For a lot of people, a good computer game is the next evolutionary step that allows them to sink their teeth into a juicy mix of written, musical and motion picture arts. When done right, a video game becomes a work of art that strongly resonates with the players and gives way to spectacular immersion that is larger than any single form of entertainment. It goes without saying that the moment you are done with one particular game there is a strong desire to hang on to that particular feeling of immersion and seek comfort in other forms of entertainment, whether that be a book, a movie, or official soundtrack based on the game.
This is why we decided to make a list of the most electrifying novels based on video games.
Assassin’s Creed books have dominating the market for a while now and readers can continue the adventures with eight books, written by the talented Oliver Bowden. There’s a book for each key game of the series and you can find them in printed, electronic or audio form.
BioShock games are deeply inspired by Ayn Rand works, especially the book Atlas Shrugged. The moment you devour this book, make sure you shift your focus to BioShock: Rapture. John Shirley has outdone himself and the readers can expect an even more detailed and more ardent world than the one seen in the games. For better insight into the creative process and the choices imposed on Ken Levine, read the novel BioShock Infinite: Mind in Revolt.
The first Borderlands game was a welcome surprise that blew gamers away by combining Diablo elements from a shooter perspective with a wicked humor and cartoony graphics. The second game took it to the next level and left us wanting to prolong our stay in Pandora for as long as possible. While waiting for Borderlands III, spend some quality time with the trilogy of the books, written by John Shirley. Each of the books does a wonderful job of fleshing out the main characters and forces you to see the residents of Pandora in an unexpected light.
It is unrealistic to hope for Crysis IV, but breathe a new life into this sci-fi universe with two relatively enjoyable books. In addition, while Crysis: Legion covers the events of the second game, Crysis: Escalation is a set of short stories that fill in the gaps from the second as well as the third game.
Darksiders 3 is slowly preparing its comeback, but you can take away some of the pressure by reading about the adventures of the first horseman. The Abomination Vault covers the events between the first and second game.
Dead Island hype was built on an extremely touching trailer that even now, years later, still manages to shake us to the core. The drama we witnessed there, however, is non-existent in the games and it feels like it has been surgically removed from an otherwise immensely fun game. Mark Morris and his book Dead Island try to remedy this and to add more layers of complexity.
The studio responsible for Dead Space survival horror games is long gone, but the terror that dwells in the books is ever-present and it wants, nay, demands your undivided attention. With Dead Space: Martyr and Dead Space: Catalyst, author Brian K. Evenson reviews events before the first game.
The latest Deus Ex game did not go as well as the publisher wanted, so there will be a while until the next game is released. In the meanwhile, those hungry for the dark universe where people are torn between the desire to preserve their humanity and augment their experience can look forward to two exquisite novels by James Swallow. The author braves sensitive topics with unapologetic fervor and promises unforgettable adventure that is only limited by your imagination.
Blizzard are amazing developers and if you are a fan of their games, then, boy, do we have a surprise for you! There is a ton of books on Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft and most of them are refreshingly good. So, grab a book or dozen, cancel everything, crawl into your favorite armchair and dig in!
Doom has managed to climb to the top thanks to its latest iteration but those who would like to go back a spell can seek comfort in six amazing novels. The first four are by Dafydd ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver, but the last two come from the disturbing mind of Matthew Costello.
The Dragon Age novels are an amazing piece of art, thanks to the wonderful talents of David Gaider. After the first three books, however, David had to dedicate himself to other, more pressing projects and the fourth DA novel came from Patrick Weekes. Liane Merciel wrote the fifth one. We wish we knew which one is our favorite. They are that good!
Eve Online is the MMO for epic space simulations and if you want to familiarize yourself with the lore better, then you most certainly have to check the three novels dedicated to the universe. The honor of writing the first and the third book goes to Tony Gonzalez, whereas the second novel is by Hyalti Danielsson.
To say that Guild Wars 2 has a great story would be an understatement of epic proportions, something that is painfully evident in the vanilla game. Things seem to be improving with each expansion, but the underlying fact is that the story is not where Guild Wars 2 shines. The three novels try to change this and, to a certain degree, are successful in pulling you in and making you want for more.
Unless you have been living under a rock, then you must have heard about Halo. Well, Halo has 13 novels. Start with Halo: The Fall of Reach, then slowly transition to Halo: Cryptum and completely lose yourself with Halo: Broken Circle.
Drew Karpyshyn’s novels about the life of young David Anderson are a must for every Mass Effect fan. Sure, William Dietz dropped the ball with the fourth Mass Effect novel and the moment you are done with the first three books we would kindly nudge you towards skipping the fourth novel and reading the two Mass Effect: Andromeda novels. You should definitely go with the audio versions since they are read by the female Pathfinder.
Resident Evil VII breathed new life into an old and stagnated series and if you are one of the many who stared into the face of horror and survived than you should move on to one of the six books which, for better or for worse, are more action oriented.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2 books) и Star Wars: The Old Republic (4 books) are highly recommended for fans of these two completely different games. When it comes to Star Wars: The Old Republic we recommend you stick with the audio books since they are enriched with immersive audio effects and music.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has six novels, five written by Raymond Benson under the pseudonym David Michaels and one written by Peter Telep. If you are a fan of techno-thrillers with one of the most intriguing operatives, then you should not give Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Fallout a pass.
There are four novels based on Tomb Raider and the only one that we could hesitantly recommend would be the last one. Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent wrote the Tomb Raider: Ten Thousand Immortals but even they failed to keep the readers engaged and what we are left with is an uninspiring run of the mill action.
Those were the novels based on games that we simply had to point out. However, much more are at your disposal, so make sure you continue reading!
Baldur’s Gate, three novels (Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal)
Battlefield – two novels (Battlefield 3: The Russian, Battlefield 4: Countdown to War)
Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway
Dishonored The Corroded Man
Fable – three novels (Fable: The Balverine Order, Fable: Blood Ties, Fable: Edge of the World)
Five Nights at Freddy’s – three novels (Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Twisted Ones, 3rd Five Nights at Freddy’s)
Gears of War – five novels
God of War – two novels
Hellgate: London – three novels
Hitman – two novels (Hitman: Enemy Within, Hitman: Damnation)
King’s Quest – three novels (The Floating Castle, Kingdom of Sorrow, See No Weevil)
Metal Gear Solid – Three novels (Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriot)
Quantum Break: Zero State
RuneScape – three novels (RuneScape: Betrayal at Falador, RuneScape: Return to Canifis, RuneScape: Legacy of Blood)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – two novels (Southern Comfort, Northern Passage)
Shadow Warrior – two novels (For Dead Eyes Only, You Only Die Twice)
Street Fighter: Dream Never Ends
The Elder Scrolls – The Infernal City, The Lord Of Souls
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon – three novels (Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Combat Ops, Choke Point)
Total War Rome: Destroy Carthage
Watch Dogs: Dark Clouds
X-Com UFO: Defense
Have fun reading!