The lights are on
If you’ve played either The Walking Dead or the first episode of The Wolf Among Us, you know that Telltale Games has honed in on a formula for presenting narrative games in a way that is exciting, accessible, and emotionally powerful. Here are my picks for five other beloved franchises I’d love to see Telltale tackle next, regardless of who currently holds the interactive rights, or how likely they are to happen.
With Episode VII on the horizon, Disney would be wise to capitalize on the newly acquired Star Wars license with some new interactive games. But not every Star Wars story needs to be about lightsaber duels and starfighter battles. A new series of episodic story-driven Star Wars games could do wonders to reignite fans’ love of the series, and offer a different perspective on the heavily chronicled timeline. The developers at Telltale have their pick of great stories from the expanded universe to explore, from the harrowing events that confront the New Jedi Order to new prequels from the years before the movies. Personally, I’d vote that they create their own story within the fiction, so they have complete freedom to tell a new tale.
The cyberpunk world of Transmetropolitan would be a fantastic fit for Telltale’s narrative talents. Focused on a disgruntled future journalist named Spider Jerusalem living in a dystopian future, Transmetroplitan has long been a favorite in comic reader circles, and it would be awesome to see the series make its way into an interactive format. In the original comics by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, Spider is regularly confronted by moral choices about how to act and react to the insane events around him. Give control of that character to a player as Spider must come to terms with a new series of dilemmas, and you’ve have a hit on your hands.
While most previous James Bond games have focused on the action-packed moments of the iconic spy’s adventures, there’s a lot more to a great James Bond film than gun fights. Whether it’s his oh-so-cool verbal sparring with a villain or his uncanny way with the ladies, Bond’s characteristic charm and snap decisions could make for some thrilling escapism. Let players control the choice of whether Bond saves his latest girlfriend or disarms the nearby nuclear device, and that's a formula for awesome spy-themed moments.
Joss Whedon’s beloved sci-fi series is all about cool characters and their relationships with one another – their western-themed adventures through outer space are really just a backdrop to those interactions. How great would it be to see the long-awaited reunion of the Firefly cast play out in an interactive story game? The story could be set in the early years of the crew’s flight through the Verse, or even in the years that follow the end of the Serenity film. However you cut it, more adventures with Mal and his family of friends would be welcome news to the franchises’ vocal fan base.
Marvel Comics B-List
Marvel comic book characters have had a big decade in film. From the Avengers’ cinematic universe to new entries in the X-Men and Spider-Man movies, the A-list of familiar Marvel characters are getting some serious media exposure these days. However, Marvel Comics distinguishes itself by having a wide variety of solo and group books with lesser known characters, and that would be a great place to see some new games. I’m imagining individual episodes that each star a different character, but connect up to tell a single big comic book-style story. Heroes like Doctor Strange, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil could work together in a gritty adventure in New York City. Alternately, Telltale could craft an awesome game from one of the lesser known superhero groups in the Marvel U, like the detective firm of X-Factor, or the otherworldly Inhumans. No matter the choice, exploring these characters in a new interactive story game would help to boost fan enthusiasm for the characters, and also give Marvel a chance to gauge reaction to each superhero’s appearance beyond the standard comic book fan group.
What franchises would you like to see Telltale work in next? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.