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Veteran Member - Level 11
I enjoy reading. I enjoy watching movies. Every now and then
I'll come across a movie based off of a book I've read and after the movie is
over and the credits start to scroll, the inevitable happens - a comparison is
made between the two about which is better. In my personal experience, I find I
often prefer the book over the movie. Sure, there are exceptions. I loved The
Hobbit (book) but seeing it on the big screen at an IMAX theater in 3D
certainly made the comparison about which was better a difficult one.
That being said though, I think my opinion changes when
books and movies are being compared to the video game translation of the same
material. I tend to favor the video game version instead; at least based on the
handfuls of games I've played and also read.
Case in point.
I finally...after many
months and many revisits...I finally finished the book, Uncharted: The Fourth
Labyrinth, a book based on the Uncharted series of video games and featuring
the characters you'd expect - Nathan Drake and Victor "Sully" Sullivan, and not
some of the characters you might've hoped for like Chloe Frazer or Elena
Uncharted: The Fourth
The official novel of
Naughty Dog's award-winning videogame franchise!
In the ancient world
there was a myth about a king, a treasure, and a hellish labyrinth. Now the
doors to that hell are open once again.
Nathan Drake, treasure
hunter and risk taker, has been called to New York City by the man who taught
him everything about the "antiquities acquisition business." Victor Sullivan
needs Drake's help. Sully's old friend, a world-famous archaeologist, has just
been found murdered in Manhattan. Dodging assassins, Drake, Sully, and the dead
man's daughter, Jada Hzujak, race from New York to underground excavations in
Egypt and Greece. Their goal: to unravel an ancient myth of alchemy, look for
three long-lost labyrinths, and find the astonishing discovery that got Jada's
father killed. It appears that a fourth labyrinth was built in another land and
another culture-and within it lies a key to unmatched wealth and power. An army
of terrifying lost warriors guards this underground maze. So does a monster.
And what lies beyond-if Drake can live long enough to reach it-is both a
treasure and a poison, a paradise and a hell.
Welcome to The Fourth
Buy it at Amazon
or wherever you choose to buy (or steal) your books (I'm joking, I'm joking
-that's a play on Nathan Drake being a thief).
Phew boy...where do I begin? Well, it certainly isn't the
worst book I've ever read - Halo Cryptum holds that distinct honor...but it just
wasn't...well, it just wasn't like the video games if you ask me. Up to the last
20 pages or so, the rest of the book was sort of ho-hum...whereas the games, all
of the games, are normally action packed from start to finish.
I don't think you can attribute the disparity between the
two to a lack of imagination, I think I have plenty of that to go around. But
there is clearly a difference between reading about a brawl or a daring jump
across a ravine and being in charge of controlling this action and witnessing
it firsthand. Books make us visualize in our minds the words that we are
reading to create the scene, but a game taxes more of our senses which can lead
to a more visceral and concerted experience.
This certainly seems true of others games. As I already
mentioned, I did not like Halo Cryptum even a little bit, and that's coming
from somebody who owns and has read all of the Halo books. I forced myself to
read it...to endure it...and then I breathed a sigh of relief as I read the last
page. I couldn't tell you anything about the book and the whole "forerunner"
story line. But having played Halo 4 which contained similar lore, the story
and history made a lot more sense...and even though I might not have completely
understood it, I still enjoyed the experience because of everything else going
on around me.
I've read all of the Gears of War books too, and even though
they have some very gripping scenes (I'll admit it, one moved me to tears),
they don't capture the essence and chaos of the environment like the video
games tend to do. It's hard to convey a sense of dread in a book like the video
games are able to achieve - you can read it and imagine it, but it doesn't feel
as dire as it does in the game.
The next book on my list to read is Dead Space: Martyr,
which is a little ironic since I am also playing through Dead Space 3. I'm not
much of a reader when it comes to the horror genre, but I have read some from
time to time, the last one being Death Trooper, which is sort of a zombie meets
Star Wars book. It reminds me a lot of Dead Space, as far as creepy crawlies on
spaceships trying to kill you. I read the whole book and wasn't scared in the
slightest. In fact, I don't know that I've ever been scared reading a book, and
I've read the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker. But when I play Dead
Space (any of them), the games are able to inject a sense of fear like no other
(see my blog
on the subject).
