Anthony’s Wishlist: TV Shows that Should Be Games
There’s a massive world of video games out there. It’s big. Really, really big. You just won’t believe how incredibly huge it is. Just about every popular piece of media has been turned into a film or video game at some point—and often reciprocated the favor, becoming both. This is a Wishlist for games that I wish were out there, that aren’t already! I’m still holding out for a good Aliens game, by the way. If only Colonial Marines weren’t such garbage. So! We’ll start with five shows—what do you think?
Much like The X Files, this series had plenty monster-of-the-week episodes. The only difference is, the broader mythology was explored in nearly every single episode, with rare exceptions like “Brown Betty” in season 2. The show lasted just five seasons, but still has incredible range for action and sci-fi adventure. With Fringe science involved, all you’d need is a single villain misusing technology—as always—and a series of obstacles to track that man down. Yes, it could span a whole game, and yes! We’d love it.
Brisk, intelligent, gruesome and human, this show has everything any fan of science fiction could possibly ask for. The mysteries are limited only by the imagination, and in that frontier, video games have proven ever more fruitful and exotic. Fringe’s game counterpart wouldn’t necessarily have to include the same characters or plot, either. Just nab Michael Giacchino to score the game, and you’ll have a hit on your hands.
Miami would make a terrific open-world game. Especially if you’re playing the role of Dexter Morgan, notoriously clever serial killer who preys on murderers. A full-on console game has yet to come into existence, but in a world that could play something like Hitman plus Sims, and borrow the ‘big baddie’ concept that fuels the show so thoroughly. I think original ideas, perhaps taking place before the show, or in an alternate future of where it’s going, would be neat.
But whatever happens, the plot has to be equally ruminating, questioning Dexter’s feelings and perspectives—while sustaining the sense of suspense and stealth required to track and succeed in a kill, perhaps with a ticking clock that insists Dexter kill someone before you “lose”. This resembles his Dark Passenger concept, the fact that he needs to kill. And managing different kills could propel the plot or events into place. But even just with my own musings, you can already tell that there are literally endless possibilities.
Timothy Olyphant? That guy from Live Free or Die Hard? Who would have thought he’d end up a terrific character actor with his very own show. This series has its own vibe, primarily because of its location—which would be very neat to explore. In this case, a game based on the show’s actual exploits would be less dragging, although otherwise is always a better journey and more fun to find out. Being a Marshall would be fun just about anywhere, but in this universe, you end up in all kinds of action. It works!
Maybe an episodic structure to the story would fit the game as well, but whatever happens—just like the two shows mentioned above, and selected for similar reasons—as many criminals as the show could think up, the game could produce as well.
A Space Western? What’s that? Well, it’s a science-fiction knock off of American Westerns, and superior to them in every single way—because we’re mostly past all the heavy amounts of cheese and racism against any non-white that are so vibrant and indeed abundant in old Westerns. It’s the nature of the genre. The term Spaghetti Western, the genre recently revived by Django Unchained, is racist all on its own!
Getting touchy here. Anyways, Joss Whedon has long been the idol of sci-fi geeks everywhere like myself. With his show and Serenity, the cast of likeable characters and exploits could make for something like Red Dead Redemption in space. It’s a beloved show that can be hokey, but only because it’s cool. Get it?
Speaking of Adam Baldwin, who was on Firefly, and Yvonne Strahovski, who was on Dexter, we have a crossroads of character actors who all gathered into a show hinged on the premise of spinning off from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest. If you know what that is, you must be a film nerd like me.
Very clever, especially for McG—who directed the pilot—the concept of the Intersect infusing government secrets directly into the protagonist’s brain is easily exploitable for however many adventures you like. Especially since, like the show, the main character ends up being used as an active Spy for his advantageously unique situation. I should give an honorable mention here to Burn Notice, which is equally fun, albeit more on the serious side. Anyways.
This show could take you to all manner of locales, since travel is big in the show and the occupation—more illustrative than the single-city explorations of all of the above series I mentioned. Also, there’d be some fantastic co-op opportunities. Did I stutter?
And that’s that! If you enjoyed, please keep in tune—because next time, I’ll be mentioning five Movies that would make terrific video games, and why I think so. In the meantime, let’s go play some games that are already out there. You better get to it, or Yvonne below will shoot you. Or poison you, if you’re a Dexter fan.