It was a weird, fascinating, and ultimately disappointing ride. The story of Telltale Games’ shutdown is now known to most dedicated console gamers, and in case you missed it, the company basically stopped keeping up. Its games became repetitive and formulaic, the graphics became outdated and the games buggy, and eventually waning interest and mass layoffs led to a shutdown announced this year. The experiment with high-end, narrative-centric, episodic gaming, to the extent that Telltale tried it, is over for now. And after a run of well over a decade, there’s surprisingly little to show for it.
With that said, it’s also oddly difficult to believe that Telltale is really done for good. So in the event that the company is resurrected somehow and brought back with a renewed commitment to quality – or if someone else decides to try to do the same style more effectively – we gave some thought to the games we’d have like to see that Telltale never got around to. (Quick note: we’re leaving out the Stranger Things game because there are some conflicting reports as to whether Netflix is forging ahead with it or it’s simply canceled.)
Westworld has become a very popular show on HBO and is the natural successor to Game Of Thrones, even if Thrones is getting its own spinoffs. The interesting thing though is that while Westworld is almost about a sort of futuristic substitute for virtual reality gaming, it doesn’t lend itself very well to a traditional, modern game. The show is driven by plot twists, character decisions, mystery and scenery more than it is by action (even if there’s plenty of violence). Now, don’t those all sound like things Telltale excelled with in its heyday? A revamped version fo the company could produce an outstanding game based on Westworld with beautiful graphics, a clear narrative core, and plenty of decision-making opportunities for players, with minimal but suitable action. Frankly, it could be stunning.
2. The Fast & The Furious
Despite becoming a film franchise that at this point can literally rival Marvel Studios from one release to another (The Fate Of The Furious grossed $1.24 billion worldwide), the Fast & Furious films just haven’t spawned a great game. That’s probably in part because most traditional gaming styles can’t naturally blend car racing with narrative. Telltale could do it however, and it would be a nice new look for the company. Interspersing the stories we’ve come to know and love about the characters in this series with exciting street racing elements would make for a bold but fascinating game.
3. Jekyll & Hyde
Most everyone knows the story of Jekyll & Hyde at least in a very basic way, yet it’s not the kind of story we commonly associate with gaming. There is in fact a modern game based on the tale, though it takes the form of a slot arcade online. As that game points out, there’s no getting around the fact that the original tale is somewhat dark in nature, and to its credit, the game embraces a darker aesthetic than most of its slot gaming counterparts. But can you imagine a similar aesthetic in a Telltale format? A dark, haunting game revolving around one of the most famous gothic horror tales of all time would also be a bold look for Telltale. And with this being another bit of source material that revolves more around story than action, it’s a nice fit.
4. Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes just never goes away. There’s always a new video game, a new film, a new television show, or in some cases a whole fresh adaptation on the concept. So, why not try it in this kind of a format? In a way, a detective story is better suited to Telltale’s particular style than just about any other genre of fiction. Done properly, with a heavy focus on environment and gradual story reveals, it could be the kind of game that catches on with a very enthusiastic fan base.
5. Harry Potter
Think about the last great Harry Potter game you played. There’s a good bet nothing comes to mind. This is incredible given the sheer magnitude of the Harry Potter franchise, and it’s something that’s clearly going to be remedied at one point or another. There has actually been leaked footage of a Harry Potter RPG that is apparently a very real thing. The game will be called “Magic Awakened,” and will come out in the next year or two. However, given the history of games relating to Harry Potter, we’ll withhold judgement until we see it. And in the meantime, an expansive and extensive Telltale series based on J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world could legitimately be the next big thing in console gaming, with the right creative team behind it.