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Which movie director makes the best games?

John Woo



Movies: The Killer, Hard Boiled, Face/Off
Game: Stranglehold



How'd he do? Stranglehold may not be the first time a movie's story has continued in-game – Goonies 2 was the bomb, yo! – but it's the first time the pic's own director and star chose to lend their talents to the venture. The biggest creative criticism leveled at Stranglehold was that the game's slomo gunfights, balletic pyrotechnics and dual-wielded pistols had been cribbed from the Max Payne school of shooter; the obvious answer to this complaint was that Payne and its ilk had shamelessly borrowed these elements from Woo's movies anyway, and the Hong Kong auteur was merely stealing them back.



Give up the day job? Film is obviously in Woo's blood, and with the director's cinematic influence paving the way for countless movies and games alike, it's always going to be the medium for which he's best known. But Woo still has his own gaming imprint, Tiger Hill Entertainment, of whose releases Stranglehold may still only be the first.


Steven Spielberg



Movies: Come on, seriously?
Games: The Dig, Medal of Honor, Boom Blox



How'd he do? Long on record as a fan of gaming culture, Spielberg dipped a toe into game creation with the 1995 graphic adventure The Dig. With the help of a who's who of semi-popular sci-fi – the guy what wrote the Aliens novelization, the feller what made the ninth Zork game – the game became a solidly-regarded sleeper. It's Spielberg's least active contribution to gaming that made the most impact: at the peak of his effort to trademark World War II, he created the Medal of Honor series, which have gone on to pay homage to (nick scenes from) the director's work whenever possible.



Give up the day job? Regardless of your feelings toward Medal of Honor – stirring interactive works of patriotism or poor-man's-Halo with Nazis? - the series does a fine job of extending Spielberg's vision of WWII into the interactive realm. But when your most recent interactive work is the critically-lauded but commercially-weak Boom Blox, whereas your lasting contribution to cinema is being Steven Goddamn Spielberg, maybe stick with the viewfinders 'n' baseball caps, yeah?

Apr 22, 2010 



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9 comments

  • hardcore_gamer1990 - April 22, 2010 11:56 p.m.

    The Wachowskis should make a Matrix Prequel following Morphius as a child, or Trinity's story, or The Oracle and who she really is, SOMETHING prequal-ly. The first Matrix is their best film and if they ca recapture the epicness of it without the conveluted plot, they'll have an instand success. And I'd love it.
  • Redeater - April 23, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    Forgive my ignorance but what exactly is an "IP" (Lucas has long been closely involved with games based on his IP)
  • Tomgoulter - April 23, 2010 1:19 a.m.

    @Redeater: Your ignorance is forgiven (no need to even ask). IP is "Intellectual Property": a series of ideas (often fictional) that have been registered as belonging to someone in particular. Examples of IP relevant to this article would be "the Star Wars universe," "the character and history of Indiana Jones," or "a giant ape from a place called Skull Island." Traditionally, we think of an idea as being the IP of its owner, but in an information economy, this is not always legally the case. A recent example would be the characters that Conan O'Brien dreamed up while working for NBC: which, due to the terms of his contract, are legally not his intellectual property but that of the network. Lucas' pressing to retain his own IP was canny for two reasons: not only did he anticipate that the right movie's IP would become a valuable commodity in a way that it wasn't in the pre-blockbuster era, but he also was the only one to see the enormous potential in HIS Star Wars universe. Or maybe he's just a lucky old gent.
  • ventanger - April 23, 2010 4:16 a.m.

    My hopes in a solid game director lies with Woo for Stranglehold 2. As for Lucas, Spielberg, and the Wachowski brother/sister, their creative wells ran dry long, long ago.
  • bamb0o-stick - April 23, 2010 12:42 p.m.

    I can't help but wonder what would've happened if Lucas had just poured all the resources he had into his video game studios instead of making a new trilogy. His moving to a new, young medium would've separated himself from the rest of the pack. I would've liked to see him quit his regular job and help further revolutionize and push what games can do. Imagine what would be possible if he had sent a blank check to Bioware and let them develop what they want with the SW franchise.
  • philipshaw - April 23, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    Have to agree with the matrix stuff. The last good thing to come out of it was the animatrix which was better than the 2 Martix sequels
  • Conman93 - April 23, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    Didnt know spielberg worked on medal of honour. Guess u learn something new every day!
  • speno93 - April 24, 2010 4:21 a.m.

    i would really enjoy it if Jackson helped create another game. I though King Kong was really good so maybe the next Turok would really benefit from Jackson's intervewntion
  • nadrewod999 - October 12, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    Spielberg should also be credited for the Call of Duty franchise (the first 3 and WaW, but not 4 or MW2), since Infinity Ward's founders came from the dev team behind MoH:AA, who at the game's release, believed they could do a better job. Fast forward a few years, and CoD has absolutely destroyed MoH in the sales area, but until CoD4, the series stayed in the same timeframe as MoH:AA, thus allowing the famed E.T. director to also take credit for CoD if he feels like it.

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