Developers and publishers may produce video games, but they couldn’t be successful without the fans. Once a title has been completed, the fate of that game is in the hands of the players. Some games receive the community’s seal of approval and some don’t, but an elite few inspire a ravenous fandom that cannot be contained. These are the games that have brought us here today.
Some of these games have prompted fans to create films based on their favorite franchises. I can only imagine how much many of these projects must have cost. And without the potential to recoup their investment, the dedication of these super-fans is undeniable. In light of this, we have collected 10 of the most impressive fan-made films for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
Pokémon Apokélypse: Live Action Trailer HD
Ash is all grown up. Pikachu is a battered former champion. And Pokémon battling has become an illegal sport. Do I have your attention?
In this dystopian future, Ash is faced with some tough decisions and forces Pikachu to take a dive. Eventually, our hero finally comes to his senses, but his actions may cost his friends their lives.
Legend of Zelda Movie Trailer Premiere (April Fools’ 2008)
This one isn’t really fair, but back in 2008, IGN released a trailer that tugged at the collective heartstrings of Zelda fans everywhere. Sadly, it was an April Fools’ joke. Well, sad for Zelda fans. Everyone else just thought it was hilarious.
While we would have loved to see the origin story of Link on the big screen, it seems it was not meant to be. Damn you, IGN. Good one.
Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy Trailer
The word philanthropic isn’t typically used to describe Solid Snake, but in this trailer, it somehow seems to fit. Well, it’s not technically a trailer; it’s more of an excerpt, because this is a snippet of a feature-length film—not something many fan films can boast. Plus, it’s always funny when French actors try to emulate American accents.
Overall, in terms of fan-films, this one succeeded beyond expectations. Hideo Kojima even put his own stamp of approval on the project.
The Confined: Silent Hill inspired fan film
Silent Hill is one of the creepiest franchises in the history of gaming, especially the early installations. These excerpts from a fan-made film called The Confined are incredibly polished. They manage to expertly capture the essence of Silent Hill: horror.
Every time I watch this scene, I find myself pulling for the little girl even though I always know how it’s going to turn out.
The Duke: Fate of Humanity – Duke Nukem Fan Movie
The Duke has remained consistent throughout the years. He likes what he likes: guns, girls, and booze. And if you haven’t already figured out what to expect from a Duke Nukem game, you probably never will.
This trailer, from a fictional Duke Nukem movie, nails that character. Mr. Nukem is surrounded by all of his favorite vices, but when the aliens invade, his stripper takes off and spills his beer. So, Duke turns to the only vice he has left: his gun.
I especially liked how Duke’s tattoo is used as a god-mode nod.
Fallout: Nuka Break – Fan Film
Nuka Break takes place in the world of Fallout, and even has a Fallout-style public service announcement at the start of the video. You follow the hilarious antics of a ghoul named Ben, a slave named Scarlett, and a vault-dweller named Twig.
Their later adventures are chronicled in the web-series Fallout: Nuka-Break, which is definitely worth watching as well.
Street Fighter: Legacy – Short Fan Film
Ryu and Ken go head-to-head in this amazingly well-crafted fan film. Excellent choreography, as well as some perfectly executed special effects, punctuate the impressive production quality. However, since there is no clear winner, it leaves viewers with an unanswered question: who is the better fighter?
Also, we’d really like it if Chun-li and Cammy would be kind enough to answer the same question.
Portal: No Escape (Live Action Short Film by Dan Trachtenberg)
If you ever wake up within the confines of Aperture Labs you’re probably about to have a bad day. So what can you do about it? Apparently push-ups and dips. Well, at least that’s what the main character of this short film does to pass the time.
In terms of special effects, this film really delivers. It captures the extensive uses of the fabled portal-gun, and flaunts its ability to make anyone into a badass—especially someone who works out compulsively in a locked room for months on end.
Beyond Black Mesa
Gordon Freeman and the world of Half-Life have been improving the gaming industry since the late 90’s. However, Beyond Black Mesa takes it a step further by bringing the world of City 17 and Ravenholm to life.
With wave after wave of enemies always on your tail, you’ll increasingly feel the pressures that the resistance would. This film is a fast-paced, ridiculously detailed masterpiece.
On a side note, I almost squealed like a little girl when he picked up that crowbar, and if Gordon Freeman could actually move like this guy, we might have ourselves a genre-bending, game-of-the-year in the making.
Left 4 Dead 2011 Cinematic Trailer
So what did happen after Bill died? Well, this short film explores the options rather extensively. The characters are perfectly portrayed, and the film translates the game’s style and gameplay amazingly well. The witch is particularly well-done here, and the environment is true to the franchise. Overall, every detail of the Left 4 Dead franchise was painstakingly recreated. Well, until the end.
Without giving anything away, there are definitely some surprises in this one. The world is tough after a zombie apocalypse and you can’t make it without a few friends. Right?