic game ever made. Borrowing liberally from great adventure movies like the Indiana Jones series and Romancing the Stone, the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake are fraught, engaging and exciting.

And the fact that you're actively taking part in every great set-piece only adds to the effect. But as well as action, the game also boasts a cast of genuinely developed characters, whose interactions form the basis of some great dialogue, and a beautifully realised will they/won't they relationship.

And because it's already so steeped in cinematic influence, the transition to film would be effortless.

Would make a great scene: Drake is pursued through a rural Tibetan village by a Russian tank. As he ducks through alleyways and slides between cover, the tank's cannon tears the town to pieces.

Drake has to leap across rooftops dodging gunfire, grab a rocket launcher and take the tank out. With very little changes, this would make for a dynamic and thrilling mid-movie action sequence.

Dream director: Steven Spielberg (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Dream cast: Nathan Fillion (Nathan Drake), Chloe Frazer (Claudia Black), Elena Fisher (Amy Smart)

Next: Dead Space [page-break]

 

Dead Space

Format: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC 

Why? Taking its cue from every science fiction film ever made, Dead Space is the ultimate space-horror.

Set aboard a stricken mining ship that's crawling with twisted mutants, the U.S.G. Ishimura, it sees engineer Isaac Clarke battling the creatures and trying to figure out what happened to the crew.

The unfortunate spacecraft is seemingly designed with cinematic horror in mind, lined with vents, dark corners and gloomy, claustrophobic tunnels. And the overarching plot about religious fanatics awakening demonic aliens would give the narrative some depth and drive.

Would make a great scene: The Necromorph aliens have destroyed entire sections of the Ishimura, and Isaac must brave the vaccum of space to access other areas of the ship.

When you leave the safety of the airlock, all sound is suddenly stripped away except Isaac's rhythmic breathing.

As you move across the hull, sunlight flaring in the background against the black of space, you have to battle the aliens in eerie silence, your breathing rate steadily increasing as panic sets in.

This environment would be perfect for some understated action sequences, and the scientifically accurate removal of sound is in itself an effective cinematic technique.

Dream director: Ridley Scott (Alien)

Dream cast: Billy Bob Thornton (Isaac Clarke), Gillian Anderson (Kendra Daniels), Charlize Theron (Nicole Brennan)

Next: Bayonetta [page-break]

 

Bayonetta

Format: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 

Why? Because it's a game about a shapeshifting witch who uses her hair, and a pair of giant pistols, to battle demonic cherubs.

Only a director confident with CG could handle a film adaptation of a game like this, and they'd have to use a talented choreographer to recreate its incredibly complex and overblown fight sequences.

But with that in place, this would be a martial arts movie with a game-flavoured twist. The outlandish characters, unique heroine and distinctly Japanese sense of humour would fill the breaks between combat nicely, and it's a premise you'd only ever get from video games.

But would a studio ever green light something so ludicrous?

Would make a great scene: One of the most memorable battles in Bayonetta takes place astride a giant missile twisting through towering skyscrapers.

Bayonetta battles her rival, Jeanne, and it makes the combat in The Matrix look laughably one-note. Bayonetta's hair takes the shape of snarling dogs, sharp stiletto heels and giant hammers as the pair ruck on the missile, with an explosive finish.

Make this a film, and people will love it. 

Dream director: Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle)

Dream cast: Nicole Kidman (Bayonetta), XXX (Joe Pesci)

Next: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 [page-break]

 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

 

Format: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Why? Well, we had to include the biggest-selling game of all time, right? Instant box office success. But beyond that, the pacey 24-style storytelling would translate well to film, and everyone likes a good 'what if' World War 3 scenario.

Russians take over the White House and their tanks roll through suburbs blowing up family homes. A special task force battles gangsters in a favela in Rio and special operatives engage insurgents in an Afghan cave network.

It's already a film. With fast, choppy editing, and combat shot in a guerrilla Saving Private Ryan style, this would make for a brilliantly over the top war movie. Just leave out that airport scene, eh? 

