We all know that video games tend to make poor movie adaptations. Really, all you need to do is look at the most recent mainstream example – 2015’s Hitman: Agent 47 – to get an idea for how most of these tend to go. That film was absolutely thrashed by critics, and most moviegoers didn’t really like it either. But here’s the interesting thing: per Box Office Mojo, the film still made over $80 million worldwide, on a $35 million budget. It’s not exactly The Avengers, but most studios will take those numbers happily.
One would hope that future game-to-film adaptations would be done in more satisfying ways, but regardless, numbers like those indicate that Hollywood is going to keep churning out movies like this, with built-in fan bases and narrative foundations. So given that it’s a virtual certainty we keep seeing films based on popular video games, here are five games that might make for good ones.
Far Cry 4
It’s no longer brand new, but Far Cry 4 still stands as one of the best of Ubisoft’s games, as well as one of the biggest and most beautiful console games in recent years. Other games like Fallout 4 and the latest shooters are just as vivid and action-packed, but Far Cry 4 stands out because of its focus on a plot with a beginning and end. Fallout 4, by contrast, is almost so big and open that it’s hard to imagine what a cinematic version of it would look like. But Far Cry 4 presents a fascinating story about a kingdom so remote that it could easily be brought to life as if it actually existed in the world. There are strong characters, beautiful locations, and enough missions and mysteries to comprise a brilliant film in the right hands.
Going with a different type of gaming altogether, Fireproof Games’ apps – The Room, The Room Two, and The Room Three – have come to define the best of mobile gaming. All three games are essentially puzzle solvers, but have had praise heaped upon them because of their immersive atmospheres and mind-bending mysteries. The general idea is that you’ve been roped into a quest for undiscovered elements and alternate realities. And while the games’ plot can be a little bit fuzzy, a talented screenwriter could make delightful sense of it all. There’s a dark, twisted series of thrillers waiting to emerge from these games.
Treasures Of Troy
Sticking with smaller games, this is one that’s actually available among Gala Casino’s slots. Undoubtedly inspired by the film Troy, it’s an animated slot machine presenting figures, scenes, and artifacts reminiscent of the great Trojan War. Given the fact that it’s essentially a casino game there isn’t much action to take from it, but the title alone can lead one to imagine a rich and unimagined sequel. There’s much to cover about what happened in the aftermath of Troy (and indeed Homer saw to some of it in The Odyssey), but a tale of plunder, Greek soldiers made rich by the sacking of Troy, and stray Trojans seeking vengeance could make for a wonderful project.
The Diablo series is set up as a group of action RPGs, but it nevertheless concocts a pretty vivid fantasy world at the same time. These games come to mind in part, however, because Blizzard Entertainment is already getting into the movie making business with this summer’s Warcraft. Whether or not that adaptation of World Of Warcraft is a success with critics, it’s likely to make boatloads of money, which would set the studio up nicely to follow up with a Diablo-based project.
Finally, there’s Street Fighter – one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time, arguably Capcom’s flagship, and a series that doesn’t seem inclined to slow down any time soon. This is a different selection than the ones above because it’s actually been tried before, numerous times. However, nothing that can realistically be called a serious effort has ever been made. With a legitimate studio, real money, and a capable cast behind it, the Street Fighter saga could be turned into a successful martial arts film. What’s more, the writers would have all kinds of freedom in crafting a story, because while there are various tales surrounding the Street Fighter characters that have arisen over the years, there’s not a single prevailing narrative.
It’s hard to say if we’ll ever see any of these ideas attempted. But it’s pretty much a certainty that Hollywood will continue to adapt video games, and these would be some fascinating choices.