You know how to get me excited about the synthesis of games and film? John Lassiter needs to get on stage at ShoWest and announce that Pixar is developing a film based on Will Wright's Spore. I would probably lose it, if only for a minute.
Until this morning, I thought that one other name in gaming might be able to get me to shrug off my Uwe Boll-generated prejudice against the synthesis of film and games: Warren Spector. This is the guy who created fantastic storylines and some of the most enveloping highbrow action to hit the PC. Deus Ex. System Shock. Thief: Deadly Shadows. Spector's work has generally been top-notch. More interesting, especially for a guy who might now be working in action films, his games have always offered plenty of violence, but with a moral undercurrent that makes you think long and hard before you squeeze off headshot #375.
So if Spector was working with someone other than John Woo, I'd be excited. Together at last, Woo and Spector are working on Ninja Gold, which I'd always thought was a rare Asian tequila. Though Stranglehold should already be proof enough that Woo no longer even knows his Tequila. The idea was developed between Spector and Woo with the intent of being suitable for both media, so Spector's game will probably not exactly follow Woo's film, and vice versa. Woo was instrumental in creating the characters, however.
Ninja Gold will, in what I realize is a stretch for most audiences, be about a ninja. It's got something to do with the Yakuza and Russian mob stealing South African gold, and this ninja who has to conform his old-world fighting ways with modern 'we don't need no stinking enemy!' combat. Whether the ninja himself is actually ancient, we don't know.
The pairing actually makes sense. Ninja are the biggest joke going right now, and Woo is less than a parody of himself. I'd actually rank him below Boll at this point. Embarrassing as they are, at least ze German's movies are entertaining. I really don't think Woo has any idea what makes a good film at this point.
Fox Atomic will be releasing the film when it eventually comes into being; the game is only just getting underway. Which means that, like so many other licensed properties, the game will hit shelves two years after the film, where it will have to suck or succeed on it's own.