It’s Friday, and I (along with tens of thousands of other attendees) am enjoying myself (or, more likely, standing in line) at PAX Prime, a massive west-coast convention for lovers of games of all types. So, to stay in the spirit of the weekend, here are 10 video game tie-in audio books you might not know are out there.
10. Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance
This tie-in novel telling the story of Ezio Auditore offers an in-depth look at the same storyline the game follows, so fans of the franchise will enjoy getting to sink their teeth into Renaissance-era Italy–and one of the most bad-ass characters of all time–through a whole new medium.
9. The Infernal City: An Elder Scrolls Novel
The Elder Scrolls games are all about storyline, so they lend well to novelization. This is the first of two books about a rag-tag group of heroes attempting to save Tamriel. I’m a sucker for anything ES related, but anyone who enjoys typical medieval fantasy will like this, too.
8. Halo Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
There are a surprising number of Halo-related books out there. This one’s a collection of short stories inspired by all the Halo games, so go get your Master Chief on.
This is the first of a series of books written to accompany Bioware’s hugely popular Mass Effect franchise. It’s set before the first game takes place, and fleshes out the universe and history quite nicely. A bit of an info dump at times, it appeals mostly to serious fans–but tough beans if you don’t like the ending. *wink*
This book jumps between two storylines: one set during the time period of the first game, and the other, 26 years earlier when hero Marcus Fenix is only a child. It’s the first in a series of five, so there’s plenty of supplementary material for avid fans.
5. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne
Prequel to a prequel, DA: The Stolen Throne is set 30 years before Dragon Age: Origins takes place. The second Bioware origin story on this list, author David Gaider also happens to be the lead writer for the game, so consistency should be at 100%.
4. World of Warcraft: Jaina Proudmoore – Tides of War
Jaina Proudmoore is one of World of Warcraft’s most admirable babes: strong, feisty, and an incredibly powerful mage to boot. Hers is one of the most interesting parts of WoW lore, and this listen is a great expansion of that story. A clean and high-quality production, expertly narrated by Justine Eyre.
3. Starcraft II: Heaven’s Devils
Narrator Neil Kaplan slips into the Space Marine persona like a well-worn leather glove for this, an origin story explaining “testosterone-filled” hero Jim Raynor’s long-time friendship with Tychus Findlay.
2. God of War
Kratos is a fascinating and complex character, so if after playing the God of War series you’re still thirsting for answers about what makes him tick, this audiobook tie-in will surely satisfy.
Some might be flabbergasted that the prequel to Diablo III, whose story couldn’t defend itself against a marshmallow gun, could be stretched out into a 13+ hour audiobook. Others might be horrified that they even tried. But I’ve got to give it to them: while the original story may have been lacking, this book is actually pretty good. It’s a high-quality production of an interesting and well-written backstory. Besides–you can take pretty much anything, throw narrator-extraordinaire Scott Brick at it, and come away with something good.
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