By hurricanehaines 4 Comments
This month sees the release of the multi-platform big budget hero movie tie-in, Spider-Man 2. Sorry. The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
And it does appear that the general consensus is that this game is anything but amazing. Of course, they are not going to throw together a piece of crap deliberately and package it as “The Clunky, Crappy and Kinda Janky Spider-Man”. Actually, I would be sort of interested to see how it would play out. Perhaps the self-realisation of its own insecurities could make it altogether more acceptable?
Or not. Whatever.
Last year saw the release of a much anticipated Aliens : Colonial Marines. For fans of the franchise, which I guess Alien films now are, here was a tie-in to the most explosive, notable, and quotable film of the bunch. Many people I know consider Aliens to be one of their top 3 films of all time, and when the game trailers and announcement showed what looked like a true homage to this classic of cinema, this obviously spiked and peaked interest levels. Unfortunately, the game failed to live up to those expectations, on a number of levels. Not even a cameo from one of the films main characters could redeem this bang average title. I won’t pick apart its failings one by one here, as I simply don’t have the time! I might save that for another post maybe.
Other games have also failed to hit the high watermark of their blockbuster siblings. There are many more in fact, but I am not trying to name and shame here, just recognise there appears to be a complete disconnect in the mediums when they are driven to launch at the same time.
I don’t know what it is, but for some reason Studio Execs sit around a table discussing marketing opportunities, and think that rushing out a game – which includes all concept, level design, build, bug testing, and printing can be done in a window that exists almost exclusively post shoot and pre-release of its blockbuster counterpart.
Having witnessed some of the time and care that goes into creating a stellar game, and having the flexibility to push back on launch dates if the game simply isn’t right doesn’t always work for all studios. Mainly the budgeting and commitments to the City will determine if a studio can push back its due date, or if its forced to rush it to market.
When you start to peel some of those limitations away, there can be some surprising, and some downright brilliant results.
Most notable, the Batman Arkham games have been absolutely fantastic. Free of Hollywood, Rocksteady were able to hone in a great combat mechanic, plenty of collectables, and weave out a really interesting narrative. Now the Batman games, at least those crafted by Rocksteady, are a template for other games to follow, and (for some, not all to be fair) attempt to rip off.
There are a collection of the many Star Wars games that have been enjoyable to play through too. The LEGO games have actually proved that there is enough material in a film to flesh out a tie-in, and keep it interesting and fun. I think possibly the LEGO games offer a bit more grace because they can introduce their own building mechanics and collectables that keep you returning, as a completionist.
So rather than slinging shit, lets spread some love instead
Go ahead and leave some comments about your favourite movie tie-ins. I would be interested to hear what you have to say about not only your favourite film-games / game-films, but also why they strike a particular chord with you.