You heard me right. Go read a book. What, you don’t like to read? Well you’re reading my article are you not? Then you must like reading to some extent. So why not read a book based on a video game franchise? You might learn something new and have fun too. I’ve noticed that more and more video game companies are coming out with paperback novels that are based on the games that we love to play. Which ones? Well let me tell you which ones.
Mass Effect has three novels out that give you a ton of new information on things other than Commander Shepard. The first novel, Revelation, tells the story of David Anderson and the Spectre, Saren before the events of the first game. It reveals a lot of back story if you have already played it. The second book, Ascension, delves into the world of Cerberus and the Illusive Man. This one takes place between the first and second game. Then the newly released, Retribution (click here for my review), goes into more about Captain David Anderson and the Illusive Man. Retribution takes place shortly after the events in Mass Effect 2. I can testify that all three of these books are a great read if you even remotely like the Mass Effect series. One thing that really makes them special is that Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer for the games, wrote them.
Gears of War is another great series that has a couple of books out there. I have read the first two and thoroughly enjoyed them. Aspho Fields tells a lot of the history between Marcus and Dom. It starts off with how they met as kids and their lives growing up into Gears. This will answer some questions you may have had about the first Gears of War game, like why is Marcus in jail in the beginning of the game? We know he disobeyed Hoffman’s orders, but what really happened? Read it and find out! Jacinto’s Remnant immediately picks up from the end of Gears of War 2. It will set you up for Gears of War 3. Want to know why the videos of Gears 3 shows Delta Squad in jungle gear? The answer is contained inside the pages of the book. Then there’s Anvil Gate which just came out last week. My copy will arrive shortly and as soon as I can, I will have a review up for my Platform Nation readers.
Dragon Age is another awesome game that has some books out for it. The Stolen Throne tells the tale of Logain when he was a young man. It will give you some insight as to why he is such an ass in the game. The Calling is the only other Dragon Age book that I know of and I have yet to read it. I will let you know what it is like when I get a chance to sink my eyes into it.
There are some other good game franchises out there with books to help spin the tales in the games that I have not had the privilege to read yet. Halo has a lot of paperbacks out. Dead Space has a couple of books. I see that Fable has a new one coming out in October (I will post a review of this one when it comes out), plus quite a few other video game franchises.
So yeah, I’m serious when I say “Expand your games – read a book”. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn about your favorite games and characters that you can not find out any other way. Most of these books are 350 pages in length give or take, so they aren’t really long. You could easily read one in a couple of nights. Next time you are stuck on what game to play, pick up a book instead and enrich your mind. You might actually enjoy it.