It cannot be denied that the worlds of cinema and gaming are intrinsically linked; both immersive forms of entertainment, these genres collide on a regular basis. Indeed, the Android and Apple app stores are filled with games inspired by movies, and games that have, in turned, inspired cinematic history – and the shelves of gaming retailers are no different. Whenever a film is released there’s usually a game waiting to replicate its experiences and action for the delectation of a paying audience. Whenever a game is developed, there’s a movie to be made about the hidden narrative gamers were never privy to. So, what is it about movie tie-in games that players love so much?
For starters, these titles appeal to both gamers and movie buffs; they endure because there’s always someone to play them. What’s more, with their subtle nods and in-jokes, these games will always feel familiar. Players seek them out like a comfort blanket, already understanding their narratives, characters, and the potential outcomes of certain moves. They have a habit of keeping the movies upon which they’re based relevant, and introducing such cinematic offerings to an entirely new legion of fans. Sure, there have been flops (Star Trek: The Game, here’s looking at you) and accusations of studios cashing in, but the beauty of movie tie-in games is that they’ll always find an audience; scores of moviegoers keen to recapture that cinematic magic if only for a few disappointing hours.
That’s not to say that all tie-in games are terrible. In fact, some of the very best video and online games have been inspired by movies. Here are just four of the movie tie-in games that avid gamers and film fanatics should be glancing over in their quest to be entertained…
Dune II, PC
Based on David Lynch’s 1984 film, which was itself an adaptation of a science fiction novel by Frank Herbert; Dune II has an important legacy to uphold. An insanely addictive and ground-breaking offering, Dune II is often credited as being the very first real-time successful strategy game; it was the title that spawned a legion of games still enjoyed today, including StarCraft and Command and Conquer. A simple enough premise, which saw players build and command armies in a bid to conquer the desert land of Arrakis, Dune II won the hearts of gamers in its own right. Indeed, many people prefer the game to the oft-rambling film upon which it’s based.
The Big Lebowski, 888casino
Amongst its other popular slot games, 888casino has The Big Lebowski – something of a cult favourite. A fantastic game of slots with a progressive jackpot, The Big Lebowski benefits from several nods to the classic indie film, including its theme of ten-pin bowling, the appearance of numerous characters and quotes, and the presence of The Dude himself. Those familiar with the film will enjoy the laidback style of this slots offering. Well, it is The Dude, after all. Those unfamiliar with The Big Lebowski will remain entertained – and perhaps far better off for their flutter.
GoldenEye 007, N64
Released in 1997 GoldenEye 007 remains one of the best first person shooter games ever to have existed; the mere mention of its name is enough to inspire any gamer to dig out their old n64 console and prepare to play – although not as Oddjob, you understand… Mixing stealth, strategy, and more than a couple of explosions, GoldenEye 007 was everything that gamers wanted from a Bond spin-off. Anybody could be a successful spy during a game. What’s more, the multiplayer mode, which featured up to four players in a battle of wits and weapons, was as much fun as you could have with a controller.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, PS3/Xbox 360
Action-packed from the get-go, the X-Men franchise was ripe for the game treatment, and there have been numerous offerings that haven’t disappointed in terms of movie tie-in titles. This 2009 game, which boasted cool graphics, epic fight scenes, and the voice talents of Will.i.am (a plus or a minus, depending upon the player), was almost better than the film managed to be; there was a side to comic book Wolverine that the franchise was never able to portray, and it’s featured in the game in stunning, rage-bar glory. The game has plenty of replay value, with upgrades, characters, and costumes that can be unlocked and revealed along the way.
This is but a brief list; there are, of course, numerous other movie tie-in games that weren’t half bad – as well as those that should, by rights, sink without a trace, never to be seen again. The beauty of such games is that they never grow old, regardless of how much time has lapsed between the original silver screen offering and the moment in which the game is being played. Movies and games, however they’re enjoyed, will always have the power to entertain – a timeless double act that gamers and film fanatics alike are satisfied to hold onto for all eternity.