In preparing for my yearly Halloween tabletop night with some friends (this year we’re running a Stranger Things-style game using the Tales from the Loop system) we started talking about the games we had been playing recently, particularly that we all hopped back on The Secret World for the Halloween event. I have an unexplainable affinity for The Secret World - it’s unique blend of modern-day settings and horror / conspiracy / fantasy styling that I don’t think I’ve ever seen replicated in another game. This got me thinking about why we see so few “urban fantasy” style video games. It’s a hugely popular setting for tabletop - all of the Chronicles of Darkness games, Monsterhearts, Urban Shadows, etc - even the most high profile example from video games (VTM:B) is based on a tabletop RPG.
What I can’t figure out is why we don’t see this genre explored more often in games - VTM:B has never gotten a proper sequel and every attempt at a new World of Darkness game has gone nowhere, the incredibly unique quest design and setting felt kind of wasted on The Secret World being an MMO, etc. The Wolf Among Us from Telltale was a beautiful mixture of detective thriller and magic/fantasy and we’re thankfully getting a sequel for that. There was that Bioware game that was unfortunately cancelled before we ever learned much about it.
With all the enduring popularity of shows like Supernatural, the X-Files, Twin Peaks, Buffy and more it just feels like there’s a lot of room for games to explore this genre and it still baffles me. Also, if anyone has any tips of games that might scratch this itch please recommend them!