Video games are the best form of entertainment in the world, there I said it. This generation has seen a sharp increase in other forms of media becoming popular thanks to the games that they are based on or for the fact they exist within game worlds as well as our own. This week I’m looking at the five best gaming related forms of media to release thanks to a game on Playstation 4 or Xbox One, that aren’t the games themselves.
It has been a while since I brought these up, and as I am reading them again at the moment this is the perfect time to plug them again. Set within the canon Dishonored universe and serving to deepen the world lore as well as provide exciting new stories from the characters we know and love (and fear) these books are essential for anyone who loves the games and also possesses the ability to read.
Written by Adam Christopher (@ghostfinder) with Dishonored game director Harvey Smith (@Harvey1966) working as Editorial Consultant to ensure full consistency with the series past and future in mind, the three books are not only brilliant but work so well at deepening readers knowledge and understanding of the workings of the Empire of the Isles. I know more about the world politics, religion and geography for the Empire than I know about the country I actually live in, and I’m completely fine with that.
Giving away as little as possible as I am constantly insisting people read the books, one of my most favourite nuggets of information from the whole franchise is contained within the second book, The Return of Daud told from the titular character’s perspective. At the beginning of Dishonored 2, while Emily is escaping across the Dunwall rooftops after the coup has taken place, Daud is watching her from a vantage point having been attracted to Dunwall Tower by the commotion the coup caused (now say that five times quickly).
A point I bring up every time I recommend the books is that the third book, The Veiled Terror, takes place after the canon ending of the most recent game, Death of the Outsider, so if you want to know about the fallout from the ending of that game then you’d best pick up the book pronto!
The Corroded Man, The Return of Daud and The Veiled Terror (by Adam Christopher in case you missed that earlier) are available now on Amazon.
The Soundtrack – Doom (2016)
A lot like DMC: Devil May Cry, Doom is one of those games that you only have to hear the name of to have its soundtrack start bumping away in your head. The man behind the musical masterpiece, Mick Gordon, came up with 31 tracks for the Doom OST, which unquestionably form one of the greatest game scores of this generation.
I expect there aren’t many people who are yet to experience Doom 2016, but for those who are don’t wait any longer! Get it played!
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Movies based on games are seldom a success, but Kingsglaive goes against this trend by being as great as the game it is based on. Final Fantasy XV is my favourite game of all time, and having just completed my fourth playthrough of it, I can confidently state it is likely to remain so for a long time.
Kingsglaive was, for a time, my favourite movie for how well it ties into the early plot developments of the game and provides necessary back story to enjoy the game more but not so integral the game experience suffers if you don’t know it. Like most things however, it couldn’t compete with Star Wars.
While you don’t have to watch Kingsglaive before playing Final Fantasy XV, I will always recommend it for now entertaining it is and for the amount of world building it achieves during its runtime.
Horizon Zero Dawn art book
I never really liked artbooks, comics or any such visual tie-ins to games until this generation. Now, thanks to Horizon Zero Dawn and Dishonored, any time I find myself particularly invested in a game world or story I will always look online to see if there are any other forms of media I can get my hands on to get more out of that franchise.
The art book for Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best lazy afternoon books to slowly leaf through, when not playing the game at least, and if you are familiar with the beauty that the game possesses you already know that this in an art book you should definitely pick up.
Abundance of amazing open world sandboxes
This last entry isn’t so much of a product as it a fact of how video games have grown over the past seven years. The quality of the massive open worlds we can explore on current hardware wasn’t really possible on last gen consoles with the small exception for gems like Grand Theft Auto V and Saints Row 4 right at the end of the cycle. Writing this in 2020, we are fortunate enough to have large open worlds begging to be adventured through release every year, some of which can take over 100 hours to fully explore.
The best examples of these games are the RPG Assassin’s Creed titles, namely Origins, Odyssey and the upcoming Valhalla. Personally I have spent, at last count, 115 hours on Origins and 250 hours on Odyssey, and so long as there aren’t any drastic changes to the tried and tested formula in Valhalla (which is unlikely) I expect to match the time I spent on Origins at the very least.
Assassin’s Creed aren’t the only examples of this of course, and to name just a few like Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Final Fantasy XV and Dying Light, we have not only their dedicated development teams to thank but also the consoles themselves for making these experiences possible.
Thank you for reading about the best forms of media to come out of this console generation that aren’t games. Let me know your choices for this list in the comments or on Twitter @RespawningUK and I will be back to speak to you soon with another feature.