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The Top 7... Movie genres games should try next

3. Exorcism


The genre: Exorcism movies are pretty easy to find at the shop: The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Last Exorcism. For those who've never ended up in this cul-de-sac of unimaginatively named exercises in paralyzing terror, exorcism movies concern the attempted salvation of some poor soul who's fallen afoul of infernal forces and become a dwelling place for demons, a cage for every unclean spirit, etc., etc. What ensues is invariably as scary as Condemned, System Shock 2 and Dead Space, combined.


Above: Shining Force 2's exorcism scene. Mortal terror it ain't

Why hasn't it been done? Unless the movie pulls an Exorcist: The Beginning and puts globe-trotting ahead of the actual demon-vanquishing, exorcism pics invariably boil down to a dude in a small room, receiving a sickening torrent of profanity from a screaming youngster. But the ritual's usually limited to set-pieces in games like Shining Force 2, Shadow Hearts and the Gothic series, because being violently berated by hysterical children is something we can already get from Xbox Live.


Above: The children are our future (unfortunately)

Should happen because: For a medium so fixated on good-vs-evil, games have more than their share of lamentably milquetoast antagonists. It's hard to feign interest in half-assed manifestations of malevolence like the Chimera, Necromorphs or Final Fantasy's Mutant Robot Deity of the Week. Exorcism movies force us into an intimate confrontation with evil, something only a few games (Clive Barker's Jericho, Eternal Darkness) have even attempted to emulate. And the stuck-in-a-room thing? Check out the exorcisms in comics like Hellblazer and The Invisibles to see how imaginatively a clever designer could get around that one.


2. Vigilante


The genre: The vigilante subgenre of action movies – from Straw Dogs to Death Wish to Clint Eastwood's recent Gran Torino – tends to have an admirably no-nonsense plot: A peace-loving regular schmoe, pushed to breaking point by hoodlums, grudgingly takes up arms, initiating a bloodbath so overbearing as to embarrass State of Emergency (further). The typical vigilante movie has more violence than every Rockstar game combined, and politics so gleefully reactionary that Glenn Beck would probably tap them on the shoulder and ask if they were going a bit far.


Above: A vigilante movie without the character development

Why hasn't it been done? Oh, plenty of games take place during the end of vigilante stories. Double Dragon, Final Fight and Far Cry are all about ordinary guys who get pushed too far and go apeshit on a huge cast of thinly characterized stereotypes, and for the most part, it works fine. But the stuff leading up to that – following our guy as he's shat on by an endless host of ne'er-do-wells and fails to fight back – is a harder trick to pull off, and games haven't really tried.


Above: Ubisoft's military twist on a vigilante plot, shortly before going to contrived, sci-fi pot

Should happen because: If there's one way in which videogame stories still need work, it's the realm of character development. Most games' heroes start out as ass-kicking men of action and end up as ass-kicking men of action with a couple of new scars (I'm generalizing, but not as much as I'd like to be). The day a game's able to depict not just standard-issue ultra-violence, but the things leading up to it, while – and this is somewhat important – not being the most boring thing ever inflicted on people by other people, is the day videogame scriptwriters can stop hiding in the bathroom at writers' conventions.

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50 comments

  • foamguy - September 9, 2010 6:30 p.m.

    im all for a slasher genre but i would think it would be fucking awesome if i could play as freddy or jason
  • Mysticgamer - July 11, 2010 4:30 p.m.

    Is Batman:Arkham Asylum considered a vigilante game?
  • SolidEye - July 9, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    Well I was hoping Bully 2 would go in the directon of a College film in the same vein as those movies you mentioned. Alittle more American Pie alittle less Harry Potter. A Revenge/Vigilante game like the film "Taken" that puts you in the shoes of a father looking for his kidnapped daughter would be a great game as long as they add alittle drama too it.
  • Lycanthrokeith - July 9, 2010 2:32 a.m.

