6 Movies and Shows That Clearly Ripped Off Video Games
Because video game movies tend to be as well-received as a handshake from an on-duty proctologist, most studios don't want to touch game properties with a ten-foot-pole. But that isn't stopping some movies and TV shows from peeking over the shoulder of the game industry and sneakily copying certain looks, ideas, and even plots (spoiler alert) from games, all while hoping that nobody will notice. We noticed.
Every Bland Space Opera Now Steals From Mass Effect
Lost In Space was the granddaddy of sci-fi television shows, in that it looked like your granddad made the sets in the back of his shed with some superglue and tinfoil. So when Netflix rebooted the show in 2018, it was only natural that they didn't want it looking anything like its low-fi sci-fi ancestor. So instead they made it look like the biggest sci-fi video game franchise in the world, Mass Effect.
The new Lost In Space's swiping from Bioware's space opera epic isn't exactly subtle, especially when you consider how the show would have looked if the makers actually based their designs on those of the old show. Just look at Robot, a character so iconic that they knew they could simply name it "Robot" and people would still know who you were talking about. Here it is in the 2018 show:
And here it is in the 1965 show. Can you spot the subtle differences?
Now compare that shiny (well, shining) updated face with that of the Geth, the robo-baddies from the Mass Effect games:
Astoundingly similar, right? And it's not just its flashlight face, either. Even their bodies have that same creepy metallic stringiness to them:
The show even updated Robot's backstory to make it the only good droid who escaped a race of evil robots to side with the humans, which is exactly what happens with your Geth party member in Mass Effect!
And when you're already stealing a game's animate objects, why not go for the inanimate ones as well? When PC Gamer's Tyler Wilde saw the show, he quickly spotted a lot of weirdly specific interior design choices that he recognized from Mass Effect, like the hangar bay ...
... the graphical user interface ...
... even its conference rooms, down to the weird circular lamps:
But not even the spacey special effects are safe. Remember this epic 3D galaxy map from Mass Effect: Andromeda?
Guess who ordered the same one from Space Amazon?
And Lost In Space is by no means the only modern sci-fi property shamelessly lifting things from Mass Effect like they forgot to turn on the gravity. When the first images of Luc Besson's weird sci-fi epic Valerian came out, a lot of people figured its heroes must've raided Commander Shepard's locker, because their armor looked very similar.
But that could be a coincidence. Heck, it's not like the movie stole the game's title design, iconic slash through the middle and all-
Never mind. It's become so trendy to rip from Mass Effect that even the franchise that inspired that game in first place is doing it. This is Yorktown from Star Trek Beyond.
And Yorktown must've been very pleased that they managed to snag the same city planner who made Mass Effect's iconic citadel.
For a future with endless possibilities, a lot of those look pretty samey to us.
Rogue One's Plot Was Stolen From A 20-Year-Old Star Wars Game
When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came out, lots of fans criticized the movie for not being Star Wars-y enough. But what they didn't realize is that Rogue One might be the most Star Wars movie of them all, seeing as it's a Star Wars movie that's ripping off a Star Wars video game.
The game in question is 1995's Star Wars: Dark Forces, a first-person shooter about ... well, if you've seen Rogue One, you already know. Not that the similarities weren't subtly covered up by the movie, of course. For example, the protagonists of Rogue One are a jaded spy and a mercenary named Jyn Erso, while the protagonists in Dark Forces are a jaded mercenary and a spy named Jan Ors. Almost unnoticeable, really.
Another totally unique character in Dark Forces is the death trooper, the new 'roided-up version of the stormtrooper dressed snazzily in black armor.
And hey, look who shows up in Rogue One? Death troopers, cool stormtroopers wearing black armor.
The plot of Rogue One, about stealing the Death Star plans, also comes straight from Dark Forces. The biggest difference is that in the game, our heroes get the job done and move on instead of turning the whole thing into a gigantic suicide mission.
That Star Wars decided to self-plagiarize like this is baffling, given that the first thing Disney did after buying Lucasfilm was declare the old Expanded Universe non-canon. So they threw out all those novels and games, only to keep going dumpster diving to dig out whatever parts they think they can make money off of.
New Post-Apocalyptic Movies Love To Steal From Last Of Us
The Last Of Us is one of the newer games to be frequently cited to bolster the medium's credentials as legitimate art. The zombie apocalypse adventure game received accolades from gamers and critics alike for its gameplay, characters, and story, and that's two out three things bad indie zombie horror has been more than willing to steal.
Let's start with Last Of Us' zombies, the unique-looking fungally infected semi-humans. In their last stage of metamorphosis, these zombies turn into "clickers," blind shroom-headed ghouls that hunt completely based on sound.
Not very different, then, from the ghoulies in A Quiet Place, 2018's indie horror darling about a world destroyed by evil blind monsters that make clicking noises and have an acute sense of hearing.
And for good measure, they didn't merely throw in another weary-eyed brunet dude as the protagonist, but the weary-eyed brunet dude, Jim from The Office.
