In most forms of media, adaptation from one medium to another can be a sticky subject. Some franchises just don’t make the cut whilst others come out fantastically well!
In this Lyte Byte I will be looking at two, what I believe to be, good franchise adaptations into video games.
The Old Republic Series (Star Wars)
The Old Republic series is set several thousand years prior to the Star Wars films that most followers of popular media will at least know of. Of the games that form the Old Republic series, I particularly like the first of the series – Bioware’s 2003 RPG Knights of the Old Republic. Applying an almost D&Desque ruleset to a game set in the Star Wars universe was mind blowing for me, when I first played KOTOR. Having been a fan of Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights before picking this game up, it was as if a clash of a universe I’d grown to adore from the film franchise and a type of RPG that had captured my attention for many years.
Whilst it is questionable whether the Old Republic era is strictly canon in relation to the film franchise, I think the separation between the stories of the films and the stories presented in the games are the reason that the Old Republic games work. The writers, when not having to write directly around the events of the film, have a lot more room to write a story that did not feel too similar to the films whilst still capturing the magic of the universe it is set in. Success has also been found in applying this universe to things such as animated shows, comics and other game series’ but I think the Old Republic series of games was the most successful – at least in my opinion.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
This frickin’ game man! This game managed to steal so much of my childhood away from me sat at my PS2 mouth agape, so deeply entranced by the action happening on screen – making me feel as if I was having a direct affect on the Lord of the Rings action. With the dedication to replicating the breathtaking action of the film version this game is one of my favourite adaptations for the complete opposite to why I love the Old Republic games so much.
I mean, damn! They basically get some parts of the game identically shot-for-shot alongside the movie. Furthermore, the game itself felt really good to play. Wanting to execute each combat sequence perfectly to get higher scores and more experience to level up whichever character you were playing! For me one of the more memorable levels is the first, where you play as Legolas, Gimli and Aragon attempting to persuade the Army of the Dead to fight in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. That entire level feels so epic, and difficult to boot!
What do you think of these games, if you’ve played them? Have you got any other examples of where a TV series, film or perhaps book has been given an appropriate video game treatment? Let me know!