Something like 90% of movies are adapted from novels. Some of the most important films ever made were adaptations: Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Dr. No, and Jurassic Park (yes, it’s important) were all adapted from popular novels. In turn, many of the lamest video games are adapted from those movie adaptations: E.T. and Independence Day to name two of the most egregious examples. Oh, and–if you want your mind melted–there’s always the 1995 fighting game based on Street Fighter: The Movie which technically makes Christopher Nolan 15 years late to the Inception concept.
Video game tie-ins to major motion pictures are nearly universally bad. There are some notable exceptions, though: X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the Nintendo DS Thor: God of Thunder were fun, if repetitive as hell. What if we removed one of the links in that chain? What if there were video games based on novels? Well, as it turns out, there are a few and I’ve played some of them. Let’s start with one of the more recent and perhaps more obvious examples…
4. Metro 2033
Metro 2033 is based on a novel of the same name by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2033 has the player traveling through post-apocalyptic Russia in an attempt to eradicate creatures known as the “Dark Ones.” Interestingly, the author was brought on-board to help the team “…deliver a unique game world, a compelling, cinematic story and an incredible, atmospheric experience to rival anything in the category.”
If you have played Metro 2033, you’ll probably agree that 4A Games did a pretty good job of meeting those stated goals. I didn’t play much of Metro 2033, but what I did see I enjoyed. The game world was detailed, the narrative grabbed me, and it was just fun to play. If I ever put together another gaming PC, it will be one of the first games I get.
The game is available on Xbox 360 and Steam. The novel is available for purchase on Amazon.com, but it’s extremely expensive since it apparently hasn’t been published in the US (yet?). It also seems that Amazon has no qualms with selling you a copy of the novel for, at the absolutely cheapest, $31 and only giving you a $2 gift card if you sell it to them. Oh, Capitalism.
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This article was first posted on January 16, 2013