But the best part of the The Last Of Us isn't the zombies; it's the tale of a broken man protecting his young female ward while trekking through a horrific wasteland. And plenty of movies ripped that off too. Like Maggie, a movie about daddy Arnold Schwarzenegger who needs to take special care of his slowly zombifying daughter. The only original thing this movie did was inadvertently give us the only picture to ever feature a bearded Schwarzenegger.
But the most striking resemblance goes to Logan, the story of, you guessed it, a broken bearded man roaming a broken America protecting his daughter figure.
But at least Logan had a bunch of new things to say (and was, like, about Wolverine). So if The Last Of Us should be kind of flattered by sharing so much of its essence with one of the best movies of 2017, it should feel the opposite for What Still Remains.
That movie has very little to do with the game, but they decided to draw in a few curious gamers by shamelessly marketing itself as it was a low-budget adaptation. Hell, even the title is another way of saying "the last of us."
The New Tomb Raider Movie Took Its Plot From A Different Game Series
2018's Tomb Raider movie shares much of its premise with the 2013 video game reboot ... all the way up to the second act. Then it turns to another, more popular adventure game series: Uncharted. Halfway through the movie, Lara Croft, captured by the baddies, opens the ancient sarcophagus of an evil queen. This happened in the Tomb Raider game too, and the undead queen is found out to be the one responsible for the island's devastating storms. But in the movie, the queen does something a lot more cliched: she spreads a virus that turns people into zombies.
Which, incidentally, is the exact same plot as in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, wherein it turns out that the lost treasure of El Dorado (you guessed it) is in fact a sarcophagus carrying a plague that turns people into zombies. It even has the exact same reveal scene, beat for beat, where one of the baddies ruthlessly executes one of the other baddies who has been infected.
It's clear that the writers figured it would be more visually interesting to have Lara fight zombies than the weather in their Hollywood movie, but the ripoff from Uncharted is so blatant that they deserve some kind of tit for tat. So when that Uncharted movie is finally made, we look forward to seeing whoever plays Drake run around ruins with two parking cones stuffed in his shirt for that extra '90s throwback.
People Love To Steal Video Game Cover Art
Despite the fact that no one has bought a physical copy of a video game since 2012, people still love cover art -- especially people who make covers for other industries and gladly steal their creativity.
One frequent filcher in this regard is Bollywood. Copyright laws aren't very big in India, so movies sometimes straight up steal their poster looks from games. Like Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne, which with a couple of badly photoshopped heads turned into the poster for Mr. X. That movie is about a man who is burned so badly that he becomes an invisible vigilante -- a premise so ridiculous that it really deserved a more original poster.
Then there's Captain Nawab, the story of a rogue badass soldier ...
... whose poster has the titular hero sitting in the same "psychopath boy scout" pose as the iconic Call Of Duty: Black Ops cover.
Even snobby books sometimes deign to stoop so low and pilfer from games, as evidenced by what looks like a bootleg Assassin's Creed novelization.
Westworld's Showrunners Admit They Borrow Heavily From Rockstar Games
Westworld, for those of you who don't know your parents' HBO password, is a show about a hyper-realistic Wild West theme park where adults can go and indulge in any desire they might have. Most, however, use it as an excuse to ride around and shoot, stab, and murder a bunch of old-timey-looking robots until they get bored. And if you're thinking, "Hey, that's what I do when playing GTA," that's exactly the parallel the writers want you to draw.
Unlike most Hollywood writers and directors, who love ripping off video games but are then embarrassed to admit they know video games, the showrunners of Westworld are very open about drawing inspiration from the greatest Western game to date, Red Dead Redemption.
In fact, the way guests arrive in Westworld is almost a beat-for-beat copy of the opening scene of RDR, in which our cowboy protagonist broods into the middle distance on a locomotive while the other passengers cryptically talk about the true nature of where they're headed.
Of course, Westworld's video game similarities go deeper than the digital cowboy aesthetic. For the show's mood and social commentary, producers Lisa Joy Nolan and Jonathan Nolan have said in interviews that they've drawn a lot from games like Bioshock and, of course, another Rockstar Games franchise, the Grand Theft Auto series. To further pay homage to their favorite virtual killing fields, they even brought in the actor who played the most violently sociopathic protagonist in GTA, Trevor.
It's just a shame that Warner Bros. can't be as honest as its employees about borrowing heavily from video games. When it released the Westworld mobile game, people were quick to notice how it looked almost exactly like another wildly popular mobile game, Fallout Shelter.
Besides the two games having almost the exact same premise, WB even hired the same developers (Behaviour Interactive) who made Fallout Shelter to make this "blatant rip-off." Those are the words of Fallout daddy Bethesda Softworks, which sued WB and Behaviour for stealing their intellectual property, down to recycling the graphics.
WB contested these claims, of course, but was hard to keep pretending they didn't lazily copy/paste another game when people started pointing out that Westworld even has the exact same bugs as Fallout Shelter. And if anyone should know the dangers of unchecked computer bugs, it's the people who work on Westworld.
You can tell Tiago Svn how all of this is actually just a coincidence on his twitter.
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For more, check out 20 Movies That Stole Their Plots From Other Films and 14 Famous Movies With Stolen Scenes You Didn't Notice.
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