Video game adaptions are fairly common. Video game movies tend to be sub-par, while televised series are rather hit or miss. However, there’s more styles of video game adaptions than just games being adapted themselves. Often video games are themselves an adaption. Be it a book, comic, or movie, video games have become a platform for recreating long narratives into a fitting media platform. Giving the creators more creative freedom, and more unique story telling tools than traditional adaptions.
The Top Two
There are dozens of great video games that are adaptions. Here are the two best series out there based on general quality, and their ability to capture what made their source material so special.
Metro series by Dmitry Glukhovsky
Before Deep Silver’s hit Metro 2033 made its debut, a novel of the same name. After which it received two sequels, that were all written by Russian author, Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2033, Metro 2034, and Metro 2035 tell similar stories as the games. Our main character, Artyom, is a tad bit older, and his character is more fleshed out. The story is more detailed and contains greater moral conflict. Differences aside, the game stands up as a wonderful adaption.
Since the first two games released, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, have received enhanced versions titled Redux. These versions improved on the graphical quality, as well as improving the general gameplay of the series. But the stories remain the same. We are also about to see the release of Metro: Exodus on February 15th.
The Metro series sets you as a young Russian soldier named Artyom. As Artyom, you adventure through the post-apocalyptic underground metro systems, that are divided between various factions. Some of those factions included The Communists, and The Nazis. The game allows you the freedom to tackle missions however you see fit. Whether that be stealthily, or by rushing in and gunning everything down. Fortunately, that game includes a varied pool of enemies to pull from. There are the enemy factions, as well as over a half dozen different mutated monstrosities that will attempt to stop you.
The original antagonists of the series are called The Dark Ones. Believed to be the next step in human evolution, these creatures possess mind manipulation, and the ability to vanish. The series does well in having an antagonist that you never really fight. Instead, the series utilizes action survival game play, and confusion tactics to keep your character moving.
The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
The Witcher 3 is the most awarded video game in history, and it, as well as its predecessors, are based on the novel and short stories series by polish author, Andrezej Sapkowski. So, obviously this series would have to make the list. While the first game isn’t very good, and the second game is only barely above average, the third game makes up for the rest of the series.
While the games are very different from the books, the quality narrative is still there. They capture the essence of the books, while making them more palatable for the video game platform. Each game follows a Witcher, named Geralt. Witchers are essentially monster hunters. The stories are extremely varied. From hunting werewolves to playing politics, the narratives manage to cover just about every aspect of life in this fictional time period.
Witcher’s are typically taken as children and raised purely to be monster slayers. They’re put through horrible genetic modifications to give them physical and mental enhancements. The games take place after the various Witcher schools began to diminish. Unfortunately, this wasn’t due to the elimination of monsters, which means Geralt stays a very busy man in the series.
The Witcher series is praised for its deep, engaging narrative and characters, as well as the third game for its rich, unique combat system that mixes minor spell casting with some of the smoothest third person swordplay in all of gaming. You will grow to care deeply about the characters you surround yourself with, no matter who you choose to focus on. The games will pull on many of your heart strings throughout.
The Rest of the Bunch
Batman by DC Comics
While Batman has had various series, by various teams, with differing quality, the games by Rocksteady stand out. The world building is quite great. It manages to create a dark, engaging atmosphere, without stating all the details or background needed. The combat can sometimes be repetitive, but the series truly captures what makes Batman, the caped crusader we all know and love.
The Shadow of Mordor
While Shadow of Mordor is technically an original story, the world is still based on the works by J.R.R Tolkien. These is easily the best open world Lord of the Rings game series. While it isn’t the masterpiece that the movies are, it manages to create a whole new layer to an already ridiculously expansive universe. It also stays true to what the series was about, even if not on the literary level of Tolkien himself.
The Tom Clancy Games
While series such as Rainbow Six has long gone past the original source material written by Tom Clancy, they still embody the stories he wrote. Games like Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six are some of the greatest third person shooters in video game history. The latter two titles have also gotten a resurgence in the last few years through Rainbow Six: Siege and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Which has kept fans hoping for the same to be done to Splinter Cell.
The Walking Dead by Telltale
This is another example of a game not directly adapting the source material, and instead creating a new layer to the world. The Walking Dead games by Telltale were initially met with wide spread love by fans and critics alike, before slowly fizzling out, just like all of Telltale. Regardless, the first season is one of the best point and click adventure games you’ll find.
What are some of your favorite video games that serve as an adaption? Let us know in the comments below!
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I’ve been involved with the world of video games since I was able to sit in my dad’s lap and watch him. Not long after that I started playing myself, and it’s been a naturally growing passion ever since.