What Media Property Would You Like To See Adapted Into A Game?

What Media Property Would You Like To See Adapted Into A Game?
Screenshot: Virginia Sherwood / NBC
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It’s time for Ask Kotaku, the weekly feature in which Kotaku-ites deliberate on a single burning question. Then, we ask your take.

With Star Wars and Indiana Jones in the news for getting new video games, this week we Ask Kotaku: What media property would you like to see adapted into a game?

Fahey

I’m dreaming of a vast, open-world Law & Order game. There have been Law & Order games, but none have really captured the spirit of the combined decades’ worth of the original series, Criminal Intent, and Special Victims Unit. Imagine the New York City-scape of Insomniac’s Spider-Man, only you’re driving the streets in an unmarked Buick, waiting to respond to calls. Driving in real time to a garage to question a witness who doesn’t like cops and didn’t see nothin’. Stopping to chat with assistant DA Carisi about the case over street meat. Hell, stepping into the shoes of Carisi in Phoenix Wright-inspired courtroom sequences. An endless parade of DLC cases, released on a seasonal basis. Tie-ins with what’s left of the show. Or…OOOO OOOOO, a “Let’s Explain Things To Ice-T” mini-game!

I am seriously getting breathlessly excited the more I imagine this game. Going to stop before I faint.

Ari

You know how, when you watch an action-packed cutscene, you can’t help but wonder, “Man, why am I watching this instead of playing it?” That thought permeates literally every action scene in every Ip Man movie. For the uninitiated, Ip Man is a grandmaster of Wing Chun, best known for teaching Bruce Lee how to open one hundred cans of whup-arse. Ip Man has been portrayed on-screen plenty of times over the years, but never in something with as much reach as the Ip Man films, starring Donnie Yen in the titular role.

There’s a viscerality to Yen’s moves that makes you feel like you have a front-row seat to the action. And the fights are way more creative than your standard silver-screen beat-’em-up, leaning on deft use of the environment to create some truly bananas scenarios. Just watch the scene above, where Ip Man takes on, no exaggeration, 87 dudes at once — and wins. Watching that fight — watching any Ip Man fight, across all four mainline entries — is always a blast. In fact, one gets the sense that someone is controlling Yen’s character with a gamepad just off-screen. So I can’t help but think, “Man, why am I not playing this?”

Photo: David Paul Morris, Getty Images Photo: David Paul Morris, Getty Images

Lisa Marie

Technically there are already games in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and the console game of the same name, at least, wasn’t terrible. But I would love to see a more expansive RPG that let me freely explore the Northern and Southern water tribes, the grit of Ba Sing Se, or even the roads in between. The Legend of Korra came out after the old Last Airbender games, but this newly imagined Avatar RPG could serve as a standalone sequel.

I would also love to see a narrative game based on Titanic, that gives you more control over your version of “Jack” and “Rose” allowing you to switch between the two. Ideally, it would make you think every choice is extremely consequential, but there is, in fact, only one end.

Screenshot: 20th Television / Disney Screenshot: 20th Television / Disney

Zack

I want a Bob’s Burgers game. We got a digital pinball game based on the animated show almost six years ago. It was cool. But what I really want is a proper console or PC game based on the show. What kind of game, you ask? I have ideas.

Maybe a restaurant management game, with some narrative connecting the various segments. Or an open-world game letting you play as the kids and the parents, each with their own story involving different characters from the show. Or both ideas rolled into one game. Sometimes you are cooking and running the restaurant. Other times you are out in the world, dealing with Jimmy Pesto or hanging out with Teddy. The more I think about this game the more I want it. We got 20+ Simpsons games, most coming out long after the show had passed its prime. So why not some love for the better show? Bob and his family deserve a full-fledged game.

Image: The Jim Henson Company / Netflix Image: The Jim Henson Company / Netflix

Alexandra

To date the Jim Henson Company’s artistic, puppetry triumph The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance has only received a forgettable “tactics” game. Seems a shame, because its rich world would be wonderful to explore in the context of a more ambitious, higher-budget video game. But let’s be honest, I’m really just here for our gentle, precious Deethra. Make Deet the main character in some half-decent RPG and I’ll follow that badass gelfling into hell.

Photo: George C. Beresford, Getty Images Photo: George C. Beresford, Getty Images

Riley

On New Year’s, a new host of works entered the public domain, including “The Great Gatsby” and “Mrs. Dalloway.” I made a joke about wanting to see a video game adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic, but then I started thinking about it, and actually: yes. You’ve got a clear call to action right from its first line — ”Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself” — and from there things branch out into all kinds of characters and themes that would actually be great for a video game made by, say, Kentucky Route Zero developer Cardboard Computer. The book’s themes have been explored in other media before, notably Michael Cunningham’s book “The Hours” and its subsequent movie adaptation, but I would play the hell out of Clarissa Dalloway’s party rendered in the visual style of Dishonored’s Lady Boyle level. The book is public domain now, video game developers. Just saying.

