Adult Animation Revolution: Most Anticipated Video Game Adaptations

by Tito W. James

The success of Arcane, Castlevania, Mortal Kombat Legends, and Cuphead have proven that animation is the best medium for video game adaptations. The popularity of these adaptations indicates that there is an young adult audience for animated programing that explores high concepts, long-form storytelling, and mature themes. Animated video game adaptations and anime-inspired Western animation could be the definitive factor in popularizing non-comedy adult animation. In order for dramatic adult animated shows to succeed, they need to rack up views upon release. So whether you’re a gamer or a fan of adult animation, here are some upcoming adaptations that should be on your radar.

Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix

Captain Laserhawk is a six-episode mixed media series inspired by Far Cry 3’s Blood Dragon spin-off game. Created by Adi Shankar (The Guardians of Justice) Captain Laserhawk takes place in an alternate universe filled with remixed versions of characters from Ubisoft games. The show follows Dolph Laserhawk, a cybernetic super-soldier, who rebels against the army to pull off a final big heist and live a free life with his boyfriend. Shankar has been a longtime advocate for animation as an expressive medium for adults and the creative power of video games. Therefore, viewers can expect Captain Laserhawk to be something special.

Far Cry

In addition to Captain Laserhawk, an animated series taking place within the world of Far Cry proper is also in development. Information about this project is minimal, but my best guess is that it will tie into the world and characters of Far Cry 3.  The introduction of the character of Vaas proved to be a turning point in the franchise and the game studio, Ubisoft has tried introducing a colorful villain in every Far Cry game since. It’s been over a decade since Far Cry 3 hit consoles–now is the perfect time to cater to old fans and introduce new audiences to this breakout character.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Based on the video game by CD Projekt Red and animated by Studio Trigger (Kill la Kill, Promare) Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a 10-episode series that follows a street kid who becomes a mercenary called an Edgerunner to survive the high-tech world of Night City. Studio Trigger anime have always struck me as style over substance. But as someone who loves stylish action I hope that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners will deliver a narrative as exciting as its world.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider is a Netflix anime series that takes place after the events of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and stars Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) as the voice of Lara Croft and Earl Baylon as Lara’s best mate Jonah Maiava. The Rise of the Tomb Raider trilogy added a level of grittiness and gravitas to the franchise but fans have also been itching to see Lara graduate out her origin story and go on globetrotting adventures as a fully adult tomb raider. I’d personally like to see a reintroduction of the more fantastic/pulpy aspects of Tomb Raider. Hopefully, this animated series will synthesize everything that people love about this character while also adding something new.

Untitled Castlevania Spin-Off

Castlevania was a breakthrough series showing that high quality video game adaptations were possible, Americans could make good anime, and there’s still life in the vampire genre. Even after a satisfying fourth season there’s still more story to explore. A Castlevania spin-off series has been announced following the journey of Trevor and Sypha’s son, Richter Belmont aided by Maria Renard. The series will take place during the French Revolution and most likely will draw principle inspiration from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

Devil May Cry: The Animated Series

 

If more Castlevania isn’t enough to sate your bloodlust, then Devil May Cry should have you covered. Devil May Cry was a pioneer in incorporating underground culture into a brutal character action games. The series follows the exploits of the charismatic demon hunter Dante and his rivalry with his brother Vergil. The Devil May Cry anime series will have an 8-episode first season and the characters of Dante Vergil and Lady have been confirmed. Judging by what’s known, we might expect a loose adaptation of Devil May Cry 3 which acts as the prequel/origin story for the series.

Splinter Cell

 

John Wick creator Derek Kolstad will be adapting Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell into an 8-episode animated series. Splinter Cell follows the black ops agent Sam Fisher on secret missions to thwart terrorists. Fisher is equipped with trifocal goggles that allow Fisher to use night vision, thermal vision, and electromagnetic vision. An animated espionage series is ripe with creative potential. 

PUBG: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a video game inspired by Battle Royale where players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill each other. The animated series plans to expand the lore of characters of PUBG. The “Battle Royale” genre is making a comeback with Squid Game so the PUBG animated series could strike a chord depending on the creative direction they take.

Hyper Light Drifter

 

Hyper Light Drifter takes place in a neon-lit fantasy world inspired by The Legend of Zelda and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The series follows a lone Drifter who has access to long forgotten technology and is suffering from a mysterious illness. The series is being developed by Adi Shankar and game creator Alx Preston, so whether you’re new to the game or a diehard fan, Hyper Light Drifter is in good hands.

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