For gamers there are few things that can induce a simultaneous feeling of both hope and dread quite like hearing that the latest blockbuster film is going to get a video game tie-in. On the one hand we always hope that the developers will get it right and capture the magic of the big screen, but as experience has taught us the end result is just as likely to be a massive let down. Invariably for every Goldeneye we get an E.T., the latter of which now being legendary for being so bad all unsold copies were literally buried; and even more often we are given a game so mediocre that it’ll find itself back in the pre-owned section before a second playthrough. This is often down to the speed in which the games are produced, with designers often pressured to get their project released at the same time as the film it’s based on.
There has been talk of a remake for this gem of 1970’s cinema for years now, but what better way to reintroduce it to the public than with a game? With a wide range of stylish locations to play with, from a seemingly perfect utopia to a ruined and desolate Washington DC, it would certainly provide the opportunity for some truly beautiful level design.
As the eponymous Logan, the player could start out as one of the peace keeping ‘Sandmen’, hunting down rogue runners who refuse to die at the age of thirty, before needing to go on the run himself. Perhaps in this scenario something along the lines of free-run gameplay with a focus on survival in the different environments presented to the gamer would make for a suitable challenge, while a radial dialogue wheel could help decide whether other characters choose to either assist or hinder you. In the film Logan must contend with fact that he is not particularly trusted by either his own Sandmen or by the underground runners so this in itself could play a key part of the story. On encountering a runner would the gamer choose to turn them in to save Logan, or give aid and risk bringing the wrath of the Sandmen upon him? This might be end up being a similar dynamic as the Mass Effect trilogy, but rather than just having a system that measures the moral compass of the character, the developers could make the game truly about every single conversation having an impact on Logan’s journey, rather than just a few key characters that he comes across. Perhaps it is old hat now, but I still see it as notion that needs perfecting.
We’ve all seen the memes by now but let’s recap: Bryan Mills is a man with a very particular set of skills which he tends to employ on people who have royally ticked him off. This is done by tracking them down like a blood-hound, followed by ample amounts of torture, brutal beatings and eventual death.
In a game the visceral nature of the fights Bryan finds himself in would be the key thing to get across. He’s in a city with no back-up and no resources other than his own two hands and whatever weapons he can steal off his enemies with extremely limited ammo. It would certainly be an opportunity to see some ultra-real combat and stealth gameplay as the player is forced to think of environments in a none traditional way, where everything can be a weapon for both you and the bad guys. Couple this with a free-roam map like the film’s location of Paris to give the player a true feeling of finding a needle in a haystack as Bryan struggles to find his daughter and you end up with what could possibly be a thriller of a game. The only thing that really should be insisted upon is to ask Liam Neeson to share his gritty voice with the world once more. It simply would not be as fun without hearing his voice asking the questions in an interrogation scene in an effort to find out the next little piece in the puzzle and leaving it up to the player how far to take it.
I have to confess that I am a bit of a fan of Rockstar North's L.A. Noire. It can be a little tedious at times and it does have plenty of flaws but all in all I do love it. The music and the style are just perfect to make you fully believe you’re back in the 1940’s. The one big thing it does lack though is a certain level of comedy. Grilling perps until they give up the dirt might be pretty cool by itself but it can get a little dry after a while. So what better way to lift the gamer’s spirits then by making the suspects cartoons?
Pretty much all the gameplay from L.A. Noire could be brought over to a Roger Rabbit game, from the clue finding to the detailed interrogations. The difference would lie in the cases to be solved. The player can be put in the shoes of Eddie Valiant as he contends with other cases from his career. As a fair example, perhaps you could be a part of the story that saw Goofy framed as a Russian spy that was briefly glimpsed in a newspaper article on the desk of Eddie’s brother. You get hired by Goofy to track down the real culprits, interrogating Pluto which then leads you to, Pluto’s agent who puts you in touch with Snow White, and that’s why you realise it was actually one of the seven dwarves!
Well OK. Chances are you’d never get Disney and Warner Bros willing to cooperate on anything ever again but it’s still a fun one to consider. The look would certainly be unique with what I’d imagine could be an interesting mixture of cel shading and more realistic graphics depending on whether you were dealing with a human or a ‘toon. But besides everything else, at the end of the day your gun would be animated and fire Mohawk wielding native Americans, so all other arguments are invalid.
Oh how mind-bending this game would be. Just take what, on the face of it, would be an objective-based shooter and then turn physics on its head. Just like in the film where we saw huge cities literally bending in half, and hallways that began tilting around as characters float in mid-air, so too could you have the player in a world where anything can change at any time. What would make this dynamic even better would be if the player could also make changes that could in turn effect the environment. There wouldn’t even be any purpose for ammo as dream logic dictates that more would just be conjured up. This might seem a little dull at first, but then again it would force game developers to think in a whole new way to challenge gamers. The challenge wouldn’t be in the shooting but in how the player is forced to react as the map changes around them.
Dream physics are one of those things that a lot of games play with for a level or so. These usually present some of the most inspired levels in the game, such as Arkham Asylum’s fear induced Scarecrow segments, but it would be interesting to see a game go all the way with it. It would certainly add a sense of unpredictability, particularly if there was a way to randomise the experience so a level was never quite the same way twice. The challenge biggest challenge to game developers though is how to make a game like that without making the player dizzy.
There was in fact an Avengers game on the horizon when the first film was in production and despite getting cancelled there have been others made since, although these have mainly been more in line with the comic books than with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What The Avengers presents though is an opportunity for the definitive experience in class-based gaming. In the team themselves you already have an assortment of classes such as Iron Man serving as the flying heavy weapons expert, with Hawkeye backing him up as a Sniper. Meanwhile you have the Hulk leaping from across rooftops to brawl with hordes of enemies and Captain America helping defend with his shield. Thor would then be down on the ground using his hammer to beat the enemy down, while Black Widow picked off any stragglers from the shadows. Or any such combination you want to use besides.
The game certainly wouldn’t lack variety, and although I’m pretty sure you’d get arguments over who would play as whom it would still provide a similar kind of experience as Left 4 Dead but on a much grander scale. Destructible level design would be a must and I’m sure objectives could be included that required our heroes to split off from each other and risk being worn down by an oncoming horde of enemies. Smart, tactical thinking would be needed in order to limit the damage caused by the enemy aliens, while players are forced to work together as a team, with none of the Avengers truly able to last all that long on their own.
Remove the constant teen angst and the weird hair styles and you have a good solid game about killing hormonal teenagers. I’m not saying it’s right, but it would be a best seller…