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 Fisher.

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth

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 Labyrinth.

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 book.

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 grand finale.

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.