Inspiration comes in many forms, and gaming in particular is predisposed to a myriad of influences – some cinematic, some literary – which inform upon the stories being told.
Visually, games owe a tremendous debt to film, frequently borrowing
themes and images from prevalent cinematic blockbusters, and even replicating
filmic techniques in order to recapture the grandeur and spectacle of your
average Hollywood marvel.
That said, gaming is completely unique – predicated upon player/character relationships, interactivity and technological innovation – meaning its inspirations aren’t always obvious. In fact, even the most popular, mainstream shooters are influences by classic works of literature, comic books, international cinema and even poetry, believe it or not.
The reality is that everything from Metal Gear Solid and Bioshock to Silent Hill and Bloodborne owe something of their success to the games/books/films which came before them.
Here are ten incredible video games which wear their inspirations on their sleeve…
10. Half-Life - The Mist
Second only to H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King has had a resounding impact on gaming, influencing everything from Earthbound and Silent Hill to Super Mario Sunshine.
In 1998, the author’s work inspired one of the most innovative first-person
shooters ever made, Half-Life – a relatively realistic shooter which
prioritised storytelling over mindless carnage, distancing it from previous
entries in the genre, such as Doom, Wolfenstein 3D and Duke Nukem.
In particular, Half-Like took numerous cues from The Mist – a short-story in which a small town is invaded by creatures from another dimension. In the game, players assumes the role of Doctor Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist inadvertently responsible for causing a resonance cascade, opening a bridge between dimensions and allowing extra-terrestrial invaders to launch an offensive on the Black Mesa Institute.
As such, the working title for the game during development was Quiver, a reference to a military base in King’s story.
Half-Life was also heavily inspired by the writings of James Tiptree Jr., also known as Alice Bradley Sheldon, author of Up The Walls of the World.