Ever since Telltale Games touched The Walking Dead franchise, they’ve received much deserved attention for their innovations in gameplay. By directing the tone of the game through difficult decisions your character is forced to make, it immerses the player into a cinematic connection that can only be experienced through a Telltale game. Since The Walking Dead received the honor of winning Game of the Year for 2012, it was only to be expected for Telltale to invite more franchises to their entourage like the already released Vertigo Comic title The Wolf Among Us inspired from the comic Fables, HBO’s Game of Thrones announcement alongside Tales from the Borderlands. The franchises may not be new to anyone, but the consequential gameplay is unlike any other that flourishes through the episode structure. After a while, you begin to wonder what famous franchises are next to get picked up for the Telltale treatment, and here at IP, we’re going to let you in on what we want to see next from Telltale Games.
Trust me, I’ve thought this through.
It’s been known that Vince Gilligan has written three more seasons worth of material for Breaking Bad, along with different outcomes for characters. This automatically plays nicely into the Telltale equation by the many different outcomes that could arise due to decisions. For example, Vince Gilligan originally had the story set up to kill Jesse off after season 1, but after seeing Aaron Paul’s performance, he continued to write Jesse into the story; now try to imagine Breaking Bad without Jesse.
Rather than just play as one set character, it would be fun to play as several characters in situations where they have a special trait to handle the problem. Along with playing as these characters other than Walt, they would have do or die moments, in which if you don’t successfully accomplish the part of the game, that character is killed. This would help drive how the game builds off actions, aside from depending on decisions primarily.
The only true obstacle to overcome with having a Breaking Bad game would be to get the entire cast to be voice actors. Not to say they wouldn’t want to be a part of expanding from the show, but we are talking about some highly-qualified individuals that would cost a pretty penny.
I never was really into the idea of Breaking Bad having a video game, until I realized the amount of potential it would have with Telltale Games. Breaking Bad isn’t meant to be some crazy action montage, instead well thought out drama series that ties together any loose ends, and the developers at Telltale Games would do just that.
If you asked me my thought on Grey’s Anatomy one year ago, I would have joked it off as a “Chick” show. Now having binged watched nearly eight seasons on Netflix I have a newfound respect for the writers on that show for roping me in and genuinely making me feel attached to their characters. Which makes it a perfect match for Telltale.
A large cast woven through interesting storylines from lesbian relationships to miscarriages to plane crashes and hospital shootings. My ideal format would be playing a new attendee in the hospital and through Telltales dialogue branches, forming bonds and connections to the characters.
Working in a hospital you still have the suspense and urgency that Telltale brought in The Walking Dead. You have people’s lives in your hands. You can be tasked with which patient to help. Either the eight year-old girl with a brain tumor or your fiance. Grey’s Anatomy has had no problem killing off main characters which is perfect for creating multiple outcomes based on your choices. With plenty of drama to be had as well.
Once Upon a Time
I’ve always liked Telltale’s Approach to storytelling. They incorporate the simple ideas of serial drama and television so easily into video games. That was one of the most essential assets for The Walking Dead, and I think it’s (so far) worked in favor for The Wolf Among Us. That’s why I think some kind of serial TV show would work perfectly for a Telltale Property, and wouldn’t mind see Once Upon a Time be one of those.
As I may get some chagrin from readers for choosing one of my “guilty pleasure” shows as something for Telltale to take ahold of, it has a lot of aspects from The Wolf Among Us that would work perfectly in an entirely new light. The characters in Once Upon a Time are fairytale characters, but they don’t know it. They live in our world, but there world is still fully realized and completely reachable.
Having Telltale put you in control of a classic, or perhaps entirely new, fairy tale character, where their past is reflected in the original fairytale world, and their present in show in ours, with their character now clouded in ignorance, I think that would be worthwhile. I’m a huge fan of magic and fairtytales crossing into our world, so Telltale tackling the concept again with a very different way with Once Upon a Time would have me quite excited.
To this point, Telltale has dealt with fairly popular franchises and created new characters and storylines that can live in the world of said franchise, The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, soon to be Game of Thrones. What if, instead of creating new characters for a pre-established world, Telltale continues the storylines of a previously cancelled show. Enter the epically badass, yet criminally underwatched show Jericho.
Jericho was a show about the citizens of the small town of Jericho, Kansas who struggle to survive after nuclear bombs are set off across the United States and the country is sent into disarray. The show had one full episode order for season one before getting cancelled and promptly uncancelled for an episode season two before getting cancelled again.
Since then, the show writers experimented with different ways of continuing the story including season 3. Jericho: Civil War was released as a comic book and is considered to be the third season of the series. Why not continue that trend and continue the series with Telltale?
There is plenty to be mined from the show that never got its fair due. The mysterious company Jennings and Rall, which appeared to be pulling all the strings behind the new U.S. government, as well as the tensions that no doubt rose up between the remnants of the U.S. government in D.C. and the “new” United States based out of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Not only would this be a feasible option to continue the series, the cast of the show don’t seem to be flying off the shelves, picking up acting gigs everywhere so the possibility that the actors could lend their voices to their characters wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
Telltale could stick to continuing to tell the story of Jake Green and the citizens of Jericho, or they could continue off in their own direction. A lot happened that was never seen during Jericho’s tumultuous life on the air, offering prime real estate for Telltale to sink in their storytelling claws.
Harlem Detective Series
It may be either brilliance or sacrilege to suggest that a series of honest-to-goodness noir novels be adapted to videogame form. Telltale has tried their hands at the detective drama before in various forms (Sam and Max, The Wolf Among Us) but something grounded in reality may really be the change of pace the studio needs to elevate them once more. Enter the Harlem Detective Series.
That’s a loose name that represents the many novels penned by Harlem renaissance era author Chester Himes, centered around a pair of black vice detectives in post WW2 Harlem. “Grave Digger” Jones and “Coffin” Ed Johnson patrol the streets of a very bizarre and unromantic city, where the everyone is bad night away from being a criminal or a corpse. Their “shoot first, ask questions sometimes” attitude makes them feared by the city’s denizens, and goes largely unnoticed (if not encouraged) by their bosses, thanks to the very real racial complexities brought about by 50’s desegregation efforts. Himes makes this dark, chaotic view or Harlem both a welcoming home for hard boiled crime novel fans, and a unique and bold take on the sub genre, thanks to the black perspective.. Perfect for a point and click adventure.
Though I have my own personal favorites in the series, the easiest way to adapt the story would be to start from the beginning with A Rage in Harlem. And hopefully do it better than the movie…