For the most part, when a video game becomes massively popular, movie studios begin striking deals left and right to make the game into a film. Not a lot of people know that some games themselves are heavily inspired by existing movies.
Game developers tend to draw heavy inspiration from a lot of movies to make their own game, including aspects from storylines, characters, settings, and design. In this article, we’re going to share with you games that were inspired by popular films!
- The Evil Within 2
- Dune 2000
- Donkey Kong
- Dead By Daylight
- Max Payne 3
- Slender: The Arrival
- The Last of Us
- Mortal Kombat
- Tomb Raider
- Dead Space
- Metal Gear Solid
The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within franchise is a great example of how to do horror video games right. From the frightening images down to a tight storyline, The Evil Within games were always top tier within the genre.
The game perfectly blends psychological horror with supernatural elements with a few hints of brutal slasher horror. The Evil Within 2 resembles movies like The Cell with its ever-shifting reality and grotesque monstrosities, as well as Ringu with the game’s affinity for Japanese style.
Throw in some Texas Chainsaw Massacre brutality and you have the epitome of a perfect horror video game.
Dune 2000 is a real-time strategy game by Westwood Studios for Windows PC in 1998. The game is loosely based on Frank Herbert’s Dune series but also takes a lot of inspiration from the 1984 movie.
The storyline of the game takes a lot of inspiration from the movie and the novels with House Atreides and House Harkonnen vying for control within the desert planet of Dune for its spice.
While the game took inspiration from the Dune movie and the franchise, the game left a lot of fans wanting more and was heavily criticized for its lack of gameplay. Nevertheless, the game portrays a lot of the movie’s aesthetics including the map, the structures, and the overarching plot.
When you think of Donkey Kong, your mind immediately takes you back to the days inside the arcade filled with the sights and sounds of the 80s. What you might not know is that the game takes inspiration from the film King Kong.
In fact, during his debut in the classic Mario game, Donkey Kong was seen on top of a structure, and Mario was tasked with rescuing the princess while dodging debris, similar to the climax of the movie where Kong is on top of the Empire State Building.
Dead By Daylight
If there is one very popular video game that takes a lot of inspiration from movies, it has got to be Dead By Daylight. The game’s premise is taken from a wide variety of horror slasher flicks such as Scream, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more.
Dead By Daylight features players taking the role of a menacing serial killer or a bloodthirsty monster ready to hack and slash the remaining survivors.
The game even has playable characters that are taken straight out of these horror movies including Pighead from Saw and Michael Myers from Halloween. The online survival horror multiplayer game draws a lot from its horror roots to massive success.
Anyone could easily guess that Nathan Drake was the Indiana Jones of the 21st century. From the dark brown hat down to the physicality of the character, Nathan Drake truly took a lot of inspiration from the Indiana Jones franchise as well as the entire game itself.
Uncharted is an action-adventure game where the lead character takes on different adventures that lead him to dangerous yet exotic locations all over the world while battling evil.
Both the game and the movie feature a lot of dangerous missions, locales, and introduce some form of supernatural element to the plot. The Uncharted franchise takes a lot of its inspiration from adventure movies which helps draw in more players to the game.
Max Payne 3
Max Payne is another video game that derives a lot of its running elements from the movies that precede it. From the brooding protagonist to the game’s setting, the game hints a lot about its film noir origins.
Max Payne 3 tells the story of our alcoholic hero who takes on a security job to protect a wealthy family but when the daughter is kidnapped, he must face different enemies and must return the daughter safely.
This specific entry in the series takes a lot of cues from the movie Man on Fire. Both Max Payne and the movie’s main character share the same backstory including a dark past as well as having jobs in security where they need to rescue a kidnapped victim.
Slender: The Arrival
1999 was the time when The Blair Witch Project was released giving many game developers inspiration from its authentic scares and atmospheric vibe.
Video game developers began incorporating such themes into their games but Slender: The Arrival, in particular, took heavy inspiration from the horror film. The game features the urban legend known as Slenderman, a tall and faceless man dressed in a suit who stalks the woods for unsuspecting victims.
Much like the movie, Slenderman lurks in the shadow and often does not reveal himself until the last minutes of his victim’s life. If you ever see Slenderman in this game, it’s lights out.
The Last of Us
With so many post-apocalyptic films created throughout the years, it was only a matter of time before game developers start taking some notes when creating their own version into a game.
One of the best survival adventure games to have ever created, The Last of Us (and its sequel) is heavily inspired by post-apocalyptic movies such as The Road and 28 Days Later.
The gritty nature of the game and the realistic and complex characters are very much like the characters you see in these films. The Last of Us is a fantastic game that has a cinematic quality to it. No wonder HBO is very interested in making the game into a television show.
While sci-fi and horror movies tend to influence a lot of games lately, one of the ultimate sources of inspiration for the best fighting game of all time came from the master of martial arts himself – Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.
In the movie, Bruce Lee’s character used an invitation to a martial arts tournament to take down a crime lord which had a very similar plot for Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat‘s Liu Kang draws heavily from Bruce Lee himself. Even the game’s combat art and sounds appear to have taken inspiration from the movie itself.
Another game that took heavy inspiration from Indiana Jones is the Tomb Raider series.
The game itself is heavily inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark where our characters must traverse through dangerous landscapes, solve puzzles, encounter supernatural creatures and henchmen, all while battling against an evil organization.
Everything about Tomb Raider comes from adventure movies like Indiana Jones. Some have even said that Lara Croft is the female version of Indiana when she was first introduced to the world.
Horror games like Dead Space fully immerse you with the experience of getting trapped in space where no one can hear you. Sound familiar?
You might notice the moment you step inside the game that it is heavily influenced by movies like Alien and Event Horizon, specifically the latter where grotesque and monstrous creatures emerge from the shadows.
The 2008 survival horror game never lets go of the uncomfortable eerie feeling that you feel when you walk along and all you can hear is the clunking sound of chains, your own footsteps, and the terrifying murmurs of the dead.
If you have played only a single game in the Fallout series, you would immediately notice which movie world the game is based on. Fans of the game have noticed more and more thematics in the game also found in Mad Max.
From the aesthetics down to the storyline, the movie influenced every part of the game. You can even befriend a dog in the game similar to how Max befriended his animal companion in the second Mad Max movie.
Another great reference from the movie to the game is the hero’s affinity for leather jackets as Max can be remembered having the same fondness for the type of jacket.
Metal Gear Solid
There is probably no other game that is as heavily borrowed from the movies as Metal Gear Solid. The action-adventure game was based on the 1981 sci-fi film Escape from New York to the extent that the game even shares the name of the movie’s main character.
Metal Gear Solid was the first game to popularize the stealth genre. The game features Solid Snake as he infiltrates an enemy base using stealth much like the plot of the film where Snake needs to infiltrate a maximum-security prison.
However, the similarities between the movie are the game was so obvious the movie’s producers wanted to file a case against creator Hideo Kojima. Nevertheless, the game still became a massive success and spawned numerous sequels over the years.
While most video games are quite original when it comes to plotting and characterization, there are a lot of video games that also take cues from popular movies.
It does not degrade the movie nor the video game in any way and instead, elevates the game as it takes a lot of what makes the movie great and turns it into fun, creative, and interactive gameplay for many video games out there.