Would make a great scene: A convoy of U.S. Marines move through the narrow streets of an Afghan city in Hummers.

Suddenly, they're beset by insurgents with rocket launchers, and their gatling guns whir to life. A brilliantly tense build-up (very much inspired by HBO's TV series Generation Kill) gives way to a nightmarish, disorientating combat scene.

We'd love to see this translated to film. Although without the interactive element – i.e. being there yourself – would it have the same impact? Something a potential director would have to think about.

Dream director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)

Dream cast: Kevin McKidd (Captain Soap MacTavish), Vinnie Jones (Ghost), Ray Winstone (Captain Price)

Next: Castlevania [page-break]

 

Castlevania

Format: Too numerous to mention

Why? The Castlevania series has been going for years, and is perfect fodder for a grandiose action/fantasy film.

With its moody atmosphere, stirring choral music, beautiful Gothic architecture and cast of handsome, sword-and-whip wielding heroes, it could be a more adult alternative to the likes of Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia .

And since the games are directly inspired by vintage horror classics, a lot of familiar Hollywood monsters could make a reappearance on the big screen as enemies, or even sympathetic characters.

But one character who *has* to star is Dracula, who has served as the antagonist in nearly every game.

Would make a great scene: Vampire-hunting hero Richter Belmont faces off against Dracula at the beginning of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. After a wonderfully hammy exchange (“Your words are as empty as your soul! Die, monster!”) the pair do battle.

With an enigmatic lead as Dracula, and some good choreography, this could be a stunning end to a film. Some CG would be required to recreate Dracula's second form; a giant, scaly, snarling monster.

Dream director: Tim Burton ( Sleepy Hollow )

Dream cast: Hugh Jackman (Richter Belmont), Johnny Depp (Alucard), Gary Oldman (Dracula)

Next: Batman: Arkham Asylum [page-break]

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Format: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Why? Christopher Nolan's realistic reimagining of the Batman franchise is fantastic, but we yearn for a Caped Crusader movie based more on the original source material; the comics.

Arkham Asylum was the perfect blend of comic book stylisation and moody, rain-soaked realism, and the premise – Joker taking over Arkham Asylum and turning it into his own personal fortress – is ripe with possibility for movie magic.

And it's perfect for both game and film because every villain Batman has ever fought and captured is incarcerated there, making the place even more fraught with peril for Bats as he fights his way to Joker's lair.

Would make a great scene:
During your liberation of Arkham, Joker and his cronies will set up timed traps for Bats. Failure results in innocent guards and doctors being killed, so you have to work fast to solve the puzzle and free them from the sadistic traps.

This would be perfect for a suspense-laden scene in which Batman has to dismantle one of Joker's bombs as the nefarious villain cackles over the intercom, taunting him, and the trapped guards squirm.

Dream director: Robert Rodriguez (Sin City)

Dream cast: Jon Hamm (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Crispin Glover (The Joker)

Next: Batman: Arkham Asylum [page-break]

 

Fallout 3

Format: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Why? The Fallout series' vivid vision of a United States decimated by nuclear war is made all the more special by its '50s overtones. In this universe, post-war society's idea of what the future would hold became reality; nuclear cars, robot butlers, etc.

So while a movie might share a lot in common with other post-apocalyptia like Mad Max, this would give it a unique visual – and tonal – edge.

The idea of people being sealed away in nuclear bunkers for centuries, only to emerge into the nuke-blasted wastes, is perfect for cinema, and would give a human perspective to a fantastical world. And the savage raiders and mutants would take care of the action side of things.

Would make a great scene: The moment the hero emerges from the Vault, a government-built nuclear bunker.

He was born there in the darkness, and knows nothing about the outside world, and suddenly there it is; bleak and terrifying, stretching out before him.

Ideal for the movie's intro, and an excuse for a big CG glory shot of a famous American city in ruins, like Washington DC.

