The success of The Last of Us got us thinking: What other video games would be perfect for a TV adaptation? In this video/article we review five of them.
For a long time, it was thought that video games were not suitable sources for adaptation, but this belief has been changing in recent years. Thanks to Hollywood’s insatiable appetite for established brands and the development of game developers’ storytelling skills, video games have become fertile ground for film and television adaptations. Not only the series of success of “Castlevania”, “Arkin” and “Cyberpunk: Edge Runners” are proof of this claim, but recently the series “The Last of Us” surpassed “Dragon Family” in terms of viewership, showing the untapped potential of video game adaptations. He recalled an unprecedented scale.
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This is while the adaptation of various video games such as “God of War” and “Fallout” by Amazon, “Bioshock” and “Gears of War” by Netflix and “Ghost of Tsushima” by the director of “John Wick” films are seriously in the pre-production stage. are in production (so, don’t be surprised by their absence from this list). In short, under the pretext of the success of “The Last of Us” series, we decided to list five games that are so rich in terms of storytelling that they can repeat the pleasant experience of this series:
1- Mass Effect game
To better understand why BioWare’s Mes Effect series of sci-fi games is an ideal choice for a TV adaptation, let’s first talk about the elements of Game of Thrones. Because these two works, despite their different appearance and genre, have the same DNA (so be patient, because we will finally get to the “Mess Effect”): the first storytelling component of “Game of Thrones” is that it leaves the audience in the middle of a vast history; At the beginning of the series, 16 years have passed since Robert Baratheon’s rebellion, which ended the 300-year rule of the Targaryens; The event that changed the political equations of Westeros and the root of the current mental atmosphere and social position of all the characters of the series goes back to this event. The second component of “Game of Thrones” is that its world is made up of various families, tribes, sects and regions, each of which has its own unique and detailed laws, culture, history, customs and fame, and for various reasons, they hold grudges against each other and compete with each other. They are considered enemies of each other.
The third component of “Game of Thrones” is the plot of a dramatic question: who will finally take possession of the Iron Throne? All the conflicts and intrigues of the series originate from the tight competition of everyone to get closer to the Iron Throne. But what overshadows this competition is the fourth component of “Game of Thrones”: winter is coming and the attack of deadly aliens called the White Walkers with their army of the dead will sooner or later, but there is no fuel. So the ultimate question is: Can the characters put aside their personal conflicts and power struggles to unite against a common apocalyptic threat? The point I’m trying to make is this: The Copper Effect games tick all the story elements of Game of Thrones one by one. First, the story of these games takes place after a revolutionary event: when humans discover interstellar travel in the middle of the 22nd century, they encounter an advanced alien species and a war breaks out between them. But this war is stopped by the intervention of the Citadel Council: What is the Citadel Council? Well, the Citadel Council is an oversight body that rules over a vast galactic civilization that includes countless alien species.
In other words, humanity realizes that they are a new member of a 2,000-year-old interstellar society. But the story of “Mess Effect” is much more complicated than the typical story of the war between humans and aliens. Each of the aliens has their own detailed history and their own tribal conflicts. Therefore, we are witnessing a tense political environment where politicians are constantly competing to advance their own interests and secret organizations use espionage and terrorism to achieve their goals. The second point is that just like the competition for the Iron Throne, in the “Copper Effect” the concern of humans as newly arrived members of the galactic society is how they can get one of the seats on the Citadel Council (through diplomacy and alliance with other aliens or through declaring war). and dominance). But just like the threat of the White Walkers in “Game of Thrones”, the story of “Cos Effect” begins with the introduction of a mysterious apocalyptic threat: in the world of “Cos Effect”, there is an incredibly ancient and powerful species of machine beast that comes out once every 50,000 years. It finds and hunts all organic animal species to feed and produce more of itself. So the dramatic question of “The Copper Effect” is the same as that of “Game of Thrones”: Can a fragmented galaxy unite to survive against a common threat?
2- game Red Dead Redemption
If you check the list of the most watched series these days, you will come across two names: the first is our own “The Last of Us” and the second is the neo-western series “Yellowstone”, which is not only the most popular series on television today with more than 12 million viewers, but So far, two more popular pre-releases have been made for it, and the production of more pre-releases is on the agenda. So the question that can make every Hollywood producer want to die is this: What if we had a video game western series? This is where Red Dead Redemption games, a product of Rockstar Studio, come into play. This series, the second part of which is considered one of the 10 best-selling games in history, revolves around the members of a criminal gang led by a person named Dutch Vanderlein; At a time when the advancement of civilization and technology is taming the Wild West and ending the reign of the gun-wielding rebels at an alarming rate, Dutch drug gangs try to get the money they need to retire by any means possible, including bank robberies and train robberies. .
