1: Breaking Bad
Think about it. Breaking Bad would fit so naturally into Telltale’s ballpark they’d barely have to do any work to cover it. Hard choices, savage deaths, tension building into bloody conclusions. Rather than following the storyline of the games, Telltale’s Breaking Bad could focus elsewhere in the series’ universe. Lovable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman seems a natural fit but hey, he’s already getting his own spin-off – so why not focus on another member of the entirely morally grey cast? Mike Ehrmantraut would be a spectacular contender with a colourful (to say the least) past. Imagine navigating a bloody, unpredictable world as a hitman/fixer responsible for cleaning up the mess a gigantic crystal meth empire would make.
The timeline wouldn’t have to be linear. It could run parallel to the events of the show and simply expand upon events – or offer some background to Gus Fring’s rise to power. Five separate episodes with one central theme, hopping from Mike’s mysterious past to cleaning up murders and enforcing Gus Fring’s brutal regime. Walt and Jesse wouldn’t have to appear past a few references or fleeting glances (although a section that involved training Jesse up to betray Walt would be amazing). It wouldn’t serve them well to create a whole new character in Breaking Bad’s world but there are plenty of characters who’d provide that extra bit of perspective and clear up some of the lingering questions the finale left. But preferably Mike. Please, Telltale. Please.
Heroes is my favourite premise for a show of all time – people all over the world gain incredible superhuman powers, drama and timey-wimey wibbly wobbly stuff unfolds. The show itself was intensely troubled and ultimately its ambition became the thing that destroyed it – the plot became too convoluted, and it had the perennial problem of sitting on the fence between cancellation and absolute greatness. It could be said it was in the wrong hands (Sorry, Tim Kring and your slavemasters at NBC). That it needs to be in the hands of a studio that excels with complicated, interlinking plotlines, hard choices, and one-of-a-kind character development… Yep. It’s Telltale. Telltale needs Heroes. Not for Telltale’s sake. For Heroes. It’s probably the one games developer on the face of the planet that could help it reach the potential it has fallen short of for so long.
The scope for a Telltale Heroes game is endless. They could basically create a whole new season expanding on the missing half of season two – where a superhuman plague sweeps through the world. They could jump into the future or the past to play with the effects of that plague or the conspiracies and problems going on with the Company before the show even started. One of the show’s central themes is time travel, so anything is possible (we’ll touch on that again later). Telltale’s usual modus operandi is creating a new bunch of characters and having them run alongside the events of the core franchise. But there’s the option here to revisit those characters later in the timeline (like the badass scarred Future Peter Petrelli) or the same characters in different time periods. Actually… X-Men: Days of Future Past did that last one. Stay away.
The other – and in my opinion, best – way to go would be to come up with a new cast of characters at the beginning of season one. It could reference the events of the show but come up with a whole new bunch of problems. Maybe we could play as a teenager in Claire’s position – having to hide an extremely obvious power from your friends and family with repercussions if you don’t cover your tracks well enough. The Company could get involved later on – some sections with the Haitian would be outstandingly tense. Imagine a Telltale game where the main character is a telepath – it’d add a whole new layer to the engine’s usual dynamic. Solving mysteries and making judgments with what could be entirely unreliable mental evidence as opposed to searching out physical facts. Playing around with Matt Parkman’s power set in a world where everything has a consequence would be a one of a kind experience.
This needs to happen. It just does. Batman himself is pretty well covered right now when it comes to games but there’s plenty of other stuff going on in Gotham. Playing as a beat cop on Batman’s trail, dealing with the problems his presence creates when he first takes up the pointy ears. Hell, even just taking the focus off Bats himself and having some regular shmuck go toe-to-toe with someone from his rogue’s gallery. Playing as some small-time vigilante who’s just lost a loved one and seeking vengeance, butting heads with Bruce Wayne as he tries to throw you off the trail for your own safety. It could even take a page out of the new Gotham series’ book and have you play as Commissioner Gordon. To be honest, Telltale could make a game that had you playing as Alfred folding Bruce Wayne’s laundry, vacuuming his floors, and polishing the Batcave and people would still buy all five episodes.
