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14 games that borrowed their best bits from movies

Metal Gear Solid 4 takes inspiration from The Third Man

Often held up as one of the best black and white films ever (stay with us, kids) Orson Welles' classic, twisty thriller holds a clear influence over Guns of the Patriot’s third act. Both take place in European cities which are split into different sectors – the film is set in post WWII Vienna with different national zones, while MGS’ city remains unidentified, with different areas controlled by private military contractors. They both involve following and tracking a shady stranger through darkened streets and sewers. And both love a good trench coat.

The Metal Gear series has always been ultra modern. But the third act in Snake’s PS3 adventure feels like a clear homage to the film noirs of the 30s and 40s that obviously influenced self-confessed movie buff Kojima. The music, the clothing, that slightly grainy old timey filter: Koj clearly loves a slice of really talky retro cinema.


Uncharted: Drake's Fortune mimics the monsters from The Descent


2006 British horror movie The Descent is easily one of the scariest films of the last few years. Set in a vast expanse of underground caves, it’s hugely claustrophobic and shamelessly gory. It’s also got all the hallmarks of a horror classic: namely hot chicks and plenty of dismemberment. It would appear Drake’s developer Naughty Dog was also impressed, because the game’s mutated Spaniards are a massive, sloppy kiss to the blind cave-dwelling crawlers from the film. The level in which they appear is also set underground and jumps the shark in heroic fashion. Sadly, it’s one of the worst bits in Uncharted.


Spartan: Total Warrior & God of War II inspired by plasticine man in Jason and the Argonauts


OK, so technically both games pilfered their ideas from the pages of Greek mythology, rather than Harryhausen’s plasticine epic. God of War’s Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While the character of Talos, the giant bronze figure that appears in Jason and Spartan, was a mythological figure, who protected the island of Crete in Greek stories. Still, it’s unlikely either game would have come up with their boss behemoths if it wasn’t for the 1963 classic modernising the myth of the giant metal man.

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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