We took a look yesterday at the games based on Summer's biggest blockbuster movies. Today, let's switch things up, and look at the games inspired by the movies.
There's a key difference! Unlike licensed fare, which are forced to stick to the plot and characters of the film, these games simply take a motivational cue from an existing movie and run with it. Whether that be in terms of visual design, themes, the relationship between characters, it doesn't matter; these are just some of the games inspired by a summer blockbuster, and they wear that inspiration proudly on their sleeves.
Any others people can think of they'd like to share?
Independence Day / Star Fox 64
While the Star Fox series has tipped its hat to many science fiction staples over the years, none are as blatant as Star Fox 64's stage on Katina.
From the enemy fighters to the landscape to the protection of a prominent building from a large, saucer-shaped mothership, it doesn't just borrow from ID4, it lifts entire segments. Some people say even the music is modelled on Independence Day's score.
Just a shame there's no animal version of a wasted Randy Quaid up there.
Saving Private Ryan / Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
In 1998, moviegoers were shocked by what is still widely regarded as the most graphic, confronting sequence ever seen in a war movie. Through a use of shaky-cam and special effects, Steven Spielberg depicts the Omaha Beach landings on June 6, 1944 with an unnerving sense of intimacy, bullets whizzing past your head in surround sound, bodies exploding all over the screen.
Then, in 2002, gamers got their chance to actually take part in the sequence. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault followed the events of the film's introduction almost to the letter, from a disastrous beach landing to a deadly crawl up the beach to the storming of the German fortifications.
And it's not just the opening that models itself on Saving Private Ryan; there are subsequent levels in the game that also reference locations visited in the film. Then again, with Spielberg having helped write the events of the game, that shouldn't have been a great surprise.
Star Wars / Final Fantasy XII
Now this one, this one doesn't seem as obvious. Final Fantasy XII - a Square Enix RPG - being heavily influenced by Star Wars? But it's true.
While art director Hideo Minaba says of the game "I'll just say that I'm a fan. I wouldn't say that [Star Wars] an influence", we don't believe him for a second. The game is about a young blonde boy who yearns to take to the skies and escape the grip of a totalitarian empire on his desert home. He's accompanied by a shifty, though good-hearted pirate. Who in turn is accompanied by a stoic, furry friend. There's also an old-warrior-cum-mentor for the boy, a bounty hunter after the pirate, and even some Jawas.
Come on, Minaba. Fess up. It's OK! Everyone loves Star Wars.
Aliens / Everything
Aliens was released in 1986. And almost every single game that involves men fighting in space has taken something from it. Halo borrows from its aesthetic (Pelican dropships and assault rifles). Halo also borrows from its cast (Sgt. Johnson). Countless games have named their protagonists "Space Marines". The xenomorphs - and their face huggers - are another gaming staple. And sentry guns? Yeah, they're from Aliens as well.
It's shocking the influence this movie has had on an entire medium. As 2K's Stephen Alexander told Totilo the other day, it's so embedded in the imaginations of designers and artists that often people reference it without even realising it. Its legacy, whether artistically or in terms of its plot or gadgets, has been copied by so many games over the years that those staples - the marines, the weapons, the aliens - are now seen as part of gaming's mythology, not that of Aliens.