I really shouldn’t be writing this article. I shouldn’t even think about it. Because we all know how bad it usually is. Resident Evil, Doom, Warcraft, Max Payne, Need for Speed, Far Cry, Rampage, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, House of the Dead, Halo, Assassin’s Creed , Uncharted…. Many a great game has been turned into a movie or TV series over the years and everything about these adaptations has been bad. Everything.
But amidst all this fantastically murky mess of lousy adaptations made by people with zero passion and knowledge of the source material, there is one shimmeringly brilliant exception. The Last of Us. The HBO Max drama series that enchanted an entire world and the first live-action video game adaptation that truly honors, celebrates and respects the source material and fleshes out and expands the game’s story into something more. Below, we at Gamereactor have come up with a few different TV series adaptations that we want to get the same respectful, responsive, well-crafted and careful treatment as Naughty Dog’s great 2013 game.
Call of Duty
Seal Team Six, Navy Seals, Terminal List, The Line, The Selection … There are plenty of TV series based on real war stories and that beautifully embellished image of the ultimate special forces soldier, and if any game would accommodate a series of this type, it is Activision’s primary cash cow. We want to see Price, Ghost, Tavish, Mason and Frank Woods in various storylines portraying people who have been at war over several decades.
Red Dead Redemption
There is no doubt that Rockstar has told two great stories in their ultra-ambitious western titles and that fans are thirsty for more. Here at Gamereactor, we love the work put into the world, mythology, characters and setting of both games that frame a time in American history. Westerns have usually done well in the form of movies and TV shows. In a dream world, we would love to see a billion-dollar project steeped in production quality, chewing tobacco and dirty gunslingers with a script written or at least partially written by Dan Houser himself.
Imagining … A tight, thriller-style drama series about how the war between the ISA and Helghan escalates with tight political tensions, crashed negotiations, arrogance, pride and loyalty mixed with war scenes from Killzone 2. It would be expensive, of course. The production design and all the costumes alone would cost a lot, not to mention the scale and scope that would have to be dialed in, but we can always dream.
The Walking Dead
Deep down, we all just want to forget about AMC’s TV series adaptation of Kirkman’s fantastic comic books and start the whole thing over again instead. In that case, we would certainly prefer The Walking Dead TV series to be based on Telltale’s fantastic game and the characters of Lee, Clem, Christa, Omid, Ben and Kenny and their arduous journey through a zombie-infested America. We want tighter and better character portraits of the kind seen in The Last of Us, with more respect for the source material and more drama that feels and means something instead of Rick Grimes screaming nine episodes in a row in the same miserable tidbit.
Bioware’s masterful sci-fi epic was made for the TV series format, although we understand that it could be very expensive, given the scale and production quality that would be required. Of course, we would not accept Babylon 5 sets here, but would require nicer locations and better use of effects than what is offered in, say, The Mandalorian, and a much darker tone than most of the genre. We want to see Commander Shepard immortalized in the TV series format. Can you help us with the dream casting here?
God of War
Kratos. Thor. Odin. Freya. Sindri. Artreus. Brok. Durlin. Mimir… There are enough great characters in the latest games from Sony-owned Santa Monica Studio to build a TV series rooted in Norse myth, which could knock the socks off monotonous snore-fests like Vikings or House of Dragons. Amazon is already working on a God of War series, and hopefully the success of The Last of Us has given it enough of a kick in the pants to ensure that the story of Kratos and Atreus is properly told.
Did we miss anything? Let us know which games you would like to see adapted into a TV series?