By Andy Schneider
Video games have a long history of movie tie-ins. Sometimes games are set in a movie universe without a specific movie tie-in. This allows the developers to play in that sandbox, but not be constrained by a specific plot.
Let’s run down a few of my favorites.
“Spider-Man” on the PlayStation from Insomniac games is widely regarded as one of the best open-world games on the platform.
Spider-Man has an amazing story and a stellar voice cast to carry out that story.
The graphics are great and there are a wide variety of costumes to choose from.
Gameplay-wise you won’t have more fun than web swinging around and beating up bad guys. There are multiple add-ons including the Miles Morales stand-alone game.
“Alien Isolation” on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC is a master class in survival horror.
With the look and feel of the first movie, you set foot on an alien-infested ship, with little to help you stay alive.
It features all of the looks of the 70’s original movie without being hindered by a specific plot line. Hiding in lockers and hearing the slowly building beeping of your proximity detector will give anyone an anxiety attack.
“Mad Max” for the Playstation, Xbox, and PC is how you do a movie universe game without tying into a specific movie.
A giant open world filled with cobbled-together cars and freaky denizens will call to mind Mel Gibson regardless of the movie. Somehow this game slipped under most people’s radar. “Mad Max” is more fun than it has any right to be.
“The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay” is a great stealth-based action game based around the Riddick films. Sneak around the prison and take people out by attacking from the shadows.
Released on the original Xbox, this game was leagues ahead of most due to its fantastic lighting and texture work. By not being tied to a specific movie, the game was free to go its own way and is better for it. Vin Diesel supplied the voice and consulted on the game.
“Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC is one of the great cartoon beat-em-ups of modern times. The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission. This one is more closely related to the original graphic novels than the movie. Sprinkle in some pixel characters that look just like their comic book counterparts and you have one of the great movie/ comic book brawlers.
“Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor” for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC had all of the grandeur of Peter Jackson’s films and all of the gameplay of “Assassin’s Creed,” featuring lots of exploration and a good combat system that features stealth elements. Top that off with the Nemesis system where rivals will hunt you down to kill you and you have all of the makings of a great Lord of the Rings game.
There are plenty of other great movie-related games, but I’ve highlighted some of my readily available recent picks. Sometimes not being tied down by a specific movie can make the best possible game.