REC

[REC]

What It Is: Only the most famous Spanish horror series of all time. REC showed what could be done with found footage films, and was so scary and successful that it spawned three sequels and an American remake (Quarantine).

Why It Would Make a Great Game: One need only look at the first-person view from the first two films (and the first act of the third) to realize its potential as a first-person game. After all, Outlast basically stole the night-vision sequences and made two whole games already!

The Pitch: If they really wanted to be ambitious, they could make this a game covering the entire REC saga. It beings with the TV crew and firefighters dealing with the craziness of the apartment building in the first REC, in what starts out as a spooky and jarring sequence in which you’re mostly defenseless and forced to rely on a night-vision mode to stay away from an unkillable enemy. Then, for REC 2 you can control one of the cops coming in to storm the place. Here, the game does a F.E.A.R.-like shift into fast-paced action/horror as you finally get an arsenal of guns to use against the former inhabitants of the block. A later level features a sidestory into the wedding from REC 3: Genesis that mostly involves melee weaponry and has one of the greatest set-pieces of the game. Then it could have a lousy final level. (Alex Riviello)

The Strangers

The Strangers

What It Is: It takes a lot for a home invasion horror movie to stand out these days, but Bryan Bertino’s 2008 film is one of the best of its kind. There are no elaborate bells and whistles here, just straightforward tension and terror as a couple played by Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler fight for their lives against a trio of masked murderers who surround their isolated vacation home. 

Why It Would Make a Great Game: Horror games used to be all about shooting monsters, but the genre has seen a major evolution in the past decade. Now, the most popular horror games are all about avoiding monsters that you can’t kill. While the monsters at the heart of The Strangers are all human, they hold the advantage at all times. They have greater numbers, hunter’s instincts, and an inexplicable, psychotic desire to end your life.

The Pitch: It’s easy to imagine The Strangers coming to life as a first-person horror game, but why not take advantage of new technology to emphasize the truly personal nature of the movie? What better way to simulate being hunted through a dark house than a virtual reality game? Strap on your headset and find yourself in a house. Maybe you’re making dinner at first. Maybe you’re just sitting on the couch, watching TV. Eventually, if you look around enough and actually take notice of your environment, you’ll see the masked figures watching you from the windows. And then the chase is on! The house is an open sandbox – where you choose to run and how you choose to hide is up to you. But you will be hunted. And it will all feel very real thanks to that VR tech. (Jacob Hall)

texas chain saw massacre restaurant

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

What It Is: Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic has become a pop culture touchstone, its title something that you namedrop in real life to describe any situation or location that looks like a creepy, redneck murder waiting to happen. But the glorious thing about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is that it’s still terrifying over 40 years later. Even after so many lesser movies have stolen its best parts, it holds up brilliantly.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: Is there room for a Texas Chain Saw Massacre video game in a landscape where we already have a Friday the 13th video game? After all, wouldn’t that game capture the awful, stomach-churning thrills of hunting and being hunted that this movie evokes? Yeah, the obvious adaptation wouldn’t work at this point. So you have to approach it from a different angle.

The Pitch: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is really the story of a family, their home, and their local business: a gas station and BBQ joint (where they prepare the flesh of ill-fated motorists, of course). So rather than another game where you have to hack and slash a bunch of teenagers to death, how about a management sim? Your overhead view shows off the Texas countryside, complete with the the family’s crumbling estate and their business. You must manage the various members of the family, run your roadside store, make money, and selectively pick victims to get chopped up and served. If people wander too close to your house, you can encourage Leatherface to go out and take care of the problem. It’s The Sims with a body count. (Jacob Hall)

The Thing

The Thing

What It Is: If you don’t know John Carpenter’s The Thing, you need to make better choices with your life.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: It’s already made a decent one! Computer Artworks’ The Thing released in 2002 and was mostly successful, even working as a direct sequel to the events of the film (spoiler: it insinuates that Childs was human). But a rushed development and poorly implemented fear/trust system made for a frustrating experience. While the concept that your companions could actually be an alien imposter at any time is a strong one, scripted moments where someone on your crew would automatically turn into the Thing were maddening. You could do a blood test on someone, verify they’re human, and walk down the hall past a trigger moment only to have them sprout tentacles from their heads.

The Pitch: Rather than another third-person shooter (or an open world adventure like the game originally planned), they need to look towards Until Dawn’s success. Forget an open world – The Thing needs to be a contained, claustrophobic story. It needs to have strong performances from a likeable (or hateable!) cast. How better to do that than with an adventure game that changes depending on your actions? Depending on what you do, everyone could make it out alive, or no one. Paranoia and fear are perfect analogues to the quick-time events that would startle you into making a decision. Just remember – watch Clark. (Alex Riviello)

Tremors-cast 2

Tremors

What It Is: The people of a small desert town in Nevada are being attacked by giant underground worm monsters that can detect even the slightest movement on the surface. The survivors have to find a way to safety before the monster springs from ground and eats them alive.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: Tremors is the adult equivalent to pretending that the floor is lava. From climbing on roofs and shelves, to using distractions, and pole-vaulting between rocks, you had to admit that it kinda looked like a lot of fun…except for instead of pretend lava, you would eaten alive by a worm. Semantics.

The Pitch: It is a high stakes game of Frogger in this adaptation of Tremors, as you try and get your character from point A to point B without getting caught by the monster slithering below. Alternate between indoor and outdoor levels with an overhead perspective and increasing difficulty. Pole-vault your way from rock to rock to try and make it to the safety zone, but be careful! If the distance between rocks is too far, you better watch your seismograph to make sure the monster isn’t near by while you make a run for it. Inside, use counters and shelves to your advantage, but if you stand on that old vending machine for too long, it might just start up and give you position away. Move quickly and intelligently. You have three lives per level and losing all three means game over. (Vanessa Bogart)

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