This post is simply my opinion, but I do my damnedest to try and back up my thoughts with film facts. So, to all reading, please, stick through to the end and comment your thoughts.
I've always wondered why the transition from video games to film is so bad more times than not, and to this day, I still have no idea. What is it that makes video game films so bad? Is it the change in the story? Is it the setting of the epic tale? Is it the lackluster writing involved, or is it simply the audience that wants something more from the transitioning blockbuster? Well, if you ask me, it's all the above. Even we as audience members and fans often times have the right idea for what we want to see in a feature film adaptation of a game, but that doesn't mean the script and acting will be golden. But, from developments on recent & upcoming adaptations, I have a feeling great video game films will be upon us.
Take for example Need for Speed (pictured above), a film based on the well-known and acclaimed franchise. The film doesn't necessarily follow the games so-to-speak (since the games don't really have memorable stories, or stories for that matter), but it does capture the realism and intensity those games bring to gamers. While the film's script was that of a B-movie, the production was none-the-less glorious; all practical effects, stunts and a great leading man to top it all off (Aaron Paul). His acting helped elevate the cheesy script, but it was the realism of the film's action that made the movie stand out. Now, that's a big and wonderful step in the right direction, but that was just an adaptation of a racing game. Big blockbusters like Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed, The Last of Us and Mass Effect are in very early development, but very little is known about each. We know a fan is writing the first draft of the script for Mass Effect (a gigantic sci-fi epic), Tom Hardy is set to play a younger version of the lead character in Splinter Cell (Sam Fisher), the writer of the video game The Last of Us is writing the film and Michael Fassbender is attached to Assassin's Creed.
Now, while this isn't much, things are looking pretty good. But, the question still remains: will these movies turn out well? If they simply take the original story of the video game they're adapting, change a few things about it (remove extended/prolonged action sequences [i.e. waves of endless enemies]) but leave most of it the same. For example, the upcoming adaptation of the acclaimed Uncharted franchise. One of the most talked about adaptations in development, the film has not looked too well, especially with recent news that the story and location has changed. Uncharted is regarded as the Indiana Jones of this generation, with Nathan Drake being the titular character, but what makes it stand out as different is the boldness of the stories, the gritty action and emotional backdrop. Sure, it still has that wit and charm you'd see with Harrison Ford as Indy (Nathan Drake being a smart-ass and a bad-ass), but since video games can examine stories and characters for a longer period of time (when was the last time you saw a 5-hour movie?), audiences can become more attached and enthralled. But, why do the filmmakers need to change some of the most pivotal aspects of the game? Uncharted is known for its locations and stories as well as characters, and in changing the location and story (if only a couple details), you already ruin what helped make that game great.
So to everyone and anyone reading, comment below your opinions and thoughts. Video games and movies are both passions of mine, and I really want to see a near-perfect adaptation soon.