No, I'm not excited for Assassin's Creed.
Hollywood has cracked the superhero movie formula, the industry however does keep struggling with, video game adaptations. Fans of various video games often find themselves saying 'Oh dude, that game would be awesome as a film.' only to eat their words. I'm one of them. I remember being excited for the Hitman film in 2007. Hey, give me a break. I was young and stupid. I'm only one of those things now.
Seriously though, why is it that an awesome video game cannot yield an awesome movie? Awesome comic books and books can give us awesome movies every now and then, so how come a video game can't do the same?
Different Medium and Timetables
I think this is the very first problem with this debate. A video game is a video game. An experience that nowadays costs $60, a medium that is designed to take you through 12-40 hours of entertainment in the comfort of your home. A film however runs anywhere between 1.5 - 3 hours.
A video game, fairly has more time to develop it's characters, more time to take the protagonist through multiple exotic locations, which generally leads to more of an attachment by the viewer/player. A very unfair thing to expect the same from a film.
When you're playing Assassin's Creed or Far Cry, an open world game. There is the opportunity to explore every nook and cranny. Sometimes the reason that sort of exploration is allowed is because those moments function as building blocks of the character and story.
However, in a film you are being guided through the important moments. In a game you have the choice to explore or not explore. You are in control and you choose whether to be surprised or not. You do not have the opportunity to open to see what's in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, because you are not in control. You are the audience. A film is made for an audience to have a singular experience; a video game is designed so every singular player who plays it can have multiple experiences.
Video game worlds are full of Easter Eggs. Look at the 'Arkham' series. Arkham Asylum set up Arkham City via an Easter Egg and the same with Arkham Knight.
This is the same problem with adapting novels. Stuff is going to be left out, and as I said at the very beginning. A video game is a video game and a film is a film. The reason films such as Max Payne (2008) flop so badly is because they are taking a character which has such a rich history and exquisite characterization, that belongs in a medium which gives the user control and requires you going on a journey of twenty plus hours. Max Payne also has elements of politics and industrialization that go missing in the film.
When there's so much of a story in it's original form, it's quite simple the filmmakers are forced to take the liberty of rewriting characters and then pissing off the fans.
By the way guys and gals, be calm on those poor writers, I'm pretty sure they have no choice but to butcher the source material. No person in his/her right mind would willingly destroy or butcher a character that audiences love.
Speaking of too much story, there are times when there is little to no story. Let me take that back. No story to adapt. As seen in the TWO Hitman films.
For some reason Hollywood thought giving THIS character a second chance would be worth it.
Hitman: Agent 47, got trashed at the box office and the critics. Now, you might say the film looked bad to begin with. I must correct you. The film looked useless.
There has never been an actual story in the Hitman video game series. They revolve on one-off missions, and each mission encourages replay value, in which you can take your protagonist the Hitman to take out targets in a multitude of ways, using your surroundings, disguises and what not. No story. No central plot. It's the definition of a video game made just for fun and entertainment.
When you give something like that a story, and when you veer away from what makes the game special, it's obvious that there's going to be backlash from the audience. I for one am positive that the director or writer of Hitman: Agent 47 had never picked up a single Hitman game.
You need a compelling character to begin with, to adapt a film. No one, I repeat no one asked for TWO friggin' Hitman films. Same goes for the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter games and movies.
It would be stagnant to adapt a video game as is.
The whole point of a video game is top it's last thrill. That's the reason so many films are uninteresting nowadays is because they follow that mentality. Bigger doesn't translate to better. Look at the Transformers films, or heck even Avengers: Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3, they are never as memorable as their predecessors.
In a film, you need your quiet moments, in a good film, those moments of silence and solitude build up to a big blast. In a video game, it's totally fine to go through a series of bombastic sequences. Hell, Max Payne 3 is a fantastic game and all it does is make the next gunfight bigger than the last one.
With that said, I for one say, keep the video games and movies separate.
Remember to love yourselves.