I like The Purge films. The mixture of horror, action, and political commentary work to make a coherent franchise of movies. With The First Purge taking that series to the beginning, I’ve been thinking more about why these movies have worked so well. I mean, it’s almost unheard of a franchise to get better with each installment, but The Purge series has done just that. What about these films do people love? Is it the tension? The horror? The bleak look at an alternate future? Something is appealing about the series. While the movies have been great, I think The Purge would make a fantastic video game series, spanning multiple genres.
Resident Evil brought survival horror to mainstream audiences is 1996. Since then, countless games have attempted to replicate what Capcom’s masterpiece accomplished two decades ago without much success. With the remake of Resident Evil 2 coming out in January, it seems like the right time for the genre to make a resurgence. The Purge could work as a survival horror game if it takes the first film as inspiration. The original focused on a family seeking shelter in their house on the night of the annual purge. After a few unfortunate incidents, participants of the holiday attempt to break in and murder the family. It’s a night full of tension and survival. The protagonists are forced to fight for their lives in particularly violent ways. While the other films focus on the entire city on Purge night, the original movie feels more like a haunted house experience with bad guys jumping out of every corner. Taking cues from classics like Resident Evil and more modern games like Outlast, The Purge could make a stellar survival horror game.
The Purge: Anarchy showed what fans wondered about since the first film; what goes on in the city during the Purge. It’s a relentless film that doubles down on the tension and violence. As a video game, I think of something like State of Decay 2, but instead of zombies, you’re up against other purge participants. The game would put you in the place of a character who is defending their property or someone who didn’t make it home in time. Since there are hundreds of people participating in the purge, many enemies would roam the environment. Players would have the option to use weapons, craft items, get into vehicles, or take a stealth approach. If you play more cautiously, gameplay would feel like Manhunt or The Last of Us. While the main narrative would be about survival, I envision an open-world game in The Purge universe as more of a sandbox to do as you please. Although players could play solo, I think teaming up with friends to survive would make for an even better experience.
What’s a modern video game without a Battle Royale mode? Actually, a Battle Royale game set in The Purge universe makes a lot of sense. The people who decide to purge have one goal in mind; kill. No one outside on purge night is safe. A Battle Royale version of The Purge would put 100 people in the middle of the event, and the last surviving participant wins. Instead of the usual force field that slowly closes players in the battlefield, a ring of fire set up by the military could slowly burn players if they’re too slow to advance. Because there is so much mayhem in The Purge universe, a Battle Royale seems like a logical way to adapt the property.
Conclusion: From film franchise to successful video game
The Purge franchise isn’t for everyone. It’s violent, dark, and offers an alternate timeline that at times feels plausible. Despite that, the films are entertaining, horrific, and thrilling. We’ve seen a few video games based on horror films, but there is room for a few more. The Purge is chock full of possibilities, and I hope developers take the time to make an already popular franchise more accessible. Whether single-player or a game to experience with friends, The Purge franchise is one that is suitable for the video game industry. So much so that I’m shocked we don’t already have a game for it on the market.