Movie-based Video Games, and Why they have Sucked
by ZackC on August 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT

Video Games that have been based on or related to a movie are never of very high quality. Most of these Video games do not have the quality of other non-movie based games. Therefore, the game feels forced, and too basic. Many of these video games lack a solid story, and thus they feel rushed. Another big problem with movie-based video games is that they do not use, or misuse the source material that the movie is based upon. Overall the video games that come out around the same time as the movies, are usually sub-par.

The quality of this type of video game does not seem up to the same standards as independent video game products. Halo for example, was very unique at the time that it was released, and consequently to win over fans, it had to have a high quality of game play in order to succeed. A movie-based video game on the other hand, does not require such standards; this is because the publisher knows that the game sales rely on the amount of hype the movie that the game is based on acquires. Let us look at the Spider-Man games. When there was no Spider-Man movie coming out, the games where fun and different. However, once a movie was released, the newer games lacked a certain element of creativity. This is also true with the Green Lantern game. Everything in that game was very standard, while giving the player control over the most open-ended superhero. These games are created simply out of a desire for profit.

The next major problem is that the games fail at trying to be like the movie, or they fail to be different from the movie. This is a problem because then the game has no direction. If a game is like the movie, then it can be appreciated for being a lot like the movie. While a game that is nothing like the movie, can be applauded for going a different route. The problem lies when the game attempts to have some tie-ins with the movie while also do its own thing. At this point, the game feels like it is lost, and a lost game is never a good game. If the game would commit to either being completely based off the movie or not, the game can still be good.

The other issue I have with movie-based games is that the games feel thrown together. The same textures are used throughout the games, and there is little variety in gameplay. Many Times these games are hack and slash games, and I would like it to be noted that we have enough hack and slash games, we don’t need more.  With these games, there is so much potential, and the developers don’t do anything with that potential.  (I am looking at you Green Lantern, you have the most open-ended hero in the entire comic book world and you make it a linear beat-um-up game. Shame on you!)

Overall, the games that are based off movies do not have the same standards as other games because they are piggy backing off the hype of the movie. The second problem with movie-based games is that they don’t have a focus. If they simply focused on either being a straight copy of the movie, it can be good. Just as if they used nothing from the movie they can also be good. The final thing that movie-based games do is not reach their potential; they will often reuse game play mechanics and not think outside the box enough.

These games should be fun to play, but often they turn into boring chores. Developers should stick to the movie very closely, or not at all. Above all, developers should also hold movie games to higher standard then what they are held to currently, because everyone expects the games to be bad. How about a good game for once?

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