Some things that seem like total opposites just belong together. Two things that are ostensibly chalk and cheese can actually be, when you really think about it, yin and yang (disclaimer: we are not advocating having chalk with your cheese course, here). Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a very good example of such things. Mario wielding military ordnance? Really? What is the world coming to? Still, even though it shouldn’t work, Mario and chums mashed together with Rabbids and XCOM-like gameplay somehow appears to.
Getting a taste for our imaginative game pitches? Check out our picks of the five comics Telltale Games should adapt next.
Unfortunately, that’s where our adventure with Nintendo and Ubisoft’s flight of fancy ends as it’s, unsurprisingly, a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Don’t be disheartened though, as that only prompts us to have fun making up ideas for other videogame crossovers. How about Overwatch and Rocket Le… damn, that’s been done already. Wait, don’t go! We have other ideas, too.
Here are five quite brilliant (if we do say so ourselves) crossovers we’d really like to see. And if any devs are reading, we’ll have them on PC this time, please.
Grand Theft Auto + The Wire
The Wire is filled with nuanced narratives that could appear in a Baltimore-based Grand Theft Auto spin-off. Take Omar Little, the Robin Hood-esque stick-up man who has an ongoing feud with the infamous Barksdale gang – his story is begging to be brought to life in Grand Theft Auto. At the very least, you could join him for some well-needed revenge heists.
Drawing back to a wider purview, the best way we could experience the shifting balance of power between drug dealers on the projects and corners is via San Andreas’s gang warfare. The blood-stained territories of Avon Barksdale and Proposition Joe are forever drawn and redrawn, and we want to be on the front line.
Capitalism and Grand Theft Auto have never been happy bedfellows, but tonally, The Wire fits with the anti-capitalism and serious social realism of Rockstar’s fourth entry. Niko Bellic’s immigrant journey challenges the idea of the American Dream as Liberty City reveals itself to be a land of loan sharks and vulgar inequality.
Rockstar could have a field day brainstorming elaborate mini games to recreate the eponymous wire used by Lester and the police to get the jump on their drug-dealing adversaries. But it’s the richly realised human conflicts and complex plots of The Wire that make us long for Grand Theft Auto’s return to the East Coast. Get on it, Rockstar.
Ark: Survival Evolved + Lord of the Flies
If the books we had to read at school had dinosaurs in we might’ve got our homework done on time. And if they were videogames… well, just imagine. We don’t ask for much, just something a little less wordy and a little more along the lines of T-rex of the D’urbervilles, or Pride and Pterodactyls.
If your school days are little hazy, here’s a quick recap of William Golding’s classic. Set against the backdrop of an unspecified nuclear war, it follows a group of students who find themselves marooned on a remote Pacific island. Vulnerable and isolated, they need to survive, creating their own mini society in the process. That’s where Ark: Survival Evolved comes in.
Ark’s story is thus far unknown, with many devoted players speculating on why they and a series of mysterious obelisks are scattered across the island. A Lord of the Flies story mod for Ark would fit into the thousands of mods that already exist for the game, but it would also be an interesting – though perhaps inevitably disheartening – human experiment.
In Golding’s story, the absence of modern civilisation sees the students revert to a primitive, savage state. Would this actually happen? Well, probably, yes. But Ark’s Tribes would be a great way to test this definitively: once you team up with others and form a Tribe, do you honour the tribe governance in place, or do you betray your compatriots when the going gets tough? (Just so you know, we would betray you all in a heartbeat.)
Rainbow Six Siege + Home Alone
While we’re on the topic of young children embracing questionable ideologies in order to survive against the odds, let’s talk about Kevin McCallister. The Home Alone protagonist’s psychopathic insouciance regarding violence in response to home invasions would be absolutely perfect in the context of Rainbow Six Siege.
We’ve won plenty of clutch matches in our time, but imagine if every game was a clutch match by default. One player would control Kevin, afforded a grace period to install traps and make breaking into the building an enormously dangerous affair. Another two players, meanwhile, would take on the roles of burglars Harry Lime and Marv Merchants, their focus to first scout out possible entrances, then find Kevin and… erm, well, make the screen fade to black or something? Now that we think about it, the game’s public image would probably be aided by the absence of child murder. Probably.
Doesn’t matter if you horribly mangle bungling burglars, though, does it? No! So, of course, there would be all manner of macabre reappropriations of household objects for Kevin to deploy. Why use flashbangs when you have glue, a fan, and some feathers? And Kapkan’s entry denial devices would look trifling compared to a liberal scattering of glass Christmas tree decorations under the window sill. Oh, and Bandit’s Shock Wire gadgets ain’t got nothing on a few carefully-placed electric barbecue starters. Hot knobs for the win!
We’re sure you agree that this would be a sublime, unreasonably violent, and deceptively tactical game. You’re welcome for the idea, by the way. Keep the change, ya filthy animals.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt + Game of Thrones
Both The Witcher 3 and Game of Thrones are shining examples of gritty fantasy. Beneath the beauty of Beauclair and Dorne lie the horrors of war and the foibles of humanity. But there are not only glorious battles; the grisly aftermath also takes centre stage. Crucified slave masters of Meereen, we’d like you to meet the unfortunate folks lashed to the Pyres of Novigrad.
If you are one of the decorated players committed enough to have gotten through the entirety of The Witcher 3 and its substantial story DLC, you might well be up for more. What better fit for another chunk of Witcher yarn than the political intrigue and devious deception of Game of Thrones.
CD Projekt Red’s intoxicating Temeria is best suited to George R. R. Martin’s fourth book: A Feast for Crows. After a turbulent period in the GoT timeline, Martin uses book four to take a step back and allow readers to see the impact the Stark rebellion has had on the hoi polloi, viewed from the perspective of fan favourite Brienne of Tarth. As with The Witcher 3 and Geralt’s search for Ciri, Brienne’s quest to locate the Stark girls allows the detail of the fantasy world to emerge. They even look a little familiar, if you squint.
Red Dead Redemption + Westworld
If we were one of the super-rich attendees of a Red Dead Redemption theme park we’d complain to that nice Mr. Anthony Hopkins if he didn’t revive John Marston immediately. Actually, we’d stop that whole final scene from happening. Failing that, we’d bring about Jack Marston’s revenge over and over. Ok, so we liked John, sue us.
We were enthralled by Rockstar’s take on the American Frontier and Mexico, so we’d quite like to properly inhabit it. Shooting bad guys would be fun and everything, but you can’t beat riding your horse across the still-rural plains of New Austin with that stellar original score in your lugholes.
But, admittedly, shooting is fun, too: we’d be forever using our newly-equipped Dead Eye bullet time powers to face down foes like the badasses we still totally are on the outside. But when Halloween comes, fighting the undead horde of Undead Nightmare would be a barnstorming thrill.
And that’s our list of five crazy game crossovers. We’re certain there aren’t any more possibilities but, if something strikes you, let us know in the comments.