After success for 'The Last of Us': The best video game adaptations

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Writed by - Andy Gocker
  After success for"The Last of Us": Die besten Videospielverfilmungen
Bella Ramsey und Pedro Pascal in der 'The Last of Us'-Serie. © © 2021 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved, SpotOn

Hedgehogs, gangs and a witcher

Quite rightly, video game adaptations have largely not had a good reputation among film and series fans in recent years. The productions often seemed like quick and soulless conversions of well-known brands that were supposed to bring money into the coffers simply because of the sonorous name. But times have changed. Here is a selection of films and series that might be worth taking a look at, depending on your personal taste.

The current HBO series 'The Last of Us' is the adaptation of one of the best video games of the past decade for many gamers. The opening event already generated a lot of interest. According to a report by the US industry website 'Deadline', 4.7 million people tuned in to linear TV and the HBO Max streaming service at the start. Only the 'Game of Thrones' offshoot 'House of the Dragon' has been able to surpass this value in the past ten years with almost ten million viewers.

The first installment in the End Times series, in which a mutated mushroom almost caused the extinction of all mankind, promises to be one of the best adaptations of a game yet. In the opening episode, for example, the atmosphere and the performance of 'Game of Thrones' star Pedro Pascal (47) in the lead role of Joel were convincing. His talented colleague Bella Ramsey (19) as Ellie currently has a harder time with the fans of the template. The second episode can be seen in Germany starting today, Monday, via the Wow streaming service.

For friends of animated series

In addition to numerous botched productions, which many would only classify as entertaining with the certain irony of a trash lover, there are also other positive examples of series and films based on video games. This includes the animated series 'Arcane', which is set in the universe of the extremely successful 'League of Legends'. The rating platform 'Rotten Tomatoes' currently lists a 96 percent audience response. 'Arcane', which can be seen on Netflix, serves as a prequel to the game and, among other things, convinces with an extraordinary animation style and an exciting story.

There is entertainment for young and old in the first live-action film from the 'Pokémon' universe, which, in addition to the numerous games, previously could only inspire in animated series and film form. In 'Pokémon Master Detective Pikachu' from 2019, Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds (46) lends his voice to the yellow cult character in the English-language original. The young Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith (27), sets out together with the little detective in search of his father, who is said to have died in an accident.

The anime series 'Cyberpunk: Edgerunners', which viewers can also stream on Netflix, currently has the same value as 'Arcane'. It is set in the dystopian future world of the initially much-awaited role-playing game 'Cyberpunk 2077', which caused a stir with several controversies when it was released at the end of 2020 - with unfulfilled expectations of the players, technical problems and reports of unrealistic deadlines that resulted in countless overtime for developers and developers developers should have led. The business magazine 'Forbes' described the series as 'absolutely incredible' in September 2022.

Uproar on the social media platforms

There was also an outcry about 'Sonic the Hedgehog' on the Internet. After the release of the first trailer, many fans were enraged by the design of the cult hedgehog. Director Jeff Fowler (44) said on Twitter in May 2019 that the criticism had arrived. The design of the character was adjusted and the adventure with Jim Carrey (61) as the villain Dr. Eggman finally appeared in 2020, several months late. The film certainly does not belong to the great works of cinema history, but it can definitely entertain the whole family for around one and a half hours.

Initially celebrated by fans, there's been quite a bit of excitement surrounding 'The Witcher' lately. The Netflix fantasy series is based on the 'Witcher Saga' by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski (74), which also served as a template for a successful video game series. At the end of October 2022, however, leading actor Henry Cavill (39) announced on Instagram that he would no longer play Geralt of Rivia after the third season, which is expected for summer 2023. Instead, his colleague Liam Hemsworth (33) will take over, which caused outrage among many viewers. The spin-off 'The Witcher: Blood Origin' was not well received by critics and audiences at the turn of the year. At 'Rotten Tomatoes' only 13 percent of the viewer ratings are currently positive.

This is based on a video game?

The brutal drama 'Gangs of London' is about power struggles after the murder of gang boss Finn Wallace - and the hunt for the clients behind the murder. The series shows a journey through the underworld of the metropolis. Series creator Gareth Evans (43), also known as the director of the two 'The Raid' films, relies on brute action in the Sky original. Very few viewers are likely to be aware that the series is loosely based on a game - the now almost forgotten 'Gangs of London', which was released in 2006 for Sony's handheld console PlayStation Portable (PSP).

The horror comedy 'Werewolves Within' starring Sam Richardson (39) and Milana Vayntrub (35) was based on a virtual reality video game of the same name. That in turn is the implementation of a variant of the parlor game 'Mafia', which inspired the hit game 'Among Us'. One or more traitors are hiding in a group of people and the players have to find out who the imposter is who is killing the others one by one. While the 'Werewolves Within' game is set in a medieval village, in the film a werewolf is up to mischief in a modern American town. On the website of the legendary late US film critic Roger Ebert (1942-2013), Nick Allen recommends the 'fun film' that is rich in silliness but ultimately offers fewer unforgettable lines than one would like.

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