Video game

Open Channel: Should Video Games Remain Animated, or Go Live Action? – Gizmodo

Master Chief in the box art of Halo: Infinite, standing on the ring of Zeta Halo.

Image: Microsoft/343 Industries

The last few years have seen a successful streak of films and shows based on video games, primarily from Netflix. With future series based on sci-fi franchises Mass Effect and Halo in the works, plus ones based on various Ubisoft properties like Assassin’s Creed, gamers are in no shortage of seeing some of their favorite franchises make a (hopefully) successful jump to another medium. But the bigger question comes in how these games should be presented going forward.

Netflix’s animated adaptations of games like Castlevania, DOTA, and The Witcher have been noted as enjoyable, if not new elevations of the genre thanks to the work done by their respective studios. A show like Arcane excels not just because it’s Very Damn Good, but because Riot and the team at Fortiche are putting their previous experience with animated videos for League of Legends to great use to deliver what’s one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. Moments like Ekko versus Jinx or a young Jayce witnessing the beauty of magic for the first time carry a sense of grandeur that can really only come from an animation team being given free reign to do what they do best with the greatest resources available to them.

Live action is a different beast entirely. Sometimes you get classics like the original Mortal Kombat, Detective Pikachu, and the surprisingly good Sonic the Hedgehog. But too often, the versions of these games starring real human actors can’t seem to figure out just what the heck they are, as we’ve seen with the Mortal Kombat reboot, Prince of Persia, and Need for Speed. There have been a lot of video games that have made the jump to live action, and even more that have tried and gotten stuck in development hell. (Remember how we were supposed to get films for Bioshock, Gears of War, and Infamous? Good times.) The stigma against animation, at least in the west, means that live action versions debatably carry a greater sense of legitimacy and prestige, and AAA games have been more than happy to present themselves as interactive films. But in a way, that’s the problem for some of the games getting adapted: you can argue that Naughty Dog darlings Uncharted and The Last of Us, plus Gearbox’s loot shooter Borderlands, will just wind up as expensive repeats of moments players became emotionally attached to years ago.

Normally, the question would be what game should be next to be adapted, but we want to mix things up, so: do you prefer the live action adaptations of video games, or do you want more animated versions? Got any particular favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

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