If I said ‘licensed property’ and ‘video game’ in the same sentence, you’d probably get horrible visions of poorly put-together, rushed adaptations with little love for the source material.
And that’s usually the case, but every so often, we are treated to a gem or two. Or three. Or five. While they don’t rival the likes of Uncharted, Mass Effect, Fallout, Ratchet & Clank and Call of Duty, these video games, based on movies, are respectable efforts that stand out in a generally widespread pool of mediocrity.
So, strap on your wizarding robes and grab your assault rifle as we run down five of the very best video games based on movies! Or, you know, just read it normally. Whatever floats your boat.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Everyone wants to be a wizard. Sadly, as my parents told me when I was a child, Hogwarts, and all associated characters, do not exist.
Well, screw you, adults! You can’t tell me what I can and can’t believe. And if there’s one thing that this movie to game adaptation did successfully, it’s that it made you buy into this Harry Potter world. Video games based on movies aren’t usually faithful to the source material, but here, the representation of the wizarding world is spot on.
You can attend Potions class and cook up some medical delights, or hop on your broomstick for a spot of Quidditch. Pretty much all of the Harry Potter games nailed the atmosphere and aesthetic, and this is no different. You’ll really feel like a part of the school, interacting with other students, attending class and enjoying various teenage hi-jinks.
What’s truly exciting here, however, is the fully-realized castle grounds and interior. A trend that started with The Order of the Phoenix, it was nailed by The Half-Blood Prince and allowed the player to explore Hogwarts to their hearts content.
It was a shame that later entries in the Harry Potter video game series moved more towards the stereotypical third-person shooter formula, because The Half-Blood Prince was a truly great adventure game. One can only hope that Warner Bros. returns to this style if they ever decide to adapt the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them; and let’s face it, they like money – so they probably will.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
Though it was The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers that laid the foundations for the next video game to build upon, The Return Of The King perfected those foundations to a tee. A hack and slash adventure at its core, The Return Of The King also featured a number of puzzle and platforming elements that felt super enjoyable to play.
You could assume the role of Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the rest of the gang – the game also supported co-op, so you could invite a friend along to enjoy the destruction. It followed the storyline of the movie, and in that, it was restricted somewhat. The video game lacked a natural flow, bound by the constraints of the film when in reality, a fresh story would’ve worked better.
That being said, who doesn’t want to stab Orcs in the face with a wide variety of pointy sticks. People who loved the films will absolutely adore this movie to game adaptation, but if your Lord of the Rings knowledge begins and ends with ‘hobbit’, I’d give it a miss.
Though not specifically based on the story of a particular Alien movie, Alien Isolation takes aspects of the Alien franchise and morphs them into an enjoyable horror experience. Isolation tells the previously untold story of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, as she explores the abandoned Sevastopol space station.
Though critically lambasted for its excessive length, Alien Isolation packed one hell of an atmosphere. The player, constantly stalked by a bloodthirsty Alien, must fight their way through creepy robots, air vents and dodgy space doors in a frantic attempt to discover what happened to those on board. Or rather, those who were on board before being murdered.
As movie to game adaptations go, Alien Isolation was onto a winner. It took the best parts of the films – the horror, the atmosphere, the Alien – and chucked them in a blender to produce a genuinely engaging, scary time in front of the TV or monitor.