[Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead]
It seems only inevitable that a Hunger Games Video Game is going to come out sooner or later, what with how Suzanne Collins’ cash-cow has begun to moo indignantly every time somebody mentions the decision to turn the final book – Mockingjay – into two movies. However with the somewhat lacklustre games sitting on the next-gen shelf of G–Force or Game shops, a well-designed Hunger Games video game (HGVG) could be so damn cool!
So here are the 7 things a HGVG would need to be good.
Just Play In The Hunger Games, Don’t Waste Time With The Mockingjay Rebellion.
Let’s face it, do we really care if Peeta and Katniss are going to get together? There’s a reason why Mockingjay is regarded as the worst book of the trilogy, and the terrible ending isn’t entirely to blame. All we want to experience are the Hunger Games themselves, including all 24 tributes on one map at the same time.
Make Each Game Last As Long As Necessary For All Players To Die.
This would require some patience on the part of gamers, but at a time when we (unfortunately) judge game value based on quantity over quality this shouldn’t be too much to ask. Be-gone Call of Duty maps lasting 20 minutes! Hello stories of survival spanning hours. Each day cycle could last 15 minutes, each night cycle, 7.5. An hour of play would equate three game days and two game nights. If gamers get tired of the long matches, they would simply drop out and this would equate to their death.
Focus on Survival, not Run-and-Gun Gameplay
Use skill trees focusing on campfires and easy-to-use crafting systems as well as hand-to-hand combat. The game would have to played in first person for this reason to keep the experience visceral, and vulnerable. All players would start nearby the Cornucopia at the beginning, just as described in the books, near items and tools which may be useful for the rest of the games.
Have Multiplayer AND Single Player modes.
Let’s face it, on next-gen most of us will be playing the HGVG online against other players, but there’s danger in making an online-only experience, as we have seen with the launch troubles of Diablo III and Sim City. A Single Player mode would have the same gameplay as a multiplayer one, except with bots. A training mode should also be made available to hone your skills outwith the long, draining games.
In-depth Character Creation Is A Must
We will most definitely want to create our own champion to fight with. Not only should skill-trees be made available to hone our characters strengths and make them unique to our playstyles, but we should also be allowed to design them as we see fit. Unfortunately choosing which district they come from would prove to be tricky for matching Games, but our characters should be judged by who they are, not where they come from.
Have a Game-Changer Role
Similar to a tower-defence system but with more interesting mechanics, there should be a 25th player who chooses the map, what natural disasters occur and where, when supply drops should take place, and even who gets sponsored. Particularly with the sponsor mechanic, this is how our players would be able to focus on staying in the fight and proving themselves to the Game-Changer, rather than just hiding at the corner of the map in order to win the game. There’s also the opportunity here – especially with the live-stream capabilities of the PS4 and Xbone – for spectators to choose sponsors and communicate with the Game-Changer as well.
Don’t call it The Hunger Games, call it Battle Royale
Okay, so maybe this is just my inner geek still raging at the blatant parallels between Katniss Everdeen and Noriko Nakagawa. But an M rated Battle Royale would make so much more sense than a toned down Hunger Games to pander to teenage audiences. Think of the potential here for brutal takedowns, for a metaphysical exploration of violence in video games, similar to that seen in The Last of Us.
I’d be first in line if a developer made a game like this. It would shake up the FPS genre greatly, redefining it past a “pew-pew, you’re dead!” scenario and turning it into something a bit more gut-wrenching. Especially with a next-gen engine, the maps could feel alive, with dangerous animals roaming the wild like in Far Cry 3 and natural disasters occurring as the Game-Changer sees fit. There’s an indie game being developed by a small team online, yet it’s still in bare bones mode and doesn’t seem to have any of the features I’ve listed here. Saying that, if you’re interested, click the following link to check them out.
It has potential – http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-hunger-games-the-videogame