Video games based on movies suck

Fantastic 4 - Rise of the Silver Surfer

Image by Brajeshwar via Flickr

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it seems most video games based on movies turn out completely awful. I recently played the latest movie tie-in Thor, made by SEGA, and to no surprise it was terrible. It just outrages me that the prices for these games are so high, ranging from 40-50 pounds, yet game developers feel they can make a rushed game, knowing the drive of the movie will sell it anyway.

Take for instance the game I mentioned, Thor. With a license with so much potential you’d expect the developers to at least give you some feeling that you are actually playing as a Norse hammer-wielding god. Instead you find you’re just playing a terribly generic button mashing glitch fest. Here are some obvious reasons why movie video games suck:

Rushed production: Movie games have to ship in time for the films release to generate sales, therefore production is often rushed causing movie games to be full of glitches , un-imaginative, and un-polished. Why don’t developers being production on these games earlier? Surely if they didn’t worry about copying the films plot they could generate a unique story that actually makes sense. Too many move games either contain a boring re-hash of the films plot, or an un-imaginative rushed storyline. The games are just products to further hype the movie, therefore developers can put little effort in and get away with it.

Un-original: Due to the rushed production of movie video games, they tend to suffer from copying the core gameplay from other successful games. This wouldn’t be a problem if the developers could do it well, instead the movie games seem to use another games idea, but still make it terrible. For instance SEGA’S, Thor was a rubbish attempt at imitating Sony’s successful God of War series, where as their Captain America video game almost looks like a complete rehash of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum. Another mention could be how Atari’s Enter the Matrix turned out to be a clone of Max Payne‘s video games.

Terrible voice acting: In order to push game sales, developers often use the voices from actors in the movie. Whilst this may provide a good taste of the movie to some, just because the actors were good in the movie, doesn’t mean they will be good in a game. Take for instance the Playstation 2 tie in to X-Men2, Wolverine’s Revenge. Rather than have Hugh Jackman reprise his role as Logan, the developers chose to hire former Luke Skywalker Mark Hamil. Hamil is widely known for his incredible voice acting, and the decision to have him paid off massively as he gave a unique performance that jumped right out the comics.

There are always some exceptions. Last years Toy Story 3 was a pretty solid experience where as the tie in to X-Men Origins: Wolverineended up being better than the movie itself! Developers should look at these games and see how much time and effort was spent into making an actual enjoyable experience. After playing Thor, it’ll be a long time until I play a movie video game again. If only everyone else boycotted these games and developers might actually take notice for once.

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