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avengers-cast fi

Film and computer game tie-ins: Avengers expansion

With the glut of the latest summer blockbusters already starting to hit cinemas, it got us thinking about some of our favourite film tie-in games. There have been lots of great games based on existing film, giving gamers an already richly populated world that they can truly immerse themselves in when they start playing. With so many to choose from, we thought we’d share some of our favourites.


  • Batman: Arkham Asylum. While not based on the current series of films, it still shares the same dark visuals that have made the modern films so popular, and is a world away from the bright comic-book TV series of the sixties. With a great story and fast-paced action, the game has been understandably very popular with critics. It also looks fantastic, especially when you play it with 3D glasses, like the NVIDIA 3D Vision 2.
  • Equally good, and quite a bit older, is Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis. A standard point-and-click adventure (whatever happened to them?), it allowed gamers to take on the role of Indy in another adventure. Many people remember the game quite fondly, so much so that it has been reissued, allowing a new generation of gamers to play it on modern PCs. If you’re looking for a different kind of game, and want a break from 1st person action games, give this one a try.
  • Aliens vs Predator – Based on at least three different films, the original game (released all the way back in 1999) allowed you to play as the titular characters, as well as a marine from the Aliens film. Still looking remarkably good, despite its age, the game is absolutely terrifying when played as a marine, managing to bring across all the fear of the films. Each race has its own abilities, and nothing beats climbing up a wall and along the ceiling to jump onto an unsuspecting marine below.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – No round up of film tie-ins would be complete without a reference to Star Wars. There have been countless games based on the old and new films. The Force Unleashed is set between the last of the new films and the first of the old ones, letting you play Darth Vadar’s apprentice. Combat is fast paced and fun, allowing you to execute some impressive combos with your lightsabre. A lot of thought also went in to the game world itself, meaning that the plot matches anything in the films, with beautiful locations created specifically for the game.

With the Avengers film out last week, and exciting films like Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises being launched over the coming months, there’s plenty of scope for some great new film tie-ins. With its non-stop action, The Avengers film would make a great choice. What do you think? Which film (old or new) would you like to see made into a game? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below.


Life Beyond Earth

Last night astronomers confirmed the existence of a planet, 600 light-years away, that shares a number of characteristics with Earth. It is in the “habitable zone”, meaning that it is the right size and temperature, and distance from a star similar to the Sun, to potentially support life. While we shouldn’t be booking our holidays there just yet, this discovery of “Kepler 22-b” (catchy) has prompted widespread discussions about life on planets (if not galaxies) far, far away.

This morning Radio 4 prompted a trend on Twitter, with users submitting questions to be asked in an interview with Stephen Hawking. While some were not entirely grounded in a genuine desire for scientific enlightenment  – soulvisioneks: “Sir, what can you tell us about the women of Kepler 22? #AskHawking #ThingsThatMatter Earth 2.0” – the popularity of the topic also showed a real curiosity on the part of Tweeters regarding the wider workings of the universe.

This curiosity has, of course, been amply addressed by some of the most imaginative game-developers. As settings for epic battles, heroic quests, and far-flung adventures, both real and imaginary planets beyond Earth have provided some of gaming’s most memorable backdrops. Fasten your seatbelt, initiate countdown, and let Dabs.com take you on a tour of some of the finest planets gamers have had the pleasure of visiting.

Mass Effect

The ultimate game for fans of space exploration, Mass Effect offered players the opportunity to completely ignore the storyline missions (which themselves spanned many planets), get in their own spaceship, and go off exploring uncharted new worlds. The whole game is beautifully rendered, and there’s hours of fun to be had bumping along the surface of rocky planets in a heavily armoured space buggy.


Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

The Star Wars franchise can claim imaginative space travel as something of an area of expertise, and KOTOR is no exception. As quite simply one of the finest RPG games ever made, it also doesn’t rest on the laurels of its lofty cinematic predecessors. The gameplay and storyline are both impeccable, and whistle-stop tours of everywhere from Tatooine to Dantooine(/Taris) give this game the feel of a true visual spectacular.



Halo’s Master Chief has become synonymous with Xbox gaming, and for good reason. When Halo: Combat Evolved burst onto our (generally a lot smaller) TV screens just over ten years ago (ten years!), Xbox-owners were finally given a reason to brag to PS2-enthusiasts. Its eponymous ring-shaped world was a fittingly magnificent setting, even if we spent a large part of the game trying to get off the damn thing.


Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

While perhaps not quite as well known as the other big names on this tour of the gaming galaxy, Alpha Centauri is more than deserving of its place. The game picks things up where Civilization II (incredibly good game by the way) left off. After an epic world-wide space-race, five factions of humanity (and two alien races) land on the nearest habitable planet to Earth – Chiron, in the Alpha Centauri star system. What follows is turn-based strategy at its finest, and as the player’s colony builds up they are treated to stunning cut-scenes of their new world (see pic).


Where it all began, for first-person shooters at least. The year 1993 (and the team at id Software) gave the world Doom, and we saw that it was incredibly good fun. As a lone space marine (sound familiar?) you have to fight your way through the devil’s hordes, across the two moons of Mars, and then down into Hell itself. The Martian military base setting looks amazing for its time, and paved the way for future gaming space explorations.

So there you have it. We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the gaming galaxy, and that the retrospective into the history of imaginative space has brought back some happy memories. Perhaps one day mankind will be jumping ship in search of pastures new (and not just from the comfort of our desks and sofas). In the meantime, we recommend you check out Star Wars: The Old Republic, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Mass Effect 3 (all out soon!) to continue the journey.



Star Wars: The Old Republic

I’m seeing more and more previews of the forthcoming Star Wars MMORPG, The Old Republic, and I for one am getting pretty excited about the launch.  It’s a game that’s been in planning for many years now, so I’m seriously hoping it’s worth the wait.

Of course, the game will have to rival other MMO powerhouses out there, including the globally popular World Of Warcraft, yet it’s going to be interesting to see how well it takes off.  Star Wars is, as we all know, a huge franchise, so I for one think that it’s going to be hugely successful.

Anyway, take a look at the E3 2010 trailer and let me know what you think.