Editor’s Note: The following article may contain spoilers for the movie District 9, as it does discuss some of the film’s advanced elements. Also, thanks to our good friend Muhammad Saleem (@msaleem on Twitter) for sending over crucial feedback that led to this article.
Chances are good that you spent at least two hours of this weekend watching Neill Blomkamp’s innovative, intense alien action film District 9. And if you’re anything like us, you walked out of the theater thinking a few things: (a) that Neill Blomkamp should direct a Halo movie and (b) District 9 would make a kick-ass video game experience. It could be something along the lines of Halo meets Call of Duty, Resistance 2 meets inFamous. The film comes to us from the folks at Columbia Pictures, whose brethren, Sony Interactive, has some experience delivering some badass gameplay, so it got us thinking that not only is District 9 about to become a recognizable brand name, but it has all of the essential elements for a great action video game.
With that in mind, we humbly present 7 Reasons Why a District 9 Game Would Be Awesome:
7. Three Distinct Playable Groups – Military/MNU, Gangs, Aliens
Every great game needs good guys and bad guys. In this case, we have multiple sets of bad guys, a few sets of good guys and blurry lines all over the place. In a game version, D9 could include gameplay as main alien character Christopher Johnson, MNU agent Wikus Van de Merwe, one of the MNU soldiers and one of the members of the Nigerian gang. Or better yet, levels that allow you to play as different characters with diverse objectives. As well, we also have the element in which Wikus is undergoing a transformation throughout the film — something that could be explored in the game.
6. Great Alien Weapons
I will talk a bit about the badass alien mech suit in a moment. For now, lets focus ourselves on the 5-6 really awesome guns shown off in the movie. Guns that eradicate targets with electric energy, causing them to burst into pieces. Guns that energize targets and cause them to catch fire. And lets not forget that really wicked gun that sends men through walls with an enormous pulse. These guns can do some serious damage — they might as well do so on my computer screen or in the confines of my XBox 360.
5. Awesome Vehicles, Alien and Human
In the film, there are several cool vehicles in both the human and alien arsenals, but those are just starting points. Game creators could expand on the concepts presented in the film to bring to life cool MNU assault vehicles and alternate alien technology, creating a user experience that is much more than just one character walking with a badass gun. Who wouldn’t love to take a spin in the alien command module or defend humanity from an awesome MNU armored vehicle? I know I’d like to have that happening in my life.
4. Diverse Locales and Economic Elements
From the shantytowns of District 9 to the streets of Johannesburg to the tented internment camp of District 10, there are plenty of locales within this movie that would make for great shootout levels in a game. Not to mention the high-security MNU headquarters, which must be infiltrated in order for Christopher Johnson to return home. Heck, there is even great potential in humanity entering the alien mothership. As well, there are economic elements already present in the D9 world, including the cat food trade and the weapons trade — those could be utilized to add layers to gameplay.
3. Awesome First Person Shooter Potential
The work of director Neill Blomkamp and cinematographer Trent Opaloch is almost screaming it at the audience: this is first-person shooting at its best. Some of the film’s shots that show a point-of-view right down the barrel of an army gun to the views from within the alien mech suit at the end, this movie is tailor-made for a first person shooter environment. Think Halo, but at times potentially more chaotic and with a much heavier narrative. And in my opinion, cooler weapons.
2. Human-Alien Co-op Mode / Online Multiplayer
To me this is a given. The film’s climactic sequence is one in which Wikus (human) must help Christopher Johnson (alien) avoid the fire of the army in order to get back to his son, his ship and ultimately his way home. This screams co-op, which can be played both in person (2-player mode) and online. As well, my gamer-sense tells me that players around the world are always itching for a cool property to play online, in massively multiplayer ways. If executed properly, a D9 game could be the online multiplayer experience that keeps those bean bag chairs wet.
1. The Mech Sequence
I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’ve saved it for last as its own reason. The alien mech suit — seen in the final scenes of the film — is quite possibly the coolest alien gadget we’ve seen in quite a while. Who doesn’t want to get into one of those awesome alien mech suits and blast some human soldiers to smithereens? If you’re answer to that question was no, then there is no help for you — you’ve lost sight of what “cool” really is.
District 9 is in theaters now. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should.