Video games made from movies don’t have to suck. In fact, some games can even go on to greater success than the films that spawned them. Following on from the ‘six of the worst’ movie/game crossovers, here’s eight of the greatest.
8. Alien: Isolation (Xbox, Playstation, PC)
If we’re all being honest, the first two Alien films are awesome, the third is so-so and the fourth doesn’t even qualify as a movie – butAlien: Isolation does the franchise so much justice. Every minute detail included in the game, from background clutter to the fashion style to interactive technology, feels like your shitting-your-pants in the Alien movies.
The AI is unscripted, making the Alien unpredictable and nigh on impossible to judge its movements and behaviour, making it one of the most tense experiences in modern gaming. The only downside is that the length of the game is pretty harsh, so it feels like you are really in it for the long haul when you play. Also, the voice acting feels somewhat stagnant.
7. Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox, Playstation, PC)
This is hands down the best Star Wars game ever made, and that is a scientific fact. The ability to finally pilot an X-wing or an AT-AT or a Speeder Bike was a huge plus, and it pretty much single-handedly made a generation of kid’s dreams come true.
The campaign successfully combined its own shooter genre with elements of a turn-based strategy – as opposed to a linear story – that made players feel like they were in control of the destiny of the galaxy. Even the attention to detail on every level design, sound effect and each playable character is outstanding. The addition of space battles was something of an improvement on the original Battlefront, and showed that a developer can take a winning formula and expand on it without compromising anything. It’s amazing to know that Pandemic Studios were actually closed down not long after.
6. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Xbox, Playstation)
Creator and actor Dan Aykroyd has considered this game to be the third movie in the franchise, set two years after the events of Ghostbusters II.
What’s interesting, is that it pits the player in the role of the team’s newest recruit – creating the interesting dynamic of seeing the Ghostbusters’ world from the outside in. You’re essentially still an audience member watching a Ghostbuster movie, but you have a stake in how it plays out.
To back it up, it has the majority of the original cast including the Ghostbusters themselves as well as a few supporting characters and villains, the original soundtrack, sets from the first two movies and (of course) classic Bill Murray quips.
It plays like a basic third-person shooter but ships with tonnes of character to make it stand out. That, and it’s super satisfying to capture a ghost.
5. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (Xbox, Playstation, PC)
Combining this classic with a construction/management-esque game was a no-brainer. There could’ve been any number of Jurassic Park games in this spot but Genesis lets you build your own fucking zoo with fucking dinosaurs! What more do you want?
The aim is to turn John Hammond’s dream into a reality – creating a safe, secure, successful 5-star attraction for all to enjoy. It handles as well as Sim City or any Tycoon game but with a couple of key features. First off, acquiring the dinosaurs. You have to extract DNA from amber fossils found at several dig sites around the world, just like in the movie.
You have to keep all your dinosaurs happy to keep them from rampaging, as well as having to endure the occasional natural disaster, incurring penalties for visitor fatalities, all while maintaining a tidy profit margin for your park.
4. Blade Runner (PC)
Most would consider this one a hidden gem. It’s a standard point-and-click action game from a third-person perspective with themes of puzzle-solving and investigation in the same vein as L.A. Noire.
You assume the role of Blade Runner Ray McCoy tasked with hunting down a group of replicants. While you might not get to play as Deckard, you can visit several familiar locales, interact with or interrogate characters – some with the original actors reprising their roles – and become part of an engrossing story running parallel to the movie itself.
3. Spider-man 2 (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC)
Before the trilogy took an emo-fringed, Saturday Night Fever strut into the shitter, there came this little beaut. You have to take on the villainous Doctor Octopus, the formidable Rhino and the mysterious Quentin Beck whilst forming a shaky alliance with Black Cat.
While the streets of Manhattan appear woefully under-populated compared to later releases, this was the first Spidey game to utilise an open sandbox world. There are also side quests and random encounters to face, such as stopping a getaway car or the infamous balloon kid to earn extra experience points. Experience points can be traded in for more advanced abilities that are unlocked after each chapter of the story, and give you a greater advantage as you progress.
2. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)
Just like the trilogy, the game is a modern classic in its own right. A linear, hack and slash adventure taking parts either directly from the first two films – or borrowing elements – to create their own scenarios to lengthen game time and engross the player.
Although each of the three playable characters has their own unique weapons, fighting styles, strengths and weaknesses, they all belong to the same combat system – i.e. weak attack, strong attack, block etc.
The game also includes a ratings system based on the player’s ability to string combos together, and rewards players more adept at dispatching foes with experience.
Of course, the most appealing factor of this game was the chance to live some of the iconic battles you witnessed on the big screen such as the Battle of Helms Deep or the chase at Amon-Hen, with each level brimming with character, it would take multiple playthroughs to truly appreciate.
1. GoldenEye 007 (N64)
Ok, hands up if you didn’t see this making the list. This classic has been included for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the badass multiplayer mode. Before GoldenEye, first-person shooters were confined almost exclusively to the PC, but thanks to both critical and commercial success, the game opened the market to a much larger demographic – console gamers.
While it may not have aged well, there’s no denying that first-person shooters were changed forever as a result of this game, due largely to its multiplayer mode. Building on the foundation set by DOOM four years prior, it introduced realistic environments, unique game modes and an advanced aiming system. Weird to think it was only added to the game as an “afterthought”.
The single player story mixes action with elements of stealth, while punishing you for trying to “John Wayne it”, guns blazing. It also offers a huge sense of replayability, with objectives of each of the 18 missions altering based on which of the 3 difficulty settings you chose. The story of the game remains faithful to the events of the movie too, often mirroring whole scenes and allowing you to interact with characters from one of the strongest instalments in the Bond franchise.