Want to play Uncharted 2 early?

May 27th, 2009 by | Tags: ,

An Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Multiplayer Beta code fell off a truck, and 4thletter! is passing it on to you.

If you want it, leave a comment telling us about a video game should’ve been a comic, and then tell us why. What about the game would make a good comic? Should it be a direct adaptation or something else? Basically, tell us what, why, and if you’re so inclined, how.

This is your chance to tell someone that you think the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series you’ve been writing in your spare time should be picked up by IDW, or that your Crackdown comic is going to move 100,000 copies for Marvel.

The deadline is June 3rd, the day the beta starts, so you have one week to come up with the best idea you can. Don’t blow it, kids. We’re gonna pick the best and give away the code.

Important bits: you’ve got to have a PlayStation 3 and a PSN account to make this work. PSN accounts are free, PlayStation 3s… not so much. If you’ve got both, comment away! If you don’t have either, you can still comment, but please be sure to let us know that you don’t have a PS3!

On June 3rd, after reading about the video games that should’ve been comics, I’m going to write about a video game that was turned into a pretty great comic.

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7 comments to “Want to play Uncharted 2 early?”

  1. I don’t want to compete for the prize, but I do have a favorite video game which I would like to see adapted into a comic book.

    No, not “Pac-Man.”

    What prompted me to buy an XBox 360 was “Overlord.” What first struck me as a clone of “Pikmin” had me drawn in quickly by its blend of action, characters and jokes. Slaying NPCs that block your path instead of waiting for them to move was a big plus as well.

    What about the game would make a good comic?
    -The humor. Gnarl switches effortly between light and dark humor, the minions are delightfully stupid, and most of the non-Overlord characters have some quirk or wit about them. Give Gnarl a taste of “fourth-wall thing,” and one could weave comedy gold.
    -Story independence. Since the game’s world has had multiple Overlords throughout history, a comic-book adaptation would not have to be a page-by-page retelling of any of the Overlord video games. Don’t like a mute, mystery protagonist? Insert backstory here. Don’t like Kahn or Sir William the Black? Then create a new set of antagonists or use some third or fourth-stringers that were not completely written off. It wouldn’t have to be like a “Street Fighter” comic (i.e. we know that Ryu and Sagat fight, and we know that Sagat gets a scar because of it, and we know that Sakura’s panties are fire-engine red, and…); it could be anything from a goofier-than-“What The?!?” romp, it could be a dark, gritty gore-fest, or almost anything in-between.

    Should it be a direct adaptation or something else?
    Something else. What I’d be tempted to do is to treat it like a “What If?” and show how different people over history have tried (and failed) to be Overlords. For example, who wouldn’t want to see a Deadpool-like character in charge of a horde of midget thugs? How about a village idiot? A woman, craving vengeance for her child’s murder?

  2. The game I think would make a great comic is Shadow of the Colossus. For those who don’t know it is the story about a lone rider trying to bring his dead girlfriend back to life by killing 13 colossi. There are no mazes, side quests,or even dialoge just a guy and his horse. You ride around to find a colossi figure out how to climb up to its weak spot and kill it. It seems basic but what makes the game great is the beautiful scenes and amazing colossi. As you go through the game you feel bad for the colossi. They are just trying to fight off some crazed guy trying to destroy them.

    I think it should be a semi-direct adaption of the game. Stay with having no dialoge since it lends weight to the story. I think the perfect artist would be Becky Cloonan (Demo, American Virgin). Her black and white art can easily tell the heaviness of a lone man doing anything he can to try to get back his love. She also seems to have a knack with the supernatural and fantastical. Her drawing the colossi would be great so see.

    You would need to cut a couple of colossi so it wouldn’t be to monotonous. Keep the good, if not some what predictable, ending and you would have a pretty good comic.

