Top 5 Awesome Games Based On Books - The Gist

With The Witcher 3 on the horizon, Jess gives you a list of five other awesome video games that were originally based on or inspired by books!

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My absolute favourite is Megami Tensei: based on the Digital Devil Story trilogy by Aya Nishitani. The basics of the series are in the books (dark themes, demon summoning, modern-day Japan setting, amoral protagonist) and the games have both refined these elements and brought them worldwide.

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I have to say that she missed out on two big ones. Goldeneye:007(N64), and Lord Of The Rings: Return of the King (PS2).

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City of Heroes! (Hey, there was a comic book that came out along side it.)

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I like this background music. They used it in one of ubisoft's E3 2013 conference videos I believe.

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I know this wasn't the question but I'd like to introduce it anyway: some series have produced novel spinoffs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. I have read all the Mass Effect Novels and Comics and same with Dragon Age. Assassin's Creed Novels while they give you more story than the video game feel a bit forced especially since they removed the Animus aspect completely.

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That's a great list Jess and it has some of my favourites in there. I actually like quite a few games and series that are based on books.

When people think of point and click adventures based on books, most people would probably think of the great Discworld games from Terry Pratchett's serie. I however also think about the classic I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, which is based on Harlan Ellison short story of the same name.

For shooters we have the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, that are somewhat based on Roadside Picnic, a short science fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

H. P. Lovecraft has a number of games based on his works, including the classics Alone in the Dark and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

The Frank Herbert Dune series has had quite a few games based on it, but none that have had the impact that Westwoods Dune II did; as one of the first games to really spark the RTS genre.

Finally I would like to mention a book that has a ton games based on it, Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. The big game series here is Dynasty Warriors, but a lot of other games are also based on this historical novel.

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@zanelli: Since you mentioned Romance of the Three Kingdoms, I was wondering if you were also aware of something I'd neglected to mention here a couple of weeks ago: The Suikoden game series is loosely based on "Water Margin" (a.k.a. "Outlaws of the Marsh") by Shi Nai'an.

The old Koei NES strategy game "Bandit Kings of China" was also based on the same book, and in a more direct way.

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Far Cry 2 was also loosely based upon Heart of Darkness. The last act of the game is called The Heart of Darkness.

Probably doesn't count but Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears, is based upon his book. Although I think it was more of a movie tie in. In which case it probably has as much in common with the book as the movie does. To quote Tom Clancy on the commentary: "I'm the guy who's book they ignored." Which is a real shame because the book was great.

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Parasite Eve is the effin best! I'd love to see a AAA installment on PC, PS4 & Xbox One!

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Lord of the Rings strategy series was good + Shadow of Mordor

Then there's Telltale's GoT too...

PS: my god, how much I would love a game set in the Malazan universe

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Wait, Parasite Eve!?

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@ExtremePhobia: There's even a movie.

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I am blinded by Jess' gloss. MY EYES! MY POOR EYES!

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Alice, Jess's favorite i assume. thanks

i love Metro. best FPS since Bioshock 1.

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Metro was the greatest survival game I ever played. What an incredible atmosphere that series had. Better than The Last of Us.

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Argh, now I want Metro even more. Also wanna read that book. I need to get the Metro Redux for my One ASAP.

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Good old Rainbow Six, how I miss thee. Apparently it's true that Clancy was very involved for the first few games, but then he pretty much said to hell with it, that's the story anyway. I'm not sure if he left causing the games to go the non-tactical direction, or more likely the games went that direction causing him to leave them.

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Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, under-appreciated game that is kinda based on a book.

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Still playing Metro Redux on ps4.

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The Parasite Eve games were some of the best experiences on the PSX in my opinion, especially the second installment, I still pop that in every once in a while to play through!

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@Samslayer: Me too! The whole Resident Evil - RPG mix was amazing. One of the most underrated games ever.

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@Arkhalipso: Definitely I thought it was genius! I wish we had more games like it!

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You covered all examples I could think of Jess, nice video. Plus I haven't tried The Wheel of Time from Jordan.

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I can't even put it into words how amazing the Metro series is, especially Last Light. For anyone looking for a serious single player Half-Life like experience, you can't go wrong. What a story.

