Friday, October 12, 2007
Video games and movies. They seem the perfect fit. Yet, too often as not, games based on film are little more than a bit of fluff advertising. One example? "Fantastic Four" (shudder, shudder...one shudder for the game and one for the movie).
However there have been other games such as "Chronicles of Riddick" and "King Kong" that were probably more engaging and more entertaining than the film. Fortunately, the movie-game tie-in seems to be improving. Some of these games are even released years later than the film, there the goal isn't to pump audiences to slap down money for tickets, but rather to trade in on a filmgoer's memory. Love the "Godfather"? Play the game. Bond? "From Russia With Love" was an amazing experience for gamers and it even featured voice overs from the master himself: Sean Connery.
Enter: "I Am Legend". Warner Brothers has been hyping the heck out of this project. Of course, they desperately want the film version of Richard Matheson's book to hit one out of the ballpark, so one approaches the game with suspicion, especially since it's free and basically a promo for the film.
"I Am Legend" is a flash based online game. That means all you have to do is go to this website to play: http://iamlegendsurvival.com
Of course, you first have to register and get a password. Once you do this you are part of a gaming community and can travel through some pretty impressive renditions of the city, playing versions of capture the flag and causing mayhem wherever you wander. If the name Second Life seems familiar, it's because they are the people who run a fairly successful online environment where people adapt avatars and engage each other. It's sort of like "The Sims" meets......well...people who have little better to do with their lives than experience social interaction through an avatar. Get a life people.
"I am Legend" itself seems a quick diversion, and somewhat addictive. Real gamers, and I mean people who waited with baited breath for "Halo 3" or who understand that "Unreal" and "Gears of War" and the upcoming "Resident Evil 5" are important contributions to a national gaming psyche, will probably steer clear of this. However, I suspect that people looking for a fast gaming experience that isn't totally life consuming will be able to have a good time, keeping in mind, of course, that you are playing a giant commercial.
It ain't "World of Warcraft" and hopefully you won't try marrying another person online , but I'd give it a peek...if only to prep yourself a bit for a film that promises to be worth a second glance.
And besides..the game is free.