Every year, we see countless games with gripping narratives and relatable characters usually go unnoticed by movie production companies simply because they don’t fall under the banner of the EAs, Ubisofts or Capcoms or any other publisher with pockets deep enough to work out complex movie licensing deals with film studios.
Here’s our picks for some unlikely candidates that would still make for interesting movies not just because they’re already established stories, but rather due to their originality in concepts or writing.
THE STANLEY PARABLE
This was the darling on the indie scene in 2013. The story follows the life of Stanley or employee 427 (the player) who is an average Stan, doing his nine-to-fiver obediently, indifferent about everything except his computer and the orders he gets. That all changes when one day all his colleagues disappear mysteriously and he is left all alone in the office with no one except an omnipotent narrator.
The narrator asks the player to explore as he says, talks to him and if he disobeys the narrator even mocks him wittily. While the game may seem a little dreary initially, it slowly spirals deeper into madness right down to the point where you begin to question whether you’re even playing a video game anymore.
Why It Would Work
Imagine a scenario not too different from Will Ferrell’s Stranger Than Fiction, but a lot crazier (rather than the safe, confined nature of this movie) in terms of writing. A completely self-aware, fourth-wall breaking movie that has the balls to mess with the audience and the protagonist at the same time for an hour or so. Someone make it happen.
KENTUCKY ROUTE ZERO
Mystery, thrill finds a delivery man named Conway taking the surreptitious Route Zero to deliver a peculiar antique to its intended destination. Kentucky Route Zero is an episodic adventure game that brings the best out of the genre with an original visual tone and approach to story.
Kentucky Route Zero brings back the sense of wonder by narrating a ghost story with moody eeriness and a sense of wonder that I figured was lost in video games. The game is set up in scenes and acts in an episodic format. There are dialogue choices but they don’t matter in a traditional way. Every line exposes the plot in some manner. The writing isn’t as important as playing and exploring the game world itself, as that’s what Kentucky Route Zero is mostly about.
Why It Would Work
To me, the best part of the film adaptation of I Am Legend was the first act where we get introduced to the world, the protagonist and what has become of the environment via one of the best executions of the “Show, don’t tell” approach to film making and storytelling. That feeling of wonder and emptiness is something that, if applied to the entirety of the movie, would be perfect when adapting something like Kentucky Route Zero.
THIS WAR OF MINE
This War isn’t so much about warring as it is about surviving. The game is about the people on the other side of the wall: those common people who are affected by the war and how they endure and mange to live through it. This is such a good concept to make a game at. With all the lavish budgets the big game developers have, none of them could bring such an artfully creative message that this game conveys.
The player has to manage his group of survivors and makes you live through the horrors of war and pushes you both emotionally and engagingly. We’ve had more than enough movies about dudes killing other dudes… I think it is about time we got a video game movie which is about people just trying to survive.
This is probably one of the most soothing games I’ve ever played. Never Alone follows the tale of a young Iñupiat girl Nuna and her Arctic fox buddy who go on a grueling journey to find the origins of a powerful storm. It explores the native Alaskan culture and explores how people in those regions live under extreme conditions.
What It Should Work
The game oozes with charm and never fails to keep things interesting throughout the playtime. Give this one the Hayao Miyazaki treatment. This needs to happen!
This game is about grotesquely violent fast action sequences, thumping music and addictive gameplay. But this is not it. But the violence is only the icing on the cake in what is a strong story-driven venture into a prolonged psychotic burst of rage.
Why It Should Work
It would be nice to see what kind of movie can be pulled off with a premise like this.
I sincerely hope these games get movie adaptations. If Doom and Lara Croft can have crappy movie adaptations then how bad would the adaptations of these games be in worst case scenarios? Production companies seriously need to look into these and other such games for ideas and next box office hits!
So that covers our list. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!
Do let us know which games you would like to see have movie adaptations.