Can Video Games Make Good Movies?

We’ve all seen some of the horrible results of trying to adapt high-profile video games to the big screen. Many of these movies have been either poorly made or have not captured the essence of the game, sometimes even ignoring it. But, at the same time, there are many promising titles in development, such as Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed. As long as video games continue to develop and mature as an art form, there should be many properties that could make great movies if the execution is good.

Many games are starting to introduce real moral questions that are relevant in today’s world, or could be relevant in the near future. One example is the questions asked in Deus Ex: Human Revolution concerning the morality of human augmentation, or genetic enhancement. Human Revolution is one of the many properties that is currently in the production phase for the big screen, and could certainly be a powerful movie as long as it focuses on the more on the narrative and thematic elements of the game and perhaps less on a single character.

Video games tend to be very centered around a single character, the one controlled by the player. Often these characters have few unique or individual qualities, so that the player can play their own fantasies with their own character. This problem along with the larger number of important characters often found in movies means that it won’t always be easy to make a game into a movie.

Games like Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, and Deus Ex do not have these problems, though. They have a unique main characters, a good amount of fleshed out characters, and all have stories that are heavily inspired from cinematic storytelling. Ultimately, as long as film producers choose the right games, and games tell mature, complex narratives, then the potential for incredible films is always there.