3x3: Videogames that should be movies

Listen to this week’s 3x3 at the 46-minute mark of our Splice podcast. Also, we want you guys to chip in with your suggestions, but you don’t have to come up with three things. We welcome single entries as well.

Here are our picks:

3) Flower
2) Age of Mythology

  1. No One Lives Forever

3) Portal
2) Alpha Centauri

  1. Dead Rising

3) Rollercoaster Tycoon
2) Ms Pac-Man

  1. Pong


Earthworm Jim

  • Eve Online
    Epic space battles with actual tactics, immortality through clones for the elite, death of thousands when any ship goes down, religious despots, tribal pseudo-anarchy, enslaved races, monolithic space stations for those epic intro shots. Brilliant filmic pieces available there. I’ve often lied in bed thinking about the cinematography of an Eve film.

  • Beyond Good And Evil
    A photo-journalist with green lipstick who takes beautiful pictures of weird and wonderful animals, a talking anthropomorphic hog mechanic with fart boots, probably the single most pleasant game ever to be made and played. Pixar would make it into an amazing film.

I tried to boil it down to games with characters with a strong enough voice that you could spin out a decent amount of stories around them, so they can survive outside the game’s plot.

  1. Beyond Good and Evil - Well, it should really be an animated series, but if I get to see more Jade I’ll take a movie any day of the week.
  2. Thief - Steampunk noir with cynical and arrogant anti-hero is more than enough material for a neat little movie.
  3. No One Lives Forever - Cate Archer is a great character, and there’s all sorts of fertile ground in the setting, riffing on womens liberation and the chauvinism of the Bond series.

Normally I’d stay away from adventure games, because they tell their stories quite well enough as it is, but wasn’t LucasArts’s The Dig initially intended to be a Spielberg film? I think it would really work if he decided to resurrect the project.

Tom, spoiling Book of Eli in the 3x3 was kinda REALLY not on.

  1. I’ve said this before, but Hollywood should adapt Galaga into a movie. ACT I sets up a peaceful spacefaring insectoid race. The main character, the love interest, and the comic relief see reports of a devil ship, an invader from space, killing many of their hivemind members. Helpless, weaponless civilians take it upon themselves to peacefully protest the starbarian attack through nonviolent resistance, but they are massacred in wave after wave. In ACT II the main character unearths two of their ancient technologies: a hypnoray and a tractor beam. The comic relief takes up these devices and is able to briefly neutralize the white ship of death. He boards it and discovers that the slavering crew are set on destroying the insectoids’ homeworld of Galaga. In the act II low point, a second alien ship arrives, killing the comic relief, and both ships resume their inexorable journey to the homeworld. The clock ticks down in Act III as the ships get closer, but the main character is able to mobilize enough reinforcements to start a terrific battle. Both ships are destroyed in the nick of time, and the main character realizes that he needs to make a commitment to the love interest. The movie ends with a solemn tolling of the dead and the revelation of the identity of the evil spacemen: A.S.S.

  2. Just as Star Wars was a reverent homage to cheesy sci-fi serials of the 1940s, Elevator Action is an homage to action movies of the '90s that featured elevators, from 1994’s Speed to 1999’s The Matrix. An underdog “industrial espionage contractor” gets an assignment to rappel into an enemy office tower and steal some important files. However, the contractor was set up and must blast his way through security guard and rent-a-cop alike to get out of the building alive. Exciting parkour-style stunts are employed in stairwells, office corridors, and elevator shafts. The movie takes on some Three Days of the Condor-style paranoia when the agent goes into a safe room to get a file from a contact, and after he leaves, guards pour out of it, proving that nowhere is safe. Basically it’s Die Hard in a skyscraper.

  3. This would have been Centipede, but because Arachnophobia grossed 51 million dollars in 1990, and Eight Legged Freaks only grossed 17 million dollars domestic in 2002, it’s going to linger in development hell for awhile.

  4. Dragon’s Lair. Featuring sumptuous Don Bluth-style animation, Dirk the Daring, a gallant knight, must defeat various obstacles as he ventures further into a haunted castle to rescue his ditzy girlfriend Daphne from a terrifying dragon. Zach Galifianakis, Megan Fox, and Ian McKellan providing voices.

Perfect Dark - Probably one of the best James Bond stories ever.

Prey - A fair to middling game, but all the beats are there for a pretty awesome Syfy movie.

I’ve always envisioned Grim Fandango working really well under Harry Selick’s direction.

Planescape: Torment will be great as a HBO miniseries.

  1. Hover Bovver

  2. Revenge of the Mutant Camels

  3. Lazy Jones

  1. Psychonauts
  2. Anachronox
  3. Anachronox 2
  1. Jet Set Radio
  2. Armored Core
  3. Panzer Dragoon

Grim Fandango, Brutal Legend, Bard’s Tale III

  1. Valkyrie Profile
  2. Digital Devil Saga
  3. God Hand
  1. Silent Hill 2
  2. Thief 2
  3. Quake 2

Grim Fandango (Henry Selick would do it brilliantly)
Gabriel Knight

I once jokingly said that I thought Doom could make a great movie if they tried again, but as a 75 minute art film with a single human character who never speaks throughout the entire film. The more I think about the better that idea actually sounds.

I also want Thief as a late-night animated series done in the same style as the game’s cinematics.

As much as I’d love to see a good adaptation of Planescape: Torment, I think the odds of any attempt being anything but a disaster are slim to none, so it should probably stay just a game.

Oh my. I have no recollection of that. Man I am really, really sorry about that. Yowch.


  1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic