The great thing about creating works of art – be it a painting, a novel, song or slam poetry - is that you can draw from any experience or memory in your life in order to breathe life into your work. These inspirations can be feelings your grey matter has interpreted or outright rip-offs of the original source material. However, when it comes to modern fiction, it seems as though many game developers have all read the same books and have seen the same movies.
C’mon, how many times have we played a game only to recognize every single influence inspiring the game developers? All the time, you say? We’ve cherry-picked our favorite design influences and cliches to present to you the inspirations behind games you’ve played. Behold!
Notable games inspired:
Call of Duty 2, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Medal of Honor: Frontline, Killzone 2
Not just a “really awesome battle scene” from Saving Private Ryan, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France on June 6, 1944 - D-Day to those keeping score - saw hundreds of lives lost. True, it was an important battle in gaining a foothold in Germany’s defenses, but we’re sure devs just saw Saving Private Ryan and went, “Holy crap! Wouldn’t it be cool if you could play that?”
Above: Screen from Medal of Honor: Frontline
Okay, we suppose Steven Spielberg was involved in the creation of the Medal of Honor series at Dreamworks Interactive (now EA Los Angeles), but it seems like since then, other devs thought they could add a few more explosions, some more soldiers dying, a bit more rumble and change the objectives slightly. Mission completed, soldier!
Above: Screen from Call of Duty 2
Even Killzone 2 starts with a beach assault from a first-person perspective, only your landing craft flies towards its destination instead of by sea. It is pretty dramatic watching all other craft get blown out of the sky around you, but we really wonder if Guerilla Games might’ve thought of a more practical ship – those guys just fly on the top! - than just the homage to Ryan.
Above: Killzone 2 plays homage
Notable games inspired:
Doom 3, Dead Space, Moon, Metroid
Above: Notice the ship’s corridor
The first film in the Alien franchise is notable for not just the titular extraterrestrial on board, but as a landmark in science-fiction in the ways claustrophobia, mood and environment all enhance one another. The movie - if you haven’t seen it, for shame - is basically about a monster hiding on board a ship and picking off the crew one by one. But it’s much more than that.
Above: Moon looks familiar
The ship, Nostradamus, isn’t a super sleek futuristic vessel, but a blue collar facility (Dead Space anyone?). There are endless corridors (Moon), lighting and shadows that played tricks on the crew members (Doom 3), terrifying musical score and the constant fear of some thing hiding in the closed surroundings (everything). Don’t get us started on Metroid with its lead heroine (like Alien), similar tone and monster design. Add to all of that a methodically (read: slow, but scary) pace and you have one hell of a horror film... or game.
Above: Doom 3 had you go searching in the darkness
Things that go bump in the dark isn’t exactly a new concept, but Alien lay the groundwork for terrifying and immersive experiences involving space, exploration and fear.
Above: Watch out in Dead Space