Whenever you think about relaxation, the first thing that pops into your mind is reading, but not for gamers. For gamers, when you think relaxation, excitement, anguish and everything else that’s emotion-related, you think games! What if you could combine the relaxation of books with the excitement, realness, and adventure of video games? Well, who says you can’t?
From the beginning of the video gaming industry, books have been at the base of inspiration for many splendid titles. There’s no better way to put a book into the world than by turning it into a video game. A place where the reader can actually live, virtually, the events in the said book. Just like magic, they’re there, not just witnessing but living the story through the characters.
Book To Video Game
The best thing you can do with a book is turn it into a video game, not a movie, just because of what we’ve said above. In a movie, you can just witness the adventures of the main characters of the book you’ve read. You look at how they go through the trouble, at how they defeat the monsters and take back what’s theirs, and that’s that. You can’t do much but watch a screen.
In a video game situation, you’re part of the story. You become one of the main characters, fighting your way towards the end goal, be it saving the princess, retrieving the Philosopher’s Stone, or throwing the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. Turning yourself into the protagonist of the book is only possible within a video game, and the feeling is amazing.
How does a book turn into a video game? It’s all about the plot, which comes from the writing itself, and is then put into things like levels, dungeons, maps, and so on, literally being turned into something palpable. Once you do that, you create a story that’s usually the same, if not very little changed from the original one. And then, you put everything into a release!
Twelve Awesome Games From Books
Right, enough books to video games chat! Now we’re ready for the best 12 games that were made from books, or book series, you’ve mostly heard of but maybe not. These games are truly remarkable and have been released after the books that stand behind them reached legendary status.
Age Of Conan: Unchained - With a huge score on Metacritic and other specialty sites, Unchained is one of the best book-turned-video-game titles we could find. And being an Age of Conan release, you know it's good by default. Surely, the Conan fantasy novels written by legendary Robert Howard were a great base for developing the incredible world in Age of Conan, one of the most successful MMORPGs in existence right now. Unchained is based on the "Hour of the Dragon", a book that was published in 1935. Age of Conan is truly the first and most well-done game about the realms of the legendary Conan universe.
Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle Earth - Here's a game you cannot miss if you're into both video games and books. One of the most important pieces of fiction ever to be written, the Lord of the Rings series has sprung up movies, additional books, memorabilia, and surely, some incredible games. "Battle For Middle Earth" is a hefty RTS, developed by EA Games and released in 2004. Don't let that fool you, as the game has been enhanced countless times since then. If you've read the books, or seen the movies, you'll feel right at home playing the reenactments of many battles from the lore.
American McGee’s Alice - An exceptional mix of visuals and sounds, as well as a superb story, this game is based on the famous "Alice in Wonderland" book that has turned into an industry of itself, with movies, books and games released on an indefinite basis. Lewis Carroll, the writer behind "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", would've never thought his story would be transposed into a game in which Alice turns into a dark main character, with the unique, horror-themed art style and a sanity meter, to wrap the craziness up. Appreciated by kids and adults alike, this game is... peculiar, yes, let's go with that!
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas - Any fans of the adventure and shooting genres here, combined? Surely, you know about Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, and the rest of the series under the same name. Well, few know that these games are actually based on books, and good ones, nonetheless. Rainbow Six was a novel written by Tom Clancy and published back in 1998. The "Vegas" episode, as well as the "Vegas 2" one, are both about the special ops team from the novel, which has made a comeback in the "Jack Ryan" books as well, also by the famous Baltimore author.
Romance Of The Three Kingdoms VIII - You'd think most video games have some reference to some books, but this title in particular is deeply rooted in the history of the Chinese people, from a 14th-century historical novelist by the name of Luo Guanzhong. He wrote the book with the same name as the game, in which he details the reunification of 2nd-century China. The game follows the book to some extent and then makes its own twists and turns. It was first released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2003. It's still considered the best strategy game ever to be made for the PS2.
The Witcher - Released for the PC in 2007, The Witcher has turned into a series of games like none other. The game that started it all, the original title, is inspired by the writings of novelist Andrzej Sapkowski, who wrote "The Witcher" series of books. The game was made using the famous Aurora Engine from BioWare, in a modified version to suit the needs of the designers. Geralt and the world around him are all about making big choices, just like in the original books. There's not much of a black and white moral choice, as even the most positive and heartwarming choices can later have a lethal impact on others.
