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Every year, we see another video game get its debut on the big screen. Yet so rarely do we see the opposite. Even worse, when we do, the games are often rushed or not up to the standards serious gamers crave. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are films that offer unique worlds and concepts totally unexplored in games. Video game adaptations don't need to be launched alongside their film counterparts as insincere cash grabs. We crave more chapters in the stories great films give us. More so, we want to be a part of them. It’s time to immerse ourselves in the settings that have been sorely lacking in gaming. From the neo-noir streets of Blade Runner, to the endless sea of Waterworld, there are countless cinematic environments unexplored through the controllers of gamers.
Blade Runner follows Rick Deckard, a detective tasked with tracking down and deactivating androids who have disregarded their intended purpose. He wanders through the futuristic city of Los Angeles in search of motivation and, well, the replicants. Tragically, the cyberpunk aesthetic is so rarely explored in games. The neon, overcrowded streets of Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles would make an excellent world to explore. Blade Runner’s looming Synth riffs and the seemingly forever dark skies are an iconic painting of dystopia. Aside from the setting, being a blade runner and hunting down replicants could make for great choices and missions. The repercussions of retiring humans or gaining sympathy for replicants could drastically change the narrative. A unique narrative of ethics and violence could unfold.
Edge of Tomorrow
War is hell. Even more so when death means repeating said war. Edge of Tomorrow basically exemplifies what it means to play a video game. It can feel like you are the only sane person as scores of your npc companions continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. What would a game be like if you could change that? What if you could learn enough about your allies to change the course of time the next time around. The film also featured a fresh enemy design and fighting style that would be the perfect challenge for an impossibly hard game. Enhanced movement is becoming mainstream in shooters and the exoskeletons from Edge of Tomorrow offer a ton of new capabilities. And who doesn't want to rock that giant sword? Death hasn't been a necessity for victory since Majora’s Mask. Let’s bring the concept back with an M rating.
An idea is the most resilient parasite. A person is most vulnerable when dreaming. Such is the premise of the next hit game. At least, it will be as soon as someone gets the go ahead to make the Inception game. Like the movie, the game could follow a single complex mission with multiple layers of dreams to drop to. This could result in different mission types and a variety of encounters. Though, the game could just as easily offer a slew of missions to undertake and minds to infiltrate. Aside from being full a sci-fi action film, Inception was also all about the heist. The game could feature tons of prep and cooperation. Heist games are rare enough, but sci-fi heist games seem nonexistent.
In the future, there will be virtually no crime. You've got the Future Crime Division to thank for that. Before any crime is committed, they get glimpses of what will transpire. With some detective work, and some flashy hand gestures, they can change the future. The detective genre in gaming has always been limited to looking at the past. With a Minority Report game, players can be put in the shoes of a pre-crime officer as he puts together the pieces of a crime with precious little time. The film is basically begging for a virtual reality adaptation. The control room where the detectives analyze the gif-like clips could be the whole experience and it could be revolutionary. Be a good detective; plan ahead.
In the future, people can get memories implanted in their brain as an alternative to actually going out and making them. Total Recall follows Doug Quaid, who finds himself unsure of whether his secret agent story is real or part of the memories he was given. The idea of questioning your reality is somehow lost on the mainstream gaming market. The Levels can take place in any scenario as they are implanted memories. Then mix in some non-implanted levels to keep the player guessing. Time to make some memories.
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is synthesis of The Truman Show and every horror movie ever. It is a film about teenagers being pursued by monsters while the whole scenario is secretly controlled by an organization trying to appease the evil gods with a blood sacrifice. A video game adaptation where the player acts as the director could easily dethrone The Sims as everyone’s favorite “playing god” game. The movie acknowledged multiple “cabins” around the world. The game could have the player handling different groups of people in these settings trying desperately to kill them before the gods devour the planet. It could take on a new level if some players were the hunted while others the manipulator. Micromanaging can finally come to the horror game genre.
The Purge: Anarchy
Once a year, all crime becomes legal, and anything can happen. Everyone on the planet is given the choice to live like their GTA characters: without limitations. The Purge video game would be a truly anarchic open world experience. Imagine a night where every npc in an open world game was unpredictable. Houses could be looted, people could be pursued, havoc could be wreaked. There is a lot of potential for choice and consequences. And it goes without saying that multiplayer would add a whole new dimension to the game. So let’s put on some masks and purge however we see fit.
The fate of humanity is on the line, and giant robots never felt so right. A rift in space has opened and aliens are sending vicious, Godzilla-sized monsters through to extinguish life on earth. The only logical thing to do is to build giant robots to fight them. The adaptation of Pacific Rim could challenge players to create and customize their own Jaegers to combat the onslaught. Single player and multiplayer are musts. A horde mode would also feel right at home here. Imagine team deathmatch with combating Jaegers and Kaijus over an entirely destructible city. Giant beat’em ups seem nonexistent in mainstream gaming but there is no shortage of gamers wanting to appease they're childhood, monster punching desires.
Aliens invaded and crushed earths forces. Now humanity is preparing for retaliation. They need the brightest mind to be trained and lead the charge. Ok so maybe I’m cheating here since Ender’s Game was a book first. However, the movie did offer great visual reference material. The best part about Ender’s Game is it has two totally different games. First, the Battle Room can offer team based shooter gameplay. Various maps and modes can be featured. The matches are played in zero gravity which would be a step in a new direction for multiplayer. It’s time for competition to take on a new directional plane. Second, the combat simulator offers large scale space combat. It feels like this is another genre that has been shamelessly ignored since the days of Rogue Squadron. Players can assume various roles catered to their interests. Some can pilot, others can handle diagnostics, one can lead.
The ice has melted and earth is submerged. Settlements extrude from the water offering the last semblances of society. Down in the depths, the ruins of civilization linger, waiting to be plundered. Waterworld is basically the Mad Max of the sea. The potential of a mature, open world game set across an endless ocean is enormous. The player can have total customization of his boat which can expand in size to have small crews. Sea combat will be the primary focus as you are put up against marauders and oceanic beasts. Fortress building can create a home for the player and a hub to tether him to certain areas. The ocean is beckoning; who will answer the call?