Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Your dream licensed video game

GameCentral readers name the movies, TV shows, and comics they’d most like to see turned into a game, from It to Doctor Who.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Carnie and inspired by the slow, but noticeable, resurgence of big budget licensed games in recent years. What video game would you most want to see based on something that already exists and who would you want to make it?

We had plenty of suggestions, for properties both new and old, with James Bond and Game Of Thrones being particularly popular – as well as the obvious, to gamers at least, potential for more Star Wars and superhero games.


Topical choice

It’s obviously a pretty obvious choice at the moment but a proper game based on Game Of Thrones would be amazing. There’s actually been a bunch, including boring PC strategy games based on the books, the lame Telltale series, and whatever this awful mobile game is that I see advertised on seemingly every single website I visit at the moment.

Since the show is finishing now we’ve obviously missed our chance, especially in terms of having all the actors together/alive, etc. But I will admit it’d have been a difficult game to do. Telltale would’ve been a good fit if they’d actually put any effort into it, because the game would need to have lots of dialogue. But it’d also need proper action and a strategy element.

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War is probably the closest comparison I can think, with more emphasis on dialogue and less on constant fighting. I’m imagining something that, rather than just a linear adventure, allows you to pick any of the houses and play through the game as them. Then if you die halfway through it’s just game over. Kind of like a roguelike, except hopefully you’ve had a good story out of it and there is not real ending. You know… like the books!


Genisys of an idea

Back when everyone was hoping that Alien Isolation would be a huge hit I remember lots of talk about whatever classic ‘80s franchises Sega could do in a similar style. My favourite idea was always The Terminator. There have been a lot of Terminator games over the years but, as usual most of them are awful. Also, most of them are set in the future, for some reason, despite that only being a tiny part of the movies.

More things to shoot is, I assume the logic, but that means they’re nothing like the two best films in the franchise. A game that was set in the present day (or at least pre-Judgement Day) would be much more interested if, like Alien Isolation, they played it up like a suspense game, where you were never quite sure where a Terminator would jump out at you, and you’d be constantly scanning the crowd, looking for targets.

Giving you something to do between major encounters is the tricky bit, but maybe focus on stealth and trying to avoid police. Perhaps you could have accidentally upset a criminal gang or maybe ordinary Cyberdyne agents are after you as well. There’s plenty that could be done while still only having a small number of Terminators overall. Plus it would actually, you know, be something like the movies.


Never again

At least you can say that Star Wars is getting video games made of it at the moment but we still don’t seem to be any closer to getting something I’d actually be interested in. We did, for a moment, when they made that VR X-Wing game, and the starfighter stuff in Battlefront II has the basics right – but it’s just a multiplayer free-for-all, with very little tactics or consistency.

What I’d want to see is a return to the old LucasArts space combat simulators, with complicated controls, varied missions, and tons of different ships. It’ll never happen, I know that, and we’ll be lucky to get something as complicated as even Rogue Squadron. There seemed to be a chance that would happen back when EA thought Battlefront II would be a hit, but I’ve got a feeling they’ve mothballed it now.

I’m sure Respawn’s new game would be good and everything but it just sounds like The Force Unleashed and I really didn’t like that game. I’m not sure Jedi really make for good video game protagonists but while flying spaceships around does clearly work the relatively difficulty of doing so seems to have doomed it to never happening again.


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The final frontier

This one’s so obvious I seem to remember a Reader’s Feature all about it, but why are there no decent Star Trek games? Star Trek was a huge influence on the origins of video games and there were lots around in the early days but I don’t think there’s ever been any truly good ones except for the 25th anniversary ones with the full voice cast (and voice recognition if you got the deluxe version!).

But actually I know exactly why there are no decent Star Trek games nowadays, and it’s because everything has to be an action game now. The last Star Trek game (based on the first reboot) was a co-op third person shooter for god’s sake! Nobody’s going to make a complex space flight and exploration game where violence is never the answer and it’s all about trying to get on with alien races and finding out that humanity is actually insignificant compared to other cosmic forces.

No, all you get now is some dumb phone game where you’re controlling the Enterprise around like it’s a dodgem car. I know these games cost money to make and so have to make even more in return but surely someone could’ve come up with something unofficial at least?
Baron Grubber


Thank you Earl

Not the most obvious answer, but glancing across my DVD collection I think Tremors would make a really good video game. The second film in particular, which I maintain is almost as good as the original, is a lot more open-ended and basically has two competing teams trying to hunt graboids for money. If that’s not a set-up for a video game I don’t know what is.

And because it’s not a licence that whoever owns it is likely to be precious about you’d probably be free to invent all kinds of extra things, with different mutations (the other sequels were awful but they could minded for their new monsters), new ways of killing them, and new ways to get around their various abilities, like the not making sound or using things to block their infra-red vision.

I was very impressed by the Friday The 13th game that was basically made by fans and I could imagine a Tremors game working in a similar manner, not in terms of gameplay but people that actually love the series being true to the originals and making a good game out of it as well. I’d secretly hope for some Kevin Bacon voiceover action though.


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Ocean of possibilities

Heists are something that seem to come up quite a lot nowadays in games – Rockstar seems obsessed with them – but they’ve never really worked properly in my opinion. There’s no sense that you’re organising anything yourself, just following someone else’s plan.

A really good heist game where you got to pick your crew, construct a plan, and do all the preliminary work would be great and it occurs to me that using the Ocean’s 11 licence would be the perfect way to get it done. Maybe you get the actors involved or not, I don’t think it really matters, it’d be just be an excuse to do a game using subject matter that otherwise wouldn’t get a chance.

To me that’s where movie licences have always had the most potential, because if you just made a heist game it probably wouldn’t get much attention. But give it a famous name and suddenly you’ve got something a lot more marketable. Except usually publishers just take the double negative answer and do neither.


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