Game tie-ins that radically changed the plots of their films

Alien 3

The black sheep of the Alien series, Alien 3 will always divide fans. One of the core issues at the time of its 1992 release was the movies departure from Aliens' military setting in favor of a sparse battle between an unarmed cast and a solitary alien. This return to the original film's formula makes sense theoretically, but the gun-toting space marines (or basically any guns) were missed.

The developers of the SNES/Genesis adaptations didn't take that route. Players got to mow down wave upon wave of acid-spitting monsters, in an Alien 3 console adventure thats probably the best Aliens adaptation made to date, in which half the fun is spotting the copious references to James Camerons beloved take on the series--before Aliens: Colonial Marines came along and invalidated it all, anyway.

Wayne's World

The mid-90s basically had a whole genre called Games where the sidekick got kidnapped and you were stuck playing a sub-par platformer, because that was how to ruin a movie license in those days. But the kidnapped sidekick/extraneous jumping formula reached a low point in Waynes World, a game whose entire existence seems to revolve around the concept of awful video games are awful.

Waynes World opens with a discussion of the worst video games known to Wayne and Garth, a list which omits this very game which featured the worst MIDI version of Bohemian Rhapsody ever programmed. Then Garth gets sucked into Zantar the Gelatinous Cube, a risible video game mentioned very briefly in the movie. For some reason Wayne doesnt follow Garth into Zantar, instead jumping around haphazardly-arranged platform versions of film locations, saying schwing a bunch and riding roughshod over Mike Myers brand. This failure makes Love Guru seem almost palatable.

The Great Escape

The Great Escape is a World War II film in which a group of Allied POWs conceive the most audacious escape ever attempted from a Nazi prison camp. Or, as publisher Gotham Games reasoned in 2003, something World War II, something something profits. While the film focuses on Steve McQueens Capt. Virgil Hilts, the game is more of an ensemble affair, detailing the backstories of Hilts core crew in great detail, but it ends with all four characters achieving a Great Escape, just like the title said they would.

SPOILERS for the the 50 year-old film: only one of the four would-be escapees actually makes it out alive, and it aint Steve McQueen. In the decades between the release of the movie and the game, youd think someone wouldve worked out how to depict heroic failure within a video game, but here we are. In fact, this was the second Great Escape video game license: an earlier and far looser adaptation had been released by Ocean in 1986, and there were several ways of playing through that game--all of them also ending in your characters successful escape. Happy endings all around.

Die Hard Arcade

By the time Die Hard Arcade was released in 1995, audiences had seen a lot of a guy named John who wears tank-tops and battles terrorists. Perhaps when Fox Interactive saw Dynamite Deka, as Segas beat-em-up was known in Japan, the company figured itd found another installment. Just put Dekas main character in a singlet, write Die Hard on the title screen, and youre home free!

If you saw this thing in a 1996 arcade, you mayve been drawn in by the intros convincing recreation of Die Hard's Nakitomi Plaza, or how the main character looked like he was designed by someone who saw Bruce Willis once. From there onward, good luck finding canonical elements amid the search for the Presidents kidnapped daughter. McClaine fights off-brand terrorists with names like Mr Tubbs and Hongo, who are a poor substitution for Alan Rickman--but you could say the same for most movie villains, honestly. Less forgivable is the omission of Let it Snow! over the end credits: some elements of Die Hard, sadly, are non-negotiable.

Scarface: the World is Yours

Brian de Palmas 1983 thriller, Scarface, was itself a remake of a 1932 gangster pic loosely inspired by Al Capone. '30s Censors had imposed heavy strictures on the original, which were gleefully flouted by the '80s edition; but the core story was still that of a tragic antihero undone by hubris and excess. Mountains of cocaine are fun and all, but crime still doesnt pay for Al Pacinos sociopathic antihero.

However, crime pays through the freaking roof in the 2006 adaptation. Beginning with a reprise of the movies finale, in which you thought you saw Tony Montana gunned down, the game suggests that Montana made it out with relative easy. And if he could survive that, the game reasons, the world really would be yours--notwithstanding the matter of an empire to rebuild and a hit-list full of rival drug lords to take down. Why, that almost sounds like the plot of one of your GTA rip-off! Lucky youre playing as a guy who, its already been established, has hit enough blow to literally be invincible. (NOTE: this does not work IRL.)

Unfaithful adaptations unleashed!

Do you have a favorite movie adaptation that switches the antagonist and protagonist around? A resurrection that should've happened on the big screen all along? Or just tell us which movie adaptations are the absolute worst, that'll be fun too.

Or check out our Top 7 games where the bad guys actually win, The 100 most anticipated games of 2014, or The top 7 games you just have to play to understand.