When Gaming Meets Cinema - The Top 5 Games Reminiscent Of A Movie

 Videogames, the single form of entertainment that has offered full control over the characters seen within the world in which the story of the game is set. Whether it has been a movie-based game or vice-versa, there are plenty of examples that reflect this distinct characteristic executed both poorly and perfectly. However, as the years have demonstrated, it isn't always the officially licensed games that succeed in closely replicating the events of a popular film...

Not One Step Back!

The first contender comes as no surprise thanks to its cinematic qualities and refined level of control. Loosely paralleling the events of 1998 blockbuster hit, Saving Private Ryan, Medal Of Honor: Frontline earns a well deserved spot on this elusive list. Whether it be the catchy, immersive orchestral score, or the awe-inspiring backdrops, Medal Of Honor: Frontline delivers the player with a compelling story about a pursuit across Europe similar to that seen in Saving Private Ryan; however, there's a catch, Medal Of Honor: Frontline replicates this film with extra meat on the bone, guaranteed to sustain the gamer's satisfaction and fulfill their highest expectations.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan was the tale of a regiment's desperate search for the last of three fighting brothers. Despite having a completely different story, Medal Of Honor: Frontline throws the player into the heat of action during the D-Day invasion - coincidentally (or so we were told), this was the blockbuster film's opening scene too. Following the inhumane decimation at Omaha beach, both the player and the actors of the traverse the rugged French countryside , meeting packets of allied, and enemy, soldiers along the way. In order to retain the cinematic aspect rarely experienced in the world of videogames, Medal Of Honor: Frontline dons one of the most immersive soundtracks seen in the world of videogames - one of the additional layers of meat that make Medal Of Honor: Frontline oh, so satisfying. Notice how D-day appeared in the Saving Private Ryan trailer? Well, that among other levels were lovingly replicated in Medal Of Honor: Frontline - a fine homage to one of cinema's most gritty war films.

Medal Of Honor: Frontline also features an addictive, competitive and all-round fun multiplayer mode in which a maximum of four players can battle it out across an array of the game's best maps; however, this mode was unfortunately limited to the Gamecube version. Despite this limitation the PS2 version still succeeded in delivering war-craving gamers with an unabridged single player campaign, complete with awards, multiple difficulties, thoughtful "easter eggs" and comical cheats. Whether it be played for the synergy between SPR or as another war game, Medal Of Honor: Frontline is a classic that should not be missed by anybody with a knack for historical wars. Feel free to enjoy:    
      Medal Of Honor: Frontline - A Retrospective

Living Life In The Fast Lane

The second game/film similarity is between 1983 gangster epic, Scarface, and Rockstar Games' "creme de la creme", Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Loosely replicating the atmosphere, narrative and setting of Scarface, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City clearly took notes from the story of Scarface which communicated the story of Cuban immigrant who rose from the bane of society, Tony Montana - a character who was later reimagined in Rockstar's 2002 cult-classic as "The Harwood Buthcer", or by his real name: Tommy Vercetti. Including scenes influenced by the famous 'mansion standoff', Grand Theft Auto: Vice proves to be the perfect blend of cinematic gold and the level of immersion we've come to expect from a videogame.

The real highlight of Vice City was the world in which Rockstar Games set it in. Allowing the player complete freedom in a meticulously recreated Miami during the 80's (entitled 'Vice City'), Rockstar had spun gold from an already successful formula introduced by Vice City's predecessor, GTA3. Not only did Vice City improve upon the formula but it also reinvented it by introducing assets by which the player can produce profit, purchasable properties, a more "alive" world and many more interesting features.

During the game's launch, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City received high praise from both small and large reviewers alike. With areas of praise ranging from Vice City's splendid soundtrack, the engaging, gritty story and the depth of freedom available, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was a commercial success. Vice City's success still echoes in the world of gaming today, following the announcement of the game's 10th anniversary, Rockstar released the game on IOS platforms in late 2012 as a celebration of success; therefore, it can be said that Vice City has survived for years on its initial "wow-factor" and is guaranteed to be remembered for years to come.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was delivered swiftly, much like a cocktail; it way enjoyed when around and left the audience craving more when it ended. Vice City - just like Scarface - is still ranked as one of the best crime stories (albeit an interactive one) ever made, a well-deserved spot for both.


Rockstar Games' 2008 Grand Theft Auto became acclaimed for its gritty level of realism, engaging storyline and detailed city. Within this evolving world was the work of pure genius; Grand Theft Auto: IV recreated the main event of 1995's Heat, a heist movie starring a match made in heaven, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino - two characters, both on a completely different end of the spectrum
 - one a cop, one a crook.

