The Best and Worst Gaming Film Adaptations Image

The Best and Worst Gaming Film Adaptations

By Chris Gore | October 18, 2018

Sometimes just watching a film is not enough to satiate us. When something really affects us, when it hits close to home or inspires us in ways we didn’t expect, we feel the need to keep digging. Sometimes we simply watch these films again, other times we discuss them with friends or, as in this case of this article, we can seek out various gaming adaptations of that which enraptured us so.

So what are the best and worst examples of these adaptations? Which rocked our worlds and which ones left us scratching our heads and wondering why? Let’s take a look.

The Worst

Legend tells of a desert. This desert is not simply paved with sand, but with the discarded carcasses of one of the most maligned video games not just based on films, but of all time. While time has exaggerated the scale of this mass-burial, there is a basis in fact. The desert is in New Mexico, and the game, well that was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Built to capitalize on the film, this video game was – unfortunately – bizarre, ugly, and had the staying power of a balloon in a razorblade-factory explosion.

But what of the more modern examples? Fear not, as Gearbox Software has you covered. You see, games based on Alien properties have already run the gambit, but hope for Aliens: Colonial Marines were unreasonably high. Helped by the hype of frontman Randy Pitchford, this game was ostensibly canonical and made by real fans with a real focus on quality.

As it turns out, not so much. Downgraded, poorly coded, and with some of the most hilariously bugged AI ever seen in an AAA release, Colonial Marines wasn’t just a bad film-game, it was one of the biggest disappointments in gaming history.

The Best

If you owned a Nintendo 64 back in the day, then there were at least three games you couldn’t help but love. The one suited for this list now holds its place as a golden oldy, the much beloved Goldeneye 64, based off of the James Bond film. While not holding up particularly well today due to the often awful frame-rate, at the time the graphics, gameplay, and multiplayer features made this a rare revelation in gaming.

The funny thing here is that the range of amazingly good film properties can in many ways exceed those of the amazingly bad. Even Aliens managed to find an amazing version in Alien: Isolation, and this was only just the start.

Today, these often take the style of smaller mobile phone games, which include the now popular entries into iGaming adaptations. Modern releases like movie related slotmachines, have seen a lot of success through the obvious passion of many developers. Themes aren’t anything new when it comes to online slots, with adventure, mafia and Halloween themes just a few of the available examples. However, we’ve seen an increasing trend of official, licensed movie-related titles, as well as unofficial spin-offs that pay tribute to films we love. It makes sense in a lot of ways, as combining two popular halves into a complete whole, if performed with attention and actual care, means that a positive outcome is that much more likely.

Rolling the Dice for the Future

When it comes to quality with video game adaptations of films, there really is no discernable pattern, even with decades of examples. One day you might get a genre-defining entry which pushes the field in new and exciting directions, while other times you’ll end up with a product which carries less capacity for enjoyment than a wet paper towel. Remember to rent and read reviews when it comes to games, as the time and monetary investment often exceeds that of the traditional film industry. Take it from somebody whose uncle still hasn’t forgiven Atari for E.T – sometimes caution is best.

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