Amazon’s Wheel of Time series could give the fantasy novels another shot at video games, following a tabletop RPG, a text-based MMO, and an FPS.
If Amazon Prime’s upcoming The Wheel of Time adaptation proves to be a hit, it could be the spark game developers need to take another crack at Robert Jordan’s doorstopper fantasy series. The saga has already been adapted into a tabletop RPG, a text-based MMO, and a first-person shooter, but there are many other interesting genres and gameplay modes a future The Wheel of Time video game could be built around.
The Wheel of Time books are popular among readers for their vividly described lands and colorful champions of fate against the forces of evil. At the same time, not all of the setting’s details would translate well into into a game. For example, male Channelers grow more unstable the more they wield the magic of the One Power – an interesting concept in the novels, but a penalty for those who would want to play as a male Channeler in a The Wheel of Time video game.
In 1993, the series was first adapted into a multi-user dungeon, a text-based, massively multiplayer game centered around exploration, roleplaying, and PvP. A 1999 The Wheel of Time FPS by Legend Entertainment then put players in the shoes of a low-level Aes Sedai magic-user who blasted her way through the forces of evil with a growing collection of magical devices. Finally, Wizards of the Coast’s 2001 Wheel of Time tabletop RPG included a modified version of Dungeons & Dragons’ third-edition ruleset, making each character’s country or culture of origin just as important as their character class and race. A future The Wheel of Time video game would ideally draw inspiration from the ideas and innovations of these games but also explore new, surprising possibilities.
Wheel Of Time Could Thrive As A Party-Based Tactical RPG
The Wheel of Time novels have an extremely large cast of characters – a roster that a single-player RPG in the style of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim couldn’t do justice. A party-based CRPG like Baldur’s Gate 3 or Pillars of Eternity would give more of the series’ heroes a chance to shine, particularly if it included dialogue segments and puzzle-solving scenarios. The best roleplaying subgenre for The Wheel of Time’s setting, though, may well be tactical RPGs in the style of Fire Emblem: Three Houses or The Banner Saga, which would let players recruit, converse with, and deploy dozens of heroes in battle all at once.
A Wheel Of Time Fighting Game Could Recount The Series’ Duels
The fighting game genre, strangely enough, might also mesh well with the The Wheel of Time. Fighting franchises like Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., and Soulcalibur can support huge character rosters, and fighting games are generally great at showing off the personalities of their characters through special fighting moves and pre-match banter. A The Wheel of Time fighting game could recreate iconic battles from the books and also let players dream up “what-if” duels between characters who never canonically squared off.
A Wheel Of Time RTS Game Could Tell Epic Prequel Stories
Of all video game genres, however, a real-time or turn-based strategy game would likely suite The Wheel of Time best. The saga is full of battles between massive armies – particularly in the last few books, when Tarmon Gai’don, the prophesied Last Battle between the forces of Light and Dark, begins. While an RTS game would mesh well with the Renaissance-inspired military conflicts in the series, though, it would be far more interesting to see a prequel RTS centered around one of the numerous conflicts in The Wheel of Time’s backstory, especially since the incomplete descriptions of these past events gives developers leeway to introduce their own setting details and plot twists.
The Wheel of Time books describe in fragmented accounts a near-utopian era called the Age of Legends, when Channelers combined their magical arts with 21st century-level technology to eliminate scarcity and want. In this age, a group of scientists with more ambition than sense drilled a hole through reality, partially unsealing the Dark One from their cosmic prison. After a period where the Dark One stealthily corrupted the world and swayed selfish souls to its service, a war erupted between the forces of Light and Dark – the former trying to seal the Dark One away, the latter trying to conquer the land and let the Dark One fully enter the world.
A The Wheel of Time RTS set during this “War of Power” could let players command armies of infantry, tanks, and flying machines, regiments of Channelers who wreak mass destruction, and genetically engineered Shadowspawn creatures such as Trollocs or Myrddraal. In the style of Total War Saga, a War of Power-based The Wheel of Time RTS could also feature hero units such as the wicked Forsaken traitors or heroic Aes Sedai like Lews Therin Telamon, the original incarnation of the Dragon.
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