Holy shit, remember that movie? You know, the one where a legion of radical communist troops invades a sleepy Colorado town without anyone seeing it coming? You might have recently been reminded of it with the recent passing of Mr. Swayze, but don't fear, this movie has not lost its potency since dropkicking its way into the scene in 1984.
For those unaware of the premise, don't worry. I just explained it to you in the intro. It's that simple. Somehow, Soviet paratroopers get the drop on the whole United States and launch a full-scale, coast-to-coast assault, as well as a land invasion from Mexico. Patrick Swayze's character, a simple blue collar worker in their cozy town, escapes the clutches of the invaders with his son (played by Charlie Sheen) and his friends. They scavenge up some weapons and disappear into the wilderness where they form a badass, albeit often whiny, resistance force known as The Wolverines.
The film is surprisingly brutal, landing itself for a time in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most violent film of all time, with an average 2.23 acts of violence per minute. PER MINUTE. That's the equivalent of watching Rambo machete two enemy soldiers plus the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail lose a leg every 60 seconds! How hasn't
this been made into a game yet?
This remake concept is completely out of left field, either. Publishers have been making movie games since the dawn of time. In fact, recent releases like Ghostbusters
and The Warriors
seems to have jump started a new trend of remaking classics films. These two in particular show how this reanimation can be done properly, with love and care for the source material. I think it's about time Red Dawn gets a piece of this action, don't you?
The film has the chops to fulfill a number of niches that are popular right now without beating them to death. Recent mega-success Left 4 Dead
demonstrated how co-op survival gameplay can be done right. This concept plays perfectly into the themes of Red Dawn's rag-tag band of rebels, who must scrape together supplies and fend off constant attacks from the Reds. All you'd need to do is replace the inner-city environments of L4D with mountain terrain and the Colorado wilderness. Replace the weapons with hunting rifles and general 80s era weaponry. Toss in some more explosives.
Oh, and replace the zombies with communists. And give them guns. And tanks. Real tanks.
However, a Red Dawn game wouldn't be precisely like Left 4 Dead
, as the survivors would not be under constant attack from blood-thirsty hordes. Instead, the Wolverines would require more tactical, objective based missions rather than desperate runs from point A to B. This is where the game would have to take a lesson from blockbuster First Person Shooters like the Call of Duty
, specifically Modern Warfare.
Objectives could range from launching sabotage on supply bases, ambushing convoys of troops with stolen RPGs and IEDs, over-the-top escape runs through the woods, and battling Soviet armor. Modern FPS games have been becoming more and more cinematic over the years anyhow. Rail shooters have done their best to use their scripted paths as a canvas for sudden scripted events, interactions, and cut-scenes. This design would allow for animated seques into movie scenes and dialog sequences.
Another great feature this incredible adaptation can play into is that age old exciting game mechanic of progression up the badass scale of weapons. Nothing beats the feeling of snagging that first rifle pick-up after getting saddled with a measly pistol from the start. This lends itself perfect to the gradual evolution of the Wolverines resistance from house-hold firearms to military-grade assault weapons.
I mean, can you really say no to a young Charlie Sheen tossing you an RPG and making a snarky comment about the ineffectual combat skills of Russian troops?
Let's also not forget how perfectly fictional Soviet troopers fit into that lexicon of great FPS fodder, right up there with generic terrorists and nazi soldiers. I mean, they write their own tag-lines! Some harsh Russian/Cuban phrases proclaiming their distaste for capitalism and McDonald's, the occasional obligatory drop of "American Pig-Dog."
I urge you, video game world. This needs to get made. And the window of opportunity is closing, as a remake of the film is inexplicably in the works. The time is now.