The Impact of Movies on Gaming

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Movies have had an impact on video games in more ways than one. During the early years of video games, the hottest new movie was often accompanied by a licensed video game of some kind. While we have fond memories of games like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Goldeneye, the majority of these titles were real stinkers. As time progressed and technology started to improve, video game creators were able to harness the power of the hardware and start to create games with fully animated cutscenes. No longer would gamers be forced to see cardboard cutouts of characters with scrolling text - the characters were now able to move and speak like their live-action inspirations. 

The first name that comes to mind when talking about fully animated cutscenes is, naturally, Hideo Kojima. The Metal Gear Solid creator was among the first to embrace the style/technique. Kojima has been vocal of his love for cinema and gamers were first introduced to this during MGS1. Here’s our favorite cutscene from the game - where we first meet Psycho Mantis:

Kojima has continued his marriage of video games and cinema throughout his career, to the point where many compare Metal Gear Solid IV and V to playable movies. Kojima even played up remarks toward the latter by including an opening and closing credits scene during every mission, replacing longtime Snake voice David Hayder with actor Kiefer Sutherland. Here’s our favorite cutscene from Metal Gear Solid V - a beautifully shot scene starring Big Boss and the main antagonist of the game, Skullface: (Probable spoilers)

Kojima’s love for film has even infiltrated his most recent project, Death Stranding. The upcoming PS4 title stars The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, who is one of Kojima’s favorite actors. Reedus is joined in this bizarre adventure by Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, Lindsay Wagner, Troy Baker, Tommie Earl Jenkins and Emily O'Brien. 

Reedus and company are just some of the actors and actresses who have jumped from the silver screen to your monitor. We’ve seen film stars like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe (Beyond Two Souls,) Vin Diesel (Chronicles of Riddick,) Liam Neeson (Fallout 3) and the cavalcade of hip-hop artists and actors like Omar Epps who starred in Def Jam: Vendetta & Fight For New York, and a special shout out to 50 Cent who starred in two of his own games, 50 Cent: Bulletproof & Blood in the Sand: 

We’ve certainly come a long way since E.T. on Atari, haven’t we? But what’s next for the marriage of cinema and video games? It will probably have something to do with VR. Imagine being part of an action sequence standing next to The Rock or getting on stage and doing a duet with Lady Gaga. We don’t know about you, but we would seriously be down for that. 

But what about you? Who’s your favorite actor or actress to appear in a video game? Is there a movie-based video game that you absolutely love? Join the Subnation community today and let us know!

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