The five best game-to-film adaptations

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As director J J Abrams is set to adapt first-person shooter Half Life to the big screen, we take a look at the other games that have made it big on the big screen

The ground-breaking first-person shooter Half Life is about to be turned into a film, by sci-fi director J.J. Abrams. Here's hoping it turns out as well as these big-hitters:

Click here to view the gallery of best game-to-film adaptations

Click here to view the gallery of worst game-to-film adaptations.

Five best film adaptations:

Hitman (2007) directed by Xavier Gens

The most stylishly-dressed killer in gaming makes the leap to celluloid in this slick and efficient action flick. Timothy Oliphant plays the shaven-headed Agent 47, a deadly assassin for a shadowy organisation who, after being double-crossed, goes on the run. Cue frenetic gunplay, daring leaps and balletic action chases across Russia and Eastern Europe, all handled adroitly by Gens, and thus providing us with an enjoyable, if forgettable, ride that's high in choreographic violence but perhaps a little low on credible dialogue.


Doom  (2005) directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak

Director Bartkowiak does several things right: recreating the claustrophobic feelings of the game while spinning out a worthwhile plot. A research facility on Mars has gone silent and so a squad of Space Marines are sent to investigate. The GIs, led by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's muscular Sarge, provide enough cannon fodder to keep the otherworldly demons – and our blood lust – happy. While the director's first-person "gun-cam" segment will thrill open-minded viewers and gamers alike.


Resident Evil (2002) directed by Paul W. S. Anderson

This tense, claustrophobic recreation of the iconic Resident Evil series, which sees Milla Jovovich's warrior, Alice, and her team of commandos attempt to contain a bio-engineered virus that has turned employees into flesh-eating zombies. Thanks to the film's rapid camera work and brutal monster scares – the bloodied, relentless zombie hounds feel particularly vicious – director Anderson’s take on this video game horror classic provide the audience with oceans of unease and a satisfyingly downbeat ending.


Tomb Raider (2001), directed by Simon West

Angelina Jolie was apparently so enamoured with her role as the aristocratic treasure hunter, Laura Croft, that she kept hold of the her character's figure-hugging costume and props. Jolie's athletic dedication gives the film its kinetic vigour, as Jolie jumps, leaps and shoots her way to recovering a fabled artefact.  And by imbuing the character with a heady blend of sex appeal, and even vulnerability, Jolie manages to add something to the video game's mythology.  


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2011), directed by Mike Newell

 Mike Newall's adaptation of this 80s platform game gives us just enough climbing and scrambling around to justify the name, but this is actually just a big, dumb and incredibly fun action adventure set in sixth-century Persia. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the humble prince racing to stop the movie's fabled "sands of time" from falling into the wrong hands. There's plenty to fault, such as the non-existent chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton, but make no mistake, this is easily one of the best video-game adaptations yet made: let's just hope that with J.J. Abrams' entry into the fray, that bar keeps on rising higher.

Do you agree with the selection? Comment below or tweet Adam Jacques.


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