To be honest, the idea came to me when I realized how much fanfiction I read on a regular basis. The longest I’ve read tend to be epic reimaginings of some of my favorite video games. And then I thought to myself: I’d so get me video game novelizations if they exist.
So I am aware that many fandoms this turn of the century have already got their designated novelizations (the Assassin’s Creed series immediately comes to mind), be it a spinoff novel of the world, a prologue, POV change, or a graphic visualization. Some of those on my list fit the bill, but well. Humor me.
Top Ten Video Games I’d Read If They Were Books
Dragon Age: Inquisition
As of this moment, I declare the Inquisition reborn. – Cassandra Pentaghast
Rifts in the sky, demons wreaking havoc once more out of the spirit world, gods and dragons dancing in the skies, and the death of the highest seneschal in Thedas have brought about the creation of the Inquisition. As the Inquisitor, the player must broker treaties and amass alliances that could fight a demon that could very well tear the world asunder.
I could have cheated and said I’d have read the entire trilogy if they were turned into books. But to be honest, I’m more interested in Inquisition because the end of it left me hanging. Heck, it could be its own trilogy with the way it ended. And I hear the Tresspasser DLC only further exacerbated certain issues, not so much resolved them.
The seed of the prophet shall sit the throne and drown in flames the mountains of man. – Comstock
Booker DeWitt embarks on a mission to retrieve a girl in a tower. Problem is she’s heavily guarded and located on the floating city of Columbia. It doesn’t help that the majority of the people on Columbia are out to get him, believing him to be some kind of anti-prophet. It really doesn’t help that the girl’s primary defense is a ginormous metallic songbird. But what can you do?
Is it bad that I’d totally be fine with a novelization in Elizabeth’s point of view? I mean, Booker is pretty awesome, but I love Elizabeth, especially when she comes to her own during the Burial at Sea DLCs. That said, I think Booker’s POV would be awesome, too, if only because the Luteces are more prominent in his storyline than in Liz’s.
Mass Effect trilogy
I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite store on the Citadel. – Commander Shepard
It takes the indomitable focus of Commander Shepard to bring about a crew that is able to do the impossible: save the galaxy. The player follows the adventures of Commander Shepard, an Alliance soldier who not only becomes a beacon of hope not only for humankind, but for the species that live within the Milky Way.
The immediate problems with novelizing Bioware games is that the gender of the main character completely changes much of the storyline in the games. I’d honestly be more interested in a Femshep, mostly because I always saw Femshep as more of a ruthless character. But maybe that’s just me playing Femshep. She makes such a great renegade. Also, any novelization with Garrus Vakarian please. Anything.
Boom, butterfly effect. – Chris
Bunch of teenagers spend a weekend in a Canadian mountain lodge only to get pranked in a teenage horror story kind of way. The problem with these kinds of pranks is that they go too far, and eventually, even the prank turns into the REAL THING.
Playing the video game itself was like immersing into a horror movie. That shit’s scary. That said, I’d so read it. I’d probably refuse to read the book at night, but I won’t be too terrified, because I’d know what to expect. Kind of.
Final Fantasy VII
Anyone may claim that he will act in the direst times, yet only a brave man acts in times great and small. – Cloud Strife
The planet is dying, and it takes a mercenary group to lead the way into saving it. Enter Cloud Strife, a sword-touting mercenary with spiky hair and a mysterious past, who is dragged into the fray in hopes of regaining the somethings that he’s forgotten. A couple deaths, a psychotic super-soldier, and a crossdressing beat later, Cloud’s really no closer to a straightforward answer. But hey, it’s the journey that counts, right?
This game is totally one of the first games that opened my eyes to video game storytelling, which is saying something. I am absolutely nervous over its upcoming remastered version, but hot damn. I’d read a book of FFVII. As long as Cloud retains his more awkward, silly personality, and not the nonsense emo-ness that was in Advent Children. Just saying.
Final Fantasy VI
It’s not the net worth of one’s life that’s important. It is the day to day concerns, the personal victories, and the celebration of life…and love. – Terra
Crazy merciless power-hungry villain, badass female magi-warriors, an ensemble of characters that can make you laugh, cry, and just overall feel good about as they kick ass against monsters and save the world (or, well, keep it from totally imploding). That’s FFVI in a nutshell, really. Oh, and steampunkery all the way, of course.
Hands down one of my favorite games of the franchise. I imagine the story would read like A Song of Ice and Fire, with multiple points of view and several likable, but dead characters. I mean, that Kefka is totally Joffrey’s stand-in. Only with phenomenally cosmic powers. Also, it would be even MORE awesome if the novel would occasionally have sketches done by Yoshitaka Amano. Just saying.
I am the Outsider, and this is my Mark. – The Outsider
Framed for killing the Empress, former High Protector Corvo Attano is imprisoned and left for the executioner’s block, only to be sprung free by forces outside of his control. Gaining the power of the Outsider, Corvo undertakes mission after mission in order to restore the Empress’ daughter to her throne and to destroy the enemies of the crown.
I was in love with this game from beginning to end. The story, the world, the dialogue, the characters. I am super excited over the upcoming sequel, Dishonored 2, which gives me a female POV, but omg, I’d so read more stories in this world, and I’d definitely read this game if it had a novel form.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Humans are shameless creatures that carelessly ignore any misfortune which does not befall them directly. They can–and often do–turn a blind eye to all manner of wickedness so long as it does not touch them or their kin. – Soren
A band of mercenaries must come together in order to prevent further conflict within the world of Tellius. The more Tellius wages war upon itself, the higher the possibility that it will unleash a demon lord that could very well destroy the world. The player focused on Ike’s Company, a fledgling group seeking to bring peace between beorc and laguz.
I imagine the novelization would probably work similarly to a high fantasy. The game itself is rich in characters, though rather lacking in development, considering there are too many characters to play with, and evidently not all of them can be used. Still, I would read a book about Ike’s Company as long as Soren is around.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Grab your asses and run! – Maya Amano
Reporter Maya Amano investigates the mysterious Joker Killings, which leads to the release of her Persona, a manifestation of her inner personality. Upon being saved by a higher power, Maya is tasked with finding Joker in order to save the city from an ominous “darker” time. The game itself is a continuation of Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Both games hold dual perspectives of this city, though to be honest, Eternal Punishment holds a more interesting story.
I’ve probably played my fair share of old Japanese RPGs before I got super addicted to Western RPGs. All the same, the Persona 2 storyline has always been my favorite for some reason, and I’d love to read the story without having to bungle through random enemy encounters and glitchy quests (the last time I played this was on an emulator, so in all honesty, “glitchy” would probably be just my computer).
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, but this dream unsettled me. It was wild and dark and weird, even by my standards. So yes – it began with a dream. – Alan
Alan Wake, a best-selling psychological thriller novelist, goes on vacation in hopes of getting rid of his two-year writer’s block. Upon arrival at Bright Falls and checking into his cabin (shady at best), he blacks out and awakens a week later, with no memory of what happened in between and no clue as to where his wife had gone. He pieces things together whilst fighting off shadowy figures that try to kill him.
Alan reminds me a lot of Richard Castle, with the added bonus of being a man in poor mental health. I loved the written clues and page excerpts found littered in the game, so it’s really no surprise for me to add this game as something I would read in novel format. It just has so much more to add that way. I’d totally read this whilst listening to its kickass game soundtrack, that’s for sure.