I'm sure that we all now realize that a giant wave of video game-inspired movies are coming our way, and many of them have me truly excited. My instantaneous excitement got me thinking. What other games could be movies, and more importantly, which games should not?
This really hurts because Portal (actually Portal 2) is one of my favorite games of all time. It has a great back-story, a unique gaming mechanic, and some of the most unforgettable dialogue you'll ever hear.
"Look at you, flying through the air majestically, like an eagle, piloting a blimp."
Unfortunately, those are the qualities that make the game legendary. A movie based on the game just wouldn't be the same.
The game centers around Chell, a test subject for a company called Aperture Laboratories. Armed with a gun that can shoot blue and orange portals (if she steps into the blue portal she will emerge from the orange one and vice-versa), she must endure countless intellectual tests while proctored by a wise-mouthed computer voice named GLaDOS.
While the game is completely thrilling and engaging, I couldn't imagine watching a full-length movie of a woman trapped in a test facility, trying to complete a seemingly endless amount of tests involving the use of portals. The whole theme of the game is that you have to think logically and creatively in order to survive these increasingly dangerous tests, and you can't achieve that same sort of intellectual thrill by watching an actor on a screen running around like a rat through a maze.
Now this one may spawn some instant rebuttals and rightfully so. This game was, and still is, a video game masterpiece. There was a point in time where you could tell if someone was a real gamer if they knew what 'Fus Ro Dah ' meant.
In the game, you play as a fantasy character in the province of Skyrim, where dragons have arrived from near-extinction to cause chaos. You soon find out that you are one of the very rare Dragonborn, or one of those with the natural ability to absorb dragon souls and use their ancient speech. You use these amazing abilities to take on Alduin, a massive dragon bent on reviving the remainder of his kind to claim dominion over all of Skyrim.
Okay, I'll admit that it's a pretty epic plot, and it could be handled well on-screen, but the story itself isn't very detailed. The majority of the story, you are trekking through dungeons in search of artifacts and the like. One of the major reasons that people loved playing the game is because of the many in-depth side quest. If you already beat the campaign, or you were just looking for a break, you could go join the Thieve's Guild, or enlist in the College of Winterhold, or even become a master assassin in the Dark Brotherhood. A Skyrim movie couldn't possibly integrate these many side-quests. Even if they did, it would be like Frodo leaving the Shire, becoming a ninja assassin, winning the title of Masterchef, learning how to juggle, and then destroying the ring in Mordor.
If you want a game with first-person shooting, immersion role-playing, and engaging cooperative gameplay, play Borderlands. If you want a movie with plot progression, in-depth characters, and overall cinematic quality, I would go with something like Mass Effect.
In Borderlands you play a treasure-seeker that has made your way to the world of Pandora, where some great treasure is said to be hidden. Accompanied by a wise-cracking robotic companion named Claptrap, you battle through a vast planet full of danger, psychos, and high-tech weaponry.
The game has many great qualities in terms of humor, action, and adventure, but none of those qualities would shine on the big screen. Much of the game is roaming around, killing everything you come across until you level up enough to get that shiny flame-shooting firearm that you've been waiting for. When you're not scavenging, you're most likely wading through fortresses packed with heavily-armed maniacs that never seem to end. For cinematic value, the game is a bit too tedious to catch people's interest, regardless of the hours and hours of gameplay available.