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After Amazon’s Fallout, these games deserve TV adaptations next

Ella Purnell in the Fallout TV show.
Amazon

Something about postapocalyptic video games makes them perfect for adaptations. Fallout, The Last of Us, and Twisted Metal all have that kind of setting and have been some of the most well-liked video game adaptations ever. Maybe it’s because the apocalypse provides such a rich sandbox to play in, or maybe it’s because that kind of setting forces characters to make difficult choices, but it’s the kind of setting that makes for both good gaming and TV.

Now that video game adaptations like these have been massive successes, Hollywood will probably start looking to see what other postapocalyptic video games are ripe for adaptation. Some are already in the works — Death Stranding, The Division, Days Gone, and Horizon Zero Dawn all have adaptations in development — but here are five more I’d like to see.

Metro

A soldier wearing radiation-proof gear in the snow-covered nuclear wasteland of Metro Exodus.
Deep Silver

In the world of Metro, society emerges in Moscow’s rail system following a nuclear war. Of course, vying political factions ensure that true peace can never be reestablished, while those who venture up to the surface have to deal with nuclear fallout and powerful mutated creatures. Over the course of 4A Games’ trilogy, Metro runs the gamut from being a tense horror game mainly set underground to a Russia-spanning adventure about reclaiming Earth’s surface.

That eye-catching premise should be appealing to casual viewers, and it could stand out from the postapocalyptic video game adaptations that already exist by leaning into the series’ horror elements. The Metro games are technically already adaptations as they’re based on books, but that didn’t stop The Witcher from eventually getting a TV show that took some visual cues from the games. While political turmoil and persecution in Russia have made adaptation efforts difficult, I hope Metro eventually gets the film or TV treatment it deserves.

Left 4 Dead

The main characters in Left 4 Dead.
Valve

If we’re looking at zombie games that could get adaptations, then Turtle Rock Studios and Valve’s Left 4 Dead is an obvious candidate. Both Left 4 Dead and its sequel are fantastic co-op games that follow groups of wise-cracking survivors fighting to survive in a zombie-infested apocalypse.  The cross-country adventures of both games provide enough variety to sustain not just a movie ,but a TV show. And an adaptation could find ways to make the two games’ characters and narratives intertwine even more than they already do.

With so many iconic level, character, and monster designs, it would be exciting to see an adaptation realize all this in live-action. And in the hands of the right writers, this could be a hilarious show. Who knows … maybe an adaptation would be what finally spurs Valve to greenlight a Left 4 Dead 3, so we aren’t just stuck playing the originals and the underrated spiritual successor Back 4 Blood.

Frostpunk

A frozen man with Liar written on his chest sits in front of oil rigs in Frostpunk 2.
11 bit Studios

Having just played through the beta for Frostpunk 2, I think 11-bit’s real-time strategy and city-builder series would provide a unique backdrop for a postapocalyptic TV show. This series is set in a universe where a worldwide volcanic winter began after the eruption of Krakatoa and Tambora in the 1800s. Small cities formed around coal-fueled generators that could power entire cities. But survival doesn’t come easy in a postapocalypse where people will do anything to get by and multiple factions are vying for political power.

In terms of narrative, a Frostpunk adaptation would have a bit more freedom in creating original characters. Maybe Frostpunk 2‘s story mode, which is still shrouded in mystery, could feature a captivating narrative framework that’s ripe for an adaptation. A show that could find the middle ground between The Last of Us and Snowpiercer certainly has the potential to be a hit.

Wasteland

Key art for Wasteland 2
inXile Entertainment

Microsoft might be looking for other game series to adapt in the wake of Fallout’s success, and the one most similar to it is Wasteland. This series was actually the predecessor to Fallout at now-defunct game developer and publisher Interplay. It lacks the iconography and sense of humor that allowed Fallout to go more mainstream once Bethesda gained ownership of it, but still provides intriguing enough factions and narrative elements to potentially fuel an adaptation.

InXile Entertainment, a studio founded by Interplay developer Brian Fargo, carried on the series’ torch with Wasteland 2 in 2014 and Wasteland 3 in 2020. The series has been dormant since then as inXile works on Clockwork Revolution, but the success of Fallout indicates that Microsoft might be sitting on an IP that offers up a lot of freedomin terms of an adaptation. It could be marketed as “the world that inspired Fallout.” And I haven’t even addressed that Bethesda has the rights to another postapocalyptic world with iD Software’s Rage.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

A Stalker from Stalker 2 look off in the distance with a radioactive symbol behind him.
GSC Game World

A sister series to Metro, GSC Game World’s S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is set in the radiated exclusion zone around the Ukrainian nuclear power plant of Chornobyl. In this world, a second nuclear disaster took place there in 2006, creating lots of mutated creatures and supernatural phenomena within what’s called the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is technically an acronym for the kinds of people who chose to enter that zone to find riches: scavengers, trespassers, adventurers, loners, killers, explorers, and robbers.

With such a striking setting and character archetypes baked right into the name, a TV adaptation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is rife with potential. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl is set to release this September, so the series will be in the cultural zeitgeist soon. Public support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country and the success of shows about the real-world nuclear disaster indicate that a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. show could potentially feel very relevant and go mainstream if it were made today.

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Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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