Daedalic Entertainment has been developing a video game based on Ken Follett’s historical novel Pillars of the Earth since late 2014. It's due for release in September 2017, to coincide with the third book of the Kingsbridge series, A Column of Fire, and hopes to retell the first book’s story in a fresh, interactive way. But what other games have been adapted or heavily influenced by works of literature?
The Fallout series is known for its post-apocalyptic wit, radioactive landscapes, and zany characters, but the ruined retro-tech future was originally inspired by Walter M. Miller Jr’s 1960 novel A Canticle for Leibowitz. The Hugo Award-winning book actually features one of the fallout shelters players often start the game in, describing it as a “hallowed shrine” in a world scoured clean by nuclear war. The book spans thousands of years as humanity and society heal from the devastation, alluded to in Fallout 4, when the main character is frozen for hundreds of years.
The story of the book focuses on a group of monks belonging to the fictional Albertian Order of Leibowitz, charged with preserving historical and scientific artefacts to help rebuild humanity. The monk’s abbey was originally a location in Fallout 2, one that was eventually cut. However, they did influence the Brotherhood of Steel faction that players encounter in the wastelands.
The horrific steampunk nightmare of BioShock’s underwater city, Rapture, is heavily influenced by the works of Russian-American philosopher Ayn Rand, specifically her novel Atlas Shrugged. The book was an essay in Rand’s belief in Objectivism and the morality of self-interest. In the book, as in the game, a series of industrialists and scientists, led by the enigmatic John Galt, escape a capitalist dystopia to create a free society hidden in the mountains.
However, rather than agree with Rand’s doctrine, BioShock offers a stinging critique of her philosophies. The architect of Rapture’s narcissistic buildings and statues is Andrew Ryan, named after Rand herself. The game’s writer and developer Ken Levine gives the rebellion leader who stands up to Ryan the ironic name of Atlas.
A game about a best-selling author suffering from writer’s block is bound to be influenced by several sources, but developers Remedy Entertainment identified the works of horror writer Stephen King as their main inspiration. As an homage, they even mention him and his works several times in the game. In Episode One, Alan says, “Stephen King once wrote that nightmares exist outside of logic and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.”
Like a good book, gaming laptops can be taken anywhere, but the ROG GL702 also means you don't have to compromise on the fully immersive experience of reading a well-written book. With its ultra-portable design, weighing only 2.7 kg and standing at 24.7 mm in height, and enough power to play VR, it lets you enjoy these literary-inspired games on the go.
By Andrew Rainnie