It’s Tuesday and time for Ask Kotaku, the weekly feature in which Kotaku-ites deliberate on a single burning question. Then, we ask your take.
With Star Wars and Indiana Jones in the news for getting new video games, this week we Ask Kotaku: What media property would you like to see adapted into a game?
I’m dreaming of a vast, open-world Law & Order game. There have been Law & Order games, but none have really captured the spirit of the combined decades’ worth of the original series, Criminal Intent, and Special Victims Unit. Imagine the New York City-scape of Insomniac’s Spider-Man, only you’re driving the streets in an unmarked Buick, waiting to respond to calls. Driving in real time to a garage to question a witness who doesn’t like cops and didn’t see nothin’. Stopping to chat with assistant DA Carisi about the case over street meat. Hell, stepping into the shoes of Carisi in Phoenix Wright-inspired courtroom sequences. An endless parade of DLC cases, released on a seasonal basis. Tie-ins with what’s left of the show. Or...OOOO OOOOO, a “Let’s Explain Things To Ice-T” mini-game!
I am seriously getting breathlessly excited the more I imagine this game. Going to stop before I faint.
You know how, when you watch an action-packed cutscene, you can’t help but wonder, “Man, why am I watching this instead of playing it?” That thought permeates literally every action scene in every Ip Man movie. For the uninitiated, Ip Man is a grandmaster of Wing Chun, best known for teaching Bruce Lee how to open one hundred cans of whup-ass. Ip Man has been portrayed on-screen plenty of times over the years, but never in something with as much reach as the Ip Man films, starring Donnie Yen in the titular role.
There’s a viscerality to Yen’s moves that makes you feel like you have a front-row seat to the action. And the fights are way more creative than your standard silver-screen beat-’em-up, leaning on deft use of the environment to create some truly bananas scenarios. Just watch the scene above, where Ip Man takes on, no exaggeration, 87 dudes at once—and wins. Watching that fight—watching any Ip Man fight, across all four mainline entries—is always a blast. In fact, one gets the sense that someone is controlling Yen’s character with a gamepad just off-screen. So I can’t help but think, “Man, why am I not playing this?”
Technically there are already games in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and the console game of the same name, at least, wasn’t terrible. But I would love to see a more expansive RPG that let me freely explore the Northern and Southern water tribes, the grit of Ba Sing Se, or even the roads in between. The Legend of Korra came out after the old Last Airbender games, but this newly imagined Avatar RPG could serve as a standalone sequel.
I would also love to see a narrative game based on Titanic, that gives you more control over your version of “Jack” and “Rose” allowing you to switch between the two. Ideally, it would make you think every choice is extremely consequential, but there is, in fact, only one end.
I want a Bob’s Burgers game. We got a digital pinball game based on the animated show almost six years ago. It was cool. But what I really want is a proper console or PC game based on the show. What kind of game, you ask? I have ideas.
Maybe a restaurant management game, with some narrative connecting the various segments. Or an open-world game letting you play as the kids and the parents, each with their own story involving different characters from the show. Or both ideas rolled into one game. Sometimes you are cooking and running the restaurant. Other times you are out in the world, dealing with Jimmy Pesto or hanging out with Teddy. The more I think about this game the more I want it. We got 20+ Simpsons games, most coming out long after the show had passed its prime. So why not some love for the better show? Bob and his family deserve a full-fledged game.
To date the Jim Henson Company’s artistic, puppetry triumph The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance has only received a forgettable “tactics” game. Seems a shame, because its rich world would be wonderful to explore in the context of a more ambitious, higher-budget video game. But let’s be honest, I’m really just here for our gentle, precious Deethra. Make Deet the main character in some half-decent RPG and I’ll follow that badass gelfling into hell.
On New Year’s, a new host of works entered the public domain, including “The Great Gatsby” and “Mrs. Dalloway.” I made a joke about wanting to see a video game adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic, but then I started thinking about it, and actually: yes. You’ve got a clear call to action right from its first line—”Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself”—and from there things branch out into all kinds of characters and themes that would actually be great for a video game made by, say, Kentucky Route Zero developer Cardboard Computer. The book’s themes have been explored in other media before, notably Michael Cunningham’s book “The Hours” and its subsequent movie adaptation, but I would play the hell out of Clarissa Dalloway’s party rendered in the visual style of Dishonored’s Lady Boyle level. The book is public domain now, video game developers. Just saying.
Last year the German sci-fi series Dark wrapped up its third and final season on Netflix. It’s a complicated but brilliant show about time travel, alternate dimensions, destiny, and how personal emotional baggage evolves over time. It would probably be a disaster in video game form, as so many adaptations are, but I’m just some random blogger answering a hypothetical so why not? There are parts of the show that would lend themselves to slow, eerie Alan Wake-like exploration, and others that would work well as branching story scenes driven by interwoven dialogue choices. Above everything else, Dark is propelled by its mood—existential foreboding—and a script full of melodrama mixed with philosophical babble. There wouldn’t be any tricky game mechanics to figure out, and since it all takes place in the same town across different time periods, environments and assets could be continually reused and repurposed as well. The end result might be something like Kentucky Route Zero mixed with Death Stranding. Now that’s a virtual space I’d love to spend dozens of hours brooding in.
Kotaku’s weighed in, but what’s your take? Got a book, movie, or particularly memorable Trapper Keeper you’d love to see get a game? Have your say! We’ll be back next Monday to deliberate and debate on another nerdy issue. See you in the comments!