Movie licensed games, we all hate them right? But does that actually have to be the general consensus?
Well, the majority of released titles that coincide with films are notorious for being annoyingly bland and repetitive to downright unfinished.
These sins of gaming are usually the fault of many production cycle hiccups, such as extremely small developing periods, overall lack of enthusiasm by the management team, and the difficult process of stretching out an hour and a half motion picture into a 5hr+ game accompaniment.
Movie games and their painful history
The sad part is that over the enormous span of gaming, the movie game genre has stuck by its barbaric programing roots, refusing to make any change and consistently putting out travesty after travesty right before a movie is to be released.
Hard hitting offenders of this category include a range of well-known bombs like E.T and Top Gun, to more recent turds of the 21st century such as Thor and Charlie’s Angels. A crying shame, many iconic films where tarnished when it came to recreating their stories in video game form due to akward game design, slow pacing, and copy and paste gameplay from more succesful games.
Who buys this stuff?
On an even more depressing subject, the consumers of these crappy games usually stem from unsuspecting parents and other relatives.
While the average gamer knows to stray away from these awful titles, many clueless adults are the primary source of funding the continuity of this mediocrity, as it is a relatively easy money-maker.
What can we do to change this?
The answer is truly varied, from better preparation by the actual film for the game, to even handing some of the projects to respected studios like Rocksteady or Bethesda, it’s obvious multiple areas need improvement.
Some major flaws of even the worst movie games showcase a conveluted control scheme, lame graphics, and an overall experience that would better be served in a theatre instead of a couch and TV.
I simply don’t care about whats going on, the dumb AI and medievel gameplay mechanics make sure of it, these weaknesses will have to be addressed to craft a better film based game.
It has been shown that there can be some stellar games based off of movies, Spiderman 2 rings a bell in that regard. Even dating back to the 90’s, the peak of awful movie tie-ins, there were brilliant games that implimented and even revolutionized many core gameplay features we know and love today.
Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64 for example, provided intricate gunplay elements and style in which no one was suspecting, as well as innovating multiplayer on consoles that we are still enjoying after all these years. Who can forget Aladdin on the 16bit consoles? A title that brought exciting platforming action no matter what system you played it on.
Even recently, we had Xmen Origins:Wolverine, a gruesome extravaganza that actually SURPASSED its movie counterpart. This goes to show that with the correct handling of the material, we could experience some true gems regardless of wheither its a movie tie in or not.
With the right implementation, we can finally welcome the titles accompanying a movie instead of dreading it.