As with other medias, the plot of a video games will be greatly influenced by pop culture and current events. It’s understandably that a video game will borrow elements from one work as a tribute to its influence or acknowledge that it’s a modern retelling of a classic story.
Than you have games that pretty much rip-off another work and try to pass it off as their own original content. The following are great examples:
5. Far Cry - A group of Americans are kidnapped by pirates and are held on an island in South East Asia. Jason Brody is lucky to escape and is rescued by the Rakyat (the local indigenous population) that is waging a war against the pirates and their benefactor.
In exchange for helping him rescue his friends, Brody needs to assist the Rakyat in their battle to liberate the island. This involves taking over outposts while waging a guerrilla war against a well-trained and well equipped mercenary army.
As Brody journey progresses; he develops a relationship with Citra, a warrior princesses, while begin to take an interest in the local culture. In the end of his journey (depending on the players choice) he decides to stay on the island and to become one of the Rakyat.
Hey wait this sounds a lot like . . .
Similar To: James Cameron’s Avatar – I know a lot of people compared it to Dances With Wolves or Pocahontas but those movies sucked and James Cameron is a director that can do no wrong. To borrow the summary from Honest Trailers, the plot is about a native tribe who are helpless without the white man (which is really offensive when you think about it).
Besides the concept of an indigenous population fighting for their home land; you have a character who is an outsider but overtime feels more connected to the native culture over his own world. The only minor difference is that Jake Sully is an ex-Marine with combat training while Jason Brody is just a spoiled cry baby for Orange County.
During the journey both our heroes fall in love with a warrior princess who teaches them about the culture and how to survive in this new world. In the end they both become part of the tribe and completely abandon their former lives.
Oh and don’t forget that your fighting a better equipped mercenary army that is destroying the land for its own greed.
4. Battlefield 3 – SSgt. Henry “Black” Blackburn recounts the events of the last eight months that started with the American invasion of Iran in its ongoing war against the PLR. His unit uncovers that a rogue CIA informant has acquired nuclear weapons and is plotting to use them.
Besides SSgt. Blackburn, players will take on the role of several different characters whose actions are all connected to the overall story arch if the game.
Similar To: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare & Black Ops - Basically all they did was take the plot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare-series and Black Ops then repackaged it for a new game.
The story begins in a Middle Eastern country that is under US occupation since the Bush Administration. Modern Warfare 2 chose Afghanistan while Battlefield 3 opted for Iraq which was still under American occupation at the time it was released. There is fighting against insurgence but for Political Correctness reasons they can’t be called “Al-Qaeda”.
However everything changes when radical warlord stages a coup and takes power in an oil rich country. Modern Warfare gave a no name country along with a very loose geographical region while Battlefield 3 decide to go with Iran. Fearing the new government will bring chaos to the region, United States launches an invasion. Oh also the warlord is being supported by Russian Ultra-Nationalists.
Modern Warfare has a very shocking moment were your character is killed when a nuclear bomb is detonated in a major city. You know what other game had very shocking moment were a character is killed because a nuclear bomb is detonated? Battlefield 3; only they chose Paris, France as the setting.
All of this action is connected to the main story about our hero being the key to stopping a major terrorist attack on US soil. Yup Black Ops had the same story.
Don’t forget a key part of the plot that involves your character being integrated by a CIA agent who is bald with some blond hair while wearing a short-sleeved shirt and black tie (just like in Black Ops). The only difference between the two characters is that one is voiced by Ed Harris while the other is voiced by Glenn Morshower.
While on the subject regarding Call of Duty . . .
3. Call of Duty: Black Ops II - The story begins with Alex Mason and the CIA in a purist of Raul Menendez during the Cold War, circa 1980′s. The story will then shift to the future as players will take on the role of David Mason as tries to stop Menendez from triggering a war between the United States and China (by hijacking America’s automated military drones) .
Similar To: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Set in a future were the global economy is dependent on perpetual warfare; a dying Snake must stop Liquid Ocelot from hijacking a computer system that will give him total control of the world’s military.
Jose Otero of 1up.com pointed out to the similarities that Black Ops II shares with MGS4. Both games focus on a father and son whose journey begins during the Cold War while concluding in the near future. Snake / Mason must stop a radical (who has a grudge against the American government) from hijacking a military AI system and using it for his own sinister needs.
2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Set 25 years before the events of Deus Ex; Adam Jensen (ex-cop turned private security consultant) is badly injured during an attack on his employer. To save his life, Sarif Industries rebuilds him using advanced augmentation technology. Several months later, Jensen begins his purse of those who were responsible for the attack and in doing so he will uncover a sinister conspiracy.
Similar To: RoboCop – This game has way too many similarities to Paul Verhoeven 1987 iconic film for it to be a coincidence. Despite the conspiracy theory elements; Deus Ex: Human Revolution is basically a modern retelling of RoboCop that is more true to the source material then the upcoming remake.
Robocop and most of Human Revolution is set in a futuristic Detroit that is in decay. Poverty is ramped while the local police are powerless to stop vicious gangs that terrorize the city. However these depictions of Detroit are still better than what the actual city is like.
The hero is a private security official who was badly injured on the job only to be rebuilt by his employer (remember that in RoboCop, the Detroit Police Department had been privatized and is owned by OCP). In no time he begins his purist of those who tried to kill him only to discover that they are working with respected people of power.
Yet to its credit; Deus Ex: Human Revolution expanded on the themes of Robocop about human nature in a world ravaged by poverty, It also explores what it means to maintain ones humanity even though most of what made someone “human” is replaced by machine.
1. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction: After the events of Double Agent ; Sam Fisher has gone in self-exile overseas. However everything changes when he is forced back into the espionage world. Anna Grímsdóttir informs him that the President needs him put down a conspiracy that involves the leadership of Third Echelon and a PMC.
The rules have changed and Fisher has to work in the dark if he hopes to stop the conspiracy.
Similar To – 24 (Season 7): Just because Tom Clancy’s name is on it, doesn’t mean the game is an original work. Splinter Cell: Convection is just a word for word retelling of 24 (Season 7). Here is the breakdown just to get a sense.
They both begin with our hero as an ex-government agent who is in self-exile dealing with past actions that haunt them. However they are forced to return to action after learning someone they presumed was dead is still alive. Yet due to widespread corruption in the US Government, our hero must work underground while directly reporting to the President.
The main villain is a Private Military Company with deep connection to the US Government (in legal and illegal ways). They have smuggled a WMD into the country and are going to use it to stage a terrorist attack as way to gain influence in the US Government. They even help orchestrate an attack on the White House with the goal of killing the President.
Oh and the main setting for the story is Washington D.C and the surrounding area.
Both characters also share way too many similarities. Sam Fisher and Jack Bauer have to use torture during several occasions to get information from suspects. They both also have an adult daughter they have not seen in a long time. Also Sam Fisher weapon of choice in the game is the HK-USP while Jack Bauer has been using the same gun since Season 3.
Finally you got promos that are way too similar.