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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Six Other Horror Video Games That Deserve the HBO Treatment

2013’s The Last of Us managed to connect even with gamers who don’t usually play horror titles, so it makes sense that HBO selected the massively popular IP to be their first high-profile video game adaptation.

Of course, genre fans know that Survival Horror games have always boasted engrossing plots and characters, with their slower pace and epistolary storytelling tactics making them uniquely suited for complex narratives. And with so many memorable horror campaigns just begging for big-budget adaptations, we’ve decided to come up with a list of six horror games that also deserve the HBO treatment that The Last of Us is getting.

While this list is based on personal opinion, we’ll be focusing on titles more suited for longform storytelling without necessarily breaking the bank when it comes to special effects. We also won’t be including games that already have adaptations on the way, so don’t expect games like Little Nightmares or Silent Hill 2 on the list.

With that out of the way, don’t forget to comment below with your own favorite horror games that you think would make for a good limited series.

Now, onto the list….

6. Dead by Daylight

I know it seems counterintuitive to feature an online-only gameplay-focused experience in an article about TV adaptations, but Dead by Daylight features a surprising amount of in-depth lore for a multiplayer game. There are nearly seven-years’-worth of slasher-inspired horror stories to choose from here, not to mention enough survivors to keep the body-count high for several seasons.

Ideally, a Dead by Daylight adaptation would follow the young survivors as they investigate the Entity and its murderous servants, being hunted by eccentric killers along the way. And with Warner Brothers already owning characters like Freddy Krueger and Annabelle, an actual HBO production might even get us some entertaining crossovers.

5. Condemned: Criminal Origins

Inspired by films like Seven and Silence of the Lambs, Monolith’s Condemned games were already cinematic in nature, telling gritty stories about rogue serial killers and citywide violence epidemics. With so much interesting material to work with, clever writers could easily expand the events of these games into several seasons’ worth of quality horror television in the vein of a more action-packed True Detective – so long as they dialed down the absurd sci-fi/fantasy elements of the games.

Hell, a Condemned show could even work as a police procedural, with each episode dealing with a different maniac of Metro City and slowly building up to a horrific confrontation with the infamous Serial Killer X.

4. Obscure

I’m a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez’s The Faculty, which is why I’ve always had a soft spot for Hydravision’s Obscure games. Initially dismissed as co-op-oriented Resident Evil clones, the games eventually acquired a cult following and the first title even earned a hi-def remaster back in 2016. And with the rising popularity of young-adult-oriented horror shows, it would make a lot of sense to transform this underrated gem into a series.

Mostly taking place within a monster-infested high school (with the sequel relocating to a college campus), an Obscure adaptation could take inspiration from Buffy and Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, combining teenage drama with monstrous encounters.

This hypothetical show would be even better if the producers committed to making it an early 2000s period piece with music by Sum 41!

3. Bioshock

No gamer ever forgets the first time they visited Rapture. One of the most iconic settings in videogame history, it makes sense that fans have been clamoring for a Bioshock adaptation for years now. And while a 90-minute movie chronicling the events of the first game could be a lot of fun, I think Bioshock could also benefit from a more deliberately paced prequel series detailing the final days of Rapture before the shit hit the proverbial propeller.

Think about it, a story following Fontaine as he tries to turn his criminal empire into a fully-fledged rebellion while Andrew Ryan loses control of his underwater “paradise” could be incredibly entertaining, with the end result working as both a tragic political thriller and an atmospheric horror show.

2. American McGee’s Alice

American McGee’s take on Alice in Wonderland remains my favorite version of the classic story, combining darkly fascinating visuals with legitimately endearing character moments. Naturally, I think these qualities would also work in other media, with a more adult-oriented Alice adaptation being perfect for a binge-worthy limited series. Whether it adapts the original game or the underrated sequel, there’s enough madness here for everyone.

That being said, this is one franchise that would work a lot better in animation than live-action, as we’ve seen before with the Alice: Otherlands shorts that McGee released back in 2015. Not only would this keep the budget reasonable, but it would also allow for even trippier imagery. Plus, we’d get to keep Susie Brann as Alice’s iconic voice.

Editor’s Note: We had learned back in January 2022 that American McGee’s Alice was getting a small screen adaptation from Radar Pictures, but we haven’t heard an update since then.

1. Alan Wake

A passionate love-letter to multiple forms of horror media, Alan Wake could make the transition from videogame to TV show more easily than any other entry on this list. After all, the game is already episodic in nature, with levels inspired by everything from Twin Peaks to The Twilight Zone and even The X-Files. Plus, the mind-bending story would work even better if it was given more time to breathe, making this my number-one pick for horror game that deserves a limited series.

And with streaming shows like Stranger Things and Midnight Mass proving that audiences are still hungry for Stephen-King-inspired narratives, there’s no doubt in my mind that an Alan Wake series would be a massive hit, especially with the sequel coming our way soon.

The post Six Other Horror Video Games That Deserve the HBO Treatment appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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