Beginning with Pong, Video Games have covered a considerable distance during the past half of a century—what was once a pixelated form of time wasting entertainment has become a legitimate medium for storytelling.
And, given the new-millennium fascination with remakes—recreations of stories that transcend time and mediums—the gaming industry’s shocking neglect of some classic pieces of literature is somewhat shameful.
While Dante’s Inferno and The Hobbit have received some attention from the gaming industry, both have been forgotten—being met with average reviews upon their release.
What are some titles that deserve pixilation? Well, English class is about to cross with leisurely gaming—creating hypothetical entertainment experiences that should be realized. Hence, some classic pieces of literature that deserve to be made into games are:
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey
A story so epic that it gave Western Civilization two timeless pieces of literature, as well as some fancy heel-referencing nomenclature.
With some games are taking progressively greater steps toward interactive cinema, the Iliad and the Odyssey would be wondrous eye candy for the gamer—allowing for participation in the following events: the Trojan Horse, the battle between Achilles and Hektor, Odysseus’ escape from Polyphemus’ lair, and Achilles’ Last Stand just to name a few.
While Warriors: Heroes of Troy did have many Iliad-famous events, the game did not do justice to the whole of the source material.
The oldest known piece of literature written in English—even if the Anglican dialect written in the original version of Beowulf bears little semblance to the language that we speak today—Beowulf is the tale of a Great warrior summoned to slay a descendant of Cain.
Sailing rigorous waters, fighting Grendel with his bare hands, and culminating with the slaying of a massive dragon, a true Beowulf game would be reminiscent of the Witcher series.
While a game was released based off of the 2007 movie, it—like Warriors: Heroes of Troy—did little to capture the scale on which a true adaptation would be set.
Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War
Thucydides described the Peloponnesian War as the greatest conflict of the time. Spanning twenty years and laden with blood-soaked battles, the story is one that is too epic for fiction.
In the game, the protagonist would be able to witness what started out as a small dispute between Corinth and Corcyra snowball into a massive conflict between two Greek militaries.
With a large naval component, the gamer would get to explore some of the most renowned Ancient Greek cities while partaking in combat befitting the time period.
William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Shakespeare wrote this fictionalized version of the assassination of Julius Caesar—popularizing Ceasar’s murder and the now famous line, “Et tu, Brute?”
There is an affinity in modern storytelling for intertwining subplots. And Shakespeare performs this act quite well with this classic play, which chronicles Rome before, during, and after Caesar’s assassination.
Hunter S. Thompsons’ Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
It wouldn’t have any fighting, nor would it be a popular release. However, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has the potential to be an outstanding Indie Game—one that falls under the category of “psychological misadventure.”
Taking control of Dr. Gonzo, the player would embark on epic journeys across the desert and encounter mind-boggling hallucinations—all thanks to the man who once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
The driving mechanic of this game would be largely hallucination-based– a mechanic that could create interesting spontaneity in the game. And, it would allow for the developers to test the most twisted
Alexander Dumas’ The Three Musketeers
The tale of Charles de Batz d’ Artagnan would be a lengthy game that would have in-depth fencing combat and massive sieges.
Taking place in 17th Century Paris, the player would travel a historic city while averting assassination attempts—all while trying to gain acceptance into an exclusive group of sword masters. Blending seamlessly with the modern sandbox trend, players could explore the city and see such historic locations as the Palace at Versailles– a veritable monolith for its time.
With games continually becoming an accepted medium for pure storytelling, it’ts likely that more developers will try to take on the ambitious endeavor of turning a famous work of literature into a game.
What do you think? What pieces of literature would be great games and what characters would truly come to life in a virtual reality?