Experience Points | Game-To-Film Adaption

I’m not a huge fan of game-to-movie adaptations. I find it a pointless exercise, and would probably go so far to say the film department is almost stealing the idea from the game department because they have no other ideas. We all know that’s not true though because the creators of the games would have had to have granted permission for a film to be created in the first place.

And it’s the news of Tim Miller, the director behind the Deadpool movie, being confirmed to be moving over to direct a Sonic movie has got me scratching my head; questions like ‘Will he have a load of F-Bombs?’, ‘Will Sonic go down the Michael Bay route and look creepily realistic?’ and ‘Why does Sonic need to have a film?’ are the first of many questions that ended up springing to mind.

Sonic The Hedgehog by DIC Entertainment, and Sega of America

Way back years ago in 1993, Sonic had his own cartoon TV show, and it was actually rather good. I used to enjoy it enough to have owned it on VHS. Remember those!? Back then people in the industry seemed to keep things simple, and yes I know, it would have been harder for them back then to make films to the scale they do these days, but they didn’t go out of their way.

Sonic was a game with a cartoon theme, the cartoon TV series stuck with that theme and had some good, entertaining, fun episodes come forth. In that same year, Super Mario Bros had been released and was a live action version of the incredibly popular game of the same name; only it was nothing like the game. Well, except the costumes…sort of. I suppose the story premise too. These days every film or TV company and even AAA gaming developers are trying to use everything they can to make their creation visually impressive, arty as f***, and more than often, due to focusing on making a blockbuster, they will lack the story and even the emotional attachment to certain characters that games bring forward.

Super Mario Bros – Allied Filmmakers, Cinergi Pictures, 1993

The new Assassins Creed trailer is a fine example of this. It has been around as a game since 2007, and has impressed an incredible amount of gamers worldwide. Many independent film makers and YouTubers have recreated free running skits, assassination moves, all with the love they have for the games clearly coming through. The film trailer however falls flat. It doesn’t seem to have captured the true feeling behind Assassins Creed. However it is visual eye-candy, with some fantastic greenscreen scenes, and some impressive CGI, but it feels like they haven’t captured the story as well as the games. That’s just my thoughts from the trailers anyway.

Honestly? I feel like film companies have run out of script ideas. They’ve hit a writers block, and are instead making a film out of a highly popular game because they know it was popular within the gamer social circles, because they know it will make money if advertised right.

I’m really not a fan, and I’ve never enjoyed any film that was originally a game. I guess I prefer feeling like I’m living the story through the character rather than watching it be lived through a camera lens.

What do you think? Are there any game to film adaptions you have enjoyed? Comment below!

Featured Image header – Assassins Creed Movie by Regency Enterprises, Ubisoft, New Regency Pictures
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  1. Kate England-Moore says

    The pull of a game story is the interactive element of playing it out as the protagonist. The divide a film puts between character and consumer means there needs to be more a involved story to create that bond. Unfortunately films ride the coat-tails of the games popularity and fail to add the extra elements which mean the adaptations tend to fall flat.

    On the other hand, I imagine a large amount of backlash would come from hardcore fans of the game if the story changed too much. Bit of a catch-22.

  2. Dann Sullivan says

    I’m entirely with Kate on this one, a game’s appeal comes from it’s interactivity before all else. Games can lack story, they can lack music, they can lack gameplay, they can lack graphics; regardless of all of that they are interactive, you make choices -inputs- and it results in an output.

    In that way, board games and choose-your-own-adventures, and pen and paper RPGs are all games, and card games are too.

    Take away that interactivity and you’re left with a film, or book, or tv show, or song.

    As an avid gaming fan, or all of the mentioned varieties, I think that film will never equal it.

    As for games made into media that I’ve enjoyed? I’ve read a lot of books set in universe which have been very good; Hitman, Dragon Age, Mass Effect ones to name a few – OH, and the Bioshock one was great. I enjoyed the Sonic series when I was a kid, specifically the first one with Scratch & Grounder.

    I’ve heard great things about the Warcraft film; otherwise I’m still waiting.

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