We are living in a Golden Age of Television. This can be easy to forget, considering all of the Swamp People’s and American Idols’s running around out there, but it’s true. While there is a considerable muck of Reality TV to wade through, the shows that are good these days tend to be really good. And more than just good, a lot of TV these days is really bad-ass. From serial killers to quick-draw artists, we’ve been inundated with cool, don’t-fuck-with-me TV heroes, and I have to ask: Why don’t any of them get videogames? We’re flooded with movie tie-ins, but scripted television seems relatively untouched. So, with that said, I’m going to take a look at which TV characters we most deserve the right to play as, so that we can stop watching cool guys, and start being cool guys. (Just a heads up: Some of these contain SPOILERS)
Daryl (Walking Dead)
Yes, I know there are already a lot of zombie games, and for all I know, there may even be a Walking Dead game in development, but that’s not what I want. I want a Daryl game, where I get to ride around on a motorcycle, shooting things with a crossbow.
Daryl does not care about your problems, unless they are zombies. Then he will shoot them for you.
The game could be divided into two parts, one before the zombie apocalypse, where Daryl and his brother Merle get involved with the mob or something and have to fight dudes with guns, and then after the zombie apocalypse where, well, you know. It could be set before Daryl meets up with the group in the show, as he deals with the chaos in and around Atlanta. The co-op mode would let Player 2 play as Merle, as he spouts off racist comments and oblivious hand puns.
Brock Sampson (Venture Brothers)
This one is kind of a no-brainer. Anyone who watches Venture Bros knows that Brock Sampson is the biggest badass of all time. He effortlessly takes down anything that stands in his path or that threatens to harm Hank and Dean, who are so death-prone that their own father keeps a bunch of clones of them for emergencies.
Brock does stuff like this all the time.
Brock has gone through many different phases in the show, all of which lend themselves to a video game. The early missions could feature him as a young OSI agent, taking down evil-doers, eventually moving to his years as the Venture bodyguard, where you have to protect the boys and the Venture compound from the attacks of the villainous (but hilarious!) Monarch and his henchmen. Finally you'd be getting to Brock’s time with Sphinx, a super-spy organization with the coolest costumes ever. The game would be largely combat-based, with the occasional car-chase or platforming level. Also, you’d get to punch lots of dudes dressed as butterflies.
Firefly is one of only two shows on this list that aren’t still on the air, and that’s because it’s awesome and I don’t care, so shut up. While a whole Firefly game would be awesome, with each member of the crew having wildly different missions, I think Wash’s would be the coolest. (Although I’m sure the missions centered around Inara, a ‘companion,’ would be pretty enjoyable as well, for totally different reasons.)
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
For those that don’t know, Wash is the pilot of the Serenity, and he’s the best damn pilot ever. While there have been plenty of space-ship flying games in the past, what would set this one apart is the fact that ‘Serenity’ is unarmed, which means that you would have to rely on deft piloting maneuvers, stealth tactics, and witty one-liners to survive. And there could be some sort of mini-game where you play with toy dinosaurs. Or maybe the game should just come with toy dinosaurs. Either way, fine with me.
Raylan Givens (Justified)
This one also doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation. Raylan Givens is a US Marshall who fancies himself as a cowboy, as he goes about cleaning up his hometown, where both his father and childhood best friend are criminals. He has one very simple policy: If he draws his gun, he’s gonna use it.
You’re already dead.
A Raylan game could go any number of directions, all of which involve shooting a bunch of people. I’m imagining some kind of quick-time event for drawing your gun, where you’re given a very small window before getting shot.
I would also play the hell out of a game centered around Dewey Crowe, a lame-brained redneck that Raylan is always running into. Dewey’s a criminal, but not an evil guy, and he has a penchant for getting himself into crazy situations. For instance, he spent a recent episode running around trying to get his kidneys back, after they’d been removed. Tell me you don’t wanna play that game.
While Dexter has gone majorly downhill in recent seasons, the concept is still totally awesome: A guy that solves crimes by day, while killing other killers by night. We’ve seen video games that attempt to capture the exhilarating thrill of walking around crime scenes and taking pictures, but imagine if they were crimes that youcommitted.
It’s not his hand! Hilarious!
The game could have Murder Mode and Cop Mode (but with, you know, better names), with what you do in one of them having a profound effect on the other. If you’re careless during a murder, someone might notice something at the crime scene, and then you have to talk your way out of it. There would also be an action element, as you chase down (and then, you know, murdered) countless criminals, all while trying to avoid getting caught. Then John Lithgow shows up, and your console turns off out of sheer terror.
Gustavo Fring and Mike Ehrmantraut (Breaking Bad)
Ok, first of all, just watch this:
Now tell me you don’t want to play that game! Mike and Gus are the biggest badasses on Breaking Bad, a show full of badasses. Gus is a no nonsense business man who isn’t afraid to slit a few throats in his mission to bring down a Mexican drug cartel, and Mike is his hitman/cleaner/sidekick who always gets his sh*t done.
Mike and Gus are the ones that don’t look like they just got grounded.
In the game you would alternate between Gus and Mike, doing all of the strategy and planning of your drug empire as Gus, before going on shooting sprees as Mike. If you become over dependent on strategy or the other, there would be consequences. There would also a minigame where you punch Walter White in the face over and over, cause that guy’s a d*ck.
The Smoke Monster (Lost)
Yes, I know there was already a Lost video game, and I’m sure it sucked. Why? Probably because it was all about solving mysteries, (I never actually played it, but that had to be what it was about, right?) which was never what the show was actually about. So what was it about, you may be asking? It was about a bunch of interesting characters stuck on an island together, but more than that, it was about a big monster made of smoke that slammed people into trees and sh*t.
Not the most photogenic of monsters.
If there’s ever another Lost video game, it should be from good ol’ Smokie’s perspective, as you cruise through the jungle taunting people by pretending to be their dead loved ones, and then picking them up and slamming them into trees. I haven’t really thought it out past that, but f*ck it, that’s good enough for me.
Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)
Ron Swanson is the biggest badass on television. He doesn’t believe in government, he doesn’t give a good god damn about his job, and he’ll carve you a damn fine chair. Ron has proven himself time and again to be extremely capable, despite his outward appearance of not giving a single f*ck.
Ron and his moustache simply do not care about you or your problems.
I imagine the game would be an office simulator, but one in which you try to not only get as little work done as possible, but subtly and efficiently sabotage the effectiveness of the entire office, all due to your overwhelming hatred of government and bureaucracy. Along the way you’d impart some life lessons and cook some delicious burgers.
In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t want to play a game as Ron Swanson. I just want to hang out with him.
Eric Zipper is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. When he's not making you laugh, playing video games, or watching movies, he's probably sleeping. Follow him on Twitter @erzip