Metro 2033 Redux - The Metro Redux series of games are inspired by a book, which is met with awe by most of its fans. An impressive survival horror of the first-person shooter type, the novel the game is based on was written by Dmitry Giukhovsky, the man behind the legendary Metro 2033 series of books. A journalist and explorer, Dmitry created a world that was ultimately turned into an incredible video games series. From the very last titles, all the way to the visual marvels of today, the Metro series was incredibly successful all the way.
Assassin's Creed - Here's a series of games that's so legendary, you'd think it just sprung out of nothing. But no, Assassin's Creed has a novel behind the games, as you'd most likely expect from such legendary releases. In fact, one important line from the Slovenian novel "Alamut", which the games are based on, published in 1938 is "Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted." Although not a point-on-point adaptation of Alamut, the games come with similar themes and many references from the novel.
Spec Ops: The Line - More often than not, this video game, although not that popular to be considered famous, was criticized for its violence, glorified all over the gameplay. Now before you dive into the critique yourself, learn that this game is a product coming off a book, namely the "Heart of Darkness" novel by Joseph Conrad, written more than 100 years ago! While the events in the book happen during the Vietnam War, the game reinterprets the story taking place in the Middle East. Also, John Konrad, the primary villain of the game, got his name by combining the name of the novel's author with one of the main character of the book.
Bioshock - Everyone's familiar with Bioshock and the entire spectrum of video games the series has produced. But very few gamers know that this legendary title comes after a novel. And not so much after a novel in itself, but after ideologies and philosophies from the author Ayn Rand's written works. "Objectivism" is the main focus in the game, a political/economic/social system in which nobody owes another person anything, and is free to go for their interests, as well as being 100% responsible for their good.
Stalker - Or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. if you insist has redesigned the world of FPS. But did you knew that the game, as amazing as it is, was inspired by the world created by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, two brothers who wrote: "Roadside Picnic" in 1972? The book looks at the story of Redrick "Red" Schuhart, a stalker who's all up for venturing into the Zone, where he finds valuable items and grabs them for selling later. In the Zone, aliens have visited the places and left some hefty loot for the interested, which is one of the plots of the game.
Bloodborne - Our final book inspired video game is Bloodborne, a title that brings shivers down the spines of those who've played it. It adapts the novel that's based on, rather than 100% copying the ideas and events in the book. And the novel we're talking about is H.P. Lovecraft's "Dunwich Horror" and "The Shadow Over", among others. Bloodborne is different from most gothic horror, as it takes you by surprise countless times. How? By throwing some interdimensional cosmic beings, eldritch gods, and other ungodly, out-of-this-world Lovecraftian horrors down your way. It's a surprise with every corner that you take, literally.
Book-To-Game Hits For Reading
Let’s not just stand there and keep our eyes on the screen 24/7 but also try something else… like reading! Some books that came out have sprung interest for new video games, and if you’re an avid fan of those, maybe you’d like to pick up a title and have a little read. Here are some books that were recently released and are inspired by games, or will inspire future releases themselves.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla - “Cursed” by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller - If you're all about the Vikings lore and how they invaded England, then you should play Valhalla, the new Assassin's Creed release, but also read "Cursed" by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller. Nimue is the female character at the core of the book, a tough one, who is on a quest to unite people and avenge their families. Discovering the truth is the central point of work in the novel, so if you're all up for that, you'll surely enjoy the read, and the game.
Cyberpunk 2077 - "Arc of a Scythe" series by Neal Shusterman - The newly released Cyberpunk 2077 is not just a video game, but a source of inspiration for novelists. One series of books that is continuously inspirational for gamers and readers alike, and has a lot to do with the Cyberpunk 2077 craze, is "Arc of a Scythe" by Neal Shusterman. The plot is about two teens living in a "perfect" dystopian world, who are trained to kill by being apprentices to the scythe, the ones who can ultimately take a life.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales - SLAY by Brittney Morris - We all know the sweet plot behind the new Spider-Man game, featuring the first black hero, Miles Morales, and how he fights the war for control in NYC. One book that's inspired by the events of the legendary PS5 release is SLAY by author Brittney Morris. In the book, the main character is an accomplished student who creates a video game that's inspired by the Black Panther, and just like Miles, she has to battle the people who're determined to destroy her community.
In a world that's filled with video games and books, and books inspired by video games, and vice-versa, the choice is ultimately yours on what you play and read. Remember to do it with moderation and wholeheartedness, and enjoy every word or level that you go through. This is, after all, the secret to a good, never-ending story!