There seems to be an unwritten rule that no film adaptation of a video game can ever be good. In over fifteen years, we have yet to see one video game movie get past even 50% critical approval on Rotten Tomatoes.
But you know what really doesn’t help? Picking the wrong games. Gears of War is a punchline in video game storytelling and art design. It exists entirely for its gameplay – largely multiplayer. So the fact that there’s a Gears of War movie in the works is as ridiculous as casting a white American as the Prince of Persia!
Rather than looking at story, adaptability or just the substance of the games themselves, video game movies seem to get greenlighted based on other criteria:
- Is it popular/Is it marketable? (Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Prince of Persia)
- Does it have tits? (Dead or Alive, Tomb Raider, Bloodrayne)
- If you’re Uwe Boll it’s just “can i maek movie with this name? i will also put tits in it” (Oh, there’s one or two)
In spite of this process and the unwritten rule, here are five games that could hypothetically make a good basis for a film adaptation:
5. Broken Sword
I've probably mentioned how much pre-rendered backgrounds kick bum.
After an explosion in a Parisian café, American George Stobbart gets embroiled in a globe-trotting adventure of Templar conspiracy. He teams up with French journalist Nicole Collard, he crosses paths with a Syrian assassin and he travels from France, to Ireland, to Syria, to Spain and to Scotland.
The first Broken Sword game (subtitled Circle of Blood or Shadow of the Templars depending on where you are) was a solidly made PC adventure game – recently remade for the Nintendo DS – that told a charming story. The game’s structure and length mean it would be extremely simple to adapt it straightforwardly to the big screen. All you’d have to do is make some general cuts, have Nico travel alongside George and maybe tweak the ending.
Besides, with lines like:
“Woah! Don’t shoot! I’m innocent! I’m an American!”
“Can’t make up your mind, eh?”
How can you go wrong?
The closest we got: The Da Vinci Code
Tom Hanks is above this.
Annoyingly, this is the reason Broken Sword is last on the list. It’s about an American in Paris, who teams up with a French brunette, with a mysterious assassin following them as they travel to uncover a Templar-related mystery solving puzzles along the way. And that’s just the major similarities. So a Broken Sword movie based on this game would be accused of ripping off the Da Vinci Code, right?
Well, the Da Vinci Code novel was released in 2003, while Broken Sword was released seven years earlier in 1996. Coincidence? Or maybe…OMIGOD IT WAS JESUS ALL ALONG!
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