Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn reveals that Mass Effect is one of his “biggest inspirations” and that he has played every game in the BioWare trilogy to the end.
With the best video games having emotional stories, rich universes and believable characters, it’s no surprise that gaming has been a huge influence on television series and films. HBO’s new hit drama Westworld is inspired by Grand Theft Auto and BioShock, for example, while the Uncharted movie is the result of film executives seeing the blockbuster game franchise and wanting to bring Nathan Drake’s adventures to life.
The latest Hollywood figure to reveal his video game influences is James Gunn, who directed Marvel flick Guardians of the Galaxy, and is also at the helm of its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. On Twitter, Gunn revealed that BioWare’s sci-fi RPG trilogy Mass Effect, along with over-the-top space opera Flash Gordon, Star Wars, and sci-fi TV series Farscape were his “biggest inspirations” when making the first movie. He also went on to reveal that he has played the entire Mass Effect trilogy “to the end” and that he is trying to clear his post-Guardians schedule so that he can play Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Besides the comics - Mass Effect (along with Flash Gordon, Farscape, Star Wars and some others) were my biggest inspirations. https://t.co/De8ObOlQsF— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 9, 2017
Gunn also answered a fan question regarding the failure of video game movies, as the fan wondered whether games as “more suited for long-form storytelling in television instead of film?” The Guardians of the Galaxy director didn’t pull any punches in his response, saying that “most [movies based on video games] have failed because they’re bad.” Gunn continued to explain, saying, “Many hit the screens too late, after their draw is over,” while “others are better left as games.” With the Assassin’s Creed movie failing to make a big box office impact and also getting some disappointing reviews, some would argue that the film is a key example of a picture that could have used Gunn’s advice.
With Gunn’s words in mind, many will wonder what, if any, influence this will have on Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy game. While video game adaptations of movies have typically fared better than the other way around, there is still a fear that even a seasoned developer like Telltale will be unable to capture what made the first Groot-starring movie a hit in the first place.
At this point, it’s a little early to hold any heavy doubts about the upcoming video game. Only one trailer has been released so far, and it wasn’t particularly revealing (it didn’t show gameplay, and the story is unclear too), but fingers crossed that the episodic game will do right by fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and that it will set an example for those looking to adapt movies into video games and vice versa.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is scheduled to release on March 21, 2017 in North America, and on March 23, 2017 in Europe for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.