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Zack Snyder and Netflix's Rebel Moon-verse looks doomed to repeat the mistakes of Final Fantasy 15

There was a game announcement in here somewhere, but you'll need to watch two films first to find it

The cast of the Rebel Moon films
Image credit: Netflix

As Geoff Keighley continues to use his gaming shows to parade his menagerie of film star friends, this year's sacrifice was Batman vs Superman director Zack Snyder, who was mainly wheeled out at tonight's Gamescom Opening Night Live show to promote his new pair of sci-fi Netflix films - which, oh, by the way, also have a game attached to them. And thus, a new Snyderverse is born. Not that they showed us said game, mind, or really told us anything about it. It will be set after both Rebel Moon films, though, so you better get watching if you want to know what the hell is going on. Honestly, did we learn nothing from Final Fantasy 15's failed multimedia project mistakes?

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Using films to tell a game's backstory, or tacking a game onto the end of a film (it's hard to know which way round this project was conceived, if I'm honest) always puts the fear in me a bit. If you're one of the few people who's managed to successfully scrub from your brain Square Enix's ill-fated attempt to turn Final Fantasy 15 into a multimedia-verse endeavour (wot with its prequel film, its prequel anime series, its dedicated mini-game app, and its other prequel pixel art game...), congratulations. You're a stronger human than I.

But though I love Final Fantasy 15 with a deep and, some might say, unwarranted passion, even I'm willing to admit that its story, split as it is across half a dozen different individual projects, is an absolute trashfire. It was clear proof that no one should attempt this ever again, and yet here we are, with Zack Snyder on stage at Opening Night Live, telling us his Rebel Moon video game is set after the events of not one, but two Netflix films, in which Anthony Hopkins plays a friggin robot.

Snyder told the Gamescom audience that he's always been a bit in love with the sci-fi magazine Heavy Metal, and it would appear that Rebel Moon is something of an homage to that blend of dark sci-fi fantasy. The game - what little he told us about it - is being made by Super Evil Megacorp, the devs behind mobile games Vainglory and Catalyst Black and this year's Apple Arcade TMNT game Splintered Fate. It will also "expand the Rebel Moon universe", probably because it takes place "right after" the events of the two films. You'll be able to "pick your rebel and then go on missions" either alone or with a friend in co-op, he added slightly hesitantly, almost as if he'd forgotten the concept of his own game. That might be because it sounds like a fair way off at the moment, as Snyder also said "we're just starting to talk about a bunch of other crazy ideas inside the game". "It's coming," he concluded, before proceeding to show a several-minutes-long trailer for the two films, not the game.

The films themselves look like the algorithmic lovechild of Star Wars (see the lightsabers), Dune (see the nose tubes and the desert worlds), Foundation (see the big space battles) and Game Of Thrones (see the dragons and griffins), with some definitely not very subtle space Nazis thrown in for good measure. Classic Netflix fare, then, it would seem. Here's hoping the game is a little more interesting.

For more of the latest news and previews from Gamescom 2023, head to our Gamescom 2023 hub. You can also find everything announced at Opening Night Live right here.

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