Recently, South Park: The Stick of Truth came out to rave reviews, and it reminded us all that just because a game is based on a licensed property, specifically a TV show, it doesn’t have to be bad. Sure, plenty of bad games release based on movies and TV shows all the time, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be done right. All it takes is a developer giving the property a little time and effort, and a TV show-based game can be just as good as any other property.
All of this got me thinking — what other TV shows would make great games, provided they were handed off to a developer who actually cared enough to give it the proper treatment? So with that, let’s take a look at some TV shows that have the parts in place to make for a fantastic video game.
Sons of Anarchy
Outside of seeing how good the South Park game is, it was catching up on the most recent season of SoA that actually inspired me to write this article in the first place. Before I even get into why I think it would make for a fantastic game, I will say that if you’ve never watched the show, you most definitely should, provided a little excessive violence isn’t something you can’t handle.
What suits it to becoming a video game: The show is a non-stop action fest. It has high-speed motorcycle and car chases, intense gun fights, and even choices that Jax Teller, the main character has to make. Of course, those choices are made for you, the viewer, in the show, but in a game the options open up to allowing the player to make the choice. That guy who just betrayed the motorcycle club; run him out of town or send him to an early grave? These choices could now be made by the player.
It even has the video game equivalent of side quests, where the club is asked by others to perform various tasks for other people in Charming, CA, the city in which they reside. This would allow gamers to venture outside of the main story and into other areas, thus expanding game life.
What genre should it be: Your first instinct would be to make this a GTA clone, for obvious reason. However, I envision this hypothetical game as a third-person shooter with RPG elements, sort of like Mass Effect, but with even less focus on leveling up and amassing loot. The morality system and dialog choices would really be what makes the game interesting, as you could choose to make the SoA a ruthless street gang, or a slightly more legitimate business venture. Add in the intense combat that comes in the form of gun and fist fights, and you’d have an action-packed game that, if given the right amount of care from a development studio, could be absolutely fantastic.
(There actually is a SoA game coming, and it will be a first person action game, but personally, I think it would be better if it wasn’t just action focused.)
Dexter actually had a couple of games released, but quite frankly none of them were very good. Now that the show is off the air, it’s time to give Dexter his due.
In case you aren’t sure of just what Dexter is, it follows the tale of a sociopath named Dexter Morgan who works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro homicide department. Oh, and in his spare time he murders bad guys.
What suits it to becoming a video game: Dexter has everything a great video game needs — fantastic story, action, dialog, humor, and more. Dexter has to play a balancing act of living his public life and dealing with his dark passenger (that which compels him to commit acts of murder). This leads to choices that Dexter has to make every single day, and choices are the backbone of many of the best video games.
Dexter is not nearly as action-packed as Sons of Anarchy, rather it focuses on a much more cerebral approach. That doesn’t mean it’s not suited to gaming though, as a certain game based on a zombie comic book has shown us…
What genre should it be: The Dexter game on iOS, and most suggestions from fans of the series, focuses on open world gameplay. I have a different vision, and Telltale is the team to make it happen. The nuances of Dexter are perfectly suited to a game like The Walking Dead. No, not that terrible one from Activision, I am talking about the new take on point-and-click adventure games.
Much of Dexter is focused on dialog and finding clues that prove that the person Dexter wants to take out is actually guilty. This is perfectly suited to the point-and-click genre. When Dexter does prove guilt, the person generally doesn’t go down willingly, and that’s where Telltale’s slightly more action focused way of handling the genre would be perfect. With Telltale branching out to franchises like Game of Thrones, Borderlands, and Fables, it’s not far fetched that it could take on Dexter, and it’s something I would love to see happen.
Game developers: feel free to take these ideas and make them happen, because I want to play them! Seriously.
What TV shows would you like to see brought to gaming, and how do you think it should be executed? Hit the comments section below and let us know!