Greetings DegiCats – Kain here again, a bit late. All apologies.
With today’s reveal that Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator would be available as a playable character in WWE2k16, it seems like as good of a time as any to talk about movie characters showing up in video games. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it always feels a bit out of place. Maybe also a bit awesome.
Mortal Kombat has played around with this in the past. Having had not only Freddy Kreuger, but also his buddy in horror Jason Voorhees, and their eventually-needs-to-happen future co-star Predator. Is it really important that these characters show up? Nope. Is it awesome? Yes. Yes it is. It’s also not entirely out of character for any of them. Freddy greatly enjoys toying with people, and considering he’s pretty much unkillable he might as well get his glove dirty with some hand-to-hand combat. Jason is all about slaughtering people and he just seems to enjoy it when they put up a fight so a huge fighting tournament sort of deal would be like a kid in a candy store for him (not for Freddy though, he needs to stay away from the childrens). Predator of course belongs to a race where the better a fight is, the more honorable the win becomes. It’s pretty much their sole reason for existing. All three of these characters provide a pretty natural fit and they’re lots of fun to have around, but do they really belong in matches with the MK veterans?
Soul Calibur is another fighting series that has managed to incorporate movie-based characters in enjoyable ways. Specifically, Darth Vader and Yoda in Soul Calibur IV. It’s another case that evokes the “yes they fit in, but do they really belong” line of questioning. They don’t really have any ties to the story, and even though Soul Calibur and Soul Edge are meant to take the form that best suits their wielder (though in IV that is kind of overlooked) it’s really hard to imagine either of those swords becoming light sabers. Even moreso difficult to imagine those light sabers somehow being better than normal light sabers.
The last game I’ll mention, partly because these examples are really rare and also partly because I don’t want this article to be any later than it already is, will be Ash Williams from the Evil Dead series showing up in… Poker Night 2. Valve’s second crossover-heavy poker game.
Are movie character crossovers going to become more apparent as time goes on? Probably. It’s a great way to promote movies and get people to buy games, especially if it is done well, which in these examples it mostly has been. What happens when it starts going wrong? Where does the line get drawn?