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14 games that borrowed their best bits from movies

Everyone knows about Max Payne taking all its best ideas (alright, one good idea) from the Matrix. But there have been many more games over the years that have taken their inspiration from Tinsel Town’s finest cinematic output. And when we say inspiration, we actually mean they broke out the tracing paper and copied these films' best scenes or stars almost exactly. And you know what? We’re thankful, because nearly all of the following ripped-off levels and characters proved to be the highlight of their games. So raise a glass to Hollywood: May you continue to provide our game developers with all of their good ideas.


Call of Duty 'borrows' from Enemy at the Gates


Somewhat lost in the glut of post Private Ryan WWII films, 2001 sniper flick Enemy at the Gates actually had an incredible set piece within its opening ten minutes, depicting the Battle of Stalingrad.

Released three years later, the original COD liberally lifted almost every part of the film’s opening spectacle, including the playable character being armed with nothing but an ammo clip. The next level, which features a harrowing charge by the Russians on the German-occupied Red Square in Moscow, is also an amalgamation of the movie’s suicidal Stalingrad charge.


Kane & Lynch copies Collateral's nightclub scene

Michael Mann’s Collateral is an underrated gem. Lean, striking to look at and with real drive, this ace hitman flick is one of our favourite films from the mega thorough director. Fancy cinematography aside, it’s also got some downright f**king awesome action scenes to boot. So it’s no surprise to see its biggest set piece being copied in IO’s misjudged criminal shooter.


Above: The Cruiser in tiny, but top form

It might have sucked the fat one next to the masterful Hitman series, but the nightclub scene is an undoubted highlight among all the moody nonsense. So much so, the level inspired some enterprising folk to craft Collateral mash-ups like the one below.




Twilight Princess' fire boss photocopies the Lord of the Rings' Balrog

What would poor old J.R.R. Tolkien think if he saw The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess’ Fyrus? Well, he’d probably rise from the grave to consult his legal team to see if he had a case for IP infringement. Two house-sized beasties covered in fire. The whip/chain both beasties swing. Zelda design man obviously just popped in the Fellowship of the Ring for inspiration when he designed the Goron Temple boss. Not that we mind, of course. It is one of the game’s best battles, after all. Fyrus is probably harder than the Balrog, too. Seriously, what kind of self respecting spawn of Hell gets beaten by a geriatric with a walking stick?

46 comments

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  • iluvmyDS - January 21, 2010 7:53 a.m.

    The guy talking to Luis about taking down Niko and co. in Three Leaf Clover is obviously based on a similar scene in Point Break.
  • Rex_Maztar - January 18, 2010 3:17 a.m.

    I thought that in Call of Duty 4 Victor Zakhaev, Imran Zakhaev's son was a huge play on the antagonist from Behind Enemy Lines.
  • Defguru7777 - January 17, 2010 4:05 a.m.

    Holy crap! A Spartan: Total Warrior entry! I've surfed this site for years and this is the first I've seen one.
  • greggveka - January 16, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    And what about the MW2 and that scene in shower-room shooting (prison) borrowed from THE ROCK movie?
  • Yeager1122 - January 15, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    The modern warfare 2 mohawk looks exactly the same even the guy looks the same.
  • Dolan88fan - January 15, 2010 5:46 p.m.

    the zombie guys in the original uncharted werent spanish they were nazis
  • Dolan88fan - January 15, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    cod waw the first mission in stalingrad was from enemy at the gates
  • DManSuperfly - January 15, 2010 6:02 a.m.

    A few of these are a load. Gladiators fighting big cats wasn't created by the movie Gladiator. It was a part of history. Also, Agent 47 was an homage to "Leon." The franchise wanted several games before placing that scene in to pay tribute to their inspiration.
  • Spoonman - January 15, 2010 1:31 a.m.

    Ok I simply cannot believe why Halo is not in this article! It's an unbelievable rip off of Aliens! Similar weapons like the chiefs assault rifle to the rifle the marine has in aliens, the Serg., the part where chief finds the dead soldiers helmet and watches basically a chunk out of the film, the novels then refer to walking forklift machinery exactly like the one Ripley uses at the end, the Pelican ships are identical to those in the film. Has no one noticeed this or was it just too blatantly obvious that there was no point?!?
  • DriveShaft - January 14, 2010 9:47 p.m.

    Everyone thinks Max Payne ripped off from the Matrix, truth is it went into production before it <_<
  • linkganon - January 14, 2010 9:33 p.m.

    behind enemy lines, it was on tv sometime this week. but yes, i have seen it. i wouldn't have watched it if there was something else on, but no, they decided to throw all the ("you call this a show?") on at the time. seems that movies also are inspired by games and by of course other movies. i don't see any similarities to tloz tp's boss and lord of the ring's whatever it is. they have a different apppearance and it's only coincidental that they seem the same. it's a volcano, so you need a boss based on fire and it was based on the goron's appearance as well which when combined seem the same to some people (not including me).
  • Xeacons - January 14, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    LOL! Let's see...World War II inspired by...World War II! Greek Mythology inspired by...GREEK MYTHOLOGY! What a rip off! Seriously, can't beat that LOZ "Balrog" though! Hey! Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery!
  • VictorRay - January 14, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    Jesus. Seriously, the other day I was just thinking to myself "hmm...Mactravish is kinda a bizarre but original looking character"
  • Livelife69 - January 14, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    I've never seen the good, the bad, and the ugly but the scene you describe also sounds like the first level in Call of Juarez 2. just an FYI
  • John-117 - January 14, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    I loved that part in MGS4, well probably because I also love The Third Man so much. It was pretty obvious when playing but it was still fantastic in its own right. I don't see why games shouldn't borrow exciting settings or locales from movies or the other way around. I wouldn't mind seeing a rooftop helicopter chase from Uncharted 2 in a movie and I also wouldn't mind seeing sheikh locale from The Rules of the Game in a game that could use the setting well.
  • Onedown - January 14, 2010 7:56 a.m.

    I saw Behind Enemy Lines too and thought it was a pretty good movie. I did not however notice that Niko Bellic looks like the antagonist. @Vitoruss Now that you mention it, Packie does look like that guy from "Cash Cab".
  • Spybreak8 - January 14, 2010 7:15 a.m.

    GTA and Rockstar are always waving the ol' pop culture stick around. Some others are like wow man they're almost entirely the same, like the Faculty movie non official game haha. Gotta say the dev that do research and are inspired by another medium usually make something good out of it, usually.
  • Bri77777 - January 14, 2010 5:08 a.m.

    I am the third person to see Behind Enemy Lines. I was shicked at Wilson's change. However, games always borrow from movies, cus' there are some damn good scenes in some movies.
  • michaelmcc827 - January 14, 2010 4:28 a.m.

    Wow, that was awesome, great job!

Showing 1-20 of 46 comments

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