According to Dead Space 2’s in-game calculator, I’ve
wasted spent 30 hours of my life, since late January, dismembering necromorphs (see: wetting myself out of fear) and galavanting across The Sprawl, looking like a bad ass space cowboy with my arsenal of limb-slicing weapons. I simply cannot get enough Dead Space. I loved the first game and I’m humping the leg of the second installment (on my fourth play-through). It’s a shooter, it’s a haunted house, it’s a space adventure and is chock full of interstellar zombies and, in this writer’s opinion, a compelling storyline. Add to that an eerie, cinematic score, eye-popping visuals and jaw-dropping attention to detail and it’s safe to say, for me, Dead Space is the new Halo. Still, what does this all mean to a non-gamer? Well, aside from the fact that I want a Dead Space 3 in the worst way, I want a Dead Space movie STAT. And trust me, if you like sci-fi and also like wearing Depends adult diapers to the cineplex, you want this movie, too.
But guess what? It’s not going to happen. Really, it’s not. Just ask Halo, Bioshock and Gears of War fans. They’ve been waiting, in the case of Halo, since 2006 for a big screen orgy of grunts, elites, brutes and ol’ Master Chief, and even though it came close to fruition with Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp, who went on to kick serious box-office booty with District 9 – best picture booty, in fact, fans were left with blue balls when 20th Century Fox and Universal balked at the massive pricetag and earnings demands Microsoft was championing. Despite its existence in Development Hell, Halo overseer Frank O’ Connor has said the movie still will be made. Rumors of Steven Spielberg’s interest in the franchise have soothed wounded souls from time-to-time, but as of today Halo is dead. And it should be. The Halo flame has been extinguised by the Call of Duty franchise. Microsoft would have to really stir some sustained interest for the movie ever to garner the success it could have obtained in 2007-2008, at the height of Halo 3’s popularity.
The same can be said for Bioshock and Gears of War. Both directors originally attached have jettisoned from each project and both movies are stalled and most likely will never be made. While both games have sequels (Bioshock Infinite and Gears of War 3) coming in 2011, it’s hard to imagine the “wow” factor ever being the same as it was in 2007-2008. There is something to be said about timeliness. Studios must strike when the iron is hot, because with the passage of too much time the property wilts from compelling and engaging to just another video game movie waiting to entertain a small horde of fanboys, but destined to fizzle into financial and critical obscurity.
So, to the head honchos of Dead Space, learn from the past. Be cautious, sure. But also, be bold. This has the chance to be something great and to flip the proverbial bird finger to the video-games-don’t-make-good-movies throng of doubters. Here’s to hoping you strike while the iron is hot and not when your franchise is fading into the gaming graveyard.