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Favourite weapon is the vsv.

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My personal fave was Star Wars Shadows of The Empire......

maybe not the best SW game ever was a good game especially considering N64 and the challenges that came with being a N64 game.....

game was great cus it had first and third person action, vehicle missions and a really well done on rails section [asteroid chase] but the story was based on a book and a really good one at that....

I guess you can say Rogue Squadron is also based on a book series.....and that game was one of N64's best games....

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Alice is good because rather than using the two existing stories American created a third and then a fourth one. The fourth one actually hits pretty close to home with it's themes of institutionalisation and child abuse. EA didn't mention that in any of the market materials.

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Well my favourite book series of all time is Wheel of Time. There is a game where you play as an Aes Sedai in the White Tower. I forget the name of the game. This game was made like, in 1997 so its fairly outdated and wasn't popular. I have only opened the game and ran around for 5 minutes then I quitted it.

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@sebbysebbseb: I have a couple friends who sometimes get into Wheel of Time discussions which no one else present can participate in :).

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@sebbysebbseb: The game was just called 'The Wheel of Time." Had it, didn't get too far.

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@avandas@sebbysebbseb: Any reason you didn't get far in the game?

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@sebbysebbseb@avandas: Not particularly. Mostly too creeped out by the Shadar Logoth level.

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I recall this game but I never played it.

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Good video. I totally didn't know Rainbow Six was made concurrently as the book. My favorite of the five is Metro 2033; having played it actually makes me want to read the book. My contribution to this discussion is I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, which had a similar effect on me.

I don't actually want to read the Witcher, though I love the games. Having played Gerald the way I want, experiencing his story in the third person would just feel weird. I'm the same way with great writing made into games. The balance, for me, is so delicate between a game that's too faithful to the book for me to care and too different for me not to feel surreal.

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American McGee's Alice was a lot of twisted fun. Definitely my favorite of the ones mentioned.

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My personal favorite:

Romance of the Three Kingdoms (book) --> Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Koei strategy games) + Destiny of an Emperor (Capcom RPG) + Warriors of Fate (Capcom arcade) + Dynasty Warriors (Koei beat 'em up) and Dynasty Tactics (Koei) ...and others.

Great book, great Chinese TV series. Games were decent. : )

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There are plenty of games based on or inspired by the books:


Developers should more frequently use literature, because book stories are often superior than video games writing. This is natural. Devs are not able to create better world in 3 years than the guy who was being developed it for 15 years - case of Andrzej Sapkowski and the Witcher series.

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@Vojtass: That's a good point, but then of course they have to pay :). Although in some cases they could probably save money especially if they find an interesting but not popular book and pay the author very little :).

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Evil mitochondria. Man only a Japanese developer could get away with such acid trip ideas.

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Metro 2033 is one of my absolute favorite books. I need to read it again sometime.

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I had no idea Parasite Eve was based on a book! Parasite Eve 2 was one of my favourite games as a kid. As i as only 8 or 9 at the time I was never able to complete it. I remember I always died towards the end of the game fighting g some fetes baby hanging from the roof. That's what I remember for it anyway.

I'd love to play It again now and actually grasp the story!

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@roid--rage: Yeah man! PE2 was insanely good! In my mind, it is a very underappreciated game.

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@roid--rage: PE 2 is my favorite PSX exclusive. I'm sure there's a lot of better games on PSX, but they were so good they came out the PSX library to other platforms. PE2 has a special place on my heart and I finally got an original retail copy in the middle of PS3 era, one of my best gaming days.

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@roid--rage: PE1 have better story :) 2 was good too but most because of the better gameplay :) PSN have PE2 and the baby didnt fall from the roof but its befor the last boss Eve :) Btw there is a movie too but its kinda stupid {after all its from 97 and with small budget )

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The Hobbit would be one. I'm not sure if there was a LoR game before the films..?

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@theteaface: << LINK REMOVED >>

I had no clue what was going on in the game, but I thought it was fun!

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Melbourne House in Australia was responsible for The Lord of the Rings games back in the 80s. Alas they do not exist anymore.

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