Saturday, 22 October 2011

Licensed games: something to be excited about

Batman dominates all media
There was a time when the very words "movie licensed game" could only be uttered as a pretence to words like, underwhelming, poor, cash cow or just plain crap. Moving on to our modern day though and we have seen quite a few licenses go to good use in the right hands and very many are even expanding upon the movies
which they were based.

A first thought is Bioware's hit based within the Star Wars universe Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) but in reality there have been many others. The main reason for this is advances in computer hardware which is in itself empowering developers to have allot more creative freedom than it has done in the past, while still being able to work within a controlled environment that sometimes ambitious developers lack, Lionheads Fable comes into mind.

The main point being that having this structure behind a project gives it a direction it otherwise wouldn't have, this was once a problem but we have reached a point were really anything in the context of graphics or art can be recreated accurately on screen. It is this that give licensed content a certain edge over original ideas themselves. 

I realise that what I am saying here essentially goes against what most people believe but then I would simply point people toward the Marvel or DC superhero adaptions that have become so popular over the last ten years. Movies were not possible like that in the past and therefore adapting from a comic or book was always pretty fifty-fifty in terms of really capturing the essence of that canon. 

The same could be said of movie licensed video games, who can say the first time they stepped out into the sky city settings of Taris they didn't instantly feel a part of the Star Wars universe.

Having said that some development companies are definitely more suited to the task and people like Peter Molyneux, whose ambitious ideas have crafted a world that everyone wants to be a part of no matter the disappointment, are a must in the games industry but without a doubt I think we will see more licensed games in the future whether they be from books, comics or movies they are a welcome addition in my game collection.

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