  3. I’d say RIVER CITY RANSOM, but some canadian named O’Malley already did it!

    Outside of that & the obvious Psychonauts, Beyond Good & Evil, & silent Metroid comic I say the game that could have been a great comic series was Planescape: Torment.

    Just hear the premise:

    The protagonist is an amnesiac “immortal” corpse called The Nameless One, but every time he dies, someone else in the world dies to fuel his immortality. Those people then haunt him as ghosts.

    Oh, and your sidekick is a floating skull who promised to follow you until your death. He didn’t know you immortal at the time.

    The comic would start like the game with the nameless one awakening amnesiatic in a mortuary, reading his tattoos for direction. Note, this game predated Memento by quite a few years.

    This may sound Spawn-ish, but the game packed in humor, dark & strange choices and an amazing array of interesting characters. What would also make it an interesting comic is that the gameplay itself was much of it’s time and not very much fun in retrospect. I would much rather be able to re-read it rather than to try to replay that story.

  4. Team Fortress 2, it already has a distinctive artistic style and comedic tone.

    Obviously a direct adaptation would be bizarre, because it’s a solely Multiplayer game, so whomever writes it gets a fairly big leeway to take it in whatever direction they choose, so a sort of vague team based adventure series like GI Joe where you get different guys out for different missions.

    You could start the comic with a all the red team engaged in a pitch battle vs their blu counterparts and go from there. There’s space for any kind of direction, if you want to take it in a dark gritty world of espionage (spy), a light hearted commentary of mercenaries in the for-profit wars of today (soldier, heavy, scout) or even an inditement of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy (pyro).

    That’s without going into the medic, demoman, engineer or sniper, so the it’s got legs and you’re bound to get a few guys reading a comic based on Team Fortress 2.

  5. […] and Miscellany June 1st, 2009 by david brothers -We’ve got a few entries in our Uncharted 2 multiplayer beta code contest. Click over and check it out if you’re interested in getting into the […]

  6. I think the best idea for a video game based comic would be one which took place in multiple video games. The story starts with protagonist alpha who is hooking up his gaming system in freak thunderstorm with lightning and wind pouring down around his house. Lightning hits his house just as he starts to plug the system in and he gets zapped into the game, he awakes to find himself in a digital world, and the old woman from the original legend of zelda standing over him. She tells him that he was chosen to become the champion of the console. For him to go home he must first “transfer his saves” into different games and must first set right what once went wrong in these worlds, hoping that the next transfer is the one home. Each world offers him new powers and new dangers. Along for the journey is protagonist alpha’s best friend who helps guide his friend through the game using the consoles game chat function.( you could have a select few characters be able to hear him, like Solid Snake over the codec ) After each story arch protagonist alpha hopes the next transfer will be the one home. The last page is also a brief introduction into the world he just transfered into.

    A good example would be that he gets transfered over to the Super Mario brothers world but in this world Mario had no self confidence and Koopa won. So the hero needs to find and encourage mario and his band of resistance fighters to rise up save all of the princesses from the 8 different worlds of the mushroom kingdom, with the princesses powers combined they banish Koopa from their world.

    Or perhaps he gets transfered into the Streets of Rage world, and he must assemble a group of bad enough dudes and dudettes to stop the riots in the streets and overthrow the corrupt mayor and Mr.X from taking complete control of the city. Along the way alpha beats up people, steals the turkeys they all seem to carry and helps his friends Axel and Blaze find out thats they are soul mates. (They could even get Mark Miller to come back and write it, cause apparently he already did a six part comic strip on streets of rage anyway.)

    the basic premise is he never gets transfered home until the very very last issue. You could run this series for years if you wanted to go into every video game world. It even has a built in plot device if the comic doesn’t sell well enough, in the last issue ….boom he gets transfered home OR ….fade to white in the transfer sequence and have the heading ” protagonist alpha never made it home….” the second option leaves the series open for renewal if the fan outcry is large enough to bring back the series in any form.

