Posts Tagged ‘The Thing’

Have You Played… The Thing?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of my favourite films. The physical effects are more convincing and grotesque than any computer-generated monstrosities I’ve seen, the cast are on fine form, and the setting is expansive yet claustrophobic, with some of the qualities of a locked-room mystery. When friends and critics claimed that a game had been made that used the license to portray the paranoia and horror of the whole thing, I was very excited indeed. But The Thing fell flat for me and I’ve never revisited to figure out exactly why.

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There Are Definitely No Alien Organisms In SurvHive

I can’t wait to tell you, fellow human person, about this game which I have learned about. It is an asymmetrical science fiction multiplayer murder mystery with absolutely no aliens in it at all. You might think from these screenshots and this trailer, starring Terrible Voice Man, that it is an FPS inspired by The Thing and Alien and that there are clearly monstrous fleshy alien lifeforms in it. But you are wrong. There are certainly no aliens here and I am certainly not one of them. What a pity. How about some regular human long-jump instead? That is a popular game in our society.

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The 10 Best Games Based On Movies


I had twin criteria for this. The first was ‘is it a decent game?’ and the second ‘does it meaningfully evoke the spirit, themes or characters of the movie in addition to having Quite Good Guns And Graphics?’ The second saw quite a few games which would otherwise qualify ruled out. This year’s Mad Max, for instance, was an agreeable murder-romp but it’s much harder to argue that it nails the desperation or oddness of the films it’s based on. Star Wars: Battlefront, meanwhile, is an OK online shooter with marvellous graphics, but it’s too mechanical to ‘feel’ like Star Wars once you get beyond the spectacular presentation. Ah, ‘feel’. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Does a movie game make you feel like you’re a part of that movie’s wider world, or is it just wearing its skin?

It’s that question which most informed this list. I don’t disagree that there are, in some cases, better games-based-on-movies if ‘game’ is the foremost criteria, but these, in no particular order, are the ten games which most understood and even grew my appreciation for their subject matter, rather than simply piggy-backed it. (Additional FYI: I decided not to include any superhero games, reasoning they’re really their own thing rather than innately movie-based).

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Retro: The Thing

I’ve not played Dead Space yet (and, to answer Kieron’s open question, I’m also one of those who feels its relative straightness compared to its contemporaries means it’s best saved for a quieter month), but my housemate has. Chatting to him about it, he referenced The Thing, the 2002 videogame spin-off/sequel to John Carpenter’s finest hour.

Which was a shock, as it was the first time I’d heard that curious survival horror/fps-but-with-more-shoulder game mentioned in a good six years. I have fondish memories of it, so back I went, back to Antarctica, back to paranoia and back to jealously saving up shotgun shells.

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