    I think Mercenaries 2 is about the closest I've seen to the Vigilante example.
  • AuthorityFigure - July 9, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    I think GR confused 'genre' with 'theme'.
  • Deckard5627 - July 8, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    what about noir, max payne anyone?
  • Hayroon1 - July 7, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    An awesome way to do an exorcism game would be to make it like Psychonauts were you go inside the posessed and fight of the demons.
  • kidgorilla - July 7, 2010 6:04 p.m.

    You forgot blaxploitation
  • Gameguy151 - July 7, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    LOL, Beast and The Harlot reference FTW...
  • gamerinflames - July 7, 2010 1:14 a.m.

    College already exists as a game. It's called jagerbombs and shotgunning natty light.
  • philipshaw - July 6, 2010 6:16 p.m.

    Agree with most of this and I would want a film like Lost In Translation as a game, just to see if a game can do character interaction as well as films do
  • DustyRooster - July 6, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    I think Charles Bronson should be his own genre. If developers just put Charles Bronson in their games, instead of their own crappy characters, then I would be a happier man! Bronson could ride horses in Red Dead. Bronson could get stuck in Silent Hill. Bronson could star in every Call of Duty along side Lee Marvin. Bronson could be the next assassin, in the 1970's, in Assassin's Cread. Bronson, Bronson, Bronson, Amen!
  • 2Girls1CupOfSorrow - July 6, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    Hell no. Hell no to every one of these.
  • gilgamesh310 - July 6, 2010 10:58 a.m.

    A fairly good topic this but one must remember the movie and game genres are two different things. Movie genres are defined by there setting and scripting, character development and acting while game genres are usually defined by things like whether they are set in the first person or third person, whether the game becomes a hack and slaher or a puzzler and such. The stories for games rarely define the type of genre itself, only the setting normally. With that being said I would like to play a good vigilante game or even a documentary if it was made to work properly. I don't see how you would consider far cry a vigilante type game mind. Wasn't Jack Carver a mercenary before the shit started to hit the fan on the island he went to, he was only fighting to stay alive. There was a game released on the psx quite some time ago called vigilante 8, it was one of my favourite games of all time but it was defined more by it's gameplay than it's plot/genre. I would like to see a dcumentary fps game made where for the majority of it you would hold a camera instead of a gun and you could be climbing mountains and stuff instead of shooting things for the most part, a bit like bear grylls only more authentic.
  • 435 - July 6, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    The Matt Hazard haters need to go sit and spin. >_< It's not a -great- game by any means, but it's still -good-.
  • Fabaito - July 6, 2010 4:12 a.m.

    A game based on the norwegian black metal scene, where you have to go around burning churches, killing gay guys and other band members,cutting yourself with a knife on stage til you pass out, running around forests making weird faces, be a part of the norwegian communist party and get killed by your own bassist because the guy is a neo-nazi and thinks your a fucking marxist pussy, get to wear viking like gear and shit... DO WANT
  • camelfro - July 6, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    i agree with metroidhunter32 id love to see persona in college cool article too tom
  • WickedSid - July 6, 2010 2:04 a.m.

    Mother-Fucking BC is the IP that needs to be purchased, made and will sell millions of copies while be "Edutainment," about the Pre-Cambrian Era, with its Creatures and the added mystery of the Unknown. Although the Game would most likely feature Humans, ergo not factual, that could be overlooked when playing BC.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 6, 2010 12:27 a.m.

    Existentialism? Serious Deadpool game. 'Nuff said.
  • Clovin64 - July 6, 2010 12:14 a.m.

    I'd love to see some Heavy Rain style games that focus more on drama and character development rather than pumping lead into hired goons or zombies. I'm not saying that action games cant tell a good story or develop their characters, but you can maybe tell what I mean. I'd personally love a Heavy Rain style game adaptation of Crime and Punishment. There could be QTE momments where you wrestle with your conciounce (damn, I really cant spell!)

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