Last month, we had a Roundtable about movies that would be inappropriate to convert to 3D. This week, we bring you a similar topic. As much as the videogame industry loves to license movie titles for the easy brand name recognition, some movies should really never, ever be turned into tie-in games. Here are some of the worst ideas we could imagine.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
How about a first-person shooter based on ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’? You are Jean-Dominique Bauby. Press X to… Wait, never mind, that wouldn’t work. Instead, you press A to… Well, I guess jumping’s not an option. Or shooting. Or running. Or walking. Or looking around. Oooh! I’ve got it. Press the left trigger to blink your left eyelid. Now that I have the controls worked out, I just have to figure out how to shoehorn mecha-dragons into the story. Wow, I’m a terrible person.
Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)
- ‘Schindler’s List Prisoner Pick-Off’ – Shoot as many stray concentration camp prisoners as you can from your window using a sniper rifle. Bonus points for children and old gypsies.
- ‘Contagion Bug Escape’ – Play as the virus to see if you can avoid extermination. Travel the world and destroy humanity.
- ‘Shakespeare in Love Monologue Memorization’ – It’s fun for kids!
- ‘The Hobbit’s Pocket Handkerchief Picker’ – Help Bilbo sort through and select the perfect pocket handkerchief to take on his adventure. Then spend another hour deciding what to pack, only to leave the pocket handkerchief behind.
‘The Sims: Schindler’s List Expansion Pack’. This new game from EA will have you construct replicas of the camps and ghettos from the World War II era. You’ll be in charge of feeding, working and murdering people to reach quotas and earn money, to which you can purchase new ways to exterminate your populations. You can build new rail cars to bring new prisoners in.
Then, you’ll reach a point where you inherit the Oskar Schindler character and will be able to set up escape passages to his camps and provide the survivors with food and better shelter. Once enough survivors have moved over to Schindler’s safe base, you can purchase weapons to take out the Nazi regimen.
***Bonus Downloadable Content***
Once downloaded, you can spend your in-game money to summon the deceased victims into zombies and send them on attacks to the neighboring Nazi controlled areas and towns.
I don’t believe the implication that, while films can focus on difficult subject matter, videogames should stick to Michael Bay territory. Nevertheless, games that glorify tragic events in a reprehensible manner appear with regularity, only to be publicized instantly by the blogosphere. For what I hope is a hypothetical example, just consider ‘And the Band Played On.’ While the content could be used to make a game that poignantly relates events as the book and movie did (but interactively,) it could also be tastelessly gamified. The player could be put in a position to forcefully ignore the spreading epidemic and deny funds for research. The interactivity would (I suppose) make the game even more inappropriate than a film set along the same lines.
There are two types of videogames that I abhor: sports games and movie-based games. The combination of the two would just be awful. So, how about a ‘Life of Pi’ game where you have to stay alive on a boat with a tiger? There’s no end to the game; instead, a timer keeps track of how long you’ve stayed alive. Like ‘Robot Unicorn Attack’, you have to keep it going as long as you can, warding off the tiger, fishing for food, surviving gorgeous hallucinations, and staying dry during huge storms. Two months after the game is released, an expansion pack will come out with the [SPOILER ALERT] alternate version of the story [END SPOILER]. As much as I love the film, this would be the worst game ever.
I have many bad ideas along these lines, most of which involve games based on movies based on real events. For example:
- A ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ FPS. Frankly, I’m surprised this hasn’t already been made. This can spawn a whole franchise. ‘ZDT’ will be the next ‘Call of Duty’, complete with spin-offs set in past wars or the near future.
- A ‘127 Hours’ survival horror title – Fight off rattlesnakes, insects and buzzards with your one good arm while trying to saw off your other! A downloadable expansion pack adds zombies, because of course it does.
- A ‘Black Hawk Down’ castle defense game – Protect your crashed helicopter from wave after wave of attacking Somali militants (and zombies… because, again, of course). Play it on your iPhone!
- A ‘United 93’ flight simulator. (Commence groaning now.)
Were these too tasteless, or just tasteless enough? Give us your worst ideas in the Comments.