Gaming and the film industry have long been connected. Ever since the early days of console gaming back in the 1980s, game developers and movie studios have worked together to release all manner of video game tie-ins – some more successful than others.
Over the decades, gamers have been subjected to some truly awful video games in the name of supporting their favourite movies – Superman 64, anyone? Then, there have been the countless bootlegs and unofficial games that have flooded the market.
But it’s not all been bad. Along the way, the gaming industry has released several movie-themed gems, some of which, like Goldeneye 007, have even been more enjoyable than the films they were based on.
Thankfully, game creators have taken a different approach to movie-themed releases in the new century. Instead of simply releasing games to cash in on a movie’s release, developers have been given full rein to reimagine brand-new stories within the movie’s universe.
Here’s the lowdown on some of the best games to run if you’re planning a movie-themed games night.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
When it comes to the source material, the Star Wars movie franchise could well be the ultimate fertile ground for gaming tie-ins. Naturally, the films themselves have been adapted into video games several times, but none have been quite as successful as Knights of the Old Republic from Canadian developers BioWare.
As the title suggests, the game is set during the time of the Old Republic, approximately 4000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Gamers are tasked with overthrowing Sith Lord Darth Malak via a multi-planet quest. Like the better instalments in the movie franchise, Knights of the Old Republic is wonderfully compelling.
Some gamers could be confused by thinking that Avalanche Studios’ Mad Max was based on Fury Road since it was released just after the 2015 smash hit the cinema. However, the game itself isn’t based on any film in the franchise. It’s a popular choice with fans of the iconic movie series for its open-world format and great characterisation. If you’ve played Batman: Arkham Asylum or any title in the Assassin’s Creed series, this format will feel familiar to you. You play as the title character ‘Mad’ Max Rockatanky as he battles for survival through an unforgiving desert wasteland.
What would any movie-themed games night be without this casino gaming classic? Poker is one of the world’s most popular card and table games. Despite now being over two centuries old in its current format, the entertainment industry can’t get enough of this challenging mind sport. Poker has been immortalised in movies like the James Bond vehicle Casino Royale, Maverick, and more recently in 2017’s Molly’s Game.
Playing the game the old-fashioned way with a physical deck of cards can be a bit intimidating to beginners, not to mention time-consuming, so deciding to play online poker instead can be a wise choice. Online poker is much more accessible than traditional games and can be played in-browser too. On some poker sites, you can even play for free, as well as choose from different types of poker variants.
Following the disaster that was Alien: Unleashed, game developers had quite the task of putting out an Alien-themed video game that wasn’t a “deeply dull and boring experience”. Gamers rejoiced in 2014 when Alien: Isolation hit Steam, injecting some much-needed terror into this powerful franchise.
A survival game, first and foremost, Isolation is a slow burner that will have you hooked from the second you start to play. Your character is Ripley Junior, and the game is set 15 years after the horrific events onboard the Nostromo. Your task is to save the last known recording of Warrant Officer Ripley’s fate, and you’ll need to use all of your resourcefulness in order to do so.