Since I love books, and movies and video games, I don't expect I'll ever change with the way
I read, watch and play them, but in those instances when there is a game and a
book to compare, I think I'm pre-disposed to liking the game more than the
I'd still recommend Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth to fellow
gamers, especially those who are fans of the Uncharted series. I'd just caveat
the recommendation with a disclaimer about it not being as cinematic as the
games, but the story contains a tale ripped straight from the pages of Drake's
journal that you're likely to find exciting, especially when you reach the
Read the book and play the game or play the game and read
the book - makes no difference to me...as long as its video game related, I'm there.
I think the Bioshock tie-in is very good, and the Asssassin's Creed books make the stories more digestible.
You have read the Mass Effect books, no? I really enjoyed the first 3, but not as much as the games!
The bioshock book was also done very well, especially(IMO) if you are a fan of the second game(which I happen to be).
Other than those, not too many come to mind. I like to read, but most of my reading bounces between epic fantasy, and "feel good(or feel so bad it makes you feel good eventually" books! Like 'The Five People you meet in Heaven' or 'Half Broke Horses'.
I just realized I have odd taste in books.
I'm not sure if I've read any books based on video games, but I may have to try one sometime. Maybe one of the Mass Effect books or something. Not really into the other games (Halo, Dead Space, Gears of War), but who knows? Maybe the books are worth it anyway.
I think one of the reasons the books aren't as good is because you already experienced those certain characters in a video game before you probably even heard about them in anything else. I think what we first experience, be it game or movie or book, we tend to favor that certain thing over all the rest. I know there were people who really like the Eragon movie because they never read the book, and when they read the book, they didn't like it because they thought it was going to be like the movie. It really depends on where you experience said thing first.
I have never read a book based off a video game but in my defense, I have to read a lot for school and teaching so I try to keep it to a minimum in my personal life. I love games and dont know if I could ever read them when I could be playing them.
I've tried to read books based on videogames and I just can't get into them. I think the biggest element missing for me is the interaction. I keep thinking "why is there a book and not a controller in my hand?" I tend not to mix my mediums of entertainment for that reason. I have still yet to see quite a few movies that are based on books I've read, and I certainly stay away from movies based on videogames (mostly because they're quite terrible). Once you experience a story in one form, it's hard to experience it in another without prejudice. My philosophy has always been to avoid the letdown.
Can't believe you read all the Halo books. I tried both the Nylund books and Harvest written by Joe Staten. The Nylund books had too many actions that were impossible in the game. He described Spartan movements as looking like a blur to normal people. I call BS because Masterchief is slow as dirt. When masterchief deflected an incoming rocket with his forearm I stopped reading right there.
With the harvest book I was into it until Staten felt the need to tell me about a random Grunt riding an elevator in some unimportant location. This turned out to be an excuse to delve into the history of the species and the hierarchy of the covenant. Snoring...
From the title of your blog, I thought you'd be discussing the Walking Dead. I feel the telltale game is better than the show and the comic. :)
It's called hack writing, and it's been popular since way back in the 1800's when they were called Penny Dreadfuls. Just now they're longer and more than a penny: going on 800 pennies, which is waaaay too much given the general substandard quality.
Not that you can't find some good ones, and every so often a hack writer with at least a little actual writing talent comes along, like Drew Karpyshyn or Karen Traviss. But then that guy or girl usually gets snapped up to write screenplays for somebody, and we're back to substandard.
And I just now looked up Halo Cryptum on Amazon, and found it was written by Greg Bear. I'm not surprised it wasn't great -- Bear can string a story together, but for some reason he just can't make it interesting. I'd also steer clear of anything by Kevin Anderson (if he's even still writing).
I don't really read any video game books, because I don't want to tarnish what otherwise may have been an amazing experience. I'm sure there are some really good video game novels, but I haven't read any yet.
I've never really had any interest in reading a video game related book, the game itself is enough for me.
Saint, does the scene in the Gears of War books that moved you to tears just so happen to be the scene in Gears of War: Aspho Fields where Dom's brother dies?
You should make a blog about Cryptum, because I'm curious why you thought it was so awful.
That first picture is incredibly awesome. I kind of want a poster of it, though the actual books would be great as well.
I haven't read any video game books, although I own a few World of Warcraft books that I haven't read yet.
Have you ever read any Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed or Elder Scrolls books? If you have, any opinions?
Those are the only game franchises I can think of that might actually have interesting enough books for me to read. I never got into Halo and though I beat the 3 Gears games, it didn't seem like something that would translate into a novel for me.