Image via Amazon

We Need More Game Adaptations With Original Stories

Bringing video games to the big screen via a movie or TV adaptation has always been a bit of a gamble. The people behind them want to please the hardcore fans, while also luring in folks who’ve never touched a controller. I feel the sweet spot lies in borrowing the game’s universe and lore and filling up the time with fresh stories and characters. Look at the Fallout series, as the show is a “Prime” example of how original stories can make game adaptations special.

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The Fallout TV adaptation ventures into the iconic post-apocalyptic realm of the franchise, but it blazes its own path. While Amazon and Bethesda forged a new narrative, it stays true to the essence of the game thanks to intriguing characters, settings, and landscapes. By opting for an original storyline backed by established lore, the series offers both seasoned fans and newcomers a refreshing experience.

The Fallout universe is perfect for this approach. It’s bursting with untold stories and hidden corners of the wasteland just begging to be explored. Plus, the series doesn’t skimp on the fan service. There are Easter eggs and nods to the games scattered throughout, giving longtime fans something to smirk about. With an original story, the series has the liberty to chart its own course while dodging any spoilers or twists from the game stories.

Fallout Season 1 Episode 1 Recap: Entering the Wasteland
Image via Amazon

Contrast this to a more traditional game to TV adaptation. The Last of Us TV series, which stayed close to the source material, is a good example. Faithful adaptations can resonate with fans, but there’s a risk of treading overly familiar ground and potentially stifling the series. To be fair, The Last of Us succeeded because of its plot. Therefore, some might argue not telling the same story in the show would have upset fans.

However, even amidst the retelling of The Last of Us, there are examples of the potency of original storytelling within established lore. The series’ most memorable and discussed episode crafted a wholly original narrative arc only briefly touched on in the game. It didn’t even really feature Joel and Ellie. Instead, it focused on Bill and Frank, and their relationship during after the apocalypse. This episode proves my point that original stories within establishes lore can truly shine.

Image via HBO


Video game adaptations walk a tightrope between catering to die-hard fans and drawing in newcomers. Original stories offer a neat solution, providing a fresh entry point for newcomers while still keeping longtime fans engaged. It’s like a shared language that everyone can speak, fostering discussions and excitement in both groups. As the lines between mediums blur more and more, the storytelling potential should only expand. With any luck, we’ll see more shows blazing their own trails in new worlds, following in the footsteps of Fallout.

You can catch all episodes of Fallout streaming now on Amazon Prime. The Last of Us and Fallout season 2 are currently in production.


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Author
Cory Dinkel
Cory Dinkel is a freelance writer for Siliconera since 2023. An award-winning digital journalist, he has worked for local and national news outlets for nearly a decade. His favorite genre is the JRPG and he will not be taking questions during his "There is Not a Love Triangle in Final Fantasy VII" speech.