'Army Of The Dead' Should Have Been A Video Game
The reviews are in, and Zack Snyder's new movie, Army of the Dead, a tale about a casino heist in the middle of zombie-infested Las Vegas, is being hailed as … so so. Critics say "the story is bloated and amorphous" and call it "a brainless zombie flick" and "demand they release a Snyder cut!" (Oops, that last one was the wrong movie.) But even though Army of the Dead only reached a middling 70% critic and 76% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, it'll be Snyder that is getting the last laugh. Why? Because while the movie version of Army of the Dead might be just meh, all the details therein are going to make for one hell of a video game.
Now granted, as of this writing, we don't know too much about what games are in development for Army of the Dead. It appears there's some sort of VR game already planned, which is cool, and seemingly not much else. This is a mistake because Army of the Dead is so ripe for multiple video game adaptations that it's doing the thing that fruit does when it ripens. (Turn green, maybe? We don't know. It's been a while since we've eaten anything that doesn't come in a bag and end with "--os.")
First off, the premise is fantastic from a gaming perspective. Usually, zombie games are either about mowing down an endless horde or running away from an endless horde with not much variation in between. Here we actually have a purpose. You have to steal money from an endless horde. Yeah, it's not that deep, but it doesn't have to be, so long as it switches up the formula. Maybe the movie didn't execute on this premise well because it got bogged down with, as one critic put it, "Snyder stuffing as many insignificant details into his stories as possible." But video games are all about the insignificant details: the more mindless side quests and world-building and pointless gambits, the better. Movies need to tell a story, but all video games need to be is a playground.
But the real reason this movie needs to be adapted into a thing we can plug a controller into is all the varieties of zombies within the movie. It's like Snyder was designing a video game class system. I mean, we have your strong zombies, your fast zombies, your slow, dumb zombies (known as "shamblers" in the movie), your tiger zombies …
your robot zombies …
your Queen zombies…
There are so many varieties it feels like I'm selling beepers at freaking zombie mart over here. That's a great thing to have in a zombie game, especially when so many zombie games don't reach for this level of range. After all, not all humans are the same, so why should the zombies be? Instead of mowing down a mindless horde with a machine gun, imagine having to go toe to toe with some type of boxing zombie in a ring in vegas and have it feel earned and realistic to the universe. This universe can do that, and that's because, say what you will about Zack Snyder, but he's a hell of a game maker. He just happens to make his games in movie form.
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Top Image: Netflix