Screenshot: Wiedemann & Berg Television / Netflix Screenshot: Wiedemann & Berg Television / Netflix

Ethan

Last year the German sci-fi series Dark wrapped up its third and final season on Netflix. It’s a complicated but brilliant show about time travel, alternate dimensions, destiny, and how personal emotional baggage evolves over time. It would probably be a disaster in video game form, as so many adaptations are, but I’m just some random blogger answering a hypothetical so why not? There are parts of the show that would lend themselves to slow, eerie Alan Wake-like exploration, and others that would work well as branching story scenes driven by interwoven dialogue choices. Above everything else, Dark is propelled by its mood — existential foreboding — and a script full of melodrama mixed with philosophical babble. There wouldn’t be any tricky game mechanics to figure out, and since it all takes place in the same town across different time periods, environments and assets could be continually reused and repurposed as well. The end result might be something like Kentucky Route Zero mixed with Death Stranding. Now that’s a virtual space I’d love to spend dozens of hours brooding in.

How About You?

Kotaku’s weighed in, but what’s your take? Got a book, movie, or particularly memorable Trapper Keeper you’d love to see get a game? Have your say! We’ll be back next week to deliberate and debate on another nerdy issue. See you in the comments!

Comments

    • Haha, I was watching a series of documentaries/analyses on him just a couple months ago. I was born in the early 80s, too late to really appreciate what he was about, but what remained was fascinating to me at the time… and then he just disappeared.
      I’d say he’d work especially well in this modern era, if not for the fact that satire is dead. The perverse, almost-comedic absurdity of reality killed it.

  • Under the dome as a telltale game

    Pacific Rim / Robotjox as a tactical turn-based resource management strategy thingo

  • None!
    Sorry, but the number of good TV/Movie games is outnumbered but the sheer terrible tripe that released.

    A serious issue is the cost of licensing eats into cost of development while adding extra red tape for approvals, the need for microtransactions to cover costs, or worse still if the developer is rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline like a movie/season release or wants to get it out the door before the hype dies.

    We saw Tell-tale games die for taking on too many licensed games, we watch half the Marvel games catalogue vapourware cause of limited time licensing. Disney and Lucasfilm have cancelled more games than they have created.

    I dont think we can hold out for a gaming revolution where Tv/Movie/Cartoon games are good… because if they are good, there probably going to be a live service gambling den!

  • I could very much go for a hard-boiled detective adventure/investigation prequel to The Expanse following Joe Miller (Thomas Jane’s character). Same deal with Carnival Row. There aren’t enough good ‘investigation’ games. The closest headliners we get are the Telltale entries and the rest is relegated to AA or indie, like the Sherlock Holmes series or Call of Cthulhu.

    I’d probably also play a Marie Kondo game, maybe something similar to indie gem Unpacking but in reverse?

    I think there’s a lot of untapped potential in this question.

    Even ‘reality TV’ could have some very interesting applications. Just thinking of Terrace House, for example. There’s a competitive angle to that, but also a relationship angle, so it’s prime material for a more ‘gamified’ visual novel, similar to the time-management VN games. I’ve never heard of a VN coming from the angle of being in a Big Brother/Reality TV situation, but it seems like fertile ground for the genre.

    And let’s not forget the fallen-from-grace Defenders TV universe. The greatest strength of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, [unnamed character we could do without], Punisher was their protagonists’ universal drive to solve a mystery, to investigate, and having to occasionally react with violence to the challenges that stood in the way of their investigations or the plot they were trying to unravel. Rather than a Marvel’s Avengers-style multiplayer-focused live-service brawler, can you imagine a more Telltale-style game that hopped between those key characters, with a focus on interrogations and investigations, with super-powered violence being more of a tool in the kit than 99% of the gameplay? I can, and I think it could be amazing.

  • Discworld as an open world RPG with all of the stories from the books packed in. I think I’d absolutely bawl if that ever got done.

  • A realistic take on the Firefly series would be cool. Traveling around the quadrant taking odd jobs, but I feel a company would take the cheap way out and make it into a linear 3rd person action thing instead of a realistic space opera with flying and such.. actually now its sounding like star citizen… nvm.

  • Everything works in theory as long as you choose the right genre, but off the top of my head a survival horror Men in Black game would be fun. Just an agent or two in a relatively confined environment trying to stop the beginnings of an alien invasion. Going for comedy in a game is a bad idea, but the general tone of MiB can be flip over to fun enough to get past the fact survival horror doesn’t really work as straight horror anymore.

    You’ve got a pretty much infinite pool for enemies, and if you focus your attention on ‘make any creature burst out of a human suit’ tech you can do some cool stuff, but you’ve also got the chance to include a diverse range of ‘monsters’ as friendly NPCs. Similar to the shooting gallery scene you can throw all sorts of stuff at the player then be like ‘nope, the giant worm is actually here to help’. The range of weapons is incredibly versatile. Reality is very malleable in MiB so even in a confined space you can include more or less anything you want without getting hung up on justifying it.

    Not to mention the twist that you’d be the one in the traditionally evil role of covering the whole thing up.

    • Sticking with weird buddy cop movies I’d give Valerian a shot. I know the IP struggles to connect but it’s universe has a lot of untapped potential. It’s tempting to say make it like Sleeping Dogs in space but it’d probably work better as a story driven linear experience. You can get very wild with it visually, it stays within the basic video game ‘good guy shoots things’ realm and there’s a lot of source material behind it.

  • Law & Order has to have a bit where you get to select the smartarse lines Lennie makes when he sees a dead body etc.

    And The Mighty Boosh seems like it is awash with characters and imagery with which to make a game.

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