5 Games That Shouldn't Be Adapted Into Movies

Updated on June 9, 2018
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Geek, gamer, writer, graphic artist. Yong’s favourite movies and games are those that allow him to enjoy the world from his bedroom.

As much as I long for some video game franchises to have movie adaptations, there are also some games that make me say "Don’t even think about it!" Here are five games which I think would fare terribly, to say the least, if made into movies.

1. Castlevania

The eternal struggle of the Belmonts against Dracula is best experienced as a game. Not a movie.
The eternal struggle of the Belmonts against Dracula is best experienced as a game. Not a movie.

Castlevania is my favourite action game series, and so like other fans, I celebrated the recent announcement of a series being produced for Netflix. Deep down, though, a frightful chill still gripped my fanboy heart. How well would this adaptation turn out to be? Would the flexibility provided by separate episodes and seasons successfully flesh out what is in reality, a threadbare story?

Because let’s face it, Castlevania is an action-based, stage-by-stage game. Even the Metrovania episodes do not deviate from this formula, and gamers play Castlevania not for the story, but for the thrill of powering up and bashing through a gothic castle. How well this is going to work as a movie is obvious for all to see. Besides, do we really want another movie with the protagonist going from zero to hero in half an hour, then spend the remainder of the show effortlessly destroying over-powered enemies every fifteen minutes? That sounds stupid even in writing. How awful it would be if stretched into a two hour feature.

2. Call of Duty

For the moment, I think there's more than enough CoD-ish movies.
For the moment, I think there's more than enough CoD-ish movies.

To be honest, I haven’t played that many Call of Duty (CoD) games. But whatever I did try impressed me. Unlike what one might expect of such games, the CoD games typically comes with gripping, reasonable storytelling. As well as truly memorable action.

Which makes the series ideal for movie adaptation. In fact, Activision Blizzard already announced in 2015 that they are working towards a live-action feature in 2018 or 2019. Now, I don’t think this feature would be a disaster. I’m just convinced it would be vapid. Do we not already have too many movies with the same sort of story, running the entire spectrum from the ludicrous to the heart-wrenching? Do we really need another movie about a single or a group of invincible soldiers, breezing through and gunning down world-threatening threats without suffering a scratch? I don’t know about you, but for the moment, this genre feels terribly tired to me. In my opinion, to have the CoD series made into such a movie would be a real stain on its legacy.

3. Candy Crush

Oh gosh. With there already an Angry Birds movie adaptation, a Candy Crush one is likely on the way.
Oh gosh. With there already an Angry Birds movie adaptation, a Candy Crush one is likely on the way.

If you aren’t aware, there is already a Candy Crush: The Movie available on YouTube. This isn’t a real movie, though. Just a hilarious sketch featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

If you enjoyed it, as I did, great. But please let it stay as that. Don’t start wishing for a full-length feature! I mean, do you really want to see real humans dressed ridiculously, prancing and moping around for two hours on a cinema screen? Not even toddlers would survive that! Consider too that funny as the Late Show segment was, its humour relied entirely on references to the game. Such humour tire quickly, not to mention it is also entirely baffling to non-players. Actually, my grin started to strain midway. If I had to watch it for two hours, I'd likely end up in tears.

4. Saints Row

Silliness is enjoyable when you're playing it. Not when you're watching it.
Silliness is enjoyable when you're playing it. Not when you're watching it.

The idea for a Saints Row movie was tossed about for a while before it was abruptly abandoned, thanks to (then) series producer THQ going bankrupt. German publisher Deep Silver has since taken over the franchise. I’m keeping fingers crossed that no one considers reviving these movie adaptation discussions.

Why? Because a Saints Row live-action movie would be nothing short of disastrous. Just how should the tone of the movie be? Action-packed and intense? Which would then upset fans who love the series for its over-the-top comedy. Raw and outrageous as the games were? Which would then bewilder, or worse, offend non-players. The way it seems to me, there’s just no way to get the correct balance because the absurdity of Saints Row is only enjoyable when paired with gaming interactivity. Think about it, do you really want to see a guy with a snazzy coiffure gun down a hundred assailants, then survive a 30-floor jump, then transform into a god? No. No way. Unless you’re playing that guy in a game.

5. Grand Theft Auto

Bluntly put, I think it's impossible to capture in a movie the elements that make Grand Theft Auto so popular.
Bluntly put, I think it's impossible to capture in a movie the elements that make Grand Theft Auto so popular.

Rockstar Games’ all-time bestseller has all that’s needed for a quick movie adaptation. Meticulously designed cities, memorable characters, matured storylines, etc. Should there really be a movie, I confess I would hit the cinema within days of the release. It would be such a thrill to see how San Andreas, Liberty City, and the various protagonists look like in real-life.

That said, I’m also quite sure the movie will disappoint.

How to explain this? GTA thrives on the same elements that makes games like Saints Row and Far Cry so popular. Elements such as unapologetic, over-the-top violence, and the indirect glorification of crime. To be successful, any GTA movie would need to find ways to retain these on the big-screen, but how could that be done without running into all sorts of regulation issues? The result, most likely, would be a clumsy compromise that satisfy no one. Another way to put it would be the end product is going to be one of those, “neither here nor there” movies.

And even if there are no regulation issues, I suspect commercial support for any GTA movie is going to be exeedingly hard to secure. How many big brands would be willing to appear in such a movie? In short, any GTA movie adaptation is just going to be nothing but endless controversy. Best to keep this legendary series in the gaming world, where Rockstar is (still) able to retain its creative direction.

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    © 2017 Kuan Leong Yong


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