So as I was walking into the movie theatre yesterday, on my way to see what I think will be the summer’s biggest-selling movie (despite the terrible reviews), The DaVinci Code, and I was handed a coupon for Best Buy. SWEET! Except that it was only good for a video game… you guessed it, The Davinci Code, for Playstation and X-box.
I couldn’t help but laugh at how preposterous this was. I was reminded of the scene in Spaceballs where Mel Brooks was showing off all of the Spaceballs product tie-ins. I had the notion of Star-Wars-like fast food restaurants giving out
But the more I thought about it, I wondered what kind of video game this would be? I mean, video games have to be exciting and engaging, or else the player realizes he’s just sitting around doing nothing productive. That’s why most of the video games that are based on movies are made from action movies. Seriously, would you want to play a game based on Brokeback Mountain? Think of all of the things you and your player 2 can do together… like herding cattle!
What kind of format could this game take? Would it be like Grand Theft Auto, with Tom Hanks and the french chick driving around, stealing people’s cars by boring them to death with lectures about where the swastika came from? Or maybe he could choke people with his long, flowing locks of hair.
Could it be a fighting game where you play as Silas and try to get past the Priory members? You’d then advance to nuns (hint: hit them with stone slabs), and aging, crippled Grail scholars (watch out for the crutches!). Of course after every victory, the bonus round includes self-flagellation.
Personally, I’d love to see a whole line of games. The DaVinciKart, where the characters race around Paris, in small european cars, throwing out things like Silas’ spike strip, and the Madonna of the Rocks painting, to make other players swerve. There could be a soccer game, or a baseball game. There could even be a Mario-like game, where Tom Hanks has to save Sophie from the evil “Frogs” by jumping on them.
All joking aside, I really have no idea how they’d make a straightforward game out of this movie. I’m sure it would involve a ton of cut-scene videos of people talking and explaining all sorts of things about the holy grail and the Priory of Sion.
The only thing I can imagine it being, honestly, is in the style of a puzzle-adventure game like the old LucasArts games that were so beloved. Even that though, is a stretch, because anyone who’s seen the movie or read the book knows all the answers to the riddles, all the intense “history”, where the characters should go next, and ultimately, where the resting place of the Grail “is” anyway. There’s no point in going through the entire journey if you already know the answers, because the fun of adventure games is figuring out the solutions.
There is no possible way that this game could both fit into an existing video game model and be interesting. It’s interesting as a book and a movie because you’re engaged in following the characters along, passively. Once you’re actively controlling the characters, there’s nothing interesting about what they do, only what happens to them, and video games aren’t about being passive.
.5 stars, for allowing me to imagine all of the humorous possibilities.