But there’s a problem: the law, in the form of Pinkerton’s sheriffs, bounty hunters, financiers, and detectives, is more determined than ever to bring order to the unspoiled lands and rid them of the last remaining outlaws from the Wild West. The first part of “Red Dead Redemption” begins a few years after the collapse of the Dutch gang and deals with John Marston, one of its surviving members; Although Marston has left behind his violent past life as a criminal and is engaged in farming and ranching in the corner of the world, the government officials, taking his wife and son hostage, force him to track down his former trainmates and kill them. But “Red Dead Redemption 2”, which is the prequel to the first game, answers this question: How exactly do the Dutch gang members, who were like a family to each other, betray each other and kill each other? Each of these two games could be adapted independently, but the ideal scenario is for the series to reverse the narrative order of the games: start the story by setting the context of the Dutch gang members’ interactions, and then end the series with the tragic and shocking ending of the first game.
3- Psychonauts game
Since some of the most successful video game adaptations are animations, we have to give at least one of our choices to the games that are dying to be animated, and one of the video games that could easily turn out a washed-up cartoon series in the vein of Gravity Falls. The games are “psychonauts” or “psychologists”. First, this game is one of the works of the legendary Tim Schieffer, who are known more than anything else for their clever dialogue writing and subtle black comedy. Second, the “Psychonauts” games have been described as an exciting mix of Tim Burton, David Lynch, spy story clichés, Picasso paintings, and X-Men comics. A story about a There is a 10-year-old boy named Raz who has exceptional mental skills; More precisely, he can enter people’s minds. Working as an acrobat in their family circus, he runs away to secretly join a government summer camp dedicated to educating children like himself.
At the end of their training, these children become a member of a group called “psychologists”; Psychopaths are elite agents who use their mental powers to stop criminals who also have mental powers of their own. During her stay at the camp, Rose uncovers a conspiracy: she discovers that someone is stealing her friends’ brains and turning them into zombies. The main attraction of “Psychonauts” is that while trying to solve this mystery, Rose meets a diverse group of crazy and strange characters with asymmetric faces and bodies, and by entering their minds, they visualize their fantasies, their psychological losses, their storage of memories, their feelings, Their repressed, their nightmares and, in short, the most personal parts of their subconscious mind. In other words, “Psychonauts” is a more crazy and colorful version of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”! The result is an immensely surreal, creative and funny adventure that simultaneously takes a deep look at mental health and healing.
4- Metal Gear Solid game
The “Metal Gear” series, which has released about eleven main and secondary games during its 35-year lifespan, has always been the first and most obvious video game that comes to gamers’ minds for a movie adaptation. There is no surprise. Finally, we are talking about one of the pioneers of cinematic storytelling in the video game medium; Games that are famous for their detailed and long cutscenes, and Hideo Kojima, their creator, is a full-fledged author with his own unique identity and worldview. Not only is the story line of the series delightfully complex and confusing, but the themes it covers range from political conspiracies and battlefield ethics to explorations of broad concepts such as revenge, trauma, race, peace, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, proxy wars. , deterrence theory, war economics, information saturated societies, meta-reality and many, many more topics (gasp). Also, these games have a very flexible tone as military actions that include elements of fantasy and anime madness at the same time.
But all the things that make “Metal Gear” great games are exactly the things that make it challenging to adapt. Although it was reported in 2020 that Oscar Isaac was selected to play the role of Solid Snake, the hero of this series, in a film directed by Jordan Vogt Roberts (director of “Kong: Skull Island”), but since then, we have received new reliable news about the amount of We have not received the progress of this project. So we think that not only is there a serious danger that the short running time of a feature film will lead to the elimination of the heavier and more exotic aspects of the game and reduce it to a typical spy action, but also, as we see with high-profile series like “Game of Thrones”, The group of numerous characters of “Metal Gear” and the complex history of its world need more space that television provides for it to be more effective and detailed. Newly, in the form of television, the hands of the creators will be more open to recreate the form playfulness, philosophical conversations and deconstructions characteristic of “Metal Gear”.
5- Game Disco Elysium
One of the prominent games of recent years that took the brains out of role-playing players and, according to many, became one of the turning points in the history of this genre, is “Disco Elysium”. The game, which won Best Storytelling at the 2019 Game Awards (and several other prestigious events), falls under the urban fantasy genre and includes elements of steampunk and some magical realism, and is clearly influenced by the science fiction literature of the former Soviet Union. . What catches your attention from the very beginning of the game is the originality and creativity of the story world, which takes advantage of the rich, detailed and curious history and culture, and you can immediately imagine that many stories can be told within the framework of this world. In fact, the game’s creator, Robert Kravitz, was a novelist before he became a game developer, and Disco Elysium is set in the same world he created for his first novel.
So there is no wonder why the dialogues of the game have such poetic and poisonous prose. The story revolves around an alcoholic detective who is suffering from forgetfulness, who is entrusted with the responsibility of solving the mystery of a hanged corpse along with his assistant. During his investigation, he discovers that the victim is at the center of a serious conflict between the local labor union, corrupt businessmen, communist rioters, mafia gangs and foreign interests. But don’t let this synopsis fool you. “Disco Elysium” is never a typical detective story; The mood and structure of the game is like a combination of Coen brothers’ “Big Lebowski”, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Corruption” and David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”.