The One Time I Actually Want A Movie To Video Game Adaption
I’m sure that many of you reading this are probably cringing or wondering whether I was recently struck by lightning. But the real truth of the matter is that ever since Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series of games, I’ve just developed utterly zero tolerance for cheap, cash-in, throw away crap which unfortunately makes up the majority of licensed games. I’m actually at the point where I loathe them.
One of the largest reasons I hate them, aside from the obvious fact that they’re mostly low quality and worthless, is because I know what they really are. Or rather, the Batman games reminded me what they are. Disrespectful (to the source material) and soulless wastes made by development teams who probably don’t want to make the game in the first place and already know they’re shit, and funded by greedy publishers who simply exploit the license to profit off kids, mega fan boys, disturbed individuals, pure suckers, masochists and hopeless optimists. Maybe even the the curious bunch too.
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The most recent of games to fall under this category for me was 007: Legends and Star Trek. But when it comes to good licensed games in recent times, factoring out Batman, I can only think of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and maybe Wanted: Weapons of Fate, although the latter was definitely not worth full price. I also feel The Amazing Spider-Man deserves a fair nod, as it tried, wasn’t cheaply made and attempted to build on from the movie rather than suck the life out of it.
Overall though, it just angers me greatly to see licenses disrespected, misunderstood and exploited, even though this is an ancient practice that is something we live with and hate in silence.
However despite all this, there is one odd exception that has puzzled me, because for the first time in my life I was actually craving a video game adaption. The movie in question is none other than the recent Man of Steel. Strangely though, there isn’t one to be found, if you don’t count that weird iPad creature of a game that is. Perhaps the absence of a Man of Steel game is a hidden blessing or a mercy from the big man upstairs. Or maybe Superman just ain’t that hot in gaming, is he?
Nevertheless, I think back to the Batman games, and I dream of the possibilities surrounding comic book heroes done right in gaming. I think back to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and despite my vast feelings of “meh” in reaction to the move, the game got me grinning with glee and having a surprisingly great time. It wasn’t outstanding or revolutionary quite like Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it was absolutely worth playing and really enjoyable and well made. Play it, if you don’t believe me.
The thing that really irks me though is that with a proper budget and proper effort and actual good developers with a passion and vision for the project, you could really make some kick ass games based on comics or super heroes. Rocksteady’s Batman is a glowing testament to that fact. But the problem is, for greedy publishers who hold the license, it’s just easier to provide minimal budget and effort because those Star Treks and Iron Man 2’s and 007: Legends titles will sell regardless of how much they suck, and are basically just cash cows. It’s hard to be passionate about something so soulless.
But the dreamer in me thinks of a Man of Steel game done right. I know it’s pointless to try and imagine the impossible, but join me in dream land for just a moment. Picture those action scenes from Man of Steel, how damn impressive and awesome they were. Maybe you didn’t like the action, but that’s fine. You’re a potato. Now, picture Battlefield 4’s Frostbite 3 engine demonstration video, and the magnitude of the environmental destruction and visual fidelity.
Now picture punching a Kryptonian through a building and watching it crumble down on top of him or her, as you hover in the air and admire your handy work from a very far distance.
Tell me that’s not an attractive thought? At the very least?
There can’t not be developers out there who are passionate about comic book heroes. Look how they’ve erupted in cinema ever since the original Spider-Man trilogy and Nolan’s Batman trilogy. They’ve practically taken over. The Avengers is currently the third highest grossing movie in the freaking world. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is at number six, and The Dark Knight Rises is at number nine. The Dark Knight is at number sixteen. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. The world at large loves comic book heroes. We as gamers adore comic book heroes.
But gaming is the one place they are very rarely ever done justice.
And after watching Man of Steel, a movie I really loved despite my distaste for Superman, I actually felt a little sad that there couldn’t be a genuinely good Superman game. Maybe not tied in with the movie, or based on it in any way, but a Superman game like Rocksteady’s Batman. Just a project with vision and one where genuine effort and passion went into it. The same goes for all the other heroes and licenses that could potentially get amazing games based off of them.
I didn’t think this day would come, but Batman did forever change how we perceive licensed games and their potential. And this is the first time I wish there was a video game adaption of a movie.