So it seems I’m this site’s go-to video game guy . . . as it should be!
Well it seems Avi Arad wants three video games turned into films. Those games are Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted and Mass Effect.
Now I can safely say that I am not a fan of video game films because video games really cannot translate well over to film. Video Games have a different pacing that works for a 12 hour or sometimes a 25 hour experience. And those hours are filled with character development, character moments, and story elements that need to be told. I am going to go into why each of these films mentioned by Mr. Arad will not work as films.
The Mass Effect series is a very eloquently made science fiction game that has a very deep and rich universe. It is also filled with player choice. The entire series and how it goes is based on player choice. There are so many different scenarios that other players have experienced that I haven’t experienced because they played it differently. Conversations would come up with friends that start with, “My Commander Shepard did this”. Also noting that the main protagonist, Commander Shepard, can either be a man or a woman. And on top of that you can choose to do moral choices either Paragon (good) or Renegade (asshole). So doing a film where everything is based on choice would be extremely hard to do. And while I understand that you must sacrifice something when converting something over to film, there are going to be people out there very angry about the choices made for the film. If they were going to do a great Mass Effect style film they could do The First Contact War, which is a war discussed in the series that you can also read in Codecs you find in the game. As open minded as I am I don’t see Mass Effect working as a film.
Now I, myself, have only played two Metal Gear games. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Here is what I have gathered from these games: The lore is extremely complex just as it’s story. Not that the story is bad, it’s just I don’t understand it as much. Apparently you’ve had to had played from the 1989 release of the first Metal Gear game to really get a grasp on why certain things are happening. Hideo Kojima has constructed an amazing world who’s main character I can see was inspired by Russell Crowe’s character Snake Plissken. This game is harder to really say if it can work as a film or not. General Audiences don’t usually like using their brains when watching films and Hideo Kojima has very complex stories, characters and a lot of WTF moments. It may be made as a film but it may not do well.
Making an Uncharted film would be extremely redundant. The game itself is already a film. Naughty Dog, the game’s developer, really made a game that some have called “an interactive blockbuster”. And it’s extremely fun and charming due to the voice and motion capture by Nolan North who plays the games protagonist Nathan Drake. Every performance in the games are excellent. And basically the adaptation would be a modern day Indiana Jones. With the script they are going with I don’t see it working at all that much either, giving Nathan Drake a father and taking away the thief factor is taking away the scoundrel factor of Nathan Drake which gives him his appeal.
Now I’m not saying video games are bad and should stay out of film. Video Games are still in the adolescents of becoming an art form. There are many games that show how true that is but only a few can really translate. Max Payne is one of those that can become a film if given to the right director. And Ratchet and Clank are getting an animated film in 2015 which I cannot wait for personally because of how charming and clever the characters and games are. Now that does it for me Ramblin’ on today. In the words of Commander Shepard, “I should go”.