Dream director: Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend)

Dream cast: An unknown actor, ideally (The Vault Dweller), Liam Neeson (James)

Next: Onimusha 3 [page-break]

 

Onimusha 3

 

Format: PlayStation 2

Why? Starring Jean Reno and Japanese actor (and singer) Takeshi Kaneshiro, Onimusha 3 is an action game on a Hollywood-shaming scale.

Split between a modern day Paris that's overrun by a clan of demons and feudal Japan, the game sees samurai Samanosuke trying to defeat the clan's leader Nobunaga, and French gendarme Jacques Blanc lending him a helping hand.

The twist is that a time 'bubble' has sent the pair to each other's respective time zones, so Samanosuke is trapped in the present, while Jacques is lost is the Japanese countryside.

It's a fish out of water story with a difference, and the combat - which was choreographed by movie legend Donnie Yen - would look sensational on the big screen.

Would make a great scene: In the middle of a raging war between humans and the Genma, Samanosuke climbs aboard an enormous walking beast, fights his way inside and severs the creature's brain, causing it to explode and crash into the battlefield below.

The slick choreography is beautifully done, and the scene - which is all in CG - proves that the Onimusha format could work as a movie. Watch it here.

Dream director: Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers)

Dream cast: Jean Reno (Jacques Blanc), Takeshi Kaneshiro (Samanosuke AKechi)

Next: Assassin's Creed II [page-break]

 

Assassin's Creed II

Format : PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Why? Set during the renaissance, Assassin's Creed II's location - the cities of Florence, Rome and Venice, and the Tuscan countryside - would make for some incredible production design.

And the game has everything; action, tension, romance, spectacle. It even stars Leondardo Da Vinci, who lends you one of his inventions, a set of mechanical wings, to fly around the world.

So while in some ways the game is authentic, especially the design of the cities, it has an element of the fantastical, and would give a director the chance to make a huge, sweeping historical epic.

But it also has a sci-fi edge; the hero is actually in the present day, viewing what we perceive as the game as memories of his ancestors, lying dormant in his brain, and teased out by a machine called the Animus. An intriguing premise.

Would make a great scene: It has to be Da Vinci's flying machine. Ezio soars across Venice, dodging soldiers' arrows and using burning braziers to gain altitude.

Occasionally you'll have to soar towards one of the guards and kick him off the rooftop before surging back into the air. Perfect for an action sequence, and an opportunity to show enormous computer-generated vistas of 16th century Venice.

Dream director: Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings)

Dream cast: Joaquin Phoenix (Ezio Auditore da Firenze/Desmond Miles)

Next: Halo 3: ODST [page-break]

 

Halo 3: ODST

Format: Xbox 360

Why? While Halo 3 might be the obvious choice, we reckon ODST has more cinematic depth.

The story of a group of elite soldiers separated after an 'orbital drop' gone wrong, it sees a nameless rookie exploring the devastated, rain-soaked streets of New Mombassa, pieceing together clues to find out what happened to the rest of his squad.

When he finds a clue, we get a flashback of the battle that happened there, before a slipspace portal destroyed most of the city, leaving it dark and ruined.

The contrast of dark future noir - complete with gorgeous Vangelis-style soundtrack - and epic Halo-style battles would give a potential movie some texture and atmosphere.

We love Master Chief, but the ODSTs' tale is more human, and more sympathetic.

Would make a great scene: The ONI Alpha Site mission. Mickey and Dutch rig a bridge with explosives, detonating just as a column of Covenant tanks rumble towards them.

But some get through, pursuing the ODSTs towards the Office of Naval Intelligence, which has been rigged with explosives itself to destroy sensitive data.

A valiant attempt to defend the ONI is successful, and the soldiers escape in a Pelican as the building explodes. We then switch back to the rookie who can see the flaming wreckage through the darkness, and tries to piece together what happened.

Dream director: James Cameron (Avatar)

Dream cast: Bruce Willis (Dutch), Nathan Fillion (Buck - reprising his role from the game), Tricia Helfer (Dare - same again)

 

Any games you'd like to see as movies? Think someone would make a better Nathan Drake or Isaac Clarke, let us know!

 

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Total Film

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