A video game adaptation used to be a thing many would try and steer clear from. We all remember the horror shows that were the Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, and Prince of Persia adaptations, which suffered most from being boring than overly bad.
However, in the sphere of live-action video game adaptations, we seem to be turning over a new leaf. The Last of Us, being as good and as faithful as it is, has given us hope that upcoming adaptations won't be mediocre at best, and that we can actually look forward to the retellings of some of our favourite games. There are more than a few video game adaptations currently in the works, but we've narrowed down a few stand-out hits that you should keep your eye on.
The Horizon TV Show
We've known for a while now that Netflix is developing a series based on the Horizon universe. The working title is reportedly Horizon 2074, though we've not had official confirmation of that yet. The show is still very early in development, and we're not sure who's going to star in it, or whether it will follow the story of Aloy or take on a different approach.
Even if we were to ditch Aloy's quest for knowledge in the Horizon TV show, this doesn't mean it won't be worth looking forward to. The worldbuilding Guerrilla has put into its post-apocalyptic series is consistently intriguing, and leaves plenty of moments in time that could be explored as a TV series.
There could be an entire show about Earth before GAIA essentially resets it, showing us the war against machines. Or, to dodge the Terminator comparisons, a Horizon show could just show us a protagonist based in another tribe, showing us the culture in a greater depth than what the games offer.
The God of War Series
Apart from The Last of Us, arguably the gaming series with the most eyes on it right now is Amazon's God of War adaptation. Due to the overwhelmingly positive reception of Ragnarok, God of War is as hot as it'll ever be, and so a lot of people are hoping that Amazon's series can do it justice.
While there may be some missteps already being made by abandoning Kratos' Greek storyline in favour of the Norse saga, we can't help but hope that Amazon is looking to get this one right. The God of War games since 2018 have been incredibly cinematic experiences anyway, so unless Amazon really wanted to mess this one up, they're going to have a hard time doing so.
A lot of pressure is being put on the casting for this adaptation, but with Sunny Suljic and Christopher Judge doing such a good job as Atreus and Kratos respectively, who can blame the fans for wanting something that'll live up to those performances?
Amazon's Fallout Show
While Horizon and God of War's adaptations are still likely years away, the Fallout TV series from Amazon is set to be arriving this year, and we've already seen a lot of set photos that make it seem like a pretty faithful adaptation.
From power armour to a Super-Duper Mart, we've seen a lot that has got us hyped for the Fallout TV show. Moreover, there's the cast, which features familiar faces including Walter Goggins, Ella Purnell, and Kyle MacLachlan.
Goggins is set to star in the Fallout series, and he's reportedly going to be playing a ghoul. This is interesting as we've never had a ghoul protagonist in the Fallout games, so to see one in the show proves it's going to offer a fresh take on beloved material. Let's hope even with these divergences it still feels like a Fallout product.
The Super Mario Bros Movie
Super Mario Bros. hasn't had the strongest history with video game adaptations. The 1993 film set the bar for video game movie stinkers, and even with the 2023 film coming out soon, Chris Pratt is doing the best he can to ruin the hype for it with his lacklustre Mario voice and seeming lack of interest in the project.
However, if we remove Pratt from the equation, The Super Mario Bros. Movie looks like a promising film. With bright, fluid animation from Illumination, Jack Black and Charlie Day being everything we could ask for in Bowser and Luigi, and a general sense of fun throughout the promotional material, we might not be redefining cinema with this one, but it looks like it'll be entertaining at least. Considering the success of the Sonic movies and Detective Pikachu as well, sometimes a mix of fun with good visuals is all you need.
The Borderlands movie was first announced in 2015, and while it has been a long time since then, that doesn't mean that we're in store for a stinker. The Borderlands universe is not grounded in a single, coherent story in the same way as say The Last of Us, but there is enough of a core narrative that there's enough there to make an interesting film.
With Cate Blanchett as our lead as well, at the very least we're likely to get a strong performance out of this film. Once, it would have been easy to write off Borderlands as being nothing more than a 5/10 action romp at its best, but we live in a different era now, one where video game adaptations could actually be good. So, while I might not think our final two entries will knock it out of the park, I'm still looking forward to seeing what they accomplish.