Which movie director makes the best games?

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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