Computer games that get turned into films
Computer games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill get turned into films. Movies like, er, Ice Age and Harry Potter become computer games. It’s a great big franchise love-in. But are they any good?
We’ve all read the books which have then been made into films, and watched the films which we didn’t realise were originally books. Whilst these franchises cross platforms with a reasonable success rate there are others which aren’t so successful.
We are talking about the games and films industries crossing paths in order to make more money on an already triumphant creation.
Almost every child’s movie that has come out in the past 5 years has been transformed into a game, with industry barons knowing full well that every child will want the game that belongs to their new favourite movie. However, these games rarely live up to expectations, after being rushed into productions to meet the deadline of the films release.
There has been the odd success story. Golden Eye on the N64 probably being the most victorious – I’m not sure there was a single N64 owner who did not own this game, as it become one of the most defining 3D shooters. Although it could be said that a James Bond game is aimed at a more mature gaming audience and is pretty much a 1st person shooter without much adaption, apart from a few gadgets…
These games work off brand recognition, relying on famous characters from the original films to draw in the audiences rather then graphics or game play which many games need to perfect in order to win over gamers.
It is not only films which are made into games; it works the other way too. The popular 2D fighting game Street Fighter was made into a film in 1994, with hosted names such as Jean-Claude Van Damme and pop singer Kylie Minogue. However, even with big names such as these, the film did not see the same success as its original game. This was probably at leat partly due to nail-bitingly poor acting – it was dismally poor, even when compared to the normal low standards of Minogue and Van Damme.
Another game which saw a similar success in the film industry was Mortal Kombat – a best-selling fighting game turned film in 1995 with a sequel in 1997, neither of which were memorable.
There is however, the ever-popular Tomb Raider series – games which starred main character Lara Croft, who soon became iconic in the game industry. The first of the Tomb Raider films was released in 2001, starring Angelina Jolie, with the sequel soon following in 2003. Of course, it could never reach the success rates of the original games – but they did put up a good fight.
Another game-come-film is Silent Hill, a survival horror game. The Silent Hill film was produced in 2006, using elements of all four games and paying particular attention to transferring the atmosphere of the game to the big screen. Although geeks will pfft at using gameplay mechanics as movie plot devices (to find a key item, a gamer’s character might look in a hotel mailslot for no particular reason – a film character wouldn’t. The internet owl is tempted to say O RLY), Silent Hill is deservedly now listed in the top 10 video games adaptations on Box Offices Mojo.
Overall, it can be said that most of the adaptations from film to game or visa versa are unsuccessful. Maybe it’s time that the creators had more respect for their original concept and not let it branch into other platforms in order to make more money.
The makers of the Silent Hill movie knew what the gamer fans wanted. They wanted hissing radios. Survival horror. Pyramid head. And, of course, the famous Silent Hill nurses.
Christopher Lambert hams it up something rotten as Lord Rayden in Mortal Kombat
Lara Croft didn’t do badly in the box office, in the end.