5 80s action movies reimagined as FPS games

James Haresign February 18, 2012 - 10:00 am

List with a Twist: Everyone and their executive producer is bringing back old franchises as sequels or reboots. James Haresign wonders why nobody’s revisiting the time in Hollywood history when guns were king: the ’80s.

Invasion USA

Russians invade the US via Cuba and no one notices until it’s too late. Except Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris! In a game! Why has this not been done before? Okay, the plot is a little thin on the ground, but Chuck Norris! It also has a whole range of environments that are perfect for levels. Florida Everglades, community centres, shopping mall, suburbs and finally the military command centre in Atlanta, Georgia that looks suspiciously like a generic office block. Chuck Norris’ country doesn’t get invaded, Chuck Norris is just letting the bad guys come to him.

Sudden Impact/The Dead Pool

Okay, I’m only slightly cheating here: while Dirty Harry may be a 70s creation, his last two films were released in the 80s. For this reason this is the only game I’m going to suggest not just following the plot of the film but an entirely new one. Each Dirty Harry story was so different from the last, we might as well as craft one that suits the medium. With weapons you’d have one gun 90 percent of the game, a .44 magnum – the most powerful handgun in the world. Every now and again you pick up something else, like a rocket launcher, and kill one of the main bad guys with it. Then back to the magnum.


Yes I know it has had games in the past, even during the previous generation. But they were rubbish. Done right, RoboCop would be an amazing FPS. From the derelict streets of Old Detroit, all the way to the upper levels of Delta City, the setting is absolutely perfect for an urban shooter. All the while you’re a robot killing machine meaning cover systems are not necessary either. Throw in the requisite ED-209 boss fight and you’re on to a winner.

They Live

Most of the properties that haven’t already been made into videogames all features human enemies (and one robot). Nothing too crazy to fight against. That’s where the John Carpenter classic, They Live, comes in. Now we have aliens. Avoid the really slow start and open the game as Rowdy Roddy Piper gets the sunglasses and a shotgun. Fill everywhere with humans and disguised aliens and leave it to the player to avoid shooting the innocents. There’s no way of recreating that five-minute fist fight in an FPS. Make it a cutscene. Everyone should see it anyway.


This is the very reason this list exists. Take everything I said about Invasion USA, multiply it by a hundred and substitute Chuck with Arnie. Forests, airports, shopping malls, motel complexes, all available for levels. It finally ending with you arriving at sun-kissed mansion in a fictitious South American country with an M60 and a rocket launcher. Then for the final boss fight against a member of the Village People, I mean Bennett, you lose all your weapons and you can only find a steel pipe. You can try and smack Bennett round the face with it but the alternate fire mode is throw the pipe. Hit Bennett with that, your character emits the immortal line “Let off some steam!” Credits roll. Best. Game. Ending. Ever.

List with a Twist rounds up the less serious side of gaming on a weekendly basis. Click for more columns.

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