The famous scene of Heat involved an intense bank heist and following Rockstar's adaptation trend of popular films, GTA:IV gave finally gamers a taste of cinema's best heist. With similarities between the two ranging from character-chatter to the actions regarding the way in which the mission plays out, it is clear to draw a distinct correlation between the two.Released in 2008, Rockstar Games' Grand Theft auto: IV received mixed reviews; with the media praising it for everything and smaller reviewers being disappointed with the release, it was hard to identify which point of view was the most appropriate. On the other hand, Heat released in 1995 and predominantly received positive reviews, particularly praising the film's intense action scenes, compelling story and razor-sharp acting from both De Niro and Pacino.

Although this can't be said (as the game isn't out yet), Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: V seems to follow the concept of Heat more so than was done in IV. With the whole game being based around the high-life of professional thieves, similarities are abundant as Rockstar seem to have added even more links between the world of gaming and cinema. These similarities can be seen in the individual character trailers, whether it be the use of hockey masks, the act of ramming an armored van using a tow-truck or hiring other members to help you on a heist, even more correlations between the two seem to exist.

A Gunslinger's Tale...

Rockstar Games' 2010 cowboy epic, Red Dead Redemption, has more similarities between 1969 classic, The Wild Bunch than few. With both titles being based on the pursuit of a friend from the protagonists' past, in each title we see an epic pursuit of human endurance across Mexico and  Western America in the late 1800's. 

Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption currently holds a 95% Metacritic review score from professional review firms such as Xbox Magazine, Playstation Magazine UK and Eurogamer. As mentioned before, Red Dead Redemption begins our protagonist's tale in the late 1800's when he returns to America so he can track down and kill his old brother in arms, Bill Williamson. Eventually, John Marston - the protagonist - catches up with his past for the gamer to learn things aren't as originally planned... This plot twist starts the basis of the story and begins the epic adventure that is 
Red Dead Redemption.

With regard to Red Dead Redemption, the best way in which one may relive the feeling seen in The Wild Bunch is best captured in the game's multiplayer. Whether you saddle up with a willing posse, take out opposing players with your overpowered guns or battle the law until death, the feeling of a great western is materialized in Red Dead's multiplayer. What's more? The player has the ability to tailor their character skin, weapons and mount to their personal preferences, further adding to the real sense of immersion Red Dead Redemption delivers. Just like in the film, the player can ride with a posse of friends online and although it sounds boring, Red Redemption's ability to ride with a posse is one of the best multiplayer additions seen in recent years as it encapsulates the sense and atmosphere of a western perfectly; however, the addition of some friends really makes it feel like it's your posse against the wild, wild west that is the un-tethered wilderness seen in Red Dead Redemption.

If you haven't seen The Wild Bunch or played Red Dead Redemption then I recommend them like a great western showdown captured perfectly by great western movies.


The next contender will come across as a surprise to some readers, next up, Sniper Elite: V2 and Enemy At The Gates. If you're unaware of these films' similarities then you shouldn't be, but this is quite a strange connection. Both EATG and SEV2 share no story-related similarities and no character similarities so "what is it?" you may ask? The hint is in the title. Sniper Elite: V2 is a - you guessed it- a sniper game! Set in the decadent ruins of a war-torn WWI-era city, Sniper Elite: V2 follows the life of a British sniper, fighting for his life, and the wellbeing of his country. This is achieved by stalking Nazi officers for days through crumbling ruins before assassinating them with a single bullet.

Similarly, Enemy At The Gates follows the story of Russian hotshot, Vasily Zaytsev, who painstakingly stalks an infamous Nazi general in a thrilling game of cat and mouse. During our hero's adventure we see love, loss, brilliant action scenes and an intense atmosphere during the film's epic climax.

As said before, the similarity between these two films is the inclusion of a WWII sniper, stalking his prey with an insane degree of skill. Sniper Elite: V2 is the only game to closely match the tension and danger seen in the film. Knock the difficulty up and you'll feel just as Vasily Zaytsev did in Enemy At The Gates which is that if one shot goes wrong, the likelihood of his death is huge.

I recommend both Sniper Elite: V2 Game of The Year Edition and Enemy At The Gates like a Russian sniper's marksmanship because with this pair you can't go wrong in reliving the events of the film!

So there you have it, we hope you've enjoyed our article! For more articles such as this one view the rest of our articles and be sure to click the 'Follow' button at the top of the page to follow us on Twitter! 

Before going we'll tell you our honourable mentions:

  • BlackHawk Down/Call of Duty: 4
  • Public Enemies/Mafia: II

Thankyou for reading.If you've enjoyed reading this article then please feel free to explore more of our lists such as:
  • The Top 5 Worst Games Console Names Of All Time
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Ps Vita
  • The Top 4 Franchise Comebacks Of This Console Generation

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