There’s an uneasy moment when the green light flashes on a videogame adaption of a beloved television series. Call it apprehension, call it skepticism, call it whatever you’d like, but there’s a good reason for knee-jerk worry – most of them don’t pan out. Sometimes the source material isn’t really conveyable in another medium; sometimes the ball is just dropped during development. More often than not it’s a little from column A, and a little from column B, even when the planets have spectacularly aligned to guarantee a surefire success. Whatever the cause, cross-pollinating entertainment can often deliver a dud, but it can also bring about completely new ways to enjoy something we love. In the 24/7 cacophonous overload that is modern-day television programming, there are few series more suited for the game treatment than Archer.
For the uninitiated, Archer follows the exploits of the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) which trots the globe undertaking missions ranging from espionage to personal errands. Without overselling it, Archer is one of the most cleverishly written and reliably funny shows on television, thanks to the character-driven plots that don’t so much focus on the mission at hand but rather the many ways in which the tidy collection of lovable psychopaths will unflinchingly undermine and berate one another.
So what makes Archer suited for the fertile lands of videogamedom? In a word? Everything. Logistically, the show takes place in an intentionally ambiguous time period, seemingly set during the ‘60s while regularly incorporating elements of contemporary culture and other historical eras. The agents have been to space, the ocean floor, a pirate fortress, and most countries in the known world, especially the ones ending in “stan.” With a license to kill, seemingly unending resources, diplomatic-ish immunity and a never ending supply of super villains, communist and/or tracksuit-sporting cyborgs, environmental terrorists and.. regular terrorists – there’s literally no limits to what you would be able to do in this universe. The real question then is – how is Archer not already a videogame?