If you’ve read some of my previous stuff before, you should probably guess that I don’t think games should be adapted into film. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s just that film is inherently linear and story driven, while games are based more on experience and event driven. That is to say, that a film is more interested in telling the audience an interesting and coherent story, while games are more about having players experience events that drive their own personal story, rather than one that is absolutely set in stone. For example, Skyrim would be an awful movie simply because it would have to follow one path and dozens and thus not truly capture that element that draws people into the game world.
Still, film makers have managed to sometimes be creative with less narrative intensive games. For example, Battleship came out and it was not what I was expecting. It had all the elements of the popular board game, but also created it’s own original narrative that expands on the Battleship universe, as silly as that sounds. For what was once a context-less competition between two players, not finally has some narrative. Really, if a game should be adapted into a film, then it should be adapted to serve as a transmedia extension of the game world instead of just a direct copy and paste of the game’s story. These are the games that I think desperately need a film.
The city of Rapture is fascinating. It is probably the most interesting aspect of the Bioshock series, more than the shoehorning of moral decisions that lack any real moral choice or shooting zombies with super powers could ever be. When I first played Bioshock, I absolutely hated it, but where normally I would put down the game forever, I kept playing because I loved the atmosphere and the history. It was the reason I picked up Bioshock 2 a few years later and why I’ll probably pick up Infinities.
If a Bioshock film should ever be made, it would have to focus the verge of the civil war that took place. I believe there is a book already describing it, but a book I feel isn’t sufficient to capture the stylistic visual flair that is Rapture. I personally would love to see the story of the bystander, who at first has nothing to do with Andrew Ryan, Sophia Lamb, or Frank Fontaine, but eventually run into all of them and watches as the underwater utopia crumbles into a tyranny, and eventually into a wasteland. It would be foregone conclusion yes, but like what Bioshock was probably trying to be, it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Not because it already is a movie, but because the games often ignore, or fail to address seriously, the idea that Nathan Drake is a human being. I remember rumors were going around that would have gone more into Drake’s past, maybe even deal with his father. Well since Drake’s Deception pretty much made it so Drake is an orphan, raised by Sully, and might not be who he claims to be, I would love to see an action movie that still delves into the past of Drake and Sully, watch Drake learn the things he does from Sully that culminates in most likely a less crazy, but more personal look into their relationship.
I think the Uncharted series needs something like this, for two reasons. The first is that because the game could never really be translated into a film. Okay granted that all three games have been converted into 2-3 hours “films” and they work, but they’re mostly just action and the cutscenes that are more interested in the immediate action, rather than any kind of introverted examination of the characters. Which leads to the second reason: Nathan Drake comes off as a sociopath in the games and I would like that changed.
Split/Second, developed by a game studio that no longer exists, is an awesome racing game where constants are on a reality racing theme TV show, where the goal is to wreck the other player’s cars with explosives, traps, and other things that basically call for mass destruction. Two things bothered me about the game, the first was that there were named racers, rivals even, but the entire perspective of the game was from the point of view of the audience watching the show, not the racers. Whether they were remote controlled cars or the games were real is never addressed but I think it would be the subject of a great movie. Especially because of the my second reason: the ending.
The ending of Split/Second is that they are about to name the champion when these mysterious black cars come in after some non-planned explosions and the announcers says something to the effect of “how can they be back?” We will of course, most likely never find out who they are since Black Rock Studios shut down, but if anything a film could do a real nice job expanding on who they are, either through a sequel to the game, a prequel, or an adaptation of the game.
Honestly, those are the only ones I can think of at the moment. I am pretty tired but I also feel that any other addition to the list would be because a game tried to imitate a movie too closely, and ended with something less like a game and more like fluff between cutscenes, or are too interactive and multi-branching with not as interesting a lore to be turned into a film. But I haven’t played every game in the world so I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.