Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Video Games (1-5 of 5)

DC announces 'Arkham Knight' prequel comic -- exclusive

Rocksteady Entertainment’s Arkham series of Batman games are among the best superhero games ever made. Granted, that’s a bar that wasn’t terribly hard to clear, but the trilogy that began with 2009’s Arkham Asylum and about to conclude with next year’s Arkham Knight has effectively raised the bar sky-high. One of the reasons for the game’s success is the way it subtly remixes the Batman mythos, coming up with a take that’s true to the story beats that everyone knows, but with a texture and feel that is uniquely its own.

Arkham Knight is different. While the previous two games—Arkham Asylum and Arkham City (Arkham Origins wasn’t developed by Rocksteady)—all told original stories, Arkham Knight is the first to introduce a new character, the titular Arkham Knight. As such, a prequel comic is an interesting prospect.


'Star Wars: The Old Republic -- Revan': Exclusive excerpt from the long-awaited 'KOTOR' follow-up


Another chapter of Star Wars’ ancient history is about to be revealed. Drew Karpyshyn’s novel Star Wars: The Old Republic — Revan, due Nov. 15, is the long-awaited follow-up to the 2003 videogame Knights of the Old Republic.

Fans of KOTOR know that it’s one of the best stories ever set in that galaxy far, far away, with a midway twist worthy of “I am your father.” (Spoilers from here on out for those who haven’t played the game. But, seriously, play it!) Almost 4,000 years before the events of the movies, a rogue Jedi Knight named Revan and his apprentice Malak turned to the Dark Side following a war against the Mandalorians, when Boba Fett’s warrior ancestors tried to conquer the Republic. As Sith Lords, Darth Revan and Darth Malak decided they also wanted the Republic as their prize. But, as often happens, apprentice turned against master, and Revan was thought to have died at Malak’s hand. When playing KOTOR, you’re just an anonymous Republic soldier fighting Malak’s forces alongside a ragtag group of companions (sound familiar?) until it’s revealed that — gasp — you’re Darth Revan and you were rescued by a Jedi strike team after Malak’s betrayal! They wiped your memory in the hope that you could help the Republic turn back the chaos you yourself had unleashed, and, like the original Star Wars trilogy, the game becomes a poignant study in redemption and forgiveness.

Star Wars: The Old Republic — Revan picks up two years after Malak’s defeat, when the redeemed Revan is still trying to pick up the pieces of his old life and figure out what exactly made him turn to the Dark Side. All fans have known about Revan’s post-KOTOR life is that he took off for the Unknown Regions on the hunt for a dark threat to the Republic… and was never heard from again. Now his fate is about to be revealed, and EW’s got an exclusive excerpt from the novel, in which Revan meets in a seedy underworld cantina with one of his KOTOR companions, the Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo, to discuss sinister visions he’s been having of a storm-covered planet crackling with Dark Side energy. Read the excerpt after the break. READ FULL STORY

'Sookie Stackhouse' author Charlaine Harris talks about her new videogame 'Dying For Daylight'

Charlaine-Harris-True-BloodImage Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesCharlaine Harris has a new Sookie Stackhouse novel on the way in May (Dead Reckoning is the title; you can read the first chapter here), but fans of the author who inspired HBO’s acclaimed drama True Blood can fill the time until then with another one of her vampires — provided they have a computer. Available today: Dying for Daylight is a downloadable game for the PC produced by iPlay Entertainment starring one of Harris’ other “Sookieverse” creations, the feisty, fashion-forward vamp Dahlia, who has appeared in three short stories. (There’s a “Sookieverse” bibliography available at Harris’ website.) The hidden object light adventure game — about eight months in the making –allows you to play as Dahlia as she searches southern gothic locals like New Orleans and Memphis for a legendary potion that can allow vampires to survive in sunlight. It’s an interesting new form of expression for Harris, a self-professed luddite. “I am so far behind on technology,” says Harris, 59, who does keep a Facebook page. “I don’t even tweet. It’s just another way to use time that I should use writing. I keep thinking I need to know how to do [Twitter]! And then I realized: I already know all these different ways to communicate to fans — how about giving them a book to read!’”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why, then, were you interested in exploring the world of games?
CHARLAINE HARRIS: Well, my kids play videogames, and I grew up seeing a lot of videogames, although the few times I tried to play the, I was an abysmal failure. Then I saw some of my friends — fellow writers — venturing into videogames, and I thought: “Well, golly, nobody has ever asked me!” So I was thrilled when my agents told the people over at iPlay were interested in me.  READ FULL STORY

Tom Bissell's 'Extra Lives': What should videogame criticism look like?

At the beginning of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, Tom Bissell lists a few reasons why videogames have mostly eluded critical analysis. Games take forever to finish (if they even have a finish). They skew young, male, and stupid. The pace of innovation instantly fossilizes everything. “Game magazines publish game review after game review,” Bissell writes, “but they tend to focus on providing consumers with a sense of whether their money will be well spent.” Are videogames even an art worthy of careful consideration, or are they just a commercial product? Is reviewing a videogame like reviewing a toaster, or a car? And if so, who wants to read my semiotic analysis of the Ford Focus?

Putting aside the Great Art/Not Art debate, let’s assume that videogames are just “things” that are worth analyzing. After all, no one involved with the making, distributing, or viewing of Jonah Hex would call it Art, but it still merits a review, just like every other bad movie, TV show, book, and shameless junk-pop album. That brings us to the more intriguing question: What should videogame criticism look like? Bissell’s book offers plenty of tantalizing possibilities.


EA's 'Dante's Inferno' and other classic literature we'd like to see as a video game

Abandon all hope ye who enter the secret code to Level 9. The first part of Dante Alighieri’s pre-Renaissance masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, has been adapted into a video game by Electronic Arts. The game, which hits stores Feb. 9, recasts the moody, reflective poet as a buff, sword-swinging Crusader out to save his beloved’s soul from the fiery clutches of Lucifer. It looks like there will be a lot less introspection and whole lot more decapitation than in the original. Surprisingly, though, Dante’s phantasmal tour guide Virgil hasn’t been changed into a wisecracking talking dog that can give you hints.

This isn’t the first work of literature to be transformed into a game, but up to now it’s usually been via movies. Where the Harry Potter and Beowulf games had just as much to do with the films as the books, Dante’s Inferno skips that step, ready to muck around in public domain without the help of Hollywood. BioShock, which has a sequel releasing the same day, certainly borrowed from Ayn Rand’s philosophy when designing its Art Deco dystopia (it even had a character not-so-subtly named Atlas) but it didn’t purport to be a straight interpretation of her books.

This newfound interest in literary gaming got us thinking: What other classics would we like to see coming to a console near us?

Don Quixote: A lot like the old arcade game Joust, except your enemy is a windmill.

Hamlet: Polonius’ Revenge: This re-imagining is a stealth game in the mode of Metal Gear Solid that has you sneaking throughout Elsinore, hiding behind curtains and listening to other people’s conversations. But don’t get caught, or it’s curtains for you!

Edgar Allen Poe’s RavenHunt: Use the light-gun to shoot at those pesky ravens rapping at your chamber door.

Catch-22: There is no way to beat this game.

The Brothers Karamazov: Power of Three: Dmitri wields the power of ice, Ivan the power of fire, and Alyosha the power of heart. Together they must face down the final boss, an evil, black-robed maniac called the Grand Inquisitor.

Finnegans Wakeboarding: Welcome to the world of Joycean extreme sports!

What do you think? Excited for Dante’s debut on the Xbox 360 and PS3? Any other titles you’d like to see?

Latest Videos in Books


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP