The Paperback Edition

To many people a storyline in a game is just a needless distraction, something whose only real purpose is to flesh the game out with more content which adds to the amount of time it takes to complete the game thanks to all those talking scenes.

There is however another camp that believes storyline in games is vital, and I sit firmly at this camp’s table.

A good story within a game is brilliant; it helps you become even more engrossed in the title and goes a long way to helping the game bestow certain emotion onto yourself – but what about outside the game universe?

Take a stroll into your local bookstore and somewhere between the Fantasy and Science Fiction shelves you’re more than likely to find more than one book based on a game.

A whole host of titles have their own universe encased within paper that they share with their virtual selves, Halo, Warcraft, and Mass Effect being just three titles that have a whole host of books available.

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For fans of the games they offer not only a way to expand  their knowledge on their favourite game’s universe, but a good book goes a long way to recreating the same emotions experienced when playing the gaming equivalent.  For others it offers a good insight into the story they just experienced with a gaming controller, in a way I suppose it’s a bit like watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then reading the books to see all the important stuff you miss.

I’m not a huge book lover, nor do I profess to reading a magnitude of text, but I could say out of the books I have read, at least 80% of them have been gaming related. There’s just nothing like playing through a good game, then picking up a book on the same subject. You’ve already lived the story, you’ve felt the emotions as you’ve played through the game and now through your reading not only are you reliving your favourite moments but experiencing new ones that you never knew existed.

A big thing for me was when I played World of Warcraft, I read pretty much every novel based on the game, not only did it help encapsulate the game world I was running around in but it gave way to the little touches that without reading the books I’d never have known existed; it added a whole new level of experience to the game.

There’s a whole host of books based on your favourite gaming worlds and although it does lean slightly towards the RPG field, the presence of the Halo and Starcraft books proves that there is room for other genres to get in on the act.

With the likes of the Elder Scrolls series also about receive the book treatment and the mass load of titles already on shelves there’s never really been a better time to delve into the paper based version of your gaming life.






4 responses to “The Paperback Edition”

  1. Ramsden avatar

    I can be something of a literary snob, but I do enjoy the Mass Effect novellas as a kind of guilty pleasure, similar to the Star Wars EU. They’re not bad light reading, and the first one especially really helped flesh out some events only hinted at or mentioned in passing during the game, such as Captain Anderson’s first encounter with Saren.

  2. John avatar

    As an avid – even obsessive – reader, I’m always on the lookout for decent books to absorb. I’ve been dancing around the notion of getting the Mass Effect book and probably will now. The Star Wars EU stuff (especially the Thrawn trilogy) are pretty good on the whole, but there ARE stinkers out there and that’s why I don’t jump straight onto every game branded novel which comes out. I’m happy to get recommendations for my Christmas list though!

  3. Ben avatar

    I noticed today in George (the Asda shop) that they an Assassin’s Creed 2 book was only £3, which for that you can’t go wrong with I don’t think. As I’ve not played it yet (waiting on PC release) it’ll be nice to read the story via paper then experience when Ubisoft finally graces the PC with its release.

    Mass Effect books are quite good, there’s actually a few of the sequel out I believe (or coming out soon), the new Elder scrolls book is suppose to be very good and actually outlays the next game.

    The Halo books are really well written, as too are the Warcraft ones. Can’t go wrong with Diablo or Starcraft either (any Blizzard related book gets my nod, just because they work so closely with the authors etc). The Hellgate: London books are quite good too (on offer in Waterstones too I believe in their 3for2 section).

    There’s a Bioshock book out soon (2nd Feb), which I really want to take a look at.

  4. Lorna avatar

    Interesting stuff. I have never touched a game relaed fiction book yet…the Assassin’s creed one sounds like a good ‘un though.

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