5 Video Games Inspired by John Carpenter's THE THING - Nerdist
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5 Video Games Inspired by John Carpenter’s THE THING

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The summer of 1982 brought out some of the most pivotal movies to the film industry and pop culture. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Conan The Barbarian, and Tron all made their debut during this time. And another film that premiered during this time is John Carpenter’s The Thing. Compared to its 1982 competitors, The Thing was not a commercial success. However, decades later, the movie is easily one of the most recognizable films out there, leaving its imprint on everything – video games included.

On the left, Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's The Thing; on the right, Among Us.
Universal/Innersloth

Two decades after The Thing debuted, the popular movie obtained its own video game. The Universal Interactive imprint released the 2002 video game to multiple platforms, including PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. The third person shooter takes place after the events of the 1982 film and creates a sequel of sorts to it. 

Receiving predominantly positive reviews, this film acts as a precursor to future games inspired by The Thing

Among Us
Among Us
Innersloth

This popular online game has torn apart many friendships. Created in 2018 by American video game studio Innersloth, Among Us places players on a spacecraft where Crewmates collaborate to complete tasks before Impostors kill everyone on board. Sounds a bit familiar? That is because the game takes direct influence from the social deduction party game Mafia and The Thing

In 2020, the game gained immense popularity due to YouTubers and Twitch streamers playing the game. Consequently becoming one of the best reviewed games by IGN. The game also became the most downloaded game in 2020 for both iPhones and iPads. Now with multiple awards, updates, and merchandise under its belt, Among Us is here to stay 

Carrion
You are the evil alien menace in Carrion.
Phobia Game Studio

With Carrion, you get to become the horror itself. You play as a sentient lifeform released from captivity. Initially released in 2020 for PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch and then again in 2021 for PlayStation 4, players take on the role of “The Monster” as they use their character’s amorphous body to attack all who stand in its way. Upgrades to the game give the creature special abilities and moves that make the game even more entertaining. But that’s not that hard, being that the game won Best Debut game and Best Indie game at The Game Awards 2020.

Pole of Cold
A zombie head with spider legs in the game Pole of Cold.
Farkhutdinov M

The Pole of Cold received its name for being one of the places with the lowest air temperatures recorded. It is also the name of a particularly frightening video game. Released in 2020, Pole of Cold is a sci-fi horror game based in Antarctica, where players explore a research station containing unimaginable horrors. As you play as a scientist in Antarctica researching ice samples filled with an ancient organism, survival becomes the name of the game, when the organism escapes and takes over the rest of your team. Frightening enough, the Pole of Cold gives you one try to escape the facility and will restart the entire story once you die. 

Distrust
Distrust featuring a The Thing-style cold isolation.
Cheerdealers

It is all in the name. This 2017 game created by Cheerdealers was released on PC, Xbox One, mobile phones, and Playstation 4. Upon leaving a helicopter crash, a group of survivors find refuge within an abandoned station in the Arctic, only to find themselves surrounded by alien entities standing in the way of their survival. To add insult to injury, players have to survive frigid temperatures of the Arctic landscape. Distrust comes with 15 different characters with various abilities to help you survive the game, but with aliens, sub zero weather, and an endless night

Frigid
A video game evil wolf in Frigid, looking a lot like the wolf dog in The Thing.
Celeritas Games

Cold enough yet? Frigid is the next frosty entry on the list. This entry has not been released yet, but has an upcoming debut in Summer 2022. Developed by Celeritas Games, Frigid tells the story of a Canadian arctic ransacked by a mysterious illness that impacts the wildlife. Inspired by The Thing, this video game focuses on researchers striving to solve the mystery of this virus, while struggling to survive nature. 

The impact of The Thing spreads far and wide, with gaming inspired by its existence too. Content has the opportunity to generate new ideas and Carpenter’s film is a true indication of that. I am sure that Carpenter never imagined that video games would be made in the likeness of his film. Who knew that a film that failed to become a box office hit, would soon influence a generation of films and video games decades later.

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9:46 AM
Jun 3 2022
SUMMER OF 82