The golden age of movie tie-in videogames has long passed. Thriving primarily during the PS2 era and dying out during the previous generation, there are only sparse movie tie-in games released anymore. And the one’s that are being released now, like Hotel Transylvania 3: Monsters Overboard, are generally so offensively bad it seems little has been lost for the industry in their absence.
But the lack of these games has left a gap in the industry that is made all the worse by this console generation’s seeming disregard for the “double-A” level of games. Existing somewhere in between smash indie hits that are cheaply priced around $20 and often developed by only a handful of people, and the big triple-A $60 releases that dominate every digital storefront, modern double-A releases such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and The Outer Wilds illustrate the power that can come from smaller scale, more focused gameplay experiences.
This gap in the industry has the potential to be filled perfectly by movie tie-in games that are developed by passionate teams familiar with the source material that are given the freedom to make the games they want to. For example, one needs to look no further than previous standout movie tie-in games like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and even the classic Goldeneye. So, in no particular order, here are five of the top movies that are begging for someone to make a videogame based off them.
With a unique mix of mysticism, science fiction, political tension, and an engaging world, Dune would lend itself excellently to a single-player action-adventure game a la Uncharted. Taking control of Paul Atreides, players would experience the fall of House Atreides on the planet of Arrakis, a desolate desert world where water is the most priceless resource, after which they would leave the palace and venture out into the desert as a refuge. Once free of the political upheaval, the player will grapple with persuading the local population, the Fremen, learning about their religion and beliefs, and eventually rising to become their messiah and lead them in a revengeful coup de tat of the family that killed Paul’s own.
Upgrade lends itself perfectly for a single-player focused first-person shooter campaign. Following Grey, a mechanic in the near future that gets an AI implanted in his head that helps him set out on a warpath to avenge the assassination of his wife that also crippled him. The AI takes control of his body and uses its incredibly fast processing to puppeteer him through the fight. The movie has everything necessary to make a memorable FPS campaign set in a fascinating science-fiction world with limitless potential for skill trees, unique gimmicks, and enough of a barebones plot for the developers to add to the story and make it their own.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
While it may be more of a videogame adaptation of a book than a movie, there is loads of potential in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The property would act as a great stepping stone for an anthology horror game that could offer a collection of short, distinct titles to play through. Offering multiple shorter experiences would ensure there would be enough variety to have at least one story strike a scary cord with each player. The shorter length would help avoid the pitfall many horror games fall into of being too long for their own good, while also leaving plenty of room open for the developers to be creative and be experimental with the experiences.
Another prime candidate for an intense single-player FPS campaign, Sicario follows a team of United States operatives who use shady tactics to combat the ever-spreading power of the Mexican cartel. Intense, suspenseful, and dark, Sicario would offer an excellent setting to tell a dark, morally challenging story that could be delivered through tense, high stakes combat. Cinematic touchstone moments would add to the weight of the narrative and complicated characters.
Begging to be adapted into a science fiction roguelike, Annihilation deals with a strange alien dome that has arrived on Earth and causes the genetic composition of anything within it to combine and mutate. Lending itself to countless creative designs for locales and enemies, Annihilation would make a great setting to place players in the shoes of agents sent into “the shimmer” in attempts to piece together just what is going on inside. With an everchanging loadout to increase your chances of survival and a legacy-fueled morphing shimmer to explore and survive, Annihilation would stand to be one of the most diverse, creative, and engaging roguelikes in recent memory.