  7. I don’t have a PS3, but this is an interesting topic. My inner games-as-art dweeb is reveling in it, at least, and now I’ve realized that great video games & great comicbooks alike depend on unique facets of their medium to present the stories they tell. Take Grim Fandango for example. It’s an utterly fantastic game to play, packing atmosphere in spades. Now imagine trying to reproduce that atmosphere without the great soundtrack, without letting the player poke at the edges of the environment, and Heaven forbid, without the voice acting. Maybe it isn’t impossible, but we’re talking pretty high caliber writing to pull it off. So I’m gonna pick three games that would adapt in three very different ways.

    Remember that games-as-art dweeb I mentioned? He did the math and figured that Psychonauts is basically like ninety-five, ninety-six percent perfect for art as a human endeavour. My point, hyperbolic as it is, is that Psychonauts is really great, but in a casual sort of way that doesn’t rely too heavily on gameplay. The dweeb doesn’t hold tetchy platformer controls against something if it provides characters as fun as the G-Men, you see. To this to comics, imagine the really good all-ages stuff under the Marvel Adventures line, or Jeff Smith’s Monster Society of Evil. Like these books, Psychonauts isn’t aimed at children but literally at all-ages; created with an honesty which keeps kids from being felt patronized and captures the feeling of youth for the adults.

    So yeah, there’s that. But what really makes Psychonauts stand out, what takes it from fun game to artistic game, is that the entire world has a built in backstory the player is only given small peeks at. If you don’t believe me, try looking up any of the minor characters from the summer camp on MySpace. Yeah, that just worked. You may have heard Grant Morrison likes to work this way, and I gotta say, it seems to be the way to go. Even better, the premise of the game is that every mind is a world unto itself, and these too have their stories, ones the player gets to muck about in so that he can proceed.

    What I’m getting at here is that to make a good comic out of Psychonauts, you just start making a comic about Psychonauts. You can follow the arc of the story the game followed, and still delve into interesting backstories, tangents, and flashbacks to expand the setting. This style of adaptation is about working with the source material, so a straight translation works fine.

    God Hand
    Okay so, first off, I’m gonna straight up say it: I shop the bargain bins. Mostly because I’m broke, but I like to think finding hidden gems or sleeper hits is worth it. Second, and this is in no way meant to impugn God Hand, but I could’ve listed any number of other action or shooter games, from Perfect Dark to Ninja Gaiden to Contra to insert interesting game of your choice here. The qualities I’m looking for here are dynamic action scenes (hence the beat’em ups and FPSes, but really most anything would work) and a setting that, while mapped out fairly well, is still open & flexible. Somewhere closer to blank page than color-by-numbers. Picking God Hand lets me pimp an awesome but obscure game, and gives me an excuse to explain the story.

    Right. So in God Hand you play Gene, a drifter with the power of Kung-Fu Jesus. Through flashbacks it’s revealed he gained this power after losing his right arm trying to help a girl, and she turned out to be the keeper of one of the legendary God Hands! Yes, the God Hand is the severed arm of an ancient hero. That’s how the game rolls. After punching your way through demons, clowns, a Gorilla luchadore, robots, more demons, the Devil Hand – who has the left arm of the ancient hero, an old samurai dude, more demons only now bigger & grosser, and up a tower that seems oddly familiar to Bruce Lee fans, Gene faces the Demon King Angra. Then Gene punches him too. It’s all very inspiring.

    Could the comic be a straight conversion? Sure, of course. Like, you remember the old Hulk TV show? Bruce Banner would show up at some ranch or something, turn into the Hulk & throw a heavy thing at a bad guy, and then Bruce would leave. In the same manner, you could take a game with an interesting premise and an interesting setting and create all sorts of great adventures. This type of adaptation works from the source, putting characters in new situations for new conflict.

    Comix Zone
    It’s a comic about a person getting sucked into a game about a person getting sucked into a comic. This adaptation is about BLOWING YOUR MIND.