There’s so many roads they could take with this one. It’d be interesting to see Gotham through the eyes of the average guy, though – I have images of a female beat cop progressing up to detective and going up against The Penguin and Twoface with some horrifying Killer Croc sequences inbetween. Gotham has it all – crime, action, intrigue, conspiracy. We should get to see more of it without a pair of pointy ears in the way.
No. Not the Keanu Reeves movie. Never. The only sensible Keanu Reeves movie to make a game out of would be Bill & Ted – but I’ve been leaning a bit too hard on the time travel concept in this article so I’ll just have to relegate that one to yet another of my unanswered hopes and dreams
The Constantine series will be starting next month on NBC, a long-awaited adaptation that swears to be much more true to the source material than the Keanu Reeves travesty, and Telltale have already shown some considerable chops when it comes to translating gritty comics to the gaming format. John Constantine is a supernatural investigator with some magical powers of his own – but more often than not his powers are used in clever, subtle ways rather than all out warlock warfare. Constantine also has some unusual interaction with the DC universe – Swamp Thing, for one, and he’s the current head of Justice League Dark which would make for some… intensely colourful episodes. Hell, Constantine and The Wolf Among Us both fall under DC’s Vertigo label, so this one isn’t all that unlikely – especially not with the new series on the way. Maybe a Bigby Wolf/Constantine team-up? When you think about some of the mad crossovers the comic industry has already played host to this one doesn’t seem all that unlikely.
John Constantine is all about talking his way into and out of situations which seems a perfect fit. Breaking into crime scenes, exorcising demons, and using an arsenal of tools to send demons back to hell the clever way. Out of all the ideas on this list, a Constantine series is probably the most likely, especially with a new show on the way – it could capitalise on a whole new audience and provide some vital background information.
5: Doctor Who
This is probably the most unlikely suggestion out of the five seeing as the people who control Doctor Who’s licensing seem set on releasing terrible games (Eternity Clock, ugh) and ultimately pointless mobile games that don’t really add on the incredible wealth of content the Doctor Who franchise has available
The obvious route here is some kind of Doctor-centric adventure, but it seems unlikely we’d actually be experiencing the game from the Doctor’s point of view. It’d take away some of his genius if you were actually forced to think as he does and plan everything hundreds of moves ahead. No, a role as a new companion evolving over the course of a five episode arc seems more apt, and with over fifty years of content taking place everywhere in space and time, Telltale could craft yet another masterpiece here. The choices would go from twisted survival situations to decisions about entire races and planets being wiped out of existence. You wouldn’t have to play as the Doctor to have a role in those decisions – it’d be more about steering and influencing the Doctor into making the right choices.
And of course, with the TARDIS, there’d be the potential to revisit past episodes at important points (Ignoring fixed points) to learn new information that would help you progress. The show is made in such a way it can be anything – horror, all-out sci-fi indulgence, or, apparently, bank heist drama. And that’s just the first few episodes of the new season. They could do anything. Imagine a huge sci-fi romp with tons of dramatic decisions and quick-burning adrenaline in the first episode – only to revisit that same adventure behind the scenes in the last episode to get to the bottom of some gigantic mystery. It would completely reverse expectations, flipping something from action adventure to horror and suspense.
There would, of course, be the option to play as Captain Jack or focus on some Torchwood adventures. Or better yet, as Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny solving crimes in Victorian London. There’s so much Telltale could do with Doctor Who they’d probably spend five years just trying to figure out where to start (I hope that’s what they’re doing now, actually. Wink via Twitter if I’m right. I won’t tell anyone)
The studio have made some huge moves and seem incapable of slowing down. There’s some huge titles on the way – Tales from The Borderlands, Game of Thrones – and doubtless a few more franchises desperate for the Telltale treatment on the way. If even one of the ideas above ever sees the computer screens of the host of superhuman geniuses that occupy the studio, I will literally throw all my clothes off, get their logo tattooed on my chest, and run through my extremely busy town center on a Friday evening.
What else deserves the Telltale treatment? Leave your ideas in the comments or on Facebook.