There is a general consensus about how video games based on movies - even the most successful products of Hollywood - are usually garbage. The same is not always true when things happen the other way around, though - even if we have quite a few examples of movies based on video games that failed miserably in living up to the fans' expectations (like Doom, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and the list could go on forever), there are quite a few of them that found new life on the silver screen. Not that they would've been universally well received - even this year's highly anticipated epic, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, only received a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, even though it was very well received by the fans of one of the top horror video games of all time.
The horror genre is increasingly popular among gamers today, covering everything from survival to exploration, zombies, and space aliens. And there are quite a few of them that beat both Hollywood and independent filmmakers when it comes to suspense, atmosphere, and creativity. Not to mention casual games that often come with fresh and fascinating ideas - like two Red Flush slot machines, Lost Vegas and Alaxe in Zombieland. The first, released last October at the Red Flush Casino, takes us into a zombie-ridden Las Vegas to either join a rag-tag team of survivors (a bit similar to those in The Walking Dead) or a horde of zombies out for their flesh. The second, an older Red Flush release, takes on Lewis Carroll's Wonderland after a zombie apocalypse, with flamingo-shaped scythes, a brain-eating Mad Hatter, and an infected White Rabbit.
When it comes to atmosphere, the "System Shock" series is hard to beat - even though we could hardly speak about a series, given that only two titles in the franchise were ever released. In the first game, we play a cybernetically enhanced hacker (á la Ghost in the Shell) who has to defeat an evil AI, Shodan, who has taken over Citadel Station, along with the experimental mutagenic virus developed there. Shodan plans to destroy major Earth cities and take over the world using the mutated crew of the station - later she is seemingly destroyed. The second game in the series takes us into deep space - we play as an unnamed soldier on board the USS Von Braun overtaken by mutants and robots. As we later discover, the mastermind behind the events that led to the destruction of the ship is Shodan, who has survived the events on Citadel Station. As you might expect, things get even more complicated from here - they involve a body-snatching AI, a gigantic bio-organic alien mass, and various terrifying hybrids.
BioShock is a video game directed by the same Ken Levine who is responsible for the second game in the System Shock series. The game takes its players to Rapture, an underwater city created by magnate Andrew Ryan as a Utopia for the human race but that went terribly wrong, falling into a dystopia inhabited by genetically enhanced people with powers like psychokinesis, telekinesis, and the ability to manipulate fire. Perhaps the scariest of all creatures to be found in the city are the Big Daddies, enhanced humans sewed into massive diving suites, accompanied by the Little Sisters, orphan girls with plasmid-producing sea slugs implanted into their bodies. A big screen version of the game was planned at one stage but was canceled due to budget concerns.
Last but not least, let us mention the games produced by horror author extraordinaire Clive Barker. The English author, director, and visual artist has tried his luck twice so far with standalone video games - and both times with quite a lot of success. His first standalone game, "Undying", was a first-person survival horror involving parallel universes, ghosts, monsters, and a lot of magic. His second standalone video game called "Jericho" takes players on a mission along with the Department of Occult Warfare's strike team Jericho to prevent an ancient evil called "The Firstborn" from escaping his prison. Both games had amazing stories and visuals - they would both make amazing silver screen productions as well.