Incestuous. That’s the best way to explain the ongoing relationship between horror films and games. First games stole from films in early licenses like Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, then horror films stole from games, most obviously in the ‘works’ of Uwe Boll like House of the Dead and BloodRayne.
There’s been some great bastard babies from this sick union: Resident Evil 4, Dead Rising, Silent Hill 2, Dead Space, Fatal Frame, Siren and Doom 3 all represented the horror genre with aplomb. But we want more. More specifically we want to rape our favourite horror films of everything they've got so we can play the best bits that have never been done properly in games. This is our list.
Quick synopsis: A party of film-makers head into the jungle to make a film about a tribe of cannibals. They quickly become lunch after daring to take advantage of the savages' innocent and trusting nature - prompting the question, "Who are the real cannibals?"
Their extraordinarily brutal come-uppance is recorded in a sickening, shaky-cam, gonzo first person-style, with the whole film framed as 'discovered footage' - a trick later replicated in the Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
Starts like this!
Goes quickly like this!
And inevitably to this... :-(
Why it would make a great game: As far as we're aware, no-one has made a videogame where your enemies are mud-painted stone-age cannibals. Equally, no game designer has attempted to capture the repugnant grubbiness of 1970s exploitation cinema. Which is a missed opportunity in our view.
In an age of sophisticated gaming, the quasi-moral question that Holocaust poses fits perfectly into a kind of jungle-based survival horror. As a member of the film crew you could play the game without incurring the wrath of the cannibals, pursuing tasks and missions to complete your film or instead piss the natives off (either mistakenly or purposely) and see the game devolve into an Amazonian-themed Manhunt.
The main aim would be to reproduce - in a game - the claustrophobic, transgressive and semi-illicit sensation that the film instils in the viewer. Kind of like Condemned 2 - but with more rainforests, fist-sized spiders and ritual murder.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Quick synopsis: Stupid teenagers decide to pay a visit to an isolated Texan farmstead, which just happens to be owned by a psychopathic family with a son who likes power tools. Let the high-pitch screaming begin.
Why it would make a great game: Because the last time anyone took on the license it looked like this...
Let's take a closer look at that chainsaw...
We suggest a remake that looks a bit more like this...
Gameplay would obviously put you in the shoes of the lovable murderer Leatherface and you just hammer X to chainsaw the hippies.
Quick synopsis: Recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance takes a winter job as a janitor in a remote snow-bound hotel. Supernatural cabin fever sets in and Torrance goes mental and tries to kill his wife and kid. They survive, mainly due to his boy’s strange psychic abilities.
Why it would make a great game: We’re aware this is a classic of all classics but we’d be respectful. The thing is there are elements of this film that are already quite ‘gamey’.
For example, most of the film is shot in third-person from an angle just behind or above the protagionists. As evidenced here:
Above: Kubrick obviously had the game license in the marketing plan
Plus the concept of being stuck in an isolated house with one properly scary enemy is pretty unique. In our vision you play as both Danny and the woman, with Danny’s size and weakness made up for with his psychic abilities.
Turn to the next page in our List of Death for some top-notch gore
Add in his cool mode of transport used to explore the hotel rooms and the made-for-game maze chase climax and we’re already on the phone to Activision with this one.