It’s become an inevitable truth in Hollywood that whenever a big name console game gets the big screen treatment, it will end up as something truly awful that is better off forgotten than remembered as cinema. So what’s the big problem? There are countless console games that are universally known and beloved, and in truth would make for great films. That’s just the problem though, none of those critically acclaimed games that fans have fallen in love with over the years ever get the green light, and instead we are served up terrible adaptions of Mortal Kombat and Silent Hill, which in retrospect are better off enjoyed with true fans in control of their characters. Not all hope has been lost though, and in recent news we have seen everything from scheduled release dates for the film adaptions of the long running Assassins Creed franchise, and the ever-popular Uncharted series, as well as news that Tom Hardy has been brought on board to play super-spy Sam Fisher from the award winning Splinter Cell series. With that being said, there is once again hope that our favorite console titles can once again be enjoyed on the big screen. But why stop with those three titles alone? Today we have ten more titles that would make for some fascinating cinema.
10. Sniper Elite V2/V3
Those who know about the brutal Sniper Elite series that is set during World War II know all about the challenging stealth gameplay and X-ray cam that showcases the bullet tearing through your target, but underneath all of that is actually a well written action drama with hints of espionage tossed in to raise the stakes. The story follows an American OSS agent Karl Fairburn who is dropped into Berlin in order to discover details on the top secret Nazi missile program. Along the way he encounters the dangers of both the Nazis and the Soviets as he fights his way to the truth. Lieutenant Fairburn is more than just a long range shooter though, and would make for both a great action hero, and a compelling character as he struggles to discover an end to his mission admits all the death and destruction. There have been countless World War II films that have gone on to become huge successes including the sniper based Enemy at the Gates, or in recent memory Brad Pitt’s Fury. So what’s stopping an adaption of Sniper Elite to become the next big success?
9. Dead Space
2008s Dead Space is a dark, haunting, and sinister survival horror that takes place in the dark outer reaches of space, forcing players to not only survive, but discover the dark origins of the creatures that hunt them. Set in the year 2508, the story follows a ship engineer by the name of Isaac Clarke who is dispatched alongside a team to investigate a mining ship that has gone dark. Upon arrival the crew discovers that the ship has been overrun with grotesque creatures, and upon further exploration, Isaac discovers strange religious texts drawn on walls throughout the ship, only deepening the mystery. In 1979, there was Alien, with its alarming and terror inducing creature crawling through the vents of a space shuttle, and Dead Space could be the modern day space horror that is worthy to stand alongside it. Sporting terrifying creatures, a deep religious based mystery, and enough closed quarters moments to leave even the most hardened horror fan frozen in fear, Dead Space could be the elusive thriller that only presents itself every couple of years if we are all lucky.
8. Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain is not one of the more wildly recognized titles out there, but it has one of the best mysteries to ever play out on a console game, as well as having one of the most fascinating character rosters. The story begins with architect Ethan Mars who suffers from chronic blackouts. During one such blackout, he wakes to find his son missing, with police determining that his son has been abducted by someone known only as the Origami Killer. As Ethan races to save his son he is given five tasks to prove his devotion including driving against traffic at high speed for five miles, with each task becoming more deranged and dangerous after that. Ethan is joined in his pursuit by insomniatic photojournalist Madison, while a drug addicted FBI profiler with augmented reality technology, a private investigator, and a past victim’s mother team up to work the case from other angles. The game’s story forces players and viewers to keep guessing all the way until the shocking ending. A film adaption to Heavy Rain could only be compared to the likes of Memento or Gone Girl, and would make for a terrifying noir thriller.
7. Mass Effect
Another sci-fi game that takes place far into the future of mankind, the Mass Effect series takes a far more interesting view on the expansion of our galaxy by creating a diverse and colorful universe of alien life forms that live and rule among humans. Set during the 22nd century, Mass Effect centers on the human known as Commander Shepard, who is on his way to becoming the first human member of the Spectre corps, a group of peacekeeping life forms that protect the Milky Way galaxy. As Shepard rises to prestige within the galaxy, he is met with betrayal from his comrades, the rise of extinct races, and dangerous beings that hide among the galaxies governing body. The game’s superb effects would transition beautifully to the big screen, and Mass Effect would give us another unique vision of the universe that the likes of Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy have showcased exceptionally in the past. It’s also worth noting that Commander Shepard is a completely customizable character in the game, meaning the writers could make Shepard a man or a woman, and create a completely organic character all their own.
6. Tomb Raider
Yes, there are already two films that are based off the Tomb Raider series, and much like the games they are based off of, the films are campy, outlandish, and not as exciting as they sound. With that being said, you could classify those games almost as separate titles compared to the new rebooted Tomb Raider series that premiered in 2013, which would act as the inspiration for a rebooted film series. The new series follows the one and only Lara Croft on her first big expedition to discover a lost kingdom in the Japanese Pacific, accompanied by a celebrity archeologist, a documentary crew, and a score of other partners along for the ride. The adventure takes a dark and violent turn though, when a ship wreck leaves Lara and her team stranded in the Pacific on a hidden island inhabited by a cult of criminals and mercenaries, thus giving the story a dark primal survival element. The new Lara Croft is more than just an explorer, she is a hardened and deadly survivalist, which a film could truly capitalize on, making her a real female action hero, and not just an attractive partner.
5. The Wolf Among Us
Based on the famed Fables graphic novel series penned by Bill Willingham and published by DC’s Dark Horse Comics, The Wolf Among Us is a decision based gameplay scenario that gives everyone’s favorite fairytales a modern twist. Forced to flee their homelands, the fairytales of legend live in New York City in their own secret community, governed by the likes of Ichabod Crane and Snow White, while The Big Bad Wolf “Bigby” acts as sheriff. The story takes a sinister twist when one of their own is found dead while working as an escort, forcing Bigby to investigate some of the more evil characters that have spawned from urban legend. This is not a fairytale for kids though, and the story is more than just a neo-noir thriller, but a thought provoking take on government corruption, and how low some need to go in order to survive. The thrill and suspense of the mystery mixed with the presence of famed storybook characters blend nicely into an enjoyable adult fairytale that would captivate audiences.
This one has got Guillermo Del Toro’s name written all over it, and you will see why in a minute. Bioshock is another science fiction, but takes place below the surface. Following a man named Jack who becomes the only survivor of a downed passenger plane, he accidentally discovers a transport to the underwater city of Rapture. Jack soon discovers that the sprawling underwater paradise isn’t what it once was though, after witnessing genetically altered creatures roaming the city streets, and learning of a power struggle between two of the cities prominent residents. Jack’s story is a fascinating one as he discovers the shocking secrets that led him to Rapture, while forcing himself to be a beacon of hope for the remaining residents of city. Bioshock is as twisted as it is exhilarating, and honestly there isn’t one comparison to make since the ideas are so unique and defined. Just as it was a revolutionary gaming experience, Bioshock could be a fascinating and never before seen film experience.
Winning multiple Game of the Year Awards, Dishonored is a true adventure that is coated with themes of revenge, redemption, and violence. Set in the fictions industrialized city of Dunwall, Dishonored is the story of one man named Corvo Attano who loses everything after the Empress he swore to protect is assassinated, and her young daughter is kidnapped. Hell bent on saving the princess, and proving his innocence, Corvo sets out on a blood soaked quest through a dying city, aided by a loyalist party and an otherworldly being who grants him supernatural powers. Corvo Atano is possibly one of the best anti-heroes in recent memory, and his story has a fascinating balance of bleakness and hope that give him more depth than one would expect. Throughout the list we have managed to avoid fantasy casting, but it should be said that Keanu Reeves would be the perfect match for the lead role. Not only does he look the part, but he has proved time and again he can look like the average everyman, while still honing a secret set of deadly skills. Just think John Wick, but in that mask and with a sword.
2. Red Dead Redemption
The western genre may have been dead for a while, but with the genre making a comeback in recent years with big budget adaptions of 3:10 to Yuma and True Grit, as well as Tarantino’s explosive Django Unchained and The Hateful 8, it’s hard to believe that no one has looked to Rockstar’s open world western adventure Red Dead Redemption for an adaption. Also seeing both critical and financial success, Red Dead Redemption tells the gritty tale of John Marston, an ex-outlaw whose family is taken hostage by government agents. If he wants to see them alive again, then he must once again pick up his six shooter and search the dying west for his old gang, and the men he once called friends. With the exception of the number one entry on the list, Red Dead Redemption could go as far being an award nominee, with its fascinating ensemble of characters and dramatic blood soaked story. Brining Red Dead Redemption to its full big screen potential would be quite a task, but if handled correctly, then it would be a riveting western that would attract fans for miles. Not to mention the field day any director would have casting plenty of big name actors as all the brilliant characters that John Marston encounters on his journey.
1. The Last of Us
Many people might say that video games simply cannot capture the true essence and beauty of films, but then again they probably have never had the pleasure of playing The Last of Us. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a disease has turned most of humanity into zombie-like cannibalistic creatures, a smuggler named Joel is tasked with the job of safely smuggling an orphaned girl by the name of Ellie out of the quarantine zone in Boston, and taking her cross country to Salt Lake City. The girl’s importance is unknown to Joel, but he accepts all the same, and the two form an unlikely friendship as they travel through a dead America and facing the dangerous and degraded society that has risen from the ashes of the plague. Never has a game projected such humility into its characters, and transitioned to film, The Last of Us would still be nothing less than damn near perfect. The Last of Us fits the horror genre at times, while being heart wrenching at others, but in the end it is simply the story of two survivors, who are haunted by their past and unsure about their futures. The Last of Us is a classic game, and has great potential for being a classic film as well.