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The Top 7... Failed Franchises We Know How to Fix

Contributors: Charlie Barratt and Brett Elston

Videogames, television and movies frequently overlap. With so much cross pollination, you'd think the biggest and best film franchises would have respectable game adaptations by now, but that's just not the case, is it? Sure there are a handful of successful tie-ins, but many series flop around for years, seeing game after terrible game created with little or no regard for the source material. Well, we're sick of it.

Gathered here are seven franchises that deserve kick-ass videogames, yet have never, not once, seen one that truly captured the essence of what made the property great. It's usually due to developers focusing on the wrong aspects - imagine playing D-Day in Medal of Honor only you're controlling the drop ships instead of the scared-shitless soldier. Or a Cloverfield game that has you effortlessly tearing up New York instead of desperately defending it. Wrong ideas, all around. Read on for seven correct, truly dead-on depictions of franchises previously thought lost.

This is an absolute perfect match. Trek is known, almost to a fault, for having more chatty chatty than action. Mass Effect is the same, forcing players to talk to goddamn everybody before the painstakingly crafted plot will inch forward. Mass Effect's talk-'em-up gameplay and Trek's heady philosophy would blend into a sci-fi cocktail so alluring that any self-respecting gamer would have to beam over and investigate.

Both have humans participating in a universal community that simultaneously respects and fears the encroaching forces of mankind. The aliens share an uneasy alliance that hides the bitter resentment each race holds for the other, though at times it seems like they all would prefer if humans just disappeared. This comparison clip shows how the galaxy views humanity in both series. First is a clip from Next Generation where the omnipotent Q makes his opinion of humanity well known, followed by a Turian in Mass Effect making a similar statement.


Above: The dialogue fits, the setting fits, the gameplay fits... make this already!

Mass Effect can also claim clear parallels among its alien cultures - Krogans are Klingons, the Alliance is the Federation, the Reapers are more or less Borg and the Volus are basically stout Ferengi in space suits. There are even similarities between the Rachni and the Borg-beating Species 8472. All this without mentioning that both feature teams of people scouring planets for resources, relics and clues to a greater galactic understanding. Oh, how noble.

BioWare already knocked one out of the park with Mass Effect's predecessor, Knights of the Old Republic. Thing is, Star Trek makes a lot more sense for this formula than the comparatively trigger-happy Star Wars. So please, before Trek suffers any more embarassing failures that focus on ship-to-ship combat instead of character-driven plotlines, BioWare should put its scribes to work crafting a game that acknowledges the franchise's strengths.

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19 comments

  • Sjoeki - November 29, 2011 noon

    It's just creepy how close your idea was to what would be the best game of 2009 (arkham asylum offcourse)
  • ChuckB - November 24, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    That what I thought, Polar, when Arkham Asylum's details were revealed.
  • Slayer11496 - November 23, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    Needs more Chuck Norris.
  • PolarBarrett - November 23, 2010 1 a.m.

    funny how this description of the batman one is exactly like arkham asylum. i guess gr was ahead of its time
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - November 28, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    You're welcome.
  • cricket0 - September 27, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    I think that every game needs an upgrade like these
  • rel123 - September 22, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    Our solution: Turn every game into Mass Effect. Excellent.
  • katwood92 - October 1, 2008 8:47 p.m.

    If every game was Mass Effect, gaming would get boring fast. However Mass Effect does have many different aspects that a lot of games could learn from.
  • h3110 - September 9, 2008 9:52 p.m.

    cool first comment and i tottlay agree with all of these
  • Corsair89 - August 30, 2009 4:37 a.m.

    Congradulations, GR. Batman: Arkham Asylum did everything you suggested(except the Batmobile) and proved that you were absoultely right. Kudos.
  • MoonPig - June 15, 2009 10:49 a.m.

    splinter cell FTW
  • Blackhalos99 - April 22, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • crazyjames - February 24, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    Seeing Jaws chucking grenades at beach goers had to be the absolute highlight of this article. Priceless.
  • Anton_13 - January 4, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    good harry potter thought, but wouldn't that have a bit of a niche appeal? I think harry potter needs an RPG. Not like Mass Effect, because then it would lose something, but still more than just a big, open world.
  • Anton_13 - January 4, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    on the star trek note, there's a star trek MMO (MMORPG?) in development
  • Sebastian16 - December 20, 2008 10:20 p.m.

    I shall pray to the non-existant gods that Batman; Arkham Asylum will be the Batman game we've all been waiting for.
  • rghtstff12 - December 18, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    Thank God somebody finally said it! I am DYING for a solid Batman game.
  • PittsburghPirates - January 21, 2009 1:17 a.m.

    No that Mirror's Edge is coming out for PC, someone is bound to make a Mod....
  • Yoshi X100 - December 27, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    I disagree with the Godzilla thing, I think it should be more along the lines of a free roam Grand Theft Auto game where you go on the missions and campaign when you want, build alliances, destroy cities, fight monsters even when your not in campaign, oh and maybe upgrade abilities. Sound Good?

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