Following on from part 1, here’s a continued look at some of the greatest movie based video games. Feel free to add your own in the comments section at the bottom of the page and let us know what you’d like to see in the next part!
Toy Story Trilogy
From the first Toy Story on the Sega Mega Drive to the third on the current generation, Disney have given fans quality games that manage to capture the magic of their big screen counterparts. Amidst the trilogy were several lesser games such as Toy Story Mania! and Toy Story Racer along with Buzz Lightyear of Star Command based on the Disney animated series. Travellers Tales developed the first two games whilst Avalanche Software were at the helm for the third though it’s certainly no lesser than it’s predecessors. Toy Story 3 brought a co-op element to the series which only elevated the enjoyment and though it was based on the movie it didn’t follow the story as tightly as the others with added side missions, collectables and huge open areas to explore. If you like the movies you should certainly check out the games and despite there being a fourteen year gap between the first game and the latest, there’s still somthing for everybody inside.
Watchmen: The End is Nigh
The End is Nigh served as a prequel to the movie, adding more to the backstory of the two playable characters and was released in the form of two episodes on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade but have since been released together on disc. Players get to choose whether to play as Nite Owl or Rorschach but the game is much more enjoyable when played in co-op mode (though local only). Both characters have unique combat moves, styles and abilities which can be combined really well and you’ll need to do so to conquer the game and access all the secret areas. The cutscenes between missions are done in a comic book style as a nod to the original source material. The game is a third-person beat ’em up with players facing waves of enemies throughout each level which can get rather repetitive but seeing the violent finishing moves and with the ability to play with a friend to stop your brain going numb the game is made much more enjoyable.
The Matrix: Path of Neo
Developed by Shiny Entertainment, Path of Neo is their second game based on the Wachowski Brothers trilogy who also wrote and directed both games. Path of Neo gives fans the chance to play through scenes of the movies with all the abilities you’d expect, though most of the sequences are taken from the first film. The first game, Enter The Matrix, also deserves a mention for being equally as enjoyable to play, though it did not feature the series’ protagonist and only sideline characters were playable with very little relation to the movies. The president of Shine Entertainment Inc, David Perry, stated that Path of Neo was “basically the game that gamers wanted the first time round. The Neo Game!” You won’t find any of the same voices from the trilogy in this game but let’s be honest, we’re only concerned about dodging bullets and jumping off walls in slow motion. Video clips from the trilogy are used in the game as cutscenes which helps to make it feel connected to the movie universe.
The Lion King
Similar to Aladdin and the original Toy Story, The Lion King was available on the Sega Mega Drive and was yet another example of how good Disney were of making, not only great games based on their own movies, but great platformers. If you’ve read our review or played the game for yourself then you’ll know just how frustrating this game can be. It’s very unforgiving and requires perfect precision and timing throughout but if you stick with it and finish it, it all feels worthwhile and rewarding. The level design and animations are simply stunning and you’ll be taken through many different areas all representing parts of the movie and the story follows that of the movie very closely. Like many games of the era it’s not all that long, just ten levels, but with no save points or passwords and a limited number of tries it won’t be as easy as it first seems.
Despite Ubisoft not being able to find a shorter title than ‘Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie’ they did create a great first person shooter that is on alot of great movie adaption lists. All the cast members from the movie reprise their roles for the game giving it a very authentic feel. The story follows the film though in order to extend the gameplay it does take slight detours and expands on certain scenes. The majority of gaming reviews sites rated it highly and the game won three Spike TV awards (best action game, best video game based on a movie and best leading male performer in Jack Black.) Despite the success of the console version the handheld version, particularly the DS and PSP versions, were slated due to the amount of bugs and glitches as well as poor level design and awful enemy AI. Gamespot also gave King Kong the award for most long-winded game title in its Best of 2005 article.
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
From one long game title to another. Escape from Butcher Bay is a first-person action and stealth game released in 2004 and stands as a prequel to the Chronicle of Riddick movie. Vin Diesel once again voices the character for authenticity and was even involved in the development of the game. Generally games based on movies (or vice versa) don’t find great success but in this case the general feeling was that the game was better than the movie which is certainly rare. You know you’re doing something right when the shooting is compared to Far Cry and Half Life with the stealth compared to that of Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid and Thief. Stealth games are popular amongst gamers when done corrctly and critics and gamers alike praised Escape from Butcher Bay for its stealth element and hand-to-hand combat. The game was awarded editors choice by IGN, Gamespot and Gamespy while IGN also placed it 12th on its list of the greatest Xbox games of all time.
Well here it is. More often than not when you mention the best FPS game, movie game or even N64 game then it’s not long till Goldeneye gets thrown out there. At E3 in 1997 there wasn’t much buzz for the game and it generally had low expectations. But. It went on to sell more than eight million units worldwide and proved that you can have a fun FPS game in both single player and multiplayer. Not only was it the features of the game that made it popular but it was also ahead of its time in terms of detail and graphics. For example the glass transparencies, lingering smoke and bullet holes were unlike any other game of the time. On top of which it was also praised for its impressive use of a sniper rifle with zoomable scope making it entertaining to use. 1Up went as far as to say that it “paved the way for games like Call of Duty, Halo and more” with its innovation in every aspect of the game. You’ll have to go a long way to find a “greatest games” list that doesn’t have Goldeneye right up there.
When talking about games based on movies it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of any gamer. There are alot of bad games made simply to capitalise on the success of the movie but rarely one will be released that we can actually bare to finish and enjoy doing so. If you haven’t had an opportunity to play any of these games, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, you’re missing out on a great game.