I was hoping that turning all videogames into a film format was something that would eventually die out. But after the fifth Resident Evil film, chance would be a fine thing. Why bother adapting a video game to a film when most videogames are derivative of major films anyway? On the other hand, there's a lot of fresh ideas coming out in the world of digital entertainment - for example, BioShock Infinite, a stonkingly mindblowing experience delving into alternative reality theory that will have you yelling at the set as if it just made a rude gesture at your mother, and enough plot twists to make M. Knight Shyamalan say "Now you're just being silly..."
But now a new TV show has been announced based on the hit game franchise Halo. For those who aren't as gamepad inclined as I, Halo is essentially your typical sci fi/fantasy epic where the fate of the galaxy rests on blah blah blah. It's a pretty nuts and bolts science fiction narrative that borrows heavily from Starship Troopers, Star Wars, Aliens and just about every single decent laser blasting flick in known existence. As a game, it's extremely functional, but as far as storytelling goes, it feels like it's shuffling wistfully down the well-trodden path. But there is enough backing and fanbase to make something exceptional out of it.
Last year, the series was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as one of the handful of television shows exclusively greenlit by Microsoft for it's latest gaming console, the XBOX One, as part of it's plan to be more than a machine for videogames alone. There have also been reports that the show may air on the premium TV network Showtime before it's intended console-only launch. So already, you can see this is a bit of a big deal. If you're still not convinced about the backing this has already mustered, Steven Spielberg is on board the project and has already expressed the power of videogames to tell stories in a way the silver screen can't.
It's almost sounding too good to be true, no?
Right now, the deal between Showtime and XBOX Entertainment Studios has not yet been finalised, but when it does, this will be the first time a major cable network and a video game studio have worked together. Should the deal go through soon, chances are nothing will be announced until next month at E3 2014. It would seem that this is the first time that any major effort has gone into a video game adaptation ever. Here's hoping it's not another Super Mario Bros. The Movie.