5 Games Based on Famous TV Shows
Let’s face it, shall we? TV tie-ins are usually a load of old guff. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. However, sometimes these games offer something that’s genuinely and surprisingly fun. It’s rarer than a rainbow coloured leprechaun riding a unicorn through Atlantis, and often times these games have glaring flaws, but it happens. So to celebrate the release of Quantum Break, which aims to fuse game and TV together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of an experience, here are 5 Games Based on TV Shows.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct – Okay, we’ll open with the controversial one first, as Survival Instinct wasn’t exactly the best game in the world. Some would even call it unfinished. Terrible, even. The faults were glaring and numerous, but the fact remains that when games based on TV shows or films often throw out such inane garbage as a Desperate Housewives videogame, you’ve gotta give props to Survival Instinct for at least having some good ideas. The road trip across America storyline that featured branching paths, and the constant emphasis on resource and survivor management helped to encourage exploration through each level, as running out of gas meant game over, but also multiple playthroughs. Like a sloppy takeaway, you know Survival Instinct isn’t well-made, and it’s probably bad for you on some level, but you enjoy it nonetheless. Or, at least, I did. Besides, Daryl Dixon. Enough said.
24: The Game – Jack Bauer is a man who, and this is putting it mildly, has had a couple of bad days in his life. 10 of these days (if we include 24: Redemption and 24: Live Another Day) have appeared on screen, but not as many know about the eleventh day: 24 – The Game. Bridging the gap between the end of season 2, which saw a new villain named Max be introduced only to never be seen again come Season 3, we see how Jack deals with that guy. Spoiler alert, by the way, for a show that’s about 15 years old. Anyway, the game does a brilliant job of tying up that loose end, yet also feeling like a proper series of the show. It’s got everything: villains on top of villains with far-reaching conspiracies, signature cut-aways and multi-camera shots, and Kim even gets kidnapped. Just like the show, basically!
Defiance – Less of a tie-in, and more like an accompaniment to the recent SyFy TV series, Defiance was an ambitious MMO that featured characters, settings and plot-points of the show, but followed your own created hero/monstrosity fight some evil guys for… reasons… Yeah, the plot wasn’t exactly anything to write home about (and that can say whatever you want it to say about the writing of SyFy shows), but who needs plot when you’ve got 200 guys fighting a 50ft tall death robot? Stumbling upon a posse of guys fighting a raid boss and being roped into the shenanigans never got old. Waiting for 3 other players to join your raid, however… That got real old.
The Simpsons: Hit And Run – One of the golden rules of a game tie-in is that if don’t have any original ideas for your game, copy another game wholesale. The Simpsons: Hit And Run learnt that lesson and decided to clone one of the most popular games of all time: Grand Theft Auto. And it worked. Combining a fully explorable Springfield with surprisingly good controls and the trademark humour of the series, Hit and Run put you in the shoes of Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart and even Apu at one stage, as you try to solve all the weird occurrences happening in Springfield in the run-up to Halloween. At least, that was the official premise. What actually happened involved a lot of cheat codes, several police chases and more than a few Simpsons characters being forcefully introduced to the front bumper of the Simpson family sedan.
South Park: The Stick Of Truth – The key to being a successful tie-in is to capture the spirit of the show in videogame format, and no other tie-in so far has come close to South Park: The Stick of Truth. Using the exact same animation style as the popular cartoon, along with being written by creators Stone and Parker, The Stick of Truth was just as vulgar and crass as the TV show. Racial stereotypes, zombie nazis and anal probes are all on the table, and that barely scratches the surface. But underneath it all was a surprisingly fun RPG game. Sure, the combat and levelling up was fairly simple, but that was the point. Better to keep it simple than to alienate the casual fans of the TV show with Witcher levels of stat tracking. Besides, how can you not enjoy a game that encourages you to fart on your enemies?
And there you have it. Got some of your own suggestions? Angry at the fact I actually enjoyed Survival Instinct? Let us know in the comments below!
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