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How literature has influenced video games

Assassin’s Creed. (Courtesy)

Many well-known novels have been transformed into films over the years, creating a symbiotic relationship between literature and cinema. The two interact with one another in a variety of ways, altering how each media tells a story. 

Video games in particular owe a great deal to film as a visual medium, typically using themes and images from popular blockbusters and books. To create their masterpiece, developers have time and again been influenced by literary works. So if you are not into books, how about you grab these games?

Assassin’s Creed

A fictional, centuries-old conflict between the Assassins, who fight for peace and free will, and the Templars, who seek peace via order and control, is depicted in this open-world action-adventure stealth video game franchise. The game weaves together historical facts, science fiction, and fictitious characters with actual historical individuals and events. Assassin’s Creed, regarded as the Prince of Persia series’ spiritual successor, was inspired by the Slovenian author Vladimir Bartol’s novel Alamut, which was based on the real-life Hashashin sect of the medieval Middle East.

Alan Wake 

Although the publishers of this action-adventure game have not clearly stated that most of the writing was borrowed from Stephen King’s works, the game opens with a quote from him: “Nightmares exist outside of logic and there is little fun to be had in explanations.”

Last Of Us

This 2013 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog, highly borrows from The Road, a book by Cormac McCarthy. While the novel features an unnamed man and an unnamed boy who tour what is left of post-Apocalyptic America, in last of Us, the player control Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, across the post-apocalyptic US. The themes are quite identical and they also feature long stretches of almost peaceful silences that are abruptly interrupted by bursts of Violence and shootouts.

Castlevania

The name of this gothic horror action-adventure game in Japan is called ‘Akumajō Dracula.’ This loose adaptation of the story Dracula by Bram Stroker. But it also heavily borrows from other horror novels such as Lovecraft, Carmilla, and Divine Comedy.

Fallout 

Canticle for Leibowitz, a post-apocalyptic book set after a nuclear war has decimated the planet, acts as the premise for this role-playing Video game. After the destruction of the universe, the remaining population has completely abandoned technology and gone back to living in a more archaic manner of living. Many of the same concepts from Fallout are covered in the book including, historical cycles and the depravity of human nature both during and after the war.

The Binding Of Isaac - Influenced by The Bible

The title and plot of this game are drawn from a passage from the Bible. Isaac, frightened for his life, retreats into their home’s monster-filled basement where he must struggle to survive after his mother receives a message from God demanding her son’s life as a sign of her faith.