The inspiration for videogames comes from far and wide these days; books, films, artwork and of course television. There have been some great adaptations of television shows from Telltale’s The Walking Dead series and Obsidian’s South Park Stick of Truth and then there have been some games that even fiery pits of hell would reject like Dark Angel or even worse *gulp* the game based on Australian soap Neighbours… yes that happened.
We are in a golden age of television with Netflix and other streaming platforms locking us into a cycle of never ending binge worthy entertainment that goes on forever, yes Netflix I am still watching The Witcher – stop shaming me for my couch potato habits! TV’s long-form storytelling lends itself to the arcs that videogames often do, so it’s a wonder that the AAA videogame space hasn’t dedicated more games to telling stories within these fantastic worlds.
Here’s my Top 5 TV shows that should be made into videogames! (Yes I’m aware some already may have adaptations but I mean big budget AAA stuff)
5. GAME OF THRONES
This one is pretty obvious isn’t it. A sprawling fantasy featuring murder, ice zombies, nudity and dragons. So basically Skyrim… it’s a glorious world though, populated by honourable heroes and villains that make the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang look like Mickey Mouse. It’s dark, it’s violent and in the earlier seasons it had an incredibly nuanced approach to political espionage. It’s a shame the show ended with a thud rather than a bang, as the thirst for more Thrones seems to have waned some what. But as a proper game, I would love to see it get made, I want to visit Winterfell and call John Snow a “Bastard”, I want to urinate off the The Wall, I want my skull to be squeezed into rice pudding by The Mountain and more than anything I want to ride a dragon with long blonde hair that miraculously stays perfect despite the heavy wind resistance, in fact lets have Game of Thrones branded hair spray that comes free with every a copy of the game.
An open world RPG would be perfect in this world and maybe a game could do the story justice where the TV show fell down.
4. DOWNTON ABBEY
OK hear me out on this one. I know that your mum likes Downton Abbey and the series is generally a very by-the-numbers period drama, but there’s one area AAA games will rarely dare venture without killing things, but why? What if a game were given a big budget to create a murder mystery (or just a mystery) game where the village of Downton and the grand house itself are your playgrounds and utilising the detective style gameplay of the Batman Arkham games, add in some Resident Evil style puzzles, Mass Effect style dialogue trees and we could be onto something. I mean, I doubt it would ever actually happen and if it did it might be utterly awful, but don’t forget someone made Fast and Furious Crossroads… if there’s room for that there’s room for a Lady Elizabeth Crawley hair brushing mini challenge.
3. STRANGER THINGS
So this one is pretty obvious, combine a killer 80’s soundtrack, mutants from another dimension, telekinesis and weird occurrences happening in a small town and what do you get? Remedy’s Control, which was excellent. So why not give us a proper Stranger Things game, I want to tear through Hawkins as Eleven and break into a government building armed only with a sling shot! Let me peddle through the woods on a bicycle hunting a Demogorgon with “Material Girl” playing on my Walkman. In fact lets dot cassette tapes around the world so I can collect the ultimate 80’s playlist, actually forget the rest an 80’s music collect-a-thon as a game on it’s own sounds pretty amazing on it’s own!
2. THE HANDMAID’S TALE
The Handmaid’s Tale has bought the book to life brilliantly and created a world unlike any other, a world of subservient women, of violence, of intolerance with reprehensible people that harm the innocent for their own gain. The great thing about the Handmaid’s Tale is that this world is so vast, that you could take the story of any woman (or man to a lesser extent) and still make a compelling story. What about a stealth action game where you take on the role of a female solider trying to get back to find the rebels. A game where you can utilise various disguises, whether that being the red robes of the titular Handmaid’s or dowdy green ensemble of the Martha’s. There’s small uprisings in this world, there are spies, there’s public executions and there’s fear. This is a world that in the hands of master story-tellers like Naughty Dog could really be something special. Blessed be the Fruit and may the videogame Gods give this franchise to someone worthy.
NUMBER 1 : AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER
The Last Airbender has been abused! A film adaption so bad fans were ready to gouge their own eyes out rather than sit through another second of that abomination, the mangled corpse of that “adaptation” which made it to the big screen almost killed a franchise that defined children’s storytelling. Here we are awaiting another live action adaptation from Netflix when there is the perfect opportunity to use this world in a much better way! Like the Handmaid’s Tale this world is vast and historic, you could be an Avatar from any time period of your choosing, learning the ways of the elements in whatever order you like, as an enemy rises from the darkest corner of the world. Previous videogames in this series haven’t lived up to the potential of this phenomenal cartoon series and who doesn’t want the ability to bend fire, water, earth and air at will with cute animal companions. Come on game developers and publishers we’ve had enough Call of Duty and Assassins Creed to last us till the dolphins rise up against us to become to the dominant species on planet earth, so until then if you won’t make new IP’s, make these – I’d buy them.