What License Should Telltale Games Tackle Next?

April 28, 2014

/ by Tin Salamunic

In the past few weeks, Telltale Games has released both the third episode of the critically lauded series The Wolf Among Us and the second season of The Walking Dead. In addition, they are still working diligently on new titles from two other franchises, Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. Thus far, each of the studio’s games have featured colorful characters, tense combat scenes, sharp dialog and excruciating moral choices with real consequences. Although it almost seems selfish to ask for more considering the amount of content yet to be released, we could not help but think of many franchises—from literature, comic books, and television—that we would love to see get the Telltale treatment.

5. The Watchmen
Arguably the greatest superhero graphic novel ever written, Alan Moore’s The Watchmen is so influential that it’s hard to imagine series like Fable and The Walking Dead without it. It elevated comic books as a medium and proved that it could be an effective medium for telling stories about things other than how hard super people could punch each other. And just like The Wolf Among Us, much of what is compelling about the story is watching larger-than-life characters try to live in a world just like normal people.

You could make almost any number of stories from the rich tapestry that is the source material, but the character Rorschach seems like the most obvious choice, as his decision not to retire from the superhero life offers plenty of time within The Watchmen’s canon for other tales to be told before the death of the Comedian and the hook of the main comic book. Almost any other character could serve in the lead role, or perhaps the series could adapt a structure that allows all of them to take turns in the limelight. No matter what, it would be difficult to imagine that Telltale Games could tell a worse story than some of the franchise’s other adaptations. If nothing else, seeing the art department tackle Dave Gibbons’ artwork would be worth the price of a season pass.

4. H. P. Lovecraft
Stephen King once described the works of H. P. Lovecraft as the most important horror writing since Edgar Allen Poe. Lovecraft’s writing spawned an entire mythos of cosmic horrors that have seen adaptations across many mediums, from pulp adventure novels to tabletop games and his most enduring invention, the ancient god Cthulhu, has even made an appearance in South Park. And while zombies and vampires might still reign as the horror tropes du jour, we leave it up to Telltale to show gamers what true horror could be.

Players would take on the role of a private investigator, university professor, or some other Lovecraftian archetype that must battle his own descent into madness as he tracks an apocalyptic cult worshipping the Ancient Ones during a globetrotting adventure set in the 1920s. Telltale has proven through their work on The Walking Dead that they can create genuinely scary moments for players, and the requisite moral decisions that pepper the studio’s games would only be more harrowing if the character’s own sanity had to be taken into account. Would you dare pull the trigger of your revolver against the grotesque monstrosity descending upon you from the darkened hallway, knowing that it could in fact be an ally twisted by your character’s own demented hallucinations? These kinds of scenarios have proven popular in many tabletop games such as Fantasy Flight’s Eldritch Horror and Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, as well as the celebrated Gamecube title Eternal Darkness by Silicon Knights. And we would love to see Telltale’s interpretation of the mythos.

3. The X-Files
Widely celebrated as one of the greatest science fiction series of all time, The X-Files ran for seven seasons, spawning two theatrical films, several comic book and novelized spin-offs and two video games—neither of which successfully captured the essence of the show. We would love to see Telltale publish the video game the series deserves. While a storyline that explores the government conspiracy about an alien invasion could work, we would prefer to see more of a “lost season” take that focuses on the monster-of-the-week style of storytelling that made the show famous. 

It would explore either original creations, or alternatively, some of the more beloved monsters from the show such as the fluke worm monster from “Host” or he generation-spanning, liver-eating contortionist Eugene Tooms. Players would guide Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scullly through their investigations, as they conduct interviews with witnesses, sweat suspects during interrogations, uncover clues at crime scenes, perform autopsies, and take part in tense action sequences. And rather than focus on typical “good vs. evil” moral choices, players would have to choose between siding with “Spooky” Mulder’s supernatural explanations or Scully’s more skeptical approach.

2. Star Trek
The Stark Trek franchise has been adapted into several video games with varying degrees of success, from snail-paced naval-combat-in-space simulators to third person shooters to an ill-fated MMORPG. So much of the conflict of the show, however, was based around the delicate diplomatic situations that emerged between different cultures rather than direct combat between warring factions, and allowing Telltale Games the opportunity to explore those kinds of scenarios based in Gene Rodenberry’s universe seems like a no-brainer.
Players would take on the role of redshirt recruit newly assigned to the USS Enterprise’s original crew. 

They would work their way up the ranks of the ship, guiding Captain Kirk through alien societal dilemmas, advised on one side by the emotionally driven ship’s doctor, Henry “Bones” McCoy and on the other by the logical science officer Spock. Ideally, the original cast would jump on board to lend their voices to their characters. Having George Takei and Leonard Nimoy speaking over the communicators as players attempt to navigate through intergalactic tensions with Klingons, bed green-skinned aliens and learn about the trouble with tribbles would be every Trekkies dream come true. 

1. Saga
One of the greatest science fiction comic book series since author Brian K. Vaughan’s previous series, Y: The Last Man, Saga is an epic fantasy space opera set in a galactic war between spell casting aliens and fairy-like technophiles and includes heartless robots with television sets for heads, badass bounty hunters, baby seal people and one witty talking blue cat. The universe he and illustrator Fiona Staples created is one of the freshest takes on the genre we have ever seen, and has been one of the best-selling comics since it debuted in 2012. 

Considering the amount of success that Telltale Games has found adapting comic books to video games, it is surprising that this title hasn’t made it into development already. While Saga’s central story focuses on the relationship between two lovers caught on opposite ends of the conflict, we would to see a video game focusing on the bounty hunter named The Will and his sidekick, Lying Cat, as they bounce across the galaxy tracking down fugitives on both sides of the war. Seeing Telltale’s art team take on Fiona Staples would be worth the price of admission all on its own, but tack on the sharp dialog that both the Vaughn and Telltale are known for, and you have the recipe for Telltale’s next game of the year.   

Article by: Nick Walge 
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  1. Saga will never's not popular enough with the mainstream crowd. Although it would be a dream come true.


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