5 movies and TV shows that deserve new games
Triple-A licensed games are coming back in a huge way. With the recent announcements of IO Interactive’s James Bond and Bethesda’s Indiana Jones (and of course Star Wars), developers seem more interested than ever in building virtual worlds around these big franchises.
Thankfully, this new crop of partnerships doesn’t appear to be mere cash grabs like it was in the old days. And with so much content out there, especially when you consider all the original programming on streaming services, there are a lot of stories and characters studios can use as a foundation for new projects.
But to make that process a little easier, I’m highlighting a handful of movies and TV shows that have the potential to become great games. If you have your own wishlist, share it in the comments below!
The Boys isn’t a typical superhero show, so it shouldn’t be a typical superhero game, either. The main premise involves a ragtag group of people trying to expose — and when the situation deems it necessary, kill — the most corrupt superheroes they can find. Their ultimate goal is to take down Vought, the wealthy corporation supporting many of these vigilantes.
A video game version of the Amazon Prime show would work best as a third-person action game, with a bit of Hitman-style planning thrown in. Different members of the group would have special skills you can use to bring down Vought. For example, Frenchie’s technical knowledge allows him to craft explosives and weapons, and Butcher’s unquenchable rage can make him impervious to damage for a little while.
You’ll have to suss out the superheroes’ weaknesses and set up a trap based on the intel. Capturing or killing them will yield different rewards. And because the show is so gleefully violent (dismembered limbs, exploding heads, splayed guts, etc.), the game would have to follow suit with a hard M rating. Sorry, ESRB!
The Way of the Dragon
Bruce Lee has been an inspiration for many video game characters (and starred in a few himself), and it’s the perfect time for him to make a digital comeback. Developers have the technology to mimic his fast and furious style of fighting — look at how fluid the combat is in Insomniac’s two Spider-Man games. They just need a compelling story and world to wrap around it, and The Way of the Dragon could be a great fit.
In the movie, Lee plays Tang Lung, a martial artist who travels from Hong Kong to Rome to help defend a Chinese restaurant from a local crime boss. The video game version would be a Yakuza-esque brawler, with players running around a semi-open world (1970s Rome in this case). As Lung, you can explore the city to take on odd jobs, meet and befriend NPCs, and unlock flashy, hard-hitting combos.
The developer wouldn’t even have to remove the goofy humor seen in Yakuza and Judgment: The Way of the Dragon has a surprising amount of slapstick comedy in the script (which came from Lee himself, as he was also the writer and director of the movie).
Snowpiercer is a tense thriller set in the near future, where the last survivors of a frozen apocalypse live on a massive train that travels the world. But one of the horrible twists is the class-based divide: The poor live in horrendous conditions in the back, while the rich live toward the front with rare, earthly luxuries.
Instead of doing a direct adaptation, it’d be best to explore the movie’s themes through a strategy game, similar to Frostpunk (which also has humanity trying to survive a new ice age). Your objective would be twofold: to make sure there’s enough food and resources, and that the train itself keeps running smoothly. But the stark division within the population means trouble will inevitably flare-up.
Different story scenarios would trigger from time to time, giving you the chance to make crucial decisions. Do you maintain the harsh social hierarchy for the sake of balance? Or do you help start a revolution, which may deplete your resources as the bloodshed begins?
It’s a crime that the last game based on The Rocketeer was released nearly 30 years ago. In the film, stunt pilot Cliff Secord finds a high-tech jetpack and uses it to become the titular hero. Since the jetpack would be a major part of combat and traversal, the game would need a huge open world to fly in. The setting would still be 1930s Los Angeles, with players fighting against both gangsters and Nazis.
You’d be able to upgrade the jetpack’s speed and fuel efficiency, as well as unlock special aerial attacks for taking out your enemies. Missions can be tackled in different ways as well. You can decide whether you want to sneak into a compound on foot, or just charge in from the air.
Aside from Dark Void and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, there haven’t been too many modern games with jetpack-wearing characters. So if nothing else, a Rocketeer game would feel genuinely unique.
Ted Lasso is one of the best feel-good shows of 2020. The story — about an American football coach (Jason Sudeikis) moving to England to lead a struggling soccer team — doesn’t easily lend itself to gamification. But I think developers could find a way to maintain Lasso’s infectious optimism and charm without having to repeat the plot points from the first season.
I envision the game as a light football management sim with visual novel elements: Let’s call it Ted Lasso Football Manager 2021. Much like Lasso himself, the player wouldn’t need to know anything about the sport. When you do need to make some hard decisions about the team, all you have to do is ask Lasso’s best friend and confidant Coach Beard for suggestions.
While you’ll be encouraged to try and have a winning season, your main goal will be to help Lasso navigate his personal relationships and to check in with his players, giving them life advice or maybe just a quick pep talk to increase their morale (via dialogue choices). Sudeikis and other key cast members would reprise their roles, ensuring that the game exudes the same fuzzy warmth and kindness as the show.