License To Act: Top 5 Games Based Around Hollywood Actors

By Ural Garrett , Updated May 18, 2013 04:59 PM EDT
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Hollywood has taken more of a "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" stance with the video game industry. What started as simple marketing cash-in has evolved into stars providing voice over roles or assisting in development. On the other hand, video game developers have even taken upon themselves to base games around an "A List" actors or characters they portray. Here are some of the best examples of video games that properly mixed some of Hollywood's greatest talent with simply good gameplay. 

Jet Li's Rise To Honor - PS2 2004

Jet Li's Rise To Honor was not only a fitting homage to the Hong Kong wushu star who transitioned well into Hollywood but a pretty solid blend of melee and shooting action. Right analog stick usage for multidirectional combat had been experimented with before with various degrees of success (including Sony's own Mark of Kri) but the melee fighting here worked well. Not to mention a dodge and counter system that somewhat predates the fluidity of Batman's Arkham games. 

007: Everything or Nothing - PS2/Xbox/Gamecube 2003

Though 007: Everything or Nothing will mainly be remembered as Pierce Brosnan's last portrayal of James Bond, it's still one of the best original Bond tales in the franchise. EA perfectly pulled off a game that rivaled the series' cinematic counterpart and Brosnan put an energy into his role that's equivalent to Die Another Day. 

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - Xbox/PC 2004

Vin Diesel founded his own Tigon Studios along with getting Starbreeze's help in making sure his gaming rendition of The Chronicles of Riddick got the proper treatment. Not only did The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay end up being a lot better than Pitch Black's cinematic sequel The Chronicles of Riddick, but made a few genre standard changes. Before Escape from Butcher Bay, hand-to-hand combat lacked in FPSs compared to actual shooting and felt like a last resort. Armed or not, Riddick felt like a complete bad ass. While the film proved the franchise's marketability, its gaming equivalent lent artistic creditability.

Apocalypse: Starring Bruce Willis  - PS 1998

Believe it or not, Apocalypse was Neversoft's first original game before turning Tony Hawk into the action sports ruler and developers intended Bruce WIllis to become a playable character. Apocalypse had players shoot Smash TV style down corridor after corridor as Willis' Trey Kincaid whose has to save the world.  

Chuck Norris Superkicks - Atari 2600 1983

Chuck Norris jokes are so 2009 and yes, he can die in this game. Sure, this game doesn't hold up the test of time but its serviceable. This may be the first actor endorsed video game also. This simple Xonox game has players attempting to rescue hostages by moving through a map and fighting enemies Norris style. 

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