As we grow so do the video games that we play. As we cultivate new interests and appreciations our video games grow to meet us with new concepts and ideas to appeal to our developments. While we are just at the cusp of a new surge of video games that place heavy emphasis on story any attempt to expand this market is met by PtC with excitement and great interest. For those unaware the UK company Tern Digital is currently attempting to turn the 1915 spy novel The Thirty Nine Steps into a video game for the PS3, PC, and iPad.
The 1925 novel tells the story of spy Richard Hannay battling to prevent a German invasion on the eve of war in Europe.
‘We’re hoping the power of the story will pull people in,’ said Tern’s Simon Meek.
Read more at Metro.co.uk
It’s no great leap of logic to understand why they are doing this. Video games today are beginning to showcase deep rich stories. Games like Heavy Rain reopened the world of crime drama while Rockstar’s contender for game of the year L.A. Noire brought the whole genre back into the mainstream. But there is more to these games than just crime solving which is why Tern Digital is looking at adapting more than just the one novel.
In addition to The Thirty Nin Steps they are also looking at turning Great Expectations, 1984, Treasure Island, and Jekyll and Hyde into video games. I for one can’t wait however I can’t help but wonder if there are better novels out there to help usher in a whole new crop of story intensive gaming.
The Iliad is an epic poem that tells of internal struggle and arguments between overpowering authority and tragic hero. You have the tail of an impregnable fortress looming in the distance while you fight a war you don’t fully understand or even agree with. You are there because you are a warrior. You are there because it is your job. You wage war for another mans wife while your own leader behaves without regard for you or your men.
As this internal struggle continues you war is getting you nowhere. Your men are hungry, sick, and losing hope. Finally a plan is hatched that can tip the scales leading to a magnificently epic final battle. But with this you additionally set yourself up to a potential sequel.
To date there is a Battle of Troy game but it most certainly does not do justice to the tale by Homer.
The Odyssey has long been my favorite work of literary history. There has always been an overpowering sense of emotion behind it that I have never felt from reading anything else. It is the tail of Odysseus after the events of the Iliad. His blinding of Polyphemus enraged Poseidon so much that he cursed Odysseus with a seemingly unending journey home. His plight is not met without emotion from the goddess Athena who takes pity on him and wishes to help him.
During his journey he encounters mythical beasts, seduction from the goddesses and more heartache and setbacks than any one man should endure. But throughout all of this is the unrelenting desire to return home to his wife and son.
However this isn’t just the tale of Odysseus. We also see his home in Ithaca defiled and his lands ravaged by suitors to his wife. In his long absence since the war in Troy people assume he has died and demand his wife marry anew. His family still holds out hope and does all they can to stall the suitors. We watch his son come of age from a naïve boy to a man who can take charge of a situation and do what must be done.
Perhaps my favorite aspect is Odysseus’ unflattering return home to find his once beloved home in shambles. This does not sit well with him and through Athena, his son, and a grand plan of deception and revenge takes charge to reclaim what is his.
The potential of outstanding visuals that can be worked in with the raging storms the crush down around him or the lush islands of Circe where his men were turned into pigs. The visuals alone for the tropical Mediterranean island of Calypso would be enough to pique my interests. The inherent adventure behind Odysseus’ journey home would be enough to make any developer delight at the thought of showing off what they can do.
These would hands down be two additions to my video game library that I would never part with. They have long been two of my favorites but what about you? If this trend were to continue what literature